- The list below includes 75 free or cheap things to do in or near Valparaiso, Indiana, including 79 different types of inexpensive activities like Parks, Bowling, Laser Tag and Movie Theaters.
- From Taltree Arboretum & Gardens to Rogers-Lakewood Park, there are a variety of budget-friendly attractions in Valparaiso and in nearby cities within 25 miles like Gary, Michigan City, Portage and Schererville.
Covering 360 acres of prairies, wetlands, gardens and woodlands, Taltree Arboretum & Gardens welcomes the entire family. The children can enjoy the miniature steam engines, while the bird watchers can take any of the 5 trails totaling almost 4 miles to spot trumpeter swans and other 18 bird species.
Sitting atop a series of lakes, Rogers-Lakewood Park allows visitors to enjoy a number of water-based activities like paddle boats, but also has hiking trails and a rock climbing wall. The local wildlife includes beavers and turtles.
Playing host to a variety of festivals, visitors at Porter County Expo Center can attend craft shows, comedy tours, holiday events, and more. It has a banquet hall that can be rented out for private events like weddings.
Featuring four baseball fields located at its center, Old Fairgrounds Park offers open grass areas for recreation and sports like soccer. It has a walking track along the perimeter, a playground and a pavilion for events and parties.
Zao Island features a range of recreational activities including batting cages, mini golf, laser tag, go karts, bumper cars and an arcade. Zao Island also has a real alligator exhibit where patrons can feed the alligators from a pole.
Part of the Valparaiso University campus, the Brauer Museum of Art is an art museum featuring a collection of 19th, 20th, and 21st-century American art. This collection includes art by Frederic Edwin Church, Childe Hassam, Georgia O'Keeffe, and Ed Paschke.
A movie theater featuring 12 auditoriums, Cinemark at Valparaiso displays first-run feature films using digital projection and RealD 3D. The theater offers stadium seating, self-service ticketing, a party room and a concession area with food and drinks.