Memorial Day Weekend unofficially marks the beginning of summer, but if you don't take part in at least half the items on this list, did you even summer vacation?

Summer is great for a number of reasons. The weather is warmer meaning you can let those poor legs that have suffocated in pants for the past four to five months breathe a little and see some sun, and it opens up a ton of extra activities for you and the family to enjoy that aren't available the rest of the year.

A few of the items on this list I came up with on my own. The rest I "crowd sourced" on my Facebook page by asking the question, "What is your one 'must do' thing in the Evansville-area during the summer?" I received several answers, most of which are right here in the Evansville city limits, while a couple others are a short drive to the surrounding area. Most are family-friendly, while a couple are just for the adults. So, without further adieu, and with the help of some friends, I bring you 12 "must do" activities to help you do summer in Evansville right.

Ice Cream at Tasty Freeze in Boonville

(Google Maps)

Drive past Tasty Freeze on any given night over the summer, and you'll see two long lines, one of people walking up to the front service window, and the other of cars snaking it's way through the parking lot. A long time favorite of Boonville residents, the hometown ice cream shop boasts a menu of hard and soft serve ice cream, shakes, malts, and more. If you're in Boonville at any point in the summer, a trip to Tasty Freeze is a must.

Shaved Ice at Hawaiian Snow

Google Maps

Staying on the subject of treats to keep you cool during the humid Evansville summer, I make it a point to make one, if not multiple stops to Hawaiian Snow on St. Joe Avenue near the intersection of St. Joe and Diamond. This simple little yard barn has been cranking out the best snow cones in town since I was a kid.

Pro Tip: Can't decide on just one flavor? Get up to three flavors side-by-side-by-side!

Adult Drinks on the Patio

(Google Maps)

Few things in life are better than enjoying a cold, adult beverage outdoors while the sun sets on another day in Evansville. Fortunately, several bars in and around town like Lamasco Bar on Franklin Street (pictured above) have installed outdoor patio areas over the past few years to let you do just that.

Tiki Bar at Marina Pointe

(Ryan O'Bryan)

If you prefer enjoying your adult beverages on a warm summer night with the sounds of the Ohio River lapping against the shore, then a trip to the Tiki Bar next to Marina Pointe is in order. Situated on a floating dock at the mouth of Inland Marina, Tiki Bar offers an amazing view of the sunset over the Ohio River at night (weather permitting, of course), as well as the LST docked along the shore.

The Great Outdoors at Scales Lake in Boonville

(Ashley Sollars)

Despite being nearly in the middle of Boonville, once you get past the main gate of Scales Lake, you'll forget that Walmart is less than four miles away. The popular public park features a campground, a beach along the lake complete with a floating water slide dock, and some of the best hiking and biking trails in the Tri-State.

W.C. Handy Blues and Barbecue Festival in Henderson

Grab your lawn chairs, and enjoy a summer night in the Tri-State with great food and even greater music during the annual W.C. Blues and Barbecue Festival in Henderson. This year's festival (the 27th annual) takes place June 14th through 15th at Audubon Mill Park on the Henderson Riverfront and will feature some of the finest blues music the good ol' USA has to offer along with mouth watering barbecue from a variety of local cooks. And by the way, admission is FREE!

Disc Golf

(Townsquare Media)

The sport of disc golf has become pretty popular in and around Evansville with a few different courses to choose from. The screen capture above is from my one and only attempt at the Woodmere Course on the grounds of the State Hospital off Lincoln Avenue, but there's also a course located in the woods in and around Mesker Amphitheater on Mesker Park Drive. If you enjoy being outside, getting a little exercise (there are no carts to ride in like regular golf), and don't get frustrated easily, a game of disc golf is a great way to enjoy a beautiful summer day. Most sporting goods stores in the area carry discs, some of which even offer "beginner's packs" which include three to four of the most commonly used discs.

Fireworks on the Evansville Riverfront


July 4th is the quintessential American holiday. You gather up with friends and family, play some cornhole, horseshoes, or washers, drink some beers, and watch in awe as massive amounts of colored gun powder explodes in the sky. Which brings us to the next thing on the list — watching the annual fireworks show along the Evansville Riverfront. Whether you know someone who can get you on the roof of a downtown parking garage, or one of our many tall buildings, or you prefer to be up close and personal with your lawn chair set up on Dress Plaza, or Riverside Drive, summer isn't summer until you've taken in the fireworks display.

Dive In and Cool Off with a Swim

ryan mcvey

From Burdette Park to the variety of neighborhood pools in Evansville, there are plenty of options when you want to "beat the heat" for a few hours. And with admission prices ranging from $2.00 to free depending on your age, it's a tough deal to beat.

Play Ball at Bosse Field

(Ryan O'Bryan via Instagram)

If you only do one thing on this list, make it this. A trip to Bosse Field to take in an Evansville Otters baseball game. Despite being over 100 years old, the ballpark remains in great shape thanks to a community of people who have dedicated their time and effort to ensure it stays that way. While it may not have the amenities of the more modern ballparks, such as Busch Stadium, there's something about the atmosphere that just makes it special.

Movie Night at the Holiday Drive-In

Google Maps

At one point in time, Evansville had it's own Drive-In movie theater on this east side. That lot is now occupied by Bud's Harley Davidson and Showplace East. There was also the Starlite Drive-In in Henderson, but that too shut down many, many years ago leaving us with the Holiday Drive-In in Rio, just shy of 30 miles east of Evansville. Open since 1955, the Holiday Drive-In is one of the oldest active drive-ins in the country and is a fantastic way to spend a summer night with that special somebody, or the whole family.

Pro Tip: Be sure to register to win our Drive-In experience complete with a season pass for you and three people along with at Holiday Drive-In "Survival Kit."

Get Your Thrills at Holiday World

(Google Maps)

Summer just isn't summer without a trip over to Santa Claus, Indiana to spend a day at Holiday World & Splashin' Safari. Featuring some of the world's best wooden roller coasters, along with rides for every age, if you leave in a bad mood, you did it wrong.


Is there something we missed? Let us know in the comments below!