Editor’s note: These stories were written prior to the COVID-19 pandemic and the Indiana Stay-at-Home order, so some events mentioned may be postponed, canceled, or altered. We’re sorry for any inaccuracies.
Honestly, one would have to live in Muncie to love it. This thought crossed my mind as I experienced student life on the Ball State campus and visited the more industrial hip downtown culture of Muncie. Being a freshman at the university, I had to do some exploring in order to find the most Instagram-worthy spots throughout the community. Whether just hanging out with friends and needing a great location for a photo opportunity, or celebrating graduation with family, these are the top spots to visit.
White Rabbit Books
This tiny store in the Village is packed to the brim with books. When you walk in, you’ll see massive collections of stories stacked in piles on the floor and crammed into any possible space on bookshelves. The White Rabbit is located at 1604 W. University Ave, between The Cup coffee shop and Greek’s Pizzeria. It’s open Monday through Friday, from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
The two floors of the building hold a vast collection of used books, DVDs, RPG manuals, and just about any print material you can imagine. The bookstore has been in business for 30 years and holds decades of rare and used books. Take a picture among the books or sit upon the spiral staircase for a more sophisticated photo. It reminds me of a place out of a Harry Potter book; perhaps you’ll also feel enchanted.
Reagan Allen, Photo Courtesy (@reaganlynnseniors)
If you are in need of luck, comfort, a meeting spot, and possibly a remarkable photo, head on over to the Frog Baby fountain. The Frog Baby fountain features a bronze sculpture of a little girl holding two frogs and smiling upwards at the sky. Currently located in the middle of a fountain on the north side of Bracken Library, this Ball State landmark serves as a lighthearted location for pictures.
This sculpture was created by American sculptor Edith Barretto Stevens Parsons in 1937. Later, Muncie industrialist Frank C. Ball donated the sculpture, and it resided in the David Owsley Museum of Art for many years.
The fountain in which she resides is dedicated to the late Alexander M. Bracken, who is the son-in-law of Frank Ball, who was also a key player in Ball State’s rapid growth after World War II.
Ball State students have traditionally believed that if you rub her nose, you’ll have good luck on your next exam. Frog baby’s nose slowly became damaged as students caressed layers of bronze away. Her nose was restored in 1993.
Ball State Panhellenic Association, Photo Courtesy (@ballstatepha)
Located in the heart of downtown Muncie, at the corner of Walnut and Charles Streets, The Caffeinery is a cozy, coffee-lovers’ paradise. One of the best times is mid-afternoon when the sun has the perfect golden glow flooding in through the windows of the cafe.
The store was opened in 2013 by Frank and Lauren Reber. Prior to owning the cafe, Frank worked as a musician and Lauren as a wedding and lifestyle photographer, but they both shared an interest in coffee. The cafe began as a single-roasting shop and has evolved into both a company and cafe. One tasty coffee blend the cafe offers is the “Habitual Espresso,” made with milk chocolate, toasted almond, and amaretto.
The Caffeinery, Photo Courtesy (@thecaffeinery)
Colorful and eye-catching, this sculpture would create a fun and interesting background for any photoshoot. The sculpture is made from aluminum and features connecting colorful triangles that represent the interconnectivity of downtown. Similar to how members of a community offer different perspectives so does the sculpture. If you stand around the sculpture you will get a different point of view from either side. Located in the new Cornerstone Park, at the corner of Maine and 101 S. Madison St. The City of Muncie commissioned the art sculpture from Project One, a local fabrication company.
Project One Studio, Photo Courtesy (@_p1studio)
Ball State’s emblem and a symbol of pride for students and family. Located on the south side of campus, just west of the administration building, this statue symbolizes the generosity of the land donation from the five Ball brothers. Their contributions led to the founding of Ball State University.
The statue was commissioned in 1927 by the Muncie Chamber of Commerce in order to express gratitude toward the Ball brothers. The bronze statue took 10 years to complete. Sculptor Daniel Chestor French, creator of the Abraham Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C., created Beneficence as his last commissioned work.
This statue is an excellent spot for group photos of students and families, especially during graduation in the spring semester.
Ball State University, Photo Courtesy (@ballstateuniversity)