Cultural Experiences in Merrillville: Museums, Theaters, and Art Galleries

Exploring Merrillville’s Cultural Scene

Nestled in the heart of Northwest Indiana, Merrillville offers a rich tapestry of cultural experiences that are often overshadowed by its commercial vibrancy. While the town is renowned for its shopping centers and business hubs, it also boasts a thriving cultural scene with museums, theaters, and art galleries that cater to a diverse audience. This article delves into some of the most noteworthy cultural landmarks, including the Merrillville Community Planetarium and various local art galleries.

Merrillville Community Planetarium

The Merrillville Community Planetarium is a hidden gem that offers an immersive journey through the cosmos. Located within Clifford Pierce Middle School, this facility is a unique educational resource not only for students but also for the general public.

Features and Programs

  • Public Shows: The planetarium hosts regular public shows that cover a variety of astronomical topics. These shows are meticulously crafted to educate and entertain audiences of all ages, making complex astronomical phenomena accessible and engaging.
  • School Programs: Tailored programs for school groups provide an interactive learning experience, aligning with educational standards and sparking curiosity among young minds.
  • Special Events: The planetarium also organizes special events, such as sky viewing nights and themed presentations that coincide with significant astronomical occurrences.

Local Theaters

Merrillville’s theater scene is a testament to the town’s commitment to the performing arts. Local theaters provide a platform for both seasoned performers and budding artists, fostering a vibrant community spirit.

Key Venues

  • Star Plaza Theatre (Historical Mention): Although it closed in 2017, the Star Plaza Theatre remains an iconic part of Merrillville’s cultural history. It hosted numerous high-profile acts and Broadway shows, leaving an indelible mark on the local arts scene.
  • Theatre at the Center: Located nearby in Munster, this venue offers a variety of live performances, including musicals, plays, and concerts. Its intimate setting allows for a close connection between the audience and performers, enhancing the theatrical experience.

Art Galleries

Merrillville’s art galleries showcase the talents of local and regional artists, providing a space for artistic expression and community engagement. These galleries often feature rotating exhibitions, ensuring there is always something new to discover.

Noteworthy Galleries

  • South Shore Arts – Merrillville Branch: This gallery is part of a larger network dedicated to promoting the arts in Northwest Indiana. It features a wide range of artworks, from traditional paintings to contemporary installations, reflecting the diverse artistic expressions of the region.
  • Merrillville Community Art Center: A hub for local artists, this center not only exhibits artwork but also offers workshops and classes, fostering creativity within the community.


Merrillville’s cultural landscape is a vibrant blend of educational, theatrical, and artistic experiences. Whether you’re gazing at the stars in the Merrillville Community Planetarium, enjoying a live performance at a local theater, or exploring the latest exhibition in an art gallery, there is something for everyone. These cultural institutions not only enhance the town’s appeal but also contribute to the enrichment of its community.