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Fun Things to do in Indianapolis


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city guide

Indianapolis is the state capital of Indiana and plays host to the world-renowned Indy 500 motor race each May. Aside from big events and speeding race cars, Indy (as it's otherwise known) is blessed with plenty of green space, glistening waterways and remarkable memorials, making for a charmingly picturesque city.


Best time to go

The best time to visit Indianapolis is at the end of spring or the beginning of fall. This is when the weather is at its most pleasant, and you can be free to enjoy everything from the city's museums and budding restaurant scene to its parks and outdoor concert venues.


Fun city facts and activities

    Indianapolis may have once been mockingly known as Naptown to its residents, years ago, but over the last decade the city has quietly become one of the hippest destinations in the Midwest. On any given night, youll find local and national bands playing at clubs across town, while crowds pack venues to see local theater groups perform.

    Breweries are popping up seemingly in every corner of the citymore than 30 and countingeach capturing its neighborhoods distinctive spirit and vibe. Indianapolis was once a culinary wasteland with little beyond chain eateries to choose from, but dozens of exceptional restaurants have since popped up to ravenous crowds delight. In fact, theres so much going on in the city, you might just need a nap at your hotel to recover.
City facts

Neighborhoods to explore

    Downtown Indianapolis
    Broad Ripple
    Willow Lakes
    Crooked Creek
    North Willow

Food Specialties

    The Greatest Spectacle in Racing tends to dominate Indys list of things to do in the springtime, but visitors to the Circle City have more on their minds these days than just the Indianapolis 500. The national media has discovered Indianapolis, and magazines from Forbes to Food & Wine have had something to say about the citys transformation. The growing food scene has stirred up attention, with pop-up dinners and food events taking place around the city, and top chefs and restaurants getting noticed by the James Beard Restaurant & Chef Awards.

    And its easy to get a taste of Indy. Visitors can sample the food scene with a culinary tour along the citys innovative Cultural Trail, explore the happening downtown dining districts and head out into the neighborhoods to eat like a local. The states signature Hoosier hospitality is authentic, and travelers to Indy will likely take notice, from the moment they book a hotel to closing time at the neighborhoods bars. Plus, Indianapolis remains an affordable city, and its walkable downtown and easy-to-navigate layout makes the city particularly friendly to visitors.

Indianapolis Offbeat activities

Free or cheap things to do

1. Take a ghost tour at the Indianapolis City Market.
2. Visit the Catacombs beneath the St. Joseph Catholic Church.
3. Take a kayaking tour of the White River.
4. Participate in a Murder Mystery dinner show.
5. Visit the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum.
6. Catch a show at the Indy Fringe Theatre.
7. See a show at the Indiana Repertory Theatre.
8. Take a tour of the Indianapolis Speedway.
9. Visit the Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library.
10. Go to the Indianapolis Museum of Art and explore their outdoor sculptures.

Offbeat activites
Kid friendly

Fun things to do in with kids

Free or cheap things to do

1- Try for a turkey with Indys Kids Bowl Free Program! Children participating must register online beforehand. Free
2- Pack a picnic for the Concerts on the Canal. Free seating in the lawn.
3- Catch a $1 summer movie at Regal Cinemas.
4- Visit several local museums during Free Museum Days. Many museums around Indianapolis offer free admission on different dates throughout the year. Free.
5- Soak up the sun at Saxony Beach in Fishers. Free for Fishers residents, $5 for non-residents.
6- Go on a self-guided tour at Wolf Park, a 70-acre nonprofit park dedicated to providing habitat to wolves, foxes, bison, and other animals for educational purposes. Self Guided tours are $5/person.
7- Catch a discount movie at Flix Brewhouse for only $5.25 all day on Wednesdays.
8- Browse the local Farmers Market.
9- Gather around the campfire at Cool Creek Nature Center for their weekly themed Cool Creek Campfire series.
10- Take your trip to the playground to a whole new level at one of the top 10 coolest playgrounds in Indianapolis.

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Best Parks

City data and FAQ 

Is Indianapolis a good place to visit?

Yes! Do we have fancy beaches and boats that people seem to love so much? Eh, not quite. WE have great museums, beautiful hotels, a thriving food/beverage scene, and pretty low costs all around. We get a little crazy for sports and the big events that happen in town (Hello Indy 500!)! Our arts/entertainment potential has exploded in recent years with thriving orchestras, professional theatres, dance, cabaret, and more! But, Ill always say yes! Highly recommend visiting at least once!
Kelsee B. Hankins Lived in Indianapolis
Yes, Indianapolis is definitely worth visiting! First and foremost, Indianapolis is a thriving and beautiful city with a really great history. In addition to its historical sites, Indianapolis is also a great place to enjoy outdoor activities, like hiking, biking, and skiing. Additionally, Indianapolis has a great nightlife scene, with plenty of venues and hotspots to explore. If you're looking for a convenient place to stay, Indianapolis also has plenty of great options, including hotels, apartments, and bed and breakfasts.
Michael Marie M.D. Lived in Indianapolis, IN (2001- 2007)
Are two days enough in Indianapolis?

If you only have 2 days, there is enough to do and enjoy. We have plenty to do to satisfy an assortment of interests. Will you regret only allocating 2 days? Maybe, but that would be a good reason to come again.
People are friendly. Go to the grocery store and strike up a conversation with almost anyone there. Ask for help and someone will step up. If you want a pick up game of basketball, check out the local Y or park. There is hearty food to be had.
We have an outstanding Childrens Museum. Then, there is also the Speedway, home of the Indianapolis 500.
Crystal Francis Lives in Indianapolis, IN
Depends on what youre coming here for! However, if you only have two days, youll find plenty to keep you busy while youre here!
Kelsee B. Hankins Lived in Indianapolis

Is Indianapolis a walkable city?

The central area of downtown is a mile square and is very walkable. The well known sports venues, the Fieldhouse, Lucas Oil Stadium, and Victory Field are within walking distance of each other.
Like most large cities, there are distinct neighborhoods, such as Lockerbie Square, Chatham Arch, Fountain Square, Meridian Kessler, Broad Ripple, Woodruff Place, Irvington, Garfield Park, Butler Tarkington, etc. The older neighborhoods are dense and walkable, but substantial areas are without sidewalks and are very suburban. Much of the city is relatively new construction over the last 40 years. Until the 1970s onward, Indy still had lots of farmland within Marion County, which has lost almost all the farmland. If you are staying in the downtown area, no worries. If you are staying elsewhere, chances are no.
Crystal Francis Lives in Indianapolis, IN

What is Indianapolis known for?
The Indianapolis 500, Indy Racing Leagues premier event held at the end of May. There is also the NHRA US Nationals in September. Indiana Pacers NBA; Indianapolis Colts NFL.
Greg - Lives in The United States of America

The 500 race.
Angie Johnson Lived in Boston, MA

As others have said the Indianapolis 500 is kinda big lol; We have The Colts ( professional football ) Pacers basketball baseball minor league , soccer , hockey; Probably one of the coolest children's museum, Indianapolis is affordable and an enjoyable place to see there're numerous other attractions in the state.
Mike C. - Lives in Westfield, IN

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