Urban Element assembles scrumptious café fare while surrounding guests in an inviting wine bar atmosphere replete with art-adorned walls and live music. The menu abounds with fairly healthy fare, including homade roasted red-pepper hummus ($8) and grilled-pineapple-and-shrimp salad ($10). Patrons can coordinate outfits to match the blue cheese pasta with chickpeas ($10+) or sample a curried chicken-salad sandwich or wrap ($7). The prevalence of paintings at Urban Element allows guests to appreciate local art without the need to pay admission or ship themselves inside cardboard boxes to fancy museums.
The Indianapolis Museum of Art’s collection encompasses multiple continents and thousands of years of human artwork. Currently in the spotlight is the limited-time-only exhibit Hard Truths: The Art of Thornton Dial, a smorgasbord of formal and found-object creations representing the most extensive showing to date of Dial’s work, commonly labeled as outsider art. Time magazine has given Dial considerable acclaim for his courage in confronting homelessness, international politics, and the southern African-American experience. Meander through 70 works, including 25 previously unseen pieces, ranging from playful watercolors to inches-thick painted layers of found materials such as dolls, dried plants, and membership cards to defunct video stores. After taking in Hard Truths, art-history fans and symbologists on life-or-death missions can soak up the museum's well-established collection of everything from ancient Oceanic artwork to modern depictions of blurry water lilies and hyperfocused soup cans.
The Indiana State Museum unites artistic, scientific, and cultural exhibits to give visitors an immersive education on the state and its history. Peruse three stories of permanent galleries—such as Enterprise Indiana, highlighting Indiana-made products from the '20s through the '50s with a 100-foot assembly line—that collectively tell the story of Indiana from its earliest beginnings in the newly formed earth through its awkward teenage years and into the present day. Glimpse ephemeral temporary exhibitions, such as the upcoming Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition, starting September 25 ($10 members, $17 nonmembers), before they evaporate into a cloud of knowledge-rich vapor. Catch a flick at the on-site IMAX theater for a view of a big screen that makes other big screens seem comically misnamed, or come by during a special event to witness Indiana history as it unfolds. Even the museum's structure itself, built from Indiana materials such as limestone, steel, and glass by native Indiana carpenter ants, functions as an exhibit, its walls studded with icons from each of the state's 92 counties.
When The Haunted Angelus House's monsters first come out in the evening, frightened guests can ward them off with glow sticks. The neon batons send a warning signal to the unseen horrors, letting them know the group contains children or timid souls who may not be ready for the full brunt of their fearsomeness. But as the night progresses, so does the terror, and once the clock strikes eight, nothing can hold back the monsters, demons, and zombies as they spill from the shadows to horrify unsuspecting visitors. The only hope left for the innocent victims is to navigate the 37-room haunt, which swarms with demon tenants, and then make it past the 3,000-square-foot outdoor black maze haunted by chainsaw people and souls willing to risk eternity for their chance at a rent-controlled apartment.
Though the event aims to scare, its real intent will warm visitors' hearts, as all proceeds are donated to The Angelus, a nonprofit that aids those with cerebral palsy.
The docents at Segway of Indiana reveal downtown Indianapolis' multitudinous sights and attractions to segway-mounted travelers during one-hour guided tours. Groups of up to six participants strap on helmets and undertake a segway orientation to get acclimated to maneuvering the two-wheeled vehicles, which glide like moonwalking figure skaters. Tour groups then rove across the 250-acre White River State Park, admiring outdoor art and the hundreds of plants flourishing at the 3.3-acre White River Gardens. Raconteur guides regale tour-takers with historical tidbits as the group passes the Indiana State Museum, the NCAA Hall of Champions, and the cobwebbed XFL Hall of Champions. The tour wraps up with a jaunt along the picturesque downtown waterfront, where travelers can admire monuments and memorials along the way.