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Things To Do In Indianapolis

Indianapolis is well-known for its auto racing and is home to the famous Indianapolis 500. Auto racing aside, there are several other reasons to visit Indianapolis. The state capital has museums, historical sites, and kid-friendly attractions galore. Plus, the food scene is evolving to have a offerings that range from food trucks to fine dining. Continue scrolling to see all of the best things to do in Indianapolis.

The city’s top attractions include more than just racing. The eclectic Indianapolis is a sports city through-and-through — the city loves its NFL football team, and features a Hall of Champions dedicated to basketball.

Some of the best things to do in Indianapolis include:

  • See an Indianapolis Colts game live at Lucas Oil Stadium
  • Basketball fans simply must stop by NCAA Hall of Champions
  • Zipline through Eagle Creek Park
  • Visit Newfields, previously known Indianapolis Museum of Arts
  • Ride a gondola at White River State Park

Midwestern hospitality extends to free and affordable offerings in Indianapolis. Stay within budget and explore one of the following Naptown activities.

Cheap or free things to do in Indianapolis include:

  • Tour around the 100 acres found at Virginia B. Fairbanks Art and Nature Park
  • Learn more about hometown heroes at Indiana State Police Museum
  • Go on a public art hunt with the Arts Council of Indianapolis
  • Explore the city on the Indianapolis Canal Walk
  • Visit Washington Township Park, 160 acres stocked with fishing ponds, picnic areas, and more

When you hear the word “Indianapolis,” the Indianapolis 500 comes to mind. After you see The Greatest Spectacle in Racing, explore everything there is to see in Indianapolis.   

Popular attractions near Indianapolis include:

  • See a racing event at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the world’s largest auto racetrack
  • See the Funky Bones art installation
  • Explore the exhibits and tours of the Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site
  • Tour the Indiana Landmarks Center’s well-preserved 19th-century church
  • Go on a guided tour through Lucas Oil Stadium during the off-season

Second only to Washington D.C., Indianapolis has the largest number of war memorials. That includes Indiana World War Memorial, Soldiers and Sailors Monument, War Memorial Plaza, and more. After visiting one, try one of the following fun things to do in Indianapolis.

Exciting activities near Indianapolis include:

  • See if the historic Hannah House is truly as haunted as the rumors say
  • See the monster trucks at Speedrome
  • Visit the world’s first spinning jail cell at Rotary Jail Museum
  • Visit the Indiana State Capitol
  • See the art at Indianapolis Museum of Contemporary Art

There’s plenty of things to do in Indianapolis at night, like visiting sports bars and cocktail bars. If you’re looking for something new to do at night, branch out and try local theatre, arcade bars, and even piano bars.

Nighttime activities near Indianapolis include:

  • Go bowling at Action & Atomic Duckpin Bowling
  • Play Galaga, Frogger, and other classic arcade games at Tappers Arcade Bar
  • Visit The Libertine Liquor Bar for award-winning cocktails
  • Head to Howl at the Moon Indianapolis, a dueling piano bar
  • Support local theatre and acting troupes like Indiana Repertory Theatre (IRT), Phoenix Theatre, Theatre on the Square, and more

Fun fact about Indianapolis: it’s home to one of the largest children’s museums in the world. Start with the Children’s Museum and explore the city’s zoos, museums, farms, and more. It’ll be difficult to run out of things to do with kids in Indianapolis.

Family-friendly things to do near Indianapolis include:

  • See the kid-friendly magic at Veal’s Ice Tree
  • Bang on bongos at Rhythm! Discovery Center
  • See the wildlife at Indianapolis Zoo
  • Visit Conner Prairie, a living history farm and museum
  • Visit the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, known for exhibits that feature pop culture, dance, space, and more

Fun fact about Indianapolis: it’s home to one of the largest children’s museums in the world. Start with the Children’s Museum and explore the city’s zoos, museums, farms, and more. It’ll be difficult to run out of things to do with kids in Indianapolis.

Family-friendly things to do near Indianapolis include:

  • See the kid-friendly magic at Veal’s Ice Tree
  • Bang on bongos at Rhythm! Discovery Center
  • See the wildlife at Indianapolis Zoo
  • Visit Conner Prairie, a living history farm and museum
  • Visit the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, known for exhibits that feature pop culture, dance, space, and more

Where there’s a spark, there’s date night. Make that special someone happy by taking them to one of these date spots in Indianapolis.

Romantic things to do in Indianapolis include:

  • Plan a cocktail and painting night with Craft + Cork
  • Make your own beer at Great Fermentations
  • Buy tickets to Tibbs, a drive-in movie theater
  • Play mini golf at Rustic Driving Range & Miniature Golf
  • Tour Cedar Creek, Chateau Thomas, Easley, and other Indianapolis wineries

Naptown welcomes competitive teams, clubs, and other groups with open arms. The best group activities in Indianapolis include escape rooms, paintball matches, go-karting, and more.  

Things to do with your friends near Indianapolis include:

  • See strength and stamina in action at Naptown Roller Derby
  • Puzzle your way out of Escape Indy, Twisted Room Escapes, and The Key Haunted Escape Rooms
  • Play competitively at White River Paintball
  • Go go-karting at Speedway Indoor Karting
  • Climb aboard the HandleBar, the local brew bus

Indianapolis has too many things to learn to keep under a few roofs. Its abundant museums are scattered throughout the city, waiting to be discovered.

Things to do indoors in Indianapolis include:

  • Feel like a giant at the Museum of Miniature Houses
  • Stop by Indiana Medical History Museum for a lesson on bacteriology
  • Learn about the Speedway’s history at the 500 Museum
  • Tour the archives of the Kurt Vonnegut museum
  • Explore native cultures in a respectful way at Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art

If it’s a green space you’re craving, you’re in luck. Outdoor enthusiasts will enjoy White River State Park, as well as the canals, sculptures, gardens, and other outdoor activities found in Indianapolis.

Outdoor activities and things to see in Indianapolis include:

  • Bike through the city with Pacers Bikeshare Program
  • Explore the ruins at Holliday Park
  • See the green only found at the Garfield Park Conservatory & Gardens
  • Go on a horseback nature tour with Natural Valley Ranch
  • Take a kayak through The Central Canal

The Racing Capital of the World is more than just cars. The city has odd attractions and museums catered towards many different interests.

Must-see places near Indianapolis include:

  • Pretend to be Indiana Jones in Indianapolis during the Catacombs Tour
  • Drive through Gravity Hill, where it feels like you are mysteriously roll uphill during your drive
  • Visit Who North America for a treasure trove of miniatures dedicated to Dr. Who
  • Shop through all things odd at Sideshow Art and Odditorium
  • Explore American underground cultures at the Museum of Psychphonics