The capital city of Indiana, Indianapolis, or Indy is a great travel destination with tons of unique things to do and explore. From visiting museums, taking an evening stroll at the various parks, getting up-close with wildlife at the zoo, to experiencing a lively nightlife and go-karting, there is something for everyone in Indianapolis! You will be amazed to see the list of free things to do in Indianapolis throughout the year. Indianapolis is a fascinating place to have a bunch of memories to last for a lifetime.
Here is a list of some of the most sought after attractions and things to do in Indianapolis with your kids, friends, and family for a memorable vacation –
Things to do with kids in Indianapolis
Children’s Museum of Indianapolis – Being the world’s largest children museum, Children’s Museum of Indianapolis offers numerous fun things to do with kids in Indianapolis. Kids can explore fascinating exhibits like Dinospere, Beyond Spaceship Earth, Science Works, and Power Of Children among others.
Rhythm! Discovery Centre – If your kids are inclined towards music, you cannot miss this place. This percussion museum provides innovative exhibits and musical performances from various artists. Your kids can also explore an amazing variety of professional instruments from all over the world. If your kids are inclined to music, a visit to this center is among the best things to do in Indianapolis Indiana.
Action Duckpin Bowl- Being on vacation means FUN! FUN! & FUN! and what else can be better than challenging your sibling for a match of Duckpin Bowling? The duckpin bowling is easier than traditional bowling with small pins and balls making it ideal for kids of all ages.
Indianapolis Zoo – Children always have a gala time exploring zoos and Indianapolis Zoo is no exception. Here, kids can encounter more than 320 different species of animals like tigers, polar bears, sea lions, and rhinos among several others. Oceans, Zoo Babies, White River Gardens, and Flight of Fancy are some of the major exhibits of the zoo that will delight your kids.
Museums in Indianapolis
Indiana War Memorial – This iconic memorial and museum honors and commemorates the people who lost their lives during the many wars. The museum provides a deep insight into the role of Indiana in the history of America’s military forces and all the major fights. It also houses thousands of weapons, uniforms, military equipment, and other memorabilia of the wars fought.
The Colonel Eli Lily Civil War Museum – Located in Downtown Indianapolis, this museum houses exhibits exploring the impact of the Civil War on the state. You can find video re-enactments of real situations of war along with several pictures, and other historic artifacts.
Indiana State Museum – Situated within the White River State Park, this is one of the most popular museums in Indianapolis. The museum throws light on the history, art, culture, and technological advancements in Indiana over the years. It has a range of permanent exhibits along with plenty of rotating exhibitions for a great experience.
Indiana Historical Society – Among the oldest and largest historical societies in the US, Indiana Historical Society will take you back in time with its eclectic collection of photos, paintings, maps, Indiana Sheet Music, video collections, and manuscripts among others. The Indiana Historical Society preserves collections from several areas including Agriculture, Civil War, Organised labor, transportations, LGTB, and religion to name a few.
Art Museums in Indianapolis
Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians & Western Art – This stunning museum is one of the most popular art museums in Indianapolis. Here, visitors can explore the history, culture, and art of American Indians through an extensive collection of exhibits and artworks. Besides this, there is also a garden with several colorful flower beds and other exotic plant species.
Indianapolis Museum of Art – The museum houses an attractive selection of African art, contemporary design, and other art pieces from around the world. You can also head to the Stout Reference Library and the Horticulture Society Library, you are interested in research papers. And if you are looking for events in Indianapolis this weekend, make sure to check out the events calendar of IMA.
Au Ho-nien Museum – This museum consists of some of the best works of Chinese artist Au Ho-nien. The artist is known for traditional Chinese paintings with a western perspective, color schemes, and poetic inscriptions. Here you have over 45 art pieces including paintings, calligraphy, and poetry. The museum which is open daily is free to enter for public viewing.
Free Things to Do in Indianapolis
Soldiers and Sailors Monument – One of the best things in Indianapolis today is climbing to the observation platform of this iconic monument. Built to honor the martyrs of the Revolutionary War, Soldiers and Sailors Monument offers mesmerizing views over the city and beyond.
Holliday Park – Here, you can explore the three historic statues representing The Races of Man. Within the grounds, you can also find manicured gardens, a fountain, sculptures, arboretum, and a nature center making it one of the best Indianapolis things to do during your visit.
Downtown Canal Walk – Thr list of free things to do in Indianapolis is incomplete without mentioning this alluring park. It allows visitors to enjoy a 3-mile loop along the gorgeous canal. You can either enjoy a pleasant walk on the walkaways, go for pedal boating, or opt for pristine Gondola rides for a wholesome experience.
Easley Winery – If you are looking for things to do in Indianapolis this weekend, head to Easley Winery for a free winery tour. Though you can visit Indiana’s oldest family-owned winery daily for wine tasting and sales, weekends are the best time to enjoy a winery tour and enjoy the behind the scenes of winemaking.
Fun Things To Do in Indianapolis
Garfield Park Conservatory and Sunken Gardens – This is among the most popular Indianapolis attractions. The 136-acre Garfield Park will lure your senses with its majestic beauty. Not only this, several workshops, lessons on horticulture, and gardening demonstrations are also offered to the tourists. So, if you are in search of events Indianapolis today, you must check out the Garfield Park schedule.
Indianapolis Cultural Trail – Starting from Downtown Indianapolis, this 8-mile walk or bike trail is one of the most fun things to do in Indianapolis. This fascinating trail takes you through all the major attractions, popular art districts and neighborhoods, and traditional bars and restaurants.
The Indianapolis City Market – This historic public market is ideal for filling your shopping bags to the brim. You can buy fresh produce, regional souvenirs, and local artworks from various shops. Do not forget to visit the major attractions and guided tours near the Indianapolis City Market
K1 Speed – A visit to this thrilling sports center in the city is among the best things to do in Indy this weekend with a bunch of friends or family. Enjoy electric go-karting, and racing on double-leveled race tracks for an unforgettable trip. Once you are done, head to their lounge and grab some mouthwatering food and drinks.
Nightlife in Indianapolis
Brother’s Bar & Grill – One of the best Broad Ripple’s bars, Brother’s Bar & Grill is ideal for enjoying your favorite game on the big screen along with a toothsome drink and food menu. Do try their range of exquisite beers and invite your friends for a fun game of pool.
Alley Cat Lounge – known as the “Indy’s Favorite Dive Bar’, Alley Cat Lounge takes the main spot in the list of amazing bars in Indianapolis. The cozy ambiance, extensive drinks menu, and delicious food options make this place a major attraction in the city.
Howl at the Moon – Your search for best bars in Indianapolis ends at Howl at the Moon bar. This bar offers a perfect combination of drinks and foot-tapping live music performances from famous artists. Their signature 86 oz is something you will surely love. With so much to do under one roof, this is undoubtedly one of the most amazing bars Downtown Indy.
Kilroy’s Bar and Grill – Kilroy’s in Indianapolis is known for its charming interiors, shuffleboard, over 40 flat screen Tv’s and a variety of games to keep the fun going all night. Some of the must-haves in their menu includes pepperoni stuffed breadsticks and long islands.
1933 Lounge – Another must-visit bars downtown Indianapolis, 1993 Lounge is a great spot to experience the vibrant nightlife of the city. You can enjoy a range of classic drinks, along with their prime highlight, shrimp cocktails. Craft beers and cocktails, and scrumptious snacks like filet sliders are other must-includes in your order.
Indianapolis is a mosaic of historic sites, important landmarks, magnificent museums, stunning parks, and several iconic bars and nightclubs making it a wholesome tourist destination. Whether you are traveling alone, with friends, or with your kids, Indianapolis will never disappoint you. With so much to do and enjoy, the gorgeous city of Indianapolis will keep you longing to come back.
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