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Looking for Things to Do in Indianapolis

Home Forums General Columbus Discussion Travel Looking for Things to Do in Indianapolis

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    Walker Evans
    Walker Evans

    We’re planning a trip to Indianapolis in the next month or so and wanted to see if anyone had suggestions for us on things to do, places to visit, places to eat, and other assorted “do not miss” adventures. We’ll probably be there for two days, but hope to cram in plenty of activities. Keep in mind that we have two small children (so we’ll be skipping the late-night nightlife options this time around) but aren’t opposed to taking them just about anywhere with us.

    Thanks in advance!



    There’s always Yelp and Indy’s alternative weekly’s summer guide(I’m jealous that they have a Middle Eastern festival next later this month), and some pics of their downtown and surrounding neighborhoods to get an idea for where to go. Broad Ripple sounds like a must-visit, since it’s their version of the Short North.


    The Wayfarer

    Broad Ripple is a cool neighborhood. I’d say check that out for sure. The Children’s Museum is a lot of fun — even for adults. I caught the King Tut exhibit there last fall and had a really good time.

    As for food, if you’re into German food at all and would like to dine in an interesting environment, I’d recommend The Rathskeller. The Jaegerschnitzel is awesomely savory.

    Walker Evans
    Walker Evans

    Columbusite: Yeah, I’ve been hitting up the various online resources out there, and have found plenty of things that sound like fun… was looking for more in the way of recommendations from friends to help narrow it down. ;)



    Since you’re with the kiddies the Children’s Museum is a must see. I went several years ago with a friend and her son, I think we had more fun than he did. The Rathskeller is a fun beer hall German establishment. The patio has big picnic tables and a very casual environment. I think they also do live music there. There’s a GREAT Greek place called Santorini’s in the Fountain Square area. It’s right around the corner from the Union Hall, so we go there for lunch sometimes when we’re working at the hall. Unfortunately while I do go to Indy at least once a month (leaving today to go be there the rest of the week), I usually don’t see much except what’s by the airport (chain city), Union Hall (Fountain Square, interesting neighborhood, but not a lot to do), and company headquarters (up north, also chain city). My view of Indy is colored by the fact that I’m either there for recurrent training (stressful because if I fail I could loose my job) or Grievance hearings (even more stressful in that I’m generally trying to get someone else’s job back). I would recommend something that I never get time to do while I’m there, just walk around downtown. They have some really really lovely old buildings. The Murat Theater is stunning, one of the loveliest I’ve seen inside and out.



    Update: Am in Indy now and actually had a good time! We went to Broad Ripple tonight because I’ve heard such good things about the neighborhood I wanted to go. I made my boss take us to dinner up there. Super picky co-worker isn’t here this trip, so we didn’t have to go to a chain like usual. We ate at a Mediterranean place right next to the canal. It has a great patio and excellent gyro meat (also had creamsicle martinis on special tonight that were YUMMY!). We wandered a round a bit, it reminds me more of a combination of the Short North and Clintonville, rather than like one particular neighborhood in CMH. We drove there from the Union Hall in the Fountain Square area up College Ave and very much enjoyed some old house gawking. There are areas of lovely old Victorians and bungalows, some more fixed up than others. All in all looked like a fun happening area of town.

    Walker Evans
    Walker Evans

    Awesome, thanks! Broad Ripple is definitely on our list. Couple of good shopping/dining/nightlife videos about the neighborhood here:



    The Hegemo

    I have family in Carmel, so most of the time I’ve spent in Indianapolis as an adult has been in the ‘burbs. But I went over there for a concert a couple years ago and stayed over and spent some time looking around in the city, and was pleasantly surprised.

    Broad Ripple is cool, as noted.

    I think the Art Museum there is very nice, although that may not be super fun for the kids. Haven’t been to the Children’s Museum since 1985, but I loved that place when I was young. I also liked the Indy 500 Museum when I was a kid. There is a Museum of Sports Art near downtown that I always want to check out, because the concept intrigues me, but I have never made it there yet.

    Massachusetts Ave on the edge of downtown (near the Murat Theater) is sort of a mini-Short North with some shops and galleries. One of my favorite stores in the world, At Home in the City (cool, funky housewares and gifts and miscellaneous stuff), is located there. And they have some cool public art installations scattered about, so it’s fun to just walk around.

    If you are a dinosaur like me who still buys CDs, Luna Music is a pretty good indie store. They have a location on Mass Ave, but the one by Broad Ripple is bigger and better.



    If you are going this weekend…. it is Installation Nation weekend. Put on by Primary Colours (the Couchfire of Indy).

    Front Page



    If you have small children I highly recommend staying at the downtown Crowne Plaza. It’s the old train station converted and they made some rooms out of old train cars in the center of the hotel. One of the best kid friendly hotels in the midwest


    Yay! I lived in Indy growing up and visit parents there all the time. Don’t miss:

    1. The Indianapolis Museum of Art
    2. The Children’s Museum
    3. The gardens at the Indianapolis Art Center (small, but good for kiddos)
    4. Holliday Park (lots of nice trails/play equipment)

    Eat at these delicious but affordable places:

    1. Yat’s [/url](Cajun/Creole)
    2. Taste Cafe and Marketplace[/url]
    3. Locally Grown Market Place
    4. Sakura[/url] (Japanese)
    5. India Garden[/url] (inexpensive tasty Indian food)
    6. Bazbeaux Pizza[/url] (try the creamy basil salad dressing – the best!)
    7. Broad Ripple Brew Pub[/url] (great beer AND best veggie pizza ever, the “Nutty Garden”)

    For day shopping, visit Broad Ripple (larger) or Massachusettes Avenue or (smaller). Summer nights in Broad Ripple are manic and full of crazy drunkards, which is fun or crappy depending on your taste. If you do go out, I recommend the Alley Cat in Broad Ripple (a dive bar) or the Broad Ripple Brew Pub. Smoking IS allowed inside of many bars so be forewarned!

    If you need more tips let me know. I know the city like the back of my hand :)


    I’m here in Indy now and just tried a new restaurant to add to the list: Monon Food Company[/url]. The fish tacos are delicious and they have a decent drink selection too! Very casual and tasty.

    Walker Evans
    Walker Evans

    Travel: Spending a Car-Free Weekend in Indianapolis
    By: Kevin Kastner

    Indianapolis is a great place to visit for a weekend getaway. The city is famous for its Motor Speedway, sports teams, and revitalized downtown. But what about the rest of the city? Can a city famous for its love of cars be explored by alternative means of transportation? This is an invitation to explore the lesser known areas of Indianapolis that may surprise the visitor.

    READ MORE: http://www.columbusunderground.com/travel-series-indianapolis



    +1 on the Childrens Museum. If its not too hot, The Indiana museum of History, the Eitlejorg (Museum of Indian History), the Zoo and the White River state Park (similar to Franklin Park Conservatory) are all within walking distance downtown along the Canal (also close the the NCAA). The museums close at 5 – plenty to walk around and see (art al fresco, etc).

    Walker Evans
    Walker Evans

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