Indianapolis is a bustling city with unforgettable experiences around every corner. As home to the world’s largest children’s museum, 11 professional sports teams, and one of only two racing hubs in the country, Indy has established a name for itself as a vibrant, growing metropolis. We’ve rounded up a list of our Top 15 things to do in Indy this summer and all year ‘round! Whether you’re a sports fanatic, art enthusiast, animal lover, or family-oriented person, the Circle City has got a spot for you!
The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis
Let your imagination run wild down the halls of the largest children’s museum in the world. Located just minutes from downtown, The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis features five floors of fun and interactive learning that are thrilling for all ages. The new Sports Legends Experience combines indoor and outdoor exhibits so guests can run, dive, jump, put, and play year round!
Butler Arts Center
Comprising several venues on Butler University’s campus, the Butler Arts Center features both collegiate and professional performances. BAC’s largest venue, Clowes Memorial Hall, hosts Broadway in Indianapolis that brings Broadway-level productions to the Midwest. Also, don’t miss showstopping collegiate performances like Butler Ballet’s The Nutcracker as the next generation of professionals grace the stage.
Located downtown in White River State Park, the Indianapolis Zoo is a 64-acre accredited zoo, aquarium, and botanical garden that’s sure to make animal lovers giddy! The zoo is divided by ecological systems, so visitors can take in the sights, sounds, smells, and, of course, animals in every environment. Approximately 250 species can be seen in these numerous biomes, so go pay them a visit!
Indianapolis Public Library
College students and business travelers alike will love the serenity and architectural beauty of the Indianapolis Public Library. Originally constructed in 1917, the library has undergone a recent expansion to create a breathtaking glass and steel atrium, which serves as an impressive event space. The city skyline views offered by the sixth floor spaces are a must-see for any Indy explorer.
Old National Centre
At the heart of downtown sits a nationally-renowned venue that hosts some of the best entertainment in the city. Old National Centre, formerly the Murat Centre, boasts a lineup of Broadway shows, concerts, and more each year. Check out a show and grab dinner or a drink closeby on Mass Ave.
The Indianapolis Museum of Art, located on the Newfields campus, is one of the nation’s largest art museums. Art enthusiasts will love the 152 acres of gardens and grounds featuring the museum’s permanent collection of many cultures and eras, numbering more than 50,000 works. Even is art isn’t really your thing, Newfields also offers 100 Acres: The Virginia B. Fairbanks Art & Nature Park, one of the United States’ foremost museum contemporary sculpture parks, with installations integrated into woodlands, wetlands, lakes, and meadows that are breathtaking no matter your level of interest.
NCAA Hall of Champions
For those who love to follow their legends, the NCAA Hall of Champions boasts two floors of interactive exhibits to engage visitors and create a true-to-life understanding of what it takes to make the grade. The first floor, “Arena,” represents all 24 NCAA sports represented and contains fun features such as a trivia challenge, current team rankings, and video highlights. The second floor, “Play,” is even more interactive as guests can compete virtually and hands-on through sports simulators, a 1930’s retro gymnasium, ski simulator, and more!
Indiana State Museum
Much more than your average museum, the Indiana State Museum is blazing the trail of interactive museums across the country. Exhibits come to life through costumed actors and intriguing presentations. Spanning three floors of permanent and changing galleries, the museum tells the story of the Hoosier state. The museum also houses unique amenities such as an IMAX movie theater, the Indiana Store, The Farmers Market Café, and the L.S. Ayres Tea Room.
Prepare to immerse yourself in the beauty of another culture. Named one of the world’s finest Native American and Western Art collections by True West, the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art is one of only two such museums east of the Mississippi. Works of sculpture decorate the lawn and invite guests in to view the traditional and contemporary works of artists such as Georgia O’Keefe and Andy Warhol.
Home to the Indianapolis Indians, Victory Field is a 14,200-set ballpark located on the west side of Indianapolis. Recognized as one of the best ballparks in the United States by publications such as Baseball America, Sports Illustrated, and Midwest Living, Victory Field is the perfect spot for a day trip in Indy. The Tribe play a 70-game home schedule running from April all the way through September. Pro Tip: its panoramic views of the downtown skyline are some of the best in the city!
Lucas Oil Stadium
Next on the list of incredible sports venues is Lucas Oil Stadium, home of the Indianapolis Colts. This retractable roof multi-purpose venue can seat over 63,000 for footballs games and concerts. Perks of the stadium include public tours given every week that give participants an up-close and personal look at the playing field, an NFL locker room, Lucas Oil Plaza, the press box, and numerous other areas that are generally inaccessible to the public. For diehard football fans, this is an opportunity don’t want to pass up!
Banker’s Life Fieldhouse
Sports Business Journal has named Banker’s Life Fieldhouse the finest NBA basketball arena in the country, and for good reason! This retro-style fieldhouse in the heart of downtown offers the classic basketball feel that you love paired with the special effects and technology to get fans on their feet. The NBA Pacers and World Champion WNBA Fever find their home here, as well as various concerts and special events.
Indianapolis Motor Speedway
Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines! Indianapolis Motor Speedway is known as “The Greatest Race Course in the World” by fanatics and casual siteseers alike. Nestled in the town of Speedway, Indiana, within the city of Indianapolis, IMS is most known globally for hosting the largest single-day sporting event in the world, the Indianapolis 500. Fans from every continent make the trip to visit this electric and historic venue. As host to the Verizon IndyCar Series, NASCAR, Red Bull Air Race, LPGA and many other forms of racing and events throughout the year, it’s no wonder that Indy has been named The Racing Capital of the World. If you haven’t been to a race yet, you certainly need to!
Eagle Creek Park
Eagle Creek Park covers more than 3,900 acres across the northside of Indianapolis, rendering it one of the nation’s largest city parks. Hiking and picnicking enthusiasts will enjoy the park’s breathtaking trails and campgrounds. The park also features a unique, 1,400-acre lake that frequently hosts the U.S. Rowing National Championship. Residents of Indy and surrounding areas love this spot for its ropes course, swimming, canoeing, kayaking, and boating.
The Canal & White River State Park District
Whether it’s a relaxing stroll, vigorous run, day at the ballpark, interacting with dolphins, discovering Indiana history, exploring Native American art, learning about Lincoln or enjoying an outdoor concert, the Canal and White River State Park Cultural District has something for everyone, including authentic gondola rides! This is not your typical waterway, as the this cultural destination boasts public art, unique cafes, and more!
For a look at our tour of Things To Do in Indianapolis, visit our campus map.