You’re planning a trip to Indianapolis and looking for some fun things to do during your visit. With a great combination of museums, parks, sports, and entertainment, Indianapolis has plenty of options to keep you busy. Here are some of the best fun things to do in Indianapolis that you’ll want to add to your itinerary:
1. Experience the Excitement at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway
Start your exploration of Indianapolis at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Hall of Fame Museum. Even if you’re not a racing fan, this attraction offers an intriguing look into the history of motorsports and the legacy of the Indianapolis 500. Take a lap around the famous 2.5-mile oval track on a bus tour and visit the museum to see classic Indy race cars up close. During May, you can attend practice days and even qualifications for the Indy 500.
2. Escape into Nature at Eagle Creek Park
Spend an afternoon getting lost in nature at Eagle Creek Park, one of the largest city parks in the country at nearly 4,000 acres. Rent a kayak or canoe and paddle across the reservoir or hike miles of trails through prairie, wetland, and forest environments. The park also has an Ornithology Center where you can learn about the hundreds of bird species spotted here. Don’t forget to bring a picnic!
3. See Exotic Animals at the Indianapolis Zoo
Visit the Indianapolis Zoo to see over 350 species of animals. Popular exhibits include the underwater dolphin adventure show, the orangutan center, and the Simon Skjodt International Orangutan Center, home to one of the country’s largest groups of orangutans. Be sure to check the feeding schedule and plan your day around catching events like the sea lion presentation. Combo tickets are available if you also want to visit the White River Gardens botanical park located just outside the zoo.
4. Marvel at Art at the Indianapolis Museum of Art
For art and culture lovers, The Indianapolis Museum of Art offers expansive galleries showcasing ancient artifacts, classical European art, modern and contemporary pieces, decorative arts, textiles, and more. The museum grounds also include 100 Acres: The Virginia B. Fairbanks Art & Nature Park where you can view large-scale contemporary installations among woodlands, wetlands, and a lake.
5. Learn History at the Indiana State Museum
History buffs will appreciate the Indiana State Museum which explores the state’s natural resources, cultural heritage, and artistic legacy. Browse exhibits on geology, ethnography, ornithology, and more. The museum also includes an IMAX theater. Next door, tour the USS Indianapolis Memorial to pay respects to those who lost their lives when the naval ship was sunk during WWII.
6. Catch Exciting Sports Action
No visit to Indianapolis is complete without experiencing some sports action. Catch an Indianapolis Colts football game at Lucas Oil Stadium in the fall, an Indiana Pacers basketball game at Gainbridge Fieldhouse in the winter, or an Indianapolis Indians minor league baseball game at Victory Field in the spring and summer. If your timing doesn’t allow for a live event, take a tour of these iconic venues.
7. See Shows at Top Venues
For performing arts, visit Clowes Memorial Hall at Butler University which hosts Broadway theater productions, concerts, speakers, and comedians. Outdoor summer concert options include shows at Ruoff Music Center, Farm Bureau Insurance Lawn at White River State Park, or TCU Amphitheater at White River State Park.
8. Hands-On Fun at the Children’s Museum
Kids and adults alike will have a blast at the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, one of the largest museums of its kind in the world. Five floors of interactive exhibits cover everything from dinosaurs to cultural traditions around the world. Be sure to explore the Dinosphere exhibit which includes massive animatronic dinosaurs, a dig site replica, and a fossil prep lab. This is one of the top things to do in Indianapolis with kids!
9. Challenge Yourself with an Escape Room
Test your problem-solving skills by escaping from one of Indianapolis’ popular escape room attractions Escape Factor or Escape Room Indianapolis. Gather a group of friends, family, or colleagues and see if you can crack codes, solve puzzles, and accomplish your “mission” within 60 minutes before time runs out! Escape rooms make for exciting things to do in Indianapolis this weekend.
10. Relax at White River State Park
When you need a break from sightseeing, relax or grab a bite to eat in White River State Park. Rent a kayak or pedal boat, take a gondola ride, or stroll along the Central Canal. Enjoy al fresco dining at restaurants like The Boathouse which has patio seating with picturesque views of the waterfront. Catch an outdoor concert during the summer months. The park offers fun things to do in Indianapolis for the whole family.
11. Old National Centre
Round out an evening out downtown with a show at the Old National Centre. This multi-venue performing arts complex hosts national music acts at venues like the Egyptian Room, as well as Broadway shows at the Murat Theatre. Or for a laugh, check the schedule at Crackers Comedy Club. Catching a show is one of the classic fun things to do in Indianapolis at night.