As the song says, “there’s more than corn in Indiana…”, but you don’t need to go to Indiana Beach to find it. There are lots of things to do in the state’s capital, Indianapolis. You don’t even need a lot of money to have fun, either. The following are pocketbook and family friendly places that you can go alone or with friends and family to enjoy.
1.) Indianapolis Art Museum
The Indianapolis Museum of Art (IMA) has 11 galleries spanning 3 floors. Each of the galleries has a distinctive collection of arts that also includes textiles, cultures, and even fashion.
After browsing the IMA, stop and take a look at the Virginia B. Fairbanks Art and Nature Park. This 100 acre art and nature park is just adjacent to the museum, so you can use the same parking lot to extend your visit.
On the same grounds as the art museum and nature park is another museum called the Lilly house. The Lilly house is a mansion formerly owned by J.K. Lilly, Jr., and has been turned into a historic museum commemorating the lives of the Lilly family.
If you wanted to visit all three, places, it would take you the better part of a day, maybe more if you like to wander slowly.
2.) Children’s Museum (1st Thursday of every month)
The Children’s Museum, despite its name, is just as much fun for adults as it is the young audience the museum targets. The whole museum is an interactive learning experience where children and their parents alike can explore with their hands and their heads to learn about the world around them.
Admission is free on the first Thursday of the month. However, if you can’t make it there on the first Thursday of the month, then admission prices are under $20 per person.
3.) Holliday Park (and other parks)
If you want to play among ruins, walk through a park, and take a picnic near natural springs and wetlands, then take a trip to Holliday Park. This park boasts 3 miles of hiking trails right within the city, and it has access to the White River. It has lots of wildlife, plenty of trees and wildflowers on it’s 95 acres, and even has a playground. This is one of the 207 parks in Indianapolis, all of which are free. Holliday Park just happens to be the only one with real ruins.
4.) Tour Lockerbie Square
For the times one would rather walk around the city than a single building or wildlife, there is the walking tour of Lockerbie Square in downtown Indianapolis. This is the oldest residential neighborhood in Indianapolis, and it’s just a half mile from the Monument Circle.
This area of Indianapolis is special because skilled laborers and immigrant workers built their homes alongside those of wealthy merchants. It is also the home of the poet James Whitcomb Riley, which is a museum that you can tour.
5.) Window shopping
If you want the bustle of the modern world, there are two great places to go window shopping. Try Mass Ave if you’re not ready to trade in quiet art galleries just yet. A stroll down Mass Ave is a stroll through a community. There are restaurants, art galleries galore, theaters and boutiques aplenty to satisfy more than an afternoon of exploring.
On the other hand, if you’re all modern, try the Castleton Square Mall for some window shopping. It’s the largest mall in Indiana, with both inside and outside shops. Nearby is also The Fashion Mall at Keystone with a lot of high end retailers if you want to fill your wishlist.