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Whether you are taking a vacation, looking for a kid-free night out, or are planning a staycation, Indianapolis, Indiana, is the place for you.
From zoos and museums to the many different outdoor activities, these twenty things to do in Indianapolis, Indiana, with or without kids, guarantee a good time.
No matter what you enjoy, it is easy to find something you will love on this list!
- Monument Circle Soldiers and Sailors Monument
- The Lilly House & Gardens
- Indianapolis Museum of Art
- Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum
- Visit the Eiteljorg Museum
- White River State Park
- Indiana State Museum
- Go Ape Treetop Adventures
- Spend the Day at Holliday Park
- Indianapolis Cultural Trail
- Race Go-Karts at K1 Speed
- Eagle Creek Park
- Take in a show at the White Rabbit Cabaret
- Children’s Museum of Indianapolis
- Make a Glass Souvenir at GRT Glass
- Go Ghost Hunting at Crown Hill Cemetery
- Visit the Indianapolis Zoo
- Go Duckpin Bowling
- Tappers Arcade Bar
- Visit Lucas Oil Stadium
For those that enjoy architecture or museums, visiting Monument Circle in Downtown Indianapolis is a must-see. Known locally as the Soldiers and Sailors Monument, it is a 284 beacon built to honor those that fought for our country and lost their lives in wars from the Revolutionary War to the Spanish-American War.
At 284’ high, it is only 15’ shorter than the Statue of Liberty!
The Lilly House & Gardens is technically part of the Indianapolis Museum of Art. However, it deserves its own place on a list of outdoor activities in Indianapolis. For those that love to visit beautiful gardens, visiting the Lilly House & Gardens is the perfect option.
The house and gardens are made up of over 26 acres of perfectly manicured and restored gardens, living areas, and more. The house has been restored to its original 1930’s condition making it a fun but educational trip for you or the kids!
Art lovers will enjoy a trip to the Indianapolis Museum of Art. With over 54,000 pieces on display, you will be able to get lost in whatever aspect of art you enjoy. Here you’ll find everything from paintings to pottery and much more.
They showcase art from all over the globe, including pieces by world-renowned artists such as Rembrandt. It is the perfect Indianapolis day trip for anyone, kids included.
“Gentlemen, start your engines!” If you are a race fan, be sure to plan a visit to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. With huge races such as the Indianapolis 500 based here, it should not surprise anyone that they have a museum centered around it.
Located at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, racing fans will enjoy learning about the history of racing and getting to see race cars and how they have changed through the years. For serious racing fans, you can even schedule a guided tour of the racetrack!
If you’re not local to Indy, there are quite a few hotels near Indianapolis Motor Speedway that offer great deals off and on throughout the year.
For a nice change of pace, visit the Eiteljorg Museum. Here you can learn about Native American and other cultures that make up the area. You’ll be able to view different exhibits and artifacts on display as well. Primarily, the Eiteljorg Museum focuses on Native American and Southwestern cultures, but you never know what you’ll come across during your visit.
A visit to White River State Park should be high on your list for those looking to get outdoors. It is perfect for a quick day trip with miles of trails, waterfronts, picnic areas, fishing, and more. It is even better because it is centrally located on 250 acres in downtown Indy and is surrounded by many other things to do in Indianapolis.
While you are enjoying your visit, be sure to check out the amphitheater at White River State Park. During the summer, they often hold concerts and other events here that the whole family will enjoy.
Of all the museums in Indianapolis, the Indiana State Museum is a must-visit for anyone looking for something to do in Indianapolis. Showcasing over 400,000 artifacts, visitors will learn about the history of the state and all 92 counties that make up Indiana.
The museum is located within the boundaries of White River State Park, which is another must-visit place while visiting Indiana. The museum offers several interactive exhibits for the kids as well as the largest IMAX theater in the state, making it perfect for an adult outing or one the kids will enjoy!
When you visit Eagle Creek Park, you’ll also find Go Ape Treetop Adventures. While visiting here, you will navigate through 40 different obstacles in the trees, zip away on five separate ziplines, and more!
No matter your age, this is one fun thing to do in Indianapolis you won’t soon forget! If you enjoy bird-watching, be sure to swing by the Ornithology Center before you leave.
What is a dismantled skyscraper from NYC doing in Indianapolis? Why is it visiting Holliday Park in Indianapolis! Fans of arboretums will enjoy a visit to Holliday Park. While here, take in the ruins and the beautifully landscaped gardens that cover more than 90 acres.
You could even have a BBQ while the kids play on the playground nearby. During the summer months, they often hold summer concerts at Holliday Park too! For those looking for free things to do in Indianapolis, it doesn’t get much better than this.
For a truly immersive Indianapolis experience, walk or bike the Indianapolis Cultural Trail. This trail is an 8-mile long that begins in downtown Indy and winds through many of the best attractions in the city. You’ll pass through parks, the art district, and more, all while being able to take in the sights of the city as you do.
What would a visit to Indy be without participating in your own race? For those that want to do their own form of racing, a visit to K1 Speed is in order! With over 90 miles of go-kart track, you and your family can race to the finish line time and time again. Then, once you’ve finished racing, head in to play games or have a bite to eat!
Grab the kids or your partner and head to Eagle Creek Park. While it is technically a nature preserve, it has lots to offer otherwise from the nature preserve. While you’re visiting, you can also hike miles of trails with natural waterways, have a BBQ, or even go target shooting at the shooting range.
Theater fans will enjoy a visit to the White Rabbit Cabaret. Here, you will find shows of all sorts, from burlesque to racing-themed shows, comedy, and more, depending on the time of year you visit. As the theater offers burlesque shows, it is best to avoid bridging the kids to this one.
However, it is an excellent option if you’re looking for fun date night ideas in Indianapolis.
Most larger cities have a children’s museum, but Indianapolis not only has the largest one in the state but the world as well! Grab the kids and head out of a fun-filled day packed with five floors of kid and family-friendly fun!
They even have an antique carousel on the top floor and an outdoor sports area. This museum is HUGE!!!
GRT Glass is one of the world’s leading glass design and manufacturing companies. Twice a month, you can get in on the fun! During their “glass play days,” guests can join a class to make their own glass art souvenirs. Not only will you learn something on your visit, but you will also take home a truly unique reminder of your trip.
Indy is reportedly one of the most haunted locations in the US, and Crown Hill Cemetery tops the list of haunted locations in Indianapolis. With over 20,000 graves, it is easy to see why. For those looking to get a little spooky, grabbing your EMF detector and going on a ghost hunt is a great way to spend an evening.
With over 3800 animals covering more than 300 species, the Indianapolis Zoo is the perfect outing for anyone. In addition to a large park and botanical garden, the zoo also features an aquarium full of marine animals. If sea life isn’t your thing, the Indianapolis Zoo is also home to the largest group of Orangutans in North America.
If you think you’re great at regular bowling, give duckpin bowling a try. Duckpin bowling is sort of like regular bowling but with smaller pins. The rules are different, and the difficulty level is increased, making it perfect for those who may be bored with regular bowling games.
Gamers, especially those who love retro games and craft beer, will love Tappers Arcade Bar. Not only can you play vintage arcade games such as Centipede and the original Donkey Kong, but they also offer a fine selection of craft beer to choose from.
Home to the Indianapolis Colts, Lucas Oil Stadium is a must-see when planning a visit to Indianapolis. The stadium, while the home field for Indy’s football team, also features soccer games from the Indy Eleven, concerts, and more. For those that want to get up close and personal with the field, tours of the stadium grounds are offered to the public at different times of the year.
Traveling with kids and looking for tips, then make sure to click the links below and read more:
- Best Travel Gear For Kids
- How To Travel With Kids Internationally Alone
- Top Must Have Items When Traveling With Kids
- How To Keep Your Kids Entertained & Happy On Flights
- Everything You Need To Know About Traveling With A Car Seat