Indianapolis is a city that never sleeps. It’s a hub of activity with plenty of things to see and do year-round. The city’s passion for the arts and history is on full display at the many museums and cultural institutions. And with more than 40 parks, there’s always something new to explore in the city. From the hustle and bustle of Downtown to the peacefulness of Conner Prairie, there’s a little bit of everything in Indianapolis. So, whether you’re in the mood for a fun outdoor adventure or a relaxing staycation, here are five things to do in Indianapolis that you don’t want to miss.
1. Know Your History at Indianapolis Museum of Art (4000 N Michigan Rd)
Known as one of America’s most significant art museums, Indy’s Indianapolis Museum of Art is an amazing cultural institution for history buffs. The museum showcases nearly 54,000 works of art from all over the world, dating back to over 5,000 years ago! A great many exhibits include ancient artifacts from Greece and Rome, priceless paintings by masters like Rembrandt and Johannes Vermeer, costumes, as well as Indiana-related art that demonstrates what life was like in days gone by! (Disclaimer: One simply cannot talk about Indy’s cultural attractions without mentioning Indiana Landmarks Center!) Explore from sculpture to painting and beyond at the Indianapolis Museum of Art, located Downtown on Michigan Street, and enrich your mind with some culture!
2. Visit the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis with the Entire Family (3000 N Meridian St)
The world is filled with amazing museums and attractions for all to enjoy…but few are made specifically for kids! Although most adults have childhood memories of trips to museums, it can be hard to find a place where your little ones can truly enjoy themselves at an adult-oriented art or history gallery. But Indy’s got a great one that’s perfect for everyone! The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis has been making children smile and laugh since opening its doors in 1925. Featuring over 30 different exhibits—including a giant castle and tornado tunnel—the museum features kid-sized hands-on activities that are sure to delight any curious youngster.
3. Test Your Skills at Bad Axe Throwing (235 S Meridian St #211)
Nothing screams a fun day out like an afternoon spent throwing axes at a log! Located just north of Downtown, Bad Axe Throwing is Indiana’s first and only ax-throwing facility. The concept is simple: Challenge your friends to a friendly competition and test your skills by throwing three axes at once at a target placed right in front of you—all while sipping some great local brews or enjoying an ice-cold margarita! Bad Axe Throwing boasts indoor and outdoor locations near Indy’s bustling downtown scene where you can challenge yourself against some skilled ax throwers and get your hands on everything from ax-throwing lessons to leagues for men, women, couples, and more!
4. Take A Tour of Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum: (765 S Main St)
Home to some of America’s most famous racing events—the Indy 500 and Brickyard 400, among others—the Indianapolis Motor Speedway is one of Indiana’s most historically important landmarks. The speedway first opened its doors in 1976 and quickly became known as The Cradle of Speed. Today, fans can explore all things racecar related at The Motorspeedway’s IMS Museum! With exhibits that date back to the early 19th century, take a look into how Indiana became synonymous with racing throughout history at The Speedway’s very own museum, where you can marvel over both cars and motorcycles. Whether it be Formula One or NASCAR-themed exhibits, there’s something for everyone here! And we haven’t even gotten to their gift shop yet—you won’t want to miss it! Race car lovers will especially appreciate their huge selection of authentic souvenirs ranging from clothing to stickers…even Pirelli tires and driver kits are available for purchase. There truly is no better place than IMS for racers, young and old alike, to immerse themselves in all thing’s motorsport-related!
5. Indianapolis Art Center
With 5000+ titles, everything from Drawing to Painting, and even Mixed Media Classes, you’ll never run out of things to do at The Indianapolis Art Center! Located near Downtown Indy on The Near Eastside, IAC is an art lover’s dream come true! At their eight different studios in historic Fletcher Place—including photography, glassblowing, and ceramics—create your own masterpieces with IAC’s very own professional artists on-hand to guide you through whatever your heart desires! There are so many creative outlets available here; it truly is a one-stop-shop for all arts & crafts enthusiasts! If that wasn’t enough, take a look at some of their ongoing exhibits for even more opportunities to create.