Keep it Cultural, Indianapolis

IndyMoving to a new place can be intimidating. It can be hard to find fun things to do or people to do them with, though it’s not because they don’t exist. When you’re new to a town, it can be difficult to know where to look. Lucky for you, Indianapolis is chockfull of fun things to do. We have done all the work for you by creating a list of things to do and places to go in your brand new city. No excuses—get out and start exploring!

A unique aspect of Indianapolis’ downtown is it six cultural districts. Each district contains a variety of fun activities and places to visit including art galleries, museums, restaurants, and shopping.  Check out what each of the districts has to offer.

Broad Ripple Village

BroadRippleVillage is an art lover’s dream.  It is home to more than a dozen art galleries, including Blown Glass Art Studio, IndianapolisArtCenter, and Sigman’s Gallery of Fine Arts.  Bring your kids (or your inner child) to make their own art at the IndianapolisArtCenter. After you spend the day visiting museums and galleries, relax and fill up at one of the many restaurants in Broad Ripple. It is home to several pizza places (Bazbeaux’s, Donatos, and HotBox); several bar and grills; and Italian, Mexican, and Indian. Walk off your dinner by visiting the many shops that line the roads of Broad Ripple, and finish off the night by visiting one of the many bars or night clubs, including Broad Ripple Tavern, The Vogue, and the Red Room. The Red Room offers salsa lessons every Wednesday from 6-9 p.m., so you’ll be ready for “the best Salsa, Merengue, Bachata, and Cha Cha Cha” at 9.

The Canal and White River State Park

This is the place to go for all of your outdoor activities. From running to playing with dolphins, to kicking back at an outdoor concert, you will find it impossible to drag yourself home at the end of the day. Head outside to enjoy the sun and stay in shape by walking or running the Canal Walk, a three-mile loop next to the water. Take a ride on a pedal boat, gondola, bicycle, or surrey. Or hop on one of the daily Segway tours that go through the park.

White RiverState Park is the only urban state park in Indiana. It is home to both Irish Fest and Rib America Festival, as well as a brand-new free Family Art Series (from June through September).  The park also houses the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians & Western Art, the IndianaStateMuseum, Victory Field, and an IMAX theater. Victory Field, home to the Indianapolis Indians, has been named “Best Minor League Ballpark in America” by both Sports Illustrated and Baseball America.

Fountain Square

Fountain Square, another art haven in Indianapolis, is home to several vintage and antique shops, outdoor music, and a variety of restaurants. Artists Amanda Stirn, Justin Cooper, and Maryanne T. Nguyen are some of the many artists that live and work in Fountain Square. It is also home to Mexican, Italian, and Greek cuisine.

Indiana Avenue

Spend a Saturday on Indiana Avenue and experience history. Home to several occupants of the National Register of Historic Places, Indiana Avenue tells an important piece of African-American history. CrispusAttucksHigh School was opened in 1927 and was the only high school for African-Americans in Indianapolis. It is now home to a museum that tells its story, as well as a middle school. See some more Indianapolis history at the USS Indianapolis Memorial on CentralCanal at Walnut Street.

Mass Avenue

After spending time learning its history, enjoy Indianapolis’ present by visiting the arts and theater district at Mass Avenue. It is home to five performing arts theaters, including the American Cabaret Theatre, Comedy Sportz Indianapolis, and Old National Centre. Old National hosts several national and Broadway tours throughout the year, as well as well-known country and rock musicians.

Wholesale District

Although the Wholesale Districts is home to all the businessmen and businesswomen during the day, it comes alive at night. Spend an evening at the 82-year-old Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra or the 85-year-old Indiana Repertory Theatre. Be sure to catch a game or two with the Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium or the Pacers at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

With so many things to keep you busy in this wonderful city you’ve just moved to, you might find it hard to unpack! Relax and take your time—the history isn’t going anywhere.

Blogger Lucy Funes just relocated to Indiana from Florida.  Her Orlando moving company (find them here) had barely unloaded her boxes before she was out the door.  She is still in the process of unearthing all the wonderful things Indianapolis has to offer – a task she is happy to perform!