The state capital and the most populous city of Indiana, Indianapolis or Indy is a small city but has no dearth of touristy things to do. A bustling city in the Midwest, Indy is also the 16th largest city by land area in the U.S. It may not stand out as a very gorgeous travel destination at a first glance, at least when you compare it to other Midwest cities like Chicago or Columbus. But judging a book by its cover will be a mistake as there are so many family-friendly, and fun things to do in Indianapolis, Indiana. A mecca for sports lovers and home to the world’s largest children’s museum, this small but surprising city sitting on the White River is a place packed with prolific restaurants, museums, and unique attractions. Gear up and check’em out below.
Indianapolis is home to the largest single-day sporting event in the world and it also is a thriving destination with some teeming restaurants. What’s not to love in the capital of the Hoosier State? From feeling the thrill of the speed in Indianapolis Motor Speedway to spending some time at the kid’s favorite Indianapolis Zoo, things to do in Indianapolis are exciting, entertaining, and unique.
Most Impressive Things To Do In Indianapolis, Indiana:
Indianapolis Cultural Trail:
One of the very first things to do in Indianapolis is to go biking or hiking at the very famous Indianapolis Cultural Trail. This urban multi-use 8.1-mile trail is famous for its 10 art installations and along your way on the trail, you get to see stunning street furniture, signage, and lighting. The trail has a core downtown loop and links Fountain Square and White River State Park to downtown Indianapolis. Connecting six cultural districts and being thoroughly navigable, this trail is a perfect example of an urban trail that lets locals and tourists use it as a biking and walking path to access several parts of central Indianapolis.
Children’s Museum Of Indianapolis:
It is really exciting to set a visit to the world’s largest children’s museum that locates in Indy. With five floors of exhibit halls, the museum has a collection of over 120,000 artifacts and exhibit items. Visit the place with your full family and here you get to see and learn many things about science, arts, archaeology, and world culture. The huge brontosaurus, trying to peek into the top floor is a major draw of the museum. The statue of the ‘Bumblebee’ character from the Transformers series is a sure hit among the kids. The museum has three wide domains of exhibits and they are the American Collection, the Cultural World Collection, and the Natural World Collection. The simulated Cretaceous dinosaur habitat, the carousel, and the glass sculpture Fireworks of Glass Tower and Ceiling, the museum is of great educational and cultural importance. Want to touch a real Tyrannosaurus Rex bone? You have to get to this most famous museum for that.
Indianapolis Motor Speedway:
Heard about the country’s most famous and celebrated car race? Yes, it is the legendary Indianapolis 500 and it is hosted on the racing circuit of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. In this context, let us tell you that, the ‘Indianapolis 500’ is also the world’s biggest single-day sporting event. Locating in Speedway, Indiana, visiting this speedway which is the largest sports venue in the world is one of the hard-to-miss things to do in Indianapolis. Apart from the Indianapolis 500, this is also the venue of the Brickyard 400 NASCAR Race.
Originally built to serve as an automobile test track, now it is the highest-capacity sports venue in the world with a permanent sitting capacity of 257, 325. It is rectangular-oval in shape and is about 2.5 miles long. Opened in 1909, the track is operational for the last 111 years. And if you are a sports fanatic, you have to pay a visit to this very famous speedway of Indianapolis.
A shining symbol of the city of Indianapolis and the state of Indiana, Monument Circle in downtown Indianapolis is the place where the very famous Soldiers and Sailors Monument resides. This monument, standing tall at a height of 284 feet, is the state’s official memorial to all the brave who lost their lives in the Civil Wars. There are also other landmarks and sights to behold. Do not miss out on the Mausoleum and Memorial Hall, the Indiana World War Memorial, and of course, the Christ Church Cathedral which is the oldest structure on the circle. The circle is also home to Hilbert Circle Theatre or the Circle Theater which is one of the first movie theatres in the Midwest and is now home to the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra.
Indianapolis Museum Of Art:
Covering an area of around 152 acres and having more than 54,000 artworks from Africa, America, Asia as well as Europe – the collection of Indianapolis Museum of Art span a long period of about 5,000 years. One of the 10 largest art museums in the United States, the museum houses great works done by Picasso and Cezanne. Contemporary art pieces and Chinese ceramics can also be seen here. Moreover, IMA houses one of the largest contemporary art parks in the US and will be a great place of enjoyment for the kids as there are many stunning art installations arranged across the green open space. Visit Lily House to see great displays of furnishings and art. And admire the beauty of the gardens. Visiting the Indianapolis Museum of Art is one of the best places to visit in Indianapolis.
Located in White River State Park, this renowned zoo houses more than 3,800 animals of about 320 species. Not only animals, but the zoo is also home to an aquarium and a botanical garden as well. This zoo has five biomes where animals of similar habitat types have been kept distinctly. There is an ocean biome where you can see California Sea Lion, Unicorn Fish, and even a full-fledged coral reef system. The Forests biome, the Deserts Biome, and the Plains biome seek special mention. Get to see animals like the majestic African lion, Thomson’s gazelle, Ostrich, Southern white rhino at the Plains habitat. And the Deserts biome is all populated with Meerkats, Jamaican Iguana, Central bearded dragon, etc. A great place to take your family to, visiting Indianapolis Zoo is surely one of the best things to do in Indianapolis.
Traveling In And Around:
Traveling in and around Indy is fun and is so much convenient. It locates in the center of Indiana and several major highways connect the city to the other part of the state. Airfares are affordable to this Midwest city and Indianapolis International Airport has also achieved the award for being the best airport in North America. Getting to downtown to get started with all the fun things to do in Indianapolis is also very easy as bus, shuttle, and electric car services are abundant from the airport to the downtown. Try to stay in downtown Indianapolis as all the major attractions can be covered from here just by walking. For the places which can’t be reached by walking, you can rent a bike or ride a car to reach those sights. Among the public transports, Indygo offers bus services in 30 fixed routes and there are also Amtrak, Greyhound, and Megabus.