Don’t get us wrong, Greater Lafayette has plenty of fun things to do around town, but if you’re itching for a change of scenery, consider taking a quick trip down to Indianapolis! Just an hour’s drive south, the Circle City is home to many museums, restaurants, parks, and so much more!
Let us help you plan your trip and check out some of our recommendations and suggestions!
Children’s Museum of Indianapolis
3000 North Meridian Street, Indianapolis
A staple in the Indianapolis community for nearly 100 years, The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis is sure to create a fun and educational experience for children of all ages! Kids can actively engage in the many learning experiences that incorporate arts, sciences, and humanities. A newer addition to the museum is the Sports Legend Experience, which includes 12 outdoor and three indoor sports exhibits aimed at boosting physical fitness.
Before you go, know that capacity is limited to 50 percent, so it’s greatly encouraged that you purchase tickets ahead of time, which can be done online.
1200 West Washington Street, Indianapolis
Open year round, the Indianapolis Zoo is home to more than 3,800 animals of more than 320 species and subspecies, which will surely lead to a day full of excitement. Encompassed within the 64-acre campus, guests can interact with animals and plants through the zoo’s biomes. These biomes include five regions – Oceans, Forests, Deserts, Encounters, and Plains.
White River Gardens is also located on the zoo’s campus, and includes a 5,000 square foot conservatory, combining the best of gardening ideas, plant information, and inspirational design to serve the needs of all visitors.
Admission to the zoo includes full access to all the exhibits at both the zoo and White River Gardens. Some of the everyday activities include keeper chats, presentations, and daily demonstrations. Before you visit, be sure to visit their website and schedule a reservation due to COVID-19 restrictions.
Soldiers & Sailors Monument
1 Monument Circle, Indianapolis
Did you know that Indianapolis is only second to Washington, D.C. when it comes to having the most monuments honoring veterans?
Since its dedication in 1902, the Soldiers & Sailors Monument has been Indiana’s official memorial to veterans that served in the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812, the Mexican War, the Civil War, the Frontier War, and the Spanish-American War. The monument sits in the very center of Indianapolis, standing at 284 feet tall. The gift shop and observatory are currently closed, but the monument and all its beauty and history can still be cherished and adored from Monument Circle.
Fort Benjamin Harrison State Park
6000 North Post Road, Indianapolis
Is nature more of your forte?
Once a U.S. Army Post, Fort Benjamin Harrison officially closed in 1991, and the post was then redeveloped and includes the current Fort Harrison State Park. The park is home to more than 1,700 acres featuring walking and biking trails, picnic sites, fishing access to Fall Creek, a sledding hill, and two national historic districts. And if you’re looking to get a round of golf in, Fort Ben offers an 18-hole golf course and driving range.
Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum
4750 West 16th Street, Indianapolis
Calling all IndyCar and NASCAR fans out there!
Located in the infield of the world-famous Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the 37,000 square foot IMS Museum is home to a plethora of automotive and motor racing vehicles and artifacts. Up to 75 cars are on display at any given time, including more than 30 Indianapolis 500 winning cars and various other cars. Other items on display include trophies, plaques, helmets, gloves, and driver’s suits.
The museum is open every day of the year besides Thanksgiving and Christmas, and offers “behind the scenes” tours of the track on days where weather permits.
Indianapolis Museum of Art/Newfields
4000 Michigan Road, Indianapolis
Sitting within the 150-acre Newfields campus just north of downtown Indianapolis, The Indianapolis Museum of Art is the ninth oldest art museum in the United States. The permanent collection is comprised of more than 50,000 pieces of art including African, American, Asian, and European works of art. Also, within the Newfields campus is The Gardens, the 100-acre Virginia B. Fairbanks Art & Nature Park, and 26-acre Lilly House.
Indiana State Museum
650 West Washington Street, Indianapolis
Located along the Canal Walk in downtown Indianapolis, the Indiana State Museum gives visitors an opportunity to engage with Indiana’s past and connect to its present. The building itself is also a work of art, constructed of materials found right here in Indiana and featuring each of Indiana’s 92 counties. Spanning three floors, the museum offers a year-round calendar of exhibits and Indiana art, science, and culture, piquing the interest of all ages.
Indianapolis Canal Walk
801 West Washington Street, Indianapolis
The Indianapolis Canal Walk is part of the Indiana Central Canal, which was dug back in the 1800s to help facilitate commerce. Today, the canal isn’t used for commerce, rather leisure. The walk stretches through White River State Park to 11th Street, serving the downtown Indianapolis community and visitors as a waterside promenade for walkers, runners, bikers, and sightseers. The Indiana State Museum also offers pedalboats for rental if you’d like to get on the water.
Garfield Park Conservatory & Sunken Garden
2505 Conservatory Drive, Indianapolis
As part of the Indianapolis Parks and Recreation system, Garfield Park Conservatory is 10,000 square feet and home to hundreds of plants from around the world. The conservatory also offers educational displays and plays host to many events throughout the year.
The Sunken Garden includes three acres of European classical formal gardens. The garden also features seasonal fountains, formal flower displays, concrete urns, and bowls.
Rhythm! Discovery Center
110 West Washington Street, Suite A, Indianapolis
Rhythm! Discovery Center hails as the world’s only interactive drum and percussion museum. The center features unique, interactive exhibits highlighting a rich collection of historic artifacts and hands-on percussion instruments. Some of the exhibits include feature instruments from leading percussionists and promote the understanding of percussion and its role in world culture.
The center also offers an array of educational programming designed to supplement its interactive exhibits, providing a place for everyone to explore the world of percussion firsthand.
Restaurants/Places To Eat
Indianapolis City Market
222 East Market Street, Indianapolis
Founded 200 years ago, this historic city market is home to an abundance of food vendors, bound to satisfy anybody and everybody.
The Old Spaghetti Factory
210 South Meridian Street, Indianapolis
918 South Rangeline Road, Carmel
Family owned and operated, The Old Spaghetti Factory has been serving delicious, affordable three-course dishes since 1969.
Mug N’ Bun
5211 West 10th Street, Indianapolis
For nearly 50 years, Mug N Bun Drive-in has been serving huge tenderloins, hand-dipped onion rings, and secret coney sauce, offering something for everyone! Wash it all down with their signature homemade root beer or one of our delicious milkshakes.
137 East Ohio Street, Indianapolis
550 East 96th Street, Indianapolis (Open 11AM-2PM M-F, Closed Saturday and Sunday)
If you’re a big fan of burgers, grilled cheese, or both, Punch Burger is calling your name! The restaurant also made Yelp’s list of the Top 25 Highest Rated Restaurants In Indiana.
The Cake Bake Shop
6515 Carrollton Avenue, Indianapolis
799 Hanover Place, Upper Deck, Hanover Place Suite 260, Carmel
If you’ve got a sweet tooth, be sure to add The Cake Bake Shop to your list! With two Indianapolis locations, the shop offers a beautiful atmosphere and plenty of delicious sweet treats.
Jockamo’s Upper Crust Pizza
Historic Irvington – 5646 East Washington Street, Indianapolis
Oldtown Greenwood – 401 Market Plaza, Indianapolis
Lawrence/Fort Benjamin Harrison – 9165 Otis Avenue, Indianapolis
Who doesn’t love a good pizza?! If you enjoy a good pizza, Jockamo’s has plenty varieties on their menu. And if you’re looking for something other than pizza, they also offer plenty of alternative dishes.
808 South Meridian Street, Indianapolis
Owned and family-operated by one family for more than 115 years, Shapiro’s Deli offers classics such as their piled high sandwiches with corned beef, pastrami and brisket. Homemade macaroni and cheese and matzo ball soup are also among some of the many dishes. And if you’re looking for something sweet, you’ll want to try Shapiro’s cheesecakes!
Mimi Blue Meatballs
870 Massachusetts Avenue, Indianapolis
8702 Keystone Crossing, Indianapolis
12505 Old Meridian Street, Carmel
The name gives it all away! If you’re a huge fan of meatballs, Mim Blue is calling your name!