Always seen as a peaceful community, Indianapolis was once considered downright sleepy. A few decades ago, the world said of Indianapolis that the internationally-known, 500-mile race woke the city up in the month of May, but the town fell silent again after the engines stopped. In the 21st century, though, the city tempts tourists and townsfolk alike with exciting possibilities all year long.
January: Indianapolis Colts Play-Off Games – The Colts have been a powerhouse football team for the last several years, offering fans the opportunity to paint themselves blue and white and scream like Scottish warriors as the (now, championship) team battles challengers in the play-offs. With the new Lucas Oil Stadium on its way, football fans will have cushy digs for catching all the big games. Check here for all the latest news on your 2007 Super Bowl Champs.
February: The Children’s Museum – Unfortunately, the Indiana climate is probably the most unfriendly during the month of February. The entire Midwest is buried under a layer of snow and ice, and we can only recommend indoor activities in good conscience. One of the coolest places in the city, and a great spot to warm up, is the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis. This world-class facility has exhibits for every member of the family. In the Dinosphere, visitors can conduct their own dino digs, compare real fossils to plaster casts, investigate a battle between a T. Rex and triceratops, or nest and cuddle with dress-up dinosaur costumes and plush, egg puppets. Permanent exhibits offer interactive learning opportunities in science, cultural studies, history and so much more. The museum also offers two traveling exhibit galleries, a theatre, a play area for its littlest patrons and a planetarium.
March: NCAA March Madness – To say that Hoosiers love basketball is an understatement. Nearly every driveway in the state is adorned with a hoop, and every child is an expert at the game of “horse” by third grade. Indianapolis has hosted the men’s Final Four tournament five times since 1980, which is something of a record. It’s no small wonder that the NCAA chose to relocate their national headquarters to our fair city. Now, given that the tournament isn’t always in Indy, we do sometimes have to settle for watching the games on TV, but there are great sports pubs and eateries in every part of town. Browse through the “Best of Citysearch Indianapolis” listing to find the one that suits you.
April: White River Gardens at the Indianapolis Zoo – March may not always, “come in like a lion and go out like a lamb,” in Indy, but April is guaranteed to bring some sunny days that will inspire strolls through budding and blooming springtime foliage. The White River Gardens opened in 1999 and gave the city a breath-taking 3.3-acre botanical attraction with over one thousand types of plants in the permanent display. The facility also boasts traveling exhibits, gardening tips and plant information. You don’t have to be a master gardener to enjoy the beauty of these gardens. See what’s blooming for more information.
May: Indianapolis 500 – Alright, you’ve got us! The race is still the biggest show in town in the month of May. Let’s face it: the Indianapolis 500 is the “Greatest Spectacle in Racing.” For Hoosiers, though, the race isn’t a one-day shot. From practices to qualifications, carb day to race day, Indianapolis Motor Speedway offers race fans excitement every day of the month. The Indianapolis Motor Speedway website has all you need to know about the Indy 500, the Brickyard 400 and the US Grand Prix.
June: Indians at Victory Field – A baseball game in the early summer in a great Midwestern city is one of the iconic images of American life. With Indy’s downtown as a backdrop, the emerald jewel that is Victory Field has been dubbed the “Best Ballpark in America” by Sports Illustrated. Attending a baseball game as a family won’t break the bank, and everyone is sure to have a blast.
July: Indiana Black Expo’s Summer Celebration – The city is very proud to host the largest African-American event in the nation. The Summer Celebration boasts over 300,000 attendees with programs and events that span over a week and a half. Programs include health and wellness, business, spirituality and employment opportunities. With entertainment and youth activities, too, everyone can find something exciting to do at the Expo.
August: Indiana State Fair – Another slice of Americana, the fairgrounds at the corner of 38th and Fall Creek Parkway are bustling in the month of August as Hoosiers from all over the state pour into the city to show off their wares and let off some steam. Animal husbandry, baton twirling, Irish step dancing, wine making and more take their turns at center stage, and fair-goers can take their pick of shows and demonstrations. Midway rides, deep-fried goodies, roasted corn, tenderloins and concerts delight attendees of all ages.
September: Penrod Art Fair – The Indianapolis Museum of Art hosts this spectacular fair each year. The Penrod Society was founded in 1967, and the associated Art Fair has been held each year at the IMA on the first Saturday after Labor Day. Over 30,000 people stroll the grounds, listen to music, watch performing artists and buy awesome pieces of art of every conceivable variety. Check out some of this year’s 300 artists.
October: Hoosier Storytelling Festival – Storytelling Arts of Indiana established this festival in 1988 to celebrate the power of the spoken word. The group had begun meeting the year before to explore the oral tradition of storytelling, and they have offered this program to “entertain, enlighten and fire the imaginations” of Hoosiers ever since. The festival lasts for three days in mid-October at Military Park and presents storytellers from all over the world. Prepare to laugh, cry, and jump out of your skin as you listen to tales of every genre.
November: International Festival – For over 30 years, this event has brought the best of all worlds right here to Indianapolis. Presented by the Nationalities Council of Indiana, the International Festival now displays exhibits from over 35 cultural groups and sees over 17,500 visitors. Music, dancing, food, education and global shopping await those who brave the November weather to check out this event. The skies may be intimidating, and the weather is surely taking a turn for the worse, but the sights, sounds and smells inside Exposition Hall at the State Fairgrounds will brighten your day.
December: Christmas at the Zoo – At the end of the year, the Circle City bedecks itself with lights, garland and bows to rival the North Pole. The Soldiers and Sailors Monument becomes a 242-foot Christmas tree, and even the city’s animals get in on the act. For nearly 40 years, the Indianapolis Zoo has put on Christmas at the Zoo, a special holiday program that features millions of twinkling lights, Santa, and all your favorite furry friends. Find the details at .