The Indianapolis Museum of Art is one treasure that guests and residents of Indianapolis can’t miss. It's the 10th-largest encyclopedic art museum in the country and boasts 152 acres of manicured gardens and pristine grounds. Like I said, it's a can't miss! If you are searching for a specific reason to spend a day or half-day at the IMA, here are seven reasons just for you.

Imported Image

National Public Gardens Day & Garden Harvest Family Day

Saturday, Oct. 3, 11 am to 5 pm

Take advantage of free admission throughout entire IMA campus, tour the gardens, turn fallen leaves into masks, and decorate pumpkins at Lilly House. Take part in a friendly game of flag football and visit Big Car’s mobile bait shop in The Virginia B. Fairbanks Art & Nature Park: 100 Acres. There will be a tree passport program for children, helping them identify four types of trees.

Project IMA: Cutting Loose

Friday, October 9 at 8 pm

Runway Show in the Toby, tickets are $20 (members save $5). A Behind the Seams After Party & Runway Show combo ticket is $75 for the public. During the runway show, you’ll see one-of-a-kind creations from local, regional, and national artists and fashion designers. This event complements the IMA’s current exhibition, Cutting-Edge Fashion: Recent Acquisitions.

Optical Popsicle: Infinity

Thursday, October 15, 8 pm & Saturday, October 17, 3 pm & 8 pm

The IMA’s performing artist in residence, Know No Stranger, will debut the latest installment of their annual variety extravaganza—Optical Popsicle—a mashup of puppets, video, live music, and dance. This performance will take place in the Toby and includes a series of skits, musical acts, and performance art pieces. Tickets are $20.

Back to the Future Double Feature

Wednesday, Oct. 21, Doors open at 6 pm, film begins at 7:30 pm

Enjoy this double feature of Back to the Future and Back to the Future II in the IMA parking lot. This event is in celebration of the date that Marty, Jennifer and Doc departed to in the original movie, October 21, 2015. There will be future-inspired activities and photo opps before the show. Food and beer will be available for purchase. Bring your own lawn chair, blanket, and picnic dinner if you like. Tickets are $20.

The new exhibition, Gustave Baumann: German Craftsman – American Artist 

Saturday, October 24, 2–5 pm

Baumann expert Nancy Green will speak about the exhibition and the artist in the DeBoest Lecture Hall at 2 pm. Visitors will see the exhibit prior to the public opening and then see a woodblock printmaking demonstration. There will be opportunities to create your own woodblock prints and carve pumpkins ($5 each). Seasonal treats and apple cider will be available.  Adults: $18, Ages 5 & under: FREE, Youth ages 6-17: $10). Admission is free for members.

Family Day: Secrets

Saturday, Novwember 7, 10 am – 3 pm

The popular Cereal Cinema (morning movie and cereal bar) will kick off the morning with a screening of the film The Secret of NIMH. Guests will take on the role of a secret agent for the day and take a tour of the museum’s secret, behind the scenes areas, play secret games, hear a headphone concert and enjoy an immersive sensory experience.

Internet Cat Video Festival

Friday, November 20, 7 pm and Saturday, November 21, 3 pm & 7pm*

Enjoy a screening of cat clips that have been curated especially for the Internet Cat Video Festival. You’ll see short videos and clips of your favorite feline friends and some internet sensations. There will be special appearances by Lil BUB and Will Braden, festival curator and the man behind the popular Henri, le Chat Noir series.

*Super Show with Lil BUB and Mike Bridavsky (with CatVidFest) includes a special pre-show program with Bloomington’s own celebrity cat Lil BUB including a Q&A with BUB’s dude, Mike Bridavsky, before the reel. BUB merchandise will be for sale before and after the show. Admission is $10 per person or $8 for members.

If you simply want to relax and enjoy the changing colors of the tree leaves or the natural beauty of Indianapolis, the Indianapolis Museum of Art is a fantastic space to do this. Bring your camera, you never know when you’ll find wildlife, or it will find you!