Free Things To Do

Whether you’re planning an affordable weekend away, are in town on a limited business budget, or simply want a staycation the kids will rave about for years to come, Indianapolis is your kind of destination. On any given day, you are certain to find something fun to do without spending a single cent. Without further ado, here are the top free things to do in Indianapolis. 


Binford Farmers Market

Over 100 vendors from across the state gather in the parking lot of Northview Church at 65th and Binford Blvd every Saturday from May through October to show off their unique and delicious products. This market is open from 8 am – noon to allow ample time to discover the booths of some of the best farms, nurseries, bakeries, wineries and numerous other specialty vendors in Indiana. 


IDADA First Fridays

First Fridays

Love art? You can’t miss visiting Indy’s best local art galleries. The first Friday of each month from 6-9 pm, the Indianapolis Downtown Artists & Dealers Association hosts self-guided tours that are free and open to the public. 


The Indianapolis Public Library’s Central Branch blends original 1917 architecture with modern glass and steel. Open daily, this unique library offers a wide variety of free programming or merely a beautiful space to sit and read. If you have kids, don’t miss the special events and spaces at the Learning Curve!


New Works

The exhibit includes new works by eight contemporary artists, six of whom have studios in Indiana. Artists exhibiting in this group show include: Amy Kirchner (IN), Sabina Klein (NY), Dale Enochs (IN), Cha Jong-Rye (South Korea), Tamar Kander (IN), David Michael Slonim (IN), Mary Pat Wallen (IN) and Jason Myers (IN).


November Project

The #FreeFitness movement continues in the Racing Capital of the World -- Indianapolis. Led by Shaw and Casey, this tribe brings the thing that Indy as a sports town needs to be most – early morning hugs and kickass workouts. #WakeUpNaptown and get #RacingFit with the #NP_IND tribe! #JustShowUP.

In addition to the Wednesday workouts, join the tribe every Friday at 6 am at various locations around Indianapolis – Friday locations are announced Wednesdays at the workout and posted on social media.


Indiana War Memorial Museum 

Indiana War Memorial

Indianapolis is only second to Washington DC in number of war memorials. Sprinkled throughout the city, you’ll find tributes to veterans and heroes. The Indiana War Memorial, open Wednesday through Sunday, in War Memorial Plaza features a free museum honoring Hoosiers killed in the line of duty. 


Famed Indianapolis resident Madame C.J. Walker earned success in the cosmetic industry and became a self-made millionaire. Hear her story told through a Freetown Village actor at the theatre that bears her name every third Friday from 10 am to 2 pm. 


History buff? Check out the Indiana Landmarks Center free public tour. May through October you can also take a free walking tour of Monument Circle, every Friday and Saturday at 10 am. 


Beastly Brunch

The animals at the nature center eat rather interesting food. Watch staff and volunteers feed the animals crickets, worms, and even mice, and learn about their diets! This event is at Holliday Park. 


Explore the Indianapolis Cultural Trail 

Indianapolis Cultural Trail

Take a walk, run, or bike ride down the internationally acclaimed 8-mile long Indianapolis Cultural Trail. The trail travels from Mass Ave to White River State Park and Fountain Square and is perfect for a stroll anytime during the day. Explore the city and learn about the culture of Indy one trail at a time.


From 1930s John Dillinger memorabilia to a prohibition era moonshine still to an actual squad car you can get in and turn on the lights and sirens. The Indiana State Police Museum is open Monday to Friday 9 am to 3 pm. 


First Thursdays at the Indianapolis Museum of Art at Newfields

IMA

The first Thursday of every month from 4 to 9 pm, the IMA at Newfields will be offering free general admission to view its collection of over 54,000 works. The IMA is one of the 10 largest and 10 oldest art museums in the nation, and it features a wide variety of pieces spanning over 5,000 years.


Workout Wednesday

Get energized on your lunch break. Group workout sessions are held on Downtown Indy's Georgia Street’s west block Boardwalk every Wednesday beginning at noon. Powerful beats will motivate you as a group instructor leads the way through a full and fun workout. All fitness levels are welcome, and towels are provided for your convenience.


Artsgarden

Take a lunch break in a beautiful, contemporary space in the center of the city. The Indianapolis Artsgarden offers a full calendar of free concerts and exhibitions during lunch hours.


Crown Hill Cemetery 

Crown Hill

Crown Hill Cemetery is a favorite destination for Indianapolis visitors and locals alike, earning Trip Advisor’s “Certificate of Excellence” from visitor reviews! Founded in 1863, it’s the nation’s 3rd largest cemetery with 555 acres of beautiful rolling hills and is located across the street from Newfields. Thousands visit to take an award-winning guided tour, enjoy the peaceful beauty, sculptures, and trees, as well as to exercise, picnic, and study the history of the 200,000+ people buried there. Notables include President Benjamin Harrison, poet James Whitcomb Riley, Col. Eli Lilly, three U.S. Vice Presidents, and numerous others, including the infamous bank robber John Dillinger.


Ride the Monon Trail

Monon Trail

The Monon is the rail trail that started it all. The trail extends out of downtown and runs through Mapleton-Fall Creek, Meridian-Kessler, Broad Ripple, and Nora. The northern stretch is called the Monon Greenway and stretches north to Carmel and Westfield. The Monon is one of the busiest urban greenways in the country and offers connections to the Fall Creek Trail, Canal Towpath, and the Indianapolis Cultural Trail. 


First Mondays at Kurt Vonnegut Museum and Library 

Vonnegut

The first Monday of each month is KVML’s Goodbye Blue Monday celebration with free admission to all. The Kurt Vonnegut Museum and Library champions the literary, artistic, and cultural contributions of the late writer, artist, and Indianapolis native, Kurt Vonnegut. The library/museum serves as a cultural and educational resource unique to the nation. 


Center for Black Literature and Culture at Central Library

The Center supports the work of the Library’s long-standing African American History Committee, which plans major cultural programming at the Library. The space, conceived by the experiential design firm of RLR Associates Inc. of Indianapolis, creates a “third place” away from home or work to gather and explore ideas leading to a greater awareness of black culture and heritage. The CBLC’s design, construction, artworks and interpretative elements are available to the general public free of charge when visiting Central Library.

 

 

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