IUPUI might be known as a “commuter campus”, but more than 95% of undergraduate students are from Indiana. While there are many students who do commute to campus, many of those commuters live within 10 miles of it. For those of us who live in Indianapolis, though the city may feel big, it is easy to get in a routine of doing the same few things or going to the same few places. Whether you’re looking to get out of your routine, are searching for activities to fill your summer days, or want to add some things to your bucket list, this list has something for everyone.
Walk around downtown for all of the food, drinks, and shopping options
If you’re new to the Indianapolis area, or have been here and just aren’t familiar with the area, take a walk downtown and you’re sure to find a number of things to explore. Walk through the government center and see the Indiana State House, walk through the Indianapolis Artsgarden above Washington St. in the Circle Center Mall to see the glass domed art garden where you can find different art exhibits each month from various Indianapolis artists. Make your way to the Indianapolis City Market, where you can enjoy all types of food, purchase fresh seafood to cook at home, and find various handmade items like jewelry, leather goods, breads, and jams. Walk down Massachusetts Avenue for all of the food like tacos at Bakersfield or famous fried chicken with spicy honey at the Eagle, shopping at Silver in the City or Three Dog Bakery, or enjoy an afternoon outside with your friends for live music at the Rathskeller Biergarten. You can find all of this and much more all within a ten minute walk from campus.
Check out an Indianapolis Indians game at Victory Field
Join the Indianapolis Indians in celebrating their 120th season this summer at Victory Field, just a few blocks from campus. Their season opened on Tuesday, May 3, against the Louisville Bats. Tuesdays’ game featured their Tuesday Dollar Menu, where popcorn, hotdogs, chips, peanuts, and Cracker Jack are all available for $1 each. Tickets start at $12, and if the weather is nice, you can bring a blanket and sit on the grassy hill behind the outfield to enjoy the weather and the game with your friends. Whether you’re an Indians fan, a baseball fan, or just a fan of hanging out with your friends, a night at Victory Field is fun for everyone.
The Indianapolis 500 Festival and Races
“The greatest spectacle in racing” - the Indianapolis 500 is known for being one of the largest, most anticipated races in the IndyCar Series each year. When the checkered flags cover the city in May, you know the 500 is near. On race weekend, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway becomes home to thousands of people from across the world for an event like none other. If you have been before, you may have gone as an IndyCar fan to watch the race or cheer on your favorite team, or you may have gone for Snake Pit - “The ultimate party in motor sports” - to immerse yourself in the music of some of the best EDM DJs from around the world. This year, Snake Pit will feature sets from Steve Aoiki, deadmau5, Galantis, and more. Race weekend is filled with events like Carb Day, Legends Day, Snake Pit, and of course the Indianapolis 500 race.
Grab your friends for a game night at TopGolf
If you like to compete in games with or against your friends, enjoy playing golf, or just like to hang out, head to Top Golf in Fishers for a place where you can do all three. Though reservations aren’t required, I recommend heading to their website to reserve a bay for your group, as wait times can sometimes be as long as two hours. It’s priced by the hour, so the longer you play, the more expensive it gets. Bay’s can fit up to six people, so if you have a larger group, consider reserving two. I know many of us are college students on a budget, so check out Top Golf on a Tuesday, when bays are half priced.
Enjoy the outdoors and indoors at Newfields/IMA
If you’re looking for a place to enjoy the beauty of the outdoors and indoors, spend an afternoon at the Newfields, where visitors can explore different art works inside the museum, or the art of nature in the grounds outside the museum. Take a walk through the gardens at Newfields to see the vibrant colors of more than half a million different types of flowers and award winning landscaping, or enjoy the air conditioning inside with art exhibits from around the world. Visit before May 30th and you can check out their newest, state of the art exhibition; The Loom. Featuring floor to ceiling projections of some of the world's most famous artworks, with their current exhibit, visitors can fully immerse themselves in the paintings and works of Vincent Van Gogh. For those who want to experience the environment at Newfields, grab your friends for a movie under the stars on Friday or Saturday nights through June, July and August. With so many experiences and exhibits, any time spent at Newfields will definitely leave you wanting more.