Fun things to do in Indianapolis

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Most Viewed Things to Do in Indianapolis

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    Fountain Square, 1 of 6 cultural districts

    by staindesign Written Aug 15, 2006

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    Currently Aug. 2006, this is how fountain square looks like. Next year it will be under construction and it will be revitalized. It is going to be really beautiful. Green 3, the company I work for is designing the project. This is definitely a place that you won't want to miss after the construction. Besides the beautification, it really needs to be done because when it rains here, the streets turn into river rapids. This pioneer family fountain will be moved over to a pedistrian area of the square and this big fountain will be replaced with its original fountain of Lady Spray.

    pioneer family fountain
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    Duck Pin Bowling : Fountain Square

    by staindesign Written Aug 15, 2006

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    This place is so cute! In the basement and on the 3rd floor they have duck Pin Bowling. The alleys are shorter than normal and the balls are half the size of normal. The balls don't have holes in them, you just throw the ball down to the end. In my opinion it is best to go to the third floor bowling alley, it has a nice view there. If you go there around 2-3pm when they are slowed down you can ask for a tour of the building. You can go behind the bowling machines on the 3rd floor and if you look on the ceiling you can see signiture of kids that use to have the job to set up the pins. It is really cool! While you are there you should check out all of the bowling antiques, sort of a funny thing see. But it is really interesting all the stuff they have!

    3rd floor bowling Alley Pin setters signitures Lanes on 3rd floor
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    Military Park

    by staindesign Written Aug 10, 2006

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    This park is the oldest park in Indiana and it is located right downtown. It is one of 3 piece of land that the congress donated in 1827 that cannot be bought nor sold by the Government. It was originally set aside for military purposes, it was used for the first state fair, and today it is used as a place for festivals and recreation. It is sort of like the "backyard" of white river state park and on the side of IUPUI.

    This park is a diamond in the ruff. People of Indianapolis don't understand the historical importance of this park and I believe the White River State Park is renting out its soul every couple of weekends during the summer. The park is in sever need of rehablitation, the trees are beautiful but in need of trimming and the summer house is really interesting but is falling apart. It could be like the other beautiful parks which are located also downtown. Regular maintainance is needed and if they want to use the park for festivals than why don't they put the money into it to make it more accessable. On a positive note, I would like to say the park is very clean; the White River State Park does do a good job of clean up after the festivals! Litter is very low.

    The company I work for is trying to get a grant to help the park, it is a great cause. And I would like to encourage visitors to come to the festivals and support the action of rehabilitation. This October 2006, the summer house will be renovated. It was made in 1910, i think by now it needs a little work. I went there recently and the house has a back area and I was told some homeless people live there sometimes. It smells like urine inside, so I would suggest until the renovation is complete, maybe it would be better to admire on the outside!

    Festivals : Jazz Fest, Rib America Fest, Latino Festival, & Vintage Indiana wine & food Festival

    summer house, 1910 (Military Park)
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    Web site

    by staindesign Written Aug 10, 2006

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    I just saw the new indianapolis web site. I think it is good because it gives really good advice about what to do here. Even if you are only going to be here a short time, you can really cram a lot of stuff into one day. I would check out this web site, it is a lot better than others I have seen for other cities.

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    Salsa Dance Lessons

    by staindesign Written Aug 9, 2006

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    check out the into salsa web site. Their classes are at various dance clubs in the city and they have a central studio downtown. In this picture are the owners and main teachers. Yang & Erin as sonny & cher, this was at last years Halloween Dance at the Vault Club. Most Holidays they have a special dance at a club.

    erin & yang
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    Broad Ripple Village

    by Scaramouche21 Written Jul 24, 2006

    Like many an artistically-inclined, college-aged traveller, my first move upon visiting a new city is often to find the funky/edgy/boho area of town. It wasn't too hard to find in Indy! At the advice of a gas station clerk, my boyfriend and I found ourselves headed toward Broad Ripple village. A little tough to locate for two first-time visitors, this neighborhood was worth the effort. Broad Ripple's mélange of artists, musicians, university students and other all-around cool people sould appeal to those looking for a fun place to explore. The village is absolutely brimming with galleries, unique boutiques, coffee houses, and cheap ethnic foods. Come the night, one can also find a lively music, bar & club scene! While in Broad Ripple. be sure to check out the nearby ArtsPark.

    Bridge over Broad Ripple Creek Indy CD, Broad Ripple's main er,indie record store hip babywear
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    ArtsPark!

    by Scaramouche21 Written Jul 24, 2006

    If you've only a few hours to see Indianapolis, be sure to visit ArtsPark. This combination nature walk/public art museum is simply incredible. Located in the funky and vibrant Broad Ripple Village neighborhood, ArtsPark contains sculptural masterpieces to astound, amuse, and amaze. Not only is Artspark home to some of the best public art I've seen in the U.S. (as well as water wildlife such as beavers and canadian geese); it's completely free! An evening stroll through the park can be quite romantic.

    Twisted House Stick-hut sculpture A goose spreads its wings in the Broad Ripple Cree
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    NCAA Hall of Champions

    by leplaya Written Feb 18, 2006

    Alongside the headquarters of the NCAA, the Hall of Champions is a multimedia experience that takes you through the history of US college sports and explains the details of the various sports played across the US. There also various historical displays and a replica of the 1930’s basketball court where you are free to shoot around. This is probably more of a place for NCAA fans. The entrance fee is $3 for adults, $2 for students with an ID.

    The area around here is pretty nice also.
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    clubs

    by ronald13 Written Jun 16, 2005

    ahh i miss my hometown so much , if you know your way around indy there is a lot to do on the weekends if you like to party . you can go north to broad ripple or stay downtown ..my favorite clubs are have a nice day cafe, tiki bobs , loctus, they r all located downtown in the same area. plus the area that these clubs r in is very safe , so party away and get drunk , make sure u take a cab there , so you can get extra drunk , also a sober friend might be needed.. if downtown ain't your scene you can go north on college to 62nd to broad ripple (trust me you can't miss it ) it's a more laid back place a lot of bars and clubs (u'll have fun there)..!!!!

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    American Legion Mall

    by deecat Updated Apr 19, 2005

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    American Legion Mall is huge; it stretches for 2 blocks & is the newest, biggest, & most contemporary on the Indiana War Memorial Plaza. I enjoyed the vast space & open feeling.
    I took an upclose photo at the Vietnam segment; it did not turn out. It is so "moving" with a "twin" segment on the Korean War. The two structures are each segments of a 12 & a half foot diameter, 25-foot tall cylinder. One side has engraved into it the names of the wars, & excerpts of letters written from soldiers to family & friends at home.
    Indianapolis architect Patrick Brunner designed them out of limestone & granite.

    The Vietnam segment is larger than the Korean because of all the people killed or missing in action. It says that 1,525 Hoosiers were killed in the Vietnam War & 927 Hoosiers were killed during the Korean War.

    I had a lump in my throat as I read the poignant letters, knowing that these young men & women are now dead.

    North of the Korean Section is the newest structure, the World War II Memorial. It is similar to both the Korean & Vietnam memorials. However, it is the 1st memorial on the Plaza to truly be a half-circle It is larger than the others because the war was larger. World War II was responsible for one-half million American deaths & half a million were wounded. Indiana lost about 12,000; 17,000 wounded.
    It, too, has all the names of the dead engraved & soldier's letters. Unique to this Memorial is a free-standing column on the concave side listing the order of campaigns & operations..

    Also at the American Legion Mall is the American Legion National Headquarters as shown in the photo, the Cenotaph Square (see tip), and a beautiful building called Building "B" 1925.

    At the northern most end of the Historic district is the Marion County Public Library with its classic Greek Doric architectural design (1913-16) & made of Bedford, Indiana, limestone, but it is completely under construction at this time.

    American Legion National Headquarters
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    Interior of the Indiana World War Memorial

    by deecat Updated Apr 19, 2005

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    Originally built to honor Hoosiers in World War I, it has since been rededicated for World War II and other wars.

    Inside is just as breathtaking as the outside. It has 3 main floors, each equally beautiful. On the upper level is the incredible Shrine Room This room symbolizes peace and unity. It is made of materials from all over the world (symbolic that World War I was world wide in nature). They tell you that if you visit the Shine Room, you will leave with "a renewed sense of patriotism and an appreciation for the sacrifices of those who fought in the first World War." It does, indeed.

    The Main Floor houses exhibit space, offices, and two 75-seat meeting rooms. In addition, it also houses a 500 seat Pershing Auditorium. The public can use the two rooms and the auditorium for a nominal fee. Quite impressive is the list of names of all Hoosiers who participated in World War I & all Hoosiers killed or missing in action from World War II, Korea, and Vietnam. The enormity of these lists is quite sobering.

    On this main floor, we viewed an exhibit (photographic and commentary) concerning all the winners of the Medal of Honor. We spent a good deal of time here because it was so impressive...beautiful, bittersweet, and historic.

    On the Lower Level, there is a FREE Military Museum portraying the history of Indiana's veterans. There's a commission plate of the battleship U.S.S. Indiana, Military firearms, Korean War era helicopter, Mexican War cannon, a Navy Terrier Missile, & a Desert Storm Humvee.

    The use of marble, granite, brass, and gold leaf is really something. We commented that this structure would last forever!

    The photograph is of a green marble water fountain. I just could not resist taking a picture.

    Water Fountain Inside Indiana War Memorial
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    Take a Walk Through History at Lockerbie Square

    by deecat Updated Apr 14, 2005

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    See my Lockerbie Square Travelogue for more photos and information

    On a sunny Sunday afternoon in April of 2005, Jill and I did a self-guided tour of Lockerbie Square before taking a guided tour of the Riley Home in the area.

    This area is quite interesting because it is an eclectic mix of Queen Anne and Italianate, Federal, and Vernacular Cottages. From seeing this area, I am convinced that Indianapolis has made a firm commitment to preserving its historic past.

    Lockerbie Square is a residential district that was largely settled by German immigrants during the Civil War Boom. It was originally a working and middle class neighborhood.

    Indiana's poet, James Whitcomb Riley was inspired by the arching trees and flickering gaslights on Lockerbie Street, and he wrote:
    "Such a dear little street it is
    nestled away from the noise of the city
    and heat of the day
    In cool shady coverts of whispering trees."

    All the literature implies that Lockerbie Square is one of the country's great examples of "Victorian restorations".

    It was in the 1970s that Lockerbie Square saw a rebirth. The area had become a victim to urban blight and neglect. A group of dedicated people called "urban pioneers" began this neighborhood revitalization, and they were boosted by Lockerbie Square being included in the 1973 National Register of Historic Places.

    The really wonderful thing about this area besides the incredible architecture is that its location is just a walk from the city's core. We were quite impressed with it all.

    A Home in Historic Lockerbie Square
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    Indiana State Capitol

    by deecat Updated Apr 13, 2005

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    To schedule a tour, call (317)233-5293

    The Indiana State Capitol is a beautiful building, the historic treasure of Indianapolis and the state of Indiana.

    Competition for the design of the new State House was won by an Indianapolis architect, Edwin May. He made the building to be shaped like a Greek cross with a central dome and rotunda. The main floor is built 14 feet above ground level. The building is where the governor, the House of Representatives (east side), and the Senate (west side) do business as well as the Indiana Supreme Court (north end).

    The interior is in the Italian Renaissance style. Indiana materials such as Indiana Oak, maple, and walnut are used in the building.
    Skylights bring in natural lighting. The Atrium skylights brighten the north and south wings. The Art Glass inner dome, in blue tones, is suspended below a skylight.

    The exterior of the building is Corinthian style design. Indiana materials are used here, too. Oolitic limestone quarried from Monroe, Lawrence, & Owen counties; foundation limestone from Greensburg & North Vernon quarries; cornerstone limestone from Spencer, Indiana. So, the building is certainly representative of Indiana.

    Many "blotched" changes happened in the first 100 years so in 1988, an eleven million dollar renovation and restoration took place to bring back its original elegance. The biggest project with the best results (I think) was removing three layers of paint and doing "four acres of plaster hand stenciling". The results are breathtaking.
    The Indiana Supreme Court courtroom did not have to be restored because it has never changed.

    I must say that this revitalized Capitol Building called the "State House" represents nineteenth-century grandeur with the inner workings of a twenty-first-century.

    Indiana State Capitol
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    The Scottish Rite Cathedral in Indianapolis

    by deecat Updated Apr 13, 2005

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    Please see the TRAVELOGUE for the details & more detailed photographs

    We took a tour of The Scottish Rite Cathedral & found it fascinating & informative. I love the tours being small ( just Jill, the tour guide, & me). It's done by a member of the Scottish Rite who has volunteered.

    He told about the Gothic Tower (212 feet above the sidewalk); the 54 carillon bells; the 12 "fleur-de-lis atop the tower; the stone work around the doorways; the Tiler's Room at the Meridian Street entrance being a perfect cube; the Two-story Ballroom with its crystal chandelier; the Auditorium (Theater) for 1,100 people finished in carved curly Russian white oak paneling; the Organ with 7,000 pipes that come from 4 separate locations in the auditorium;& the Lounge with its two rows of columns 33 feet apart & spaced 16 1/2 feet on centers.

    He showed us the glorious Art Glass Windows; the lush carpets designed by the architect; the Jacobean Library with windows dedicated to Governor Winfield Durbin; the grand staircase that is 33 feet wide; & the two-story ballroom with a mezzanine on all four sides.

    He took us on the old, elaborate (clastrophobic) elevator. The tour guide also took us to the banquet hall that will seat over 2,500 people; its surrounded by a balcony which is a recreation room & the cafeteria. He also said that the members help troubled teens, bringing them here to tutor, etc.

    He pointed a room that is climate controlled where they keep the photographs of each class that graduates into the Scottish Rite. It was so great to be able to go back to those first classes & compare them to today's group.
    He finally told us that The Scottish Rite Cathedral cost $2,5000,000.00 in 1929 so you can imagine what it would cost today.

    Scottish Rite Cathedral
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    Crown Hill Cemetery In Indianapolis, Indiana

    by deecat Written Apr 12, 2005

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    Crown Hill Cemetery is one of the largest cemeteries in the United states with several lovely High Victorian Structures on its park-lined grounds. I found the Gothic Gateway (see photo) particularly handsome. It was designed by Indianapolis architect, Adolf Scherrer. He also designed the Romanesque Revival Waiting Station (see Travelogue).

    Many famous people are buried here such as President Benjamin Harrison; 3 Vice-presidents, Charles Fairbanks, Thomas Hendricks, and Marshall Thomas; Col Eli Lilly; Indiana Civil War Governor, Oliver Morton; Richard Gatling who invented the Gatling machine gun; James Whitcomb Riley, famous Hoosier poet; Booth Tarkington, author; and John Dillinger, bank robber.

    Jill and I took a guided tour of this 200-year-old cemetery one beautiful Sunday afternoon in April, 2005. It's so large that it is on both sides of 38th Street with a crossing via a tunnel.

    It's name comes from the actual hill crown that rises to the highest point in the cemetery and the county! That is where James Whitcomb Riley is buried in the middle of this crown. It is a place with grand vistas.

    There's an orphans' lot and a Confederate soldiers' lot as well as a huge area for Union soldiers.

    Our tour was called the "Heritage" and is the most popular of all the tours. It presented the history of the cemetery and took us to interesting people's graves. We saw a variety of monuments and statues. It lasted about one hour and forty-five minutes and covered over one mile. It cost $5.00.

    This cemetery has a Peace Chapel, Garden Mausoleums, and the new Pine Mausoleum. We saw the National Cemetery (within the Crown Hill Cemetery) that is dedicated to those who served the country.

    Almost 200,00 citizens are buried here. Of all the things I saw in Indianapolis, The Crown Hill Cemetery had the greatest impact on me personally.

    Crown Hill Cemetery
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