Indianapolis, Indiana, is such a cool Midwestern city. It’s filled with great food, awesome accommodations, and super fun activities. So how do you narrow down exactly what to do on your next visit? From furry cuties to a coca-cola tribute, here are 7 cool things to do in Indianapolis right now.
7 Things to Do in Indianapolis Right Now
Disclosure: I was graciously hosted by the fine folk at Visit Indy to give you the scoop on the best things to do in Indianapolis. All opinions are honest and my own.
Paint with a Rhino
On my last trip to Indianapolis, I had the pleasure of visiting the Indianapolis Zoo for one of its behind the scenes animal encounters. Available during select times each day, you have your choice of 7 Indianapolis Zoo animal adventure encounters depending on your budget and what you’d like to do.
If you want to take home an adorable souvenir from your visit, try painting with a rhinoceros named Spike. Heads up, the rhinos do rotate for daily animal encounters so you may not get Spike, but what you will get is the chance to see a rhinoceros snack and create a personal painting for you. You also get to choose the colors you want so it’s totally customizable.
Check out a Tribute to Malala and Other Children with a Cause
The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis is a multilevel mecca of interactive exhibits and educational spots. On a typical visit, you can spy everything from classic toys to Nat Geo adventures to a larger than life Chihuly kaleidoscope to one of the most awesome exhibits I have ever seen on property.
If you know anything about Malala Yousafzai, you know that she is a women’s rights activist for female education, particularly in her home country of Pakistan. At a young age, she nearly lost her life from being shot in the head while vying for women’s educational rights. These days, Malala is a published author, a renowned speaker, and an all around amazing woman.
The exhibit, called The Power of Children: Making a Difference, not only showcases Malala, but other heroic children including Anne Frank, Ruby Bridges, and Ryan White. that made a positive mark on the world. Make sure to take plenty of time to mosey around the space, you won’t be sorry.
Things to Do in Indianapolis Right Now – Pay Homage to the World’s Fastest Bicyclist
Marshall “Major” Taylor was a man on a two-wheeled mission. Not only was he the world’s fastest bicyclist during his time, he was a segregated African American who had plenty to prove. Winning medals and breaking records with almost every race, his thousands of miles of training paid off for him with not only a badge of honor but a poignant look into his life during that time.
The Indiana State Museum has a massive space dedicated to the life and legacy of Mr. Taylor that you won’t want to miss, including one of the bikes. The exhibit called Major Taylor: Fastest Cyclist in the World, offers hands-on exhibits including speed time trials and three wheeled bicycles, but the best part is seeing photographs and reading quotes from the man himself.
Things to Do in Indianapolis Right Now – Gets Some Sloth Nose Boops
Another behind the scenes encounter at the Indy Zoo that I could not pass up was with a sloth named Sebastian The South American two-toed sloth is not only gentle, he is also adorable to watch.
During a typical encounter you’ll get to feed Sebastian or one of his sloth friends sloth and learn plenty of cool facts about their habitat and habits. And if you’re lucky, and the sloth is feeling extra energetic, you might just get a couple of nose boops on your phone like I did.
Things to Do in Indianapolis Right Now – Stay at a Coca-Cola Hotel Homage
The Bottleworks Hotel, by far one of the coolest boutique hotels in Indianapolis, sits in a refurbished Coca-Cola bottling plant, the largest one in the world when it opened. Its vibe has a monotone color palette with a pop of that famous Coca-Cola red, giving off an almost rock music vibe.
The guest rooms, particularly ones with a balcony area like the one I had, are downright spacious and utterly cool. Electric shades on slanted windows let in natural light that’s calming and the view of the night sky is perfect.
Even if you don’t stay the night there, I definitely suggest going for a visit and checking out the public spaces, there’s plenty to see.
Things to Do in Indianapolis Right Now – Try Some Garage Goodies
The Garage Food Hall, literally across the street from Bottleworks Hotel, is a chic city market meets international cuisine spot. Filled with stalls from everything to old-school burgers to ramen to Greek, if you can’t find anything to eat there you’re not trying hard enough.
And if you love a good retro scene, check out these 14 things to do for some retro fun in Indy right now.
Things to Do in Indianapolis Right Now – Have a Dino-Mite Experience
This year, Children’s Museum of Indianapolis premiered its newly renovated Dinosphere to the public. Using popular exhibits already in its collection (including the dino skeleton named for Harry Potter, Dracorex Hogwartsia), its massive expansion and interactive updates are definitely dino-tastic.
When you visit, make sure to keep an eye out for onsite paleontologist examining newly collected pieces from the museum’s dig site out in Wyoming. I had the pleasure of getting a behind the scenes tour of the lab and it was seriously a dream come true!