Ready for a blast from the past? Check out Indy’s retro scene with this guide to vintage fun in Indianapolis. From classic diners to retro bowling alleys, there’s something for everyone with vintage fun in Indianapolis.
Indy’s Retro Scene: A Guide to Vintage Fun in Indianapolis
Are you a fan of all things vintage? Do you love stepping back in time to experience the charm of a bygone era? If so, you won’t want to miss out on Indianapolis’ retro scene. This guide will take you on a journey through the city’s top vintage hotspots. From classic diners and drive-ins to historic theaters and throwback museums, there’s something for everyone. So put on your dancing shoes, roll up your sleeves, and get ready to explore Indy’s Retro Scene.
Vintage Fun in Indianapolis – Classic Diners and Drive-Ins
After exploring the vintage theaters and museums, it’s time to grab a bite to eat at one of Indy’s classic diners or drive-ins. These retro spots offer not only delicious food but a nostalgic experience. Think chrome barstools, jukeboxes, and waitresses in poodle skirts.
One popular spot is Mug-n-Bun, a drive-in that’s been serving root beer and burgers since 1960. Another must-visit is the Steer-In, a diner that’s been a local favorite since 1960 and is known for its pork tenderloin sandwiches.
Vintage Fun in Indianapolis – Retro Bowling Alleys
After indulging in Indy’s classic diners and drive-ins, it’s time to get active and have some retro fun. Enter Indy’s retro bowling alleys – the perfect place to burn off those burgers and fries. These alleys have a unique charm, thanks to their neon lights, vintage décor, and classic bowling experience. Head to the Atomic Bowl Duckpin in Fountain Square for a mini bowling experience and a chance to play classic arcade games. Speaking with firsthand experience, Duckpin Bowling is much harder than it looks!
Or, for a more upscale experience, check out Pinheads in Fishers, which offers 16 bowling lanes and a full-service bar. With so many options, these throwback bowling alleys are sure to provide a good time. And, if you’re not quite ready to end your retro journey just yet, next up is vintage shopping.
Vintage Fun in Indianapolis – Vintage Shopping
If you’re looking to continue your retro journey in Indianapolis, vintage shopping should be next on your list. Indy has plenty of vintage shops with unique and offbeat finds for every taste. For those who love to rummage through piles of clothing and accessories, Rag-O-Rama in Broad Ripple and Broad Ripple Vintage are must-visit destinations. The satisfaction of finding a one-of-a-kind treasure is worth the hunt.
If antiques are more your style, Midland Arts and Antiques Market in Downtown Indy is the place to go. With over 200 antique dealers and vendors, you’ll find everything from vintage furniture to rare collectibles. Another gem is Society of Salvage, which specializes in industrial and architectural salvage pieces.
Once you’ve satisfied your urge to shop, it’s time to head to Indy’s historic theatres. These grand venues have been preserved over the years and offer an unforgettable movie-watching experience.
Vintage Fun in Indianapolis – Historic Theatres
Indy’s Retro Scene is not just about unique shopping experiences; it also boasts historic theaters that transport you back in time. These theaters have preserved their grandeur and charm over the years, making them an unforgettable destination for movie enthusiasts.
But if you’re looking for a true blast from the past, head to the Madame Walker Legacy Center. This historic landmark dates back to the early 1900s and was once the hub of African American culture in Indy. It now hosts a variety of events, including concerts, plays, and dance performances, with a focus on showcasing African American art and culture. A visit to the Madame Walker Theatre Center is the perfect way to round out your retro adventure in Indianapolis.
Whether you’re a classic movie buff or just looking for a unique cinematic experience, there’s something for everyone at these iconic venues. After a day of vintage shopping and classic movie-watching, make sure to visit Indy’s throwback museums to complete your retro adventure.
Vintage Fun in Indianapolis – Throwback Museums
Indy’s throwback museums offer a glimpse into the past and make you feel like you’ve traveled through time. The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, one of the largest children’s museums in the world, has a collection of vintage toys that will bring back fond memories for adults and provide new play experiences for children.
The Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art (located in the White River State Park area of the city) showcases Native American art and culture, as well as works by contemporary artists inspired by the American West. For aviation enthusiasts, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum has a collection of historical race cars and memorabilia.
These throwback museums offer a perfect complement to Indy’s other retro attractions, providing visitors with an all-encompassing retro experience. After immersing yourself in Indy’s history, it’s time to experience some old-school entertainment at the city’s retro bars and arcades.,
Vintage Fun in Indianapolis – Old-School Entertainment
After a day spent exploring Indy’s throwback museums, it’s time to indulge in some old-school entertainment. The city boasts several retro bars and arcades that transport visitors back to a bygone era. Tappers Arcade Bar has a selection of classic arcade games, pinball machines, and craft beer. The Inferno Room, a tiki bar with a 1960s vibe, offers exotic cocktails and tropical decor. For a more laid-back atmosphere, check out the Ball & Biscuit, a speakeasy-style bar with vintage furnishings and a cozy ambiance.
Vintage Fun in Indianapolis – Stutz Factory
And if you’re still craving more vintage vibes, the The Stutz Factory is the next stop on your list. This former automobile factory turned creative community is a must-visit for anyone interested in art, design, and history. Wander through the halls to see art studios, galleries, and antique cars on display. Who knows? You might even catch a glimpse of an artist at work.
The Stutz Factory is a perfect example of how the past can be repurposed into a modern venue for creativity and collaboration. A visit to this former automobile factory will leave you in awe of the art studios, galleries, and antique cars on display.
Vintage Fun in Indianapolis – Newfields
After visiting the Stutz Factory and experiencing its vintage charm, it’s worth making your way to Newfields. Newfields is a sprawling 152-acre campus located on the northside of Indianapolis that is home to the Indianapolis Museum of Art, the Lilly House, and The Garden.
The campus is a hub of art and culture, with a stunning collection of over 50,000 works of art on display. From contemporary installations to Renaissance masterpieces, Newfields has something for everyone. Additionally, the Lilly House offers a glimpse into the opulent lifestyle of the city’s elite during the 1920s and 30s, with guided tours available to learn more about the collection and its history.
But the real gem of Newfields is The Garden, a breathtakingly beautiful landscape that features 26 distinct garden spaces. The Garden offers visitors a peaceful retreat from the hustle and bustle of the city, with perfectly manicured lawns, picturesque fountains, and winding paths that lead to hidden nooks and crannies.
Whether you’re an art lover, a history buff, or simply someone who appreciates the beauty of nature, Newfields is a must-visit destination in Indianapolis. It’s the perfect place to soak up the city’s culture and history while also taking a moment to relax and enjoy the serene surroundings.
Where to Stay in Indianapolis for Retro Lovers – Crowne Plaza Downtown Union Station
If there’s one place to stay in Indianapolis filled with an historic, retro look and feel, it’s Crowne Plaza Downtown Union Station – especially if you stay in an actual train car.
Yep, I had the absolute pleasure of walking up the steps and into a king room filled with all of the modern conveniences you can think of. Truly a unique experience, the train cars were ones that were actually used when the station was in its full glory. The bed was super comfy, the bathroom small but still lovely, and the indoor view was peaceful and calm.
Vintage Fun in Indianapolis – In a Nutshell
In Indianapolis, the retro scene is alive and thriving. From classic diners to historic theaters, there is no shortage of vintage fun to be had in this city. Whether you’re a local or just passing through, take the time to explore Indy’s retro gems, and create some unforgettable memories with friends and family. As the saying goes, “the past is never dead, it’s not even past.” So, put on your retro gear, and head out to experience Indianapolis in all its vintage glory.