6 Amazing Things To Do In Indiana (2023)
Indiana is one of the most beautiful states in the United States, known for its rich history and culture. There are so many fun things to do in Indiana that you will not want to leave. From family-friendly tourist attractions in Bloomington, Fort Wayne, and Lafayette, there are many places to visit and things to do. With so many unique museums across the state of Indiana, you will have many opportunities to combine fun with educational value, especially for children.
At the same time, Indiana is also the perfect destination for adventure lovers who get to explore incredible places like the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore and Prophetstown State Park, along with many other camping sites, hiking trails, and of course, the breathtaking scenery.
6 Amazing Things To Do In Indiana
Here are some of the top things to do in Indiana to keep in mind before you plan your trip to this stunning state.
1. Check out the Market Street Catacombs in Indianapolis
One of the most exciting and unique things to do in Indiana is to explore the one-of-its-kind market street catacombs located in the capital city of Indianapolis. This highly mysterious underground network of passageways was constructed in 1886, and it is hidden underneath downtown Indianapolis.
The Market Street Catacombs are spread out over 22,000 square feet, and the elaborate underground system has over 130 columns that give it a labyrinth kind of look and feel. However, visitors can relax knowing that there are no dead bodies or even paranormal sightings here.
Tunneled underneath the streets of this bustling city with brick and limestone archways, the catacombs were used for transporting and storing meats and other products that were to be sold in the City Market. This huge subterranean area remained much cooler than the streets above, which is why the catacombs were used to help preserve food for the whole market at night while the vendors waited to set up stalls again the next day.
Today, over a century later, several parts of the catacombs are still remarkably intact, but certain parts are crumbling because of their limestone foundations. Owing to the excellent preservation efforts of the City Market, the Indianapolis catacombs are one of the few catacomb sites that still exist in the US.
The best way to explore this magnificent underground labyrinth is to join a tour offered by the Indiana Landmarks. There are guided tours that are available on every third first, and third Saturday of the month.
2. Check Out The Indianapolis Children’s Museum
One of the first things you should do if you are in the capital city is to check out the Indianapolis Children’s Museum. This museum is a wondrous place to visit with the entire family. This large and fascinating place is spread over 29 acres in the United Northwest neighborhood of the city. It is known as the largest children’s museum in the world, being home to many different exhibits and hands-on science displays that range from the astronauts living on the International Space Station to the time when dinosaurs roamed the planet.
This museum is a favorite with children of all ages, but at the same time, it provides an incredible learning experience for the parents as well. Out of the many collections housed here, you will find thousands of artifacts, interactive experiences, and photo opportunities. Some of the popular exhibits you can check out at this famous museum include a children’s theater, planetarium, and many outdoor exhibits, including the hugely awe-inspiring Tree of Sports playground.
Some of the other must-see exhibits here include the 43-foot tall Dale Chihuly glass sculpture, and an interactive playscape that is designed just for preschoolers, and many full-sized dinosaur skeletons, including one of the few mummified dinosaurs in the world.
Apart from offering full-day family outings, the museum also arranges numerous daily events and programs. Some of these exciting events include costume-building workshops, Astronaut Training aboard the International Space Station, and a Secrets of the Lab series where children get to indulge in many do-it-yourself science projects. Another unique feature of this children’s museum is a restored carousel that dates back to 1917, located on the fourth level of the facility.
3. A Visit to a Living History Museum – the Conner Prairie Interactive History Park
Located in Fishers, the Conner Prairie Interactive History Park is literally a living history museum. For history buffs, this is the best way to dive into the past. Conner Prairie is a unique recreation of how local life used to be like in the 19th century. Not only is this an educational visit, but you will also find many fun and engaging activities to take part in here.
While here, you must check out the William Conner home, which is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places. There are numerous exhibits, activities, and interactive fun to be had for people of all ages here. This is the perfect attraction to visit in Indiana to take a step back in time and find out what life was like so many decades ago.
Apart from these popular attractions, there are many other incredible places to visit in the beautiful state of Indiana, including the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument in Indianapolis, the Holiday World & Splashin Safari in Santa Claus, the Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, the Marengo Cave National Landmark in Marengo, the Brown County State Park in Nashville, and many others. So make sure you spare at least a week’s time to explore this exciting state.
4. Get Behind the Wheels of a Real NTT IndyCar Series Car at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway
For those who have a need for speed, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway is the best place to visit in Indiana. The Indianapolis Motor Speedway is home to the famous IndyCar Series, the NASCAR Cup Series, and many other leading races in the US. Unlike other states that have many rules about visiting race tracks, you can head over to this motor speedway to watch many famous races, including the popular Indy 500. Not many people know that you can even take a test drive with an on-track experience with the Indy Racing Experience Driving Program that lets you take a car for a spin.
At the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, you get to sit behind the wheels of a near NTT IndyCar Series car, which is a car that has actually taken part and competed in the Indy 500 race. While the speed is up to you, but imagine being able to power up to 180 miles an hour.
After spending some time on the track, you can take a full Indianapolis Motor Speedway tour that is offered by the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum. Here you get access to many behind-the-scenes landmarks at the speedway, including learning about the detailed history of this complex.
At the museum, you will also get to check out several rare sports cars, trophies, and many other unique and unusual artifacts from the world of motorsports that are all showcased here in Indianapolis.
5. The Stunning Indiana Dunes National Park
Spread out over more than 15,000 acres, the Indiana Dunes National Park is one of the most diverse ecosystems in Indiana. This magnificent national park is home to forests, swamps, prairies, savannas, and even wetlands. And as the name suggests, it has many sand dunes as well.
However, the natural beauty of the park is not the only reason to visit this place. Indiana Dunes National Park is the best place to enjoy all types of adventure and outdoor activities. From camping under the stars to hiking through the dense green forest, there are many adventures awaiting people of all ages.
And the best part is that you can visit the part at any time of the year and you will find many different activities to enjoy. The park offers horseback riding in the summer months, and cross-country skiing is a very popular activity in the winter. No matter the time of the year, there is always plenty of stuff to do here.
6. A Visit to the Antique Alley
If you like to check out antique things, then a visit to Indiana’s famous Antique Alley in Richmond County is a must. There are thousands of people who take antiquing to be a very serious hobby and are always looking for something old and classy to add to their collection instead of running after the latest fad.
To reach this fascinating place, you need to hop into your car and drive on the 60-mile Historic National Road that connects Richmond to Knightstown. You will find over 1000 antique dealers lining this national route, their shops inviting you to check out the many antique treasures. You can peacefully spend the day browsing through thousands of antiques and also experiencing the peaceful Indiana countryside. This popular route is located in the historic Cambridge City, where there is even an entire mall dedicated to antiques and numerous antique dealers, all located within just a three block radius. So head over to the Historic National Road without any more delay to bag some unique and priceless antiques.