It’s tough to keep the kids entertained during summer break,
but there are many reasonably-priced events that won’t break your summer
budget. You just have to know where to look.
To help eliminate the amount of times your child says, “I’m
bored!” this summer, we searched for and found a list of fun and inexpensive
things to do throughout the city.
Our Top 10 activities for under $20 is a sure-fire way to
beat summer boredom. Several of these activities are free, while others cost
less than $20 per person.
Now go out and have some great family fun before school’s
back in session!
1. The Downtown
Canal Walk is a great way to see the city and enjoy time along the popular 3-mile
walking path. You can rent a kayak ($20 for a single), walk or ride your bike
along the pathway, have a picnic or simply feed the ducks! Don’t forget to
check out the public art scattered along the way. There are some great works by
local artists to enjoy. The pedal boats, gondoliers and two-person kayaks are
great options, too, just know that they’ll set you back more than $20.
2. Enjoy $1 movies during the Summer Movie Express
at Regal Cinemas
on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. This nine-week program offers two family-friendly
movies playing on both days. Tickets are available at the theater box office,
with all movies starting at 10 a.m. A portion of the proceeds goes to the Will
3. Who says summer can’t be educational, too? Take
the family on a visit to the NCAA
Hall of Champions to expose them to college and athletics at the same time.
Featuring fun and interactive exhibits, it’s a great way to learn about some of
today’s top athletic programs. Admission for adults is $5, $3 for children age
6–18, and free for children 5 and younger.
4. Don’t miss one of Indy’s best attractions! Stop
Children’s Museum of Indianapolis on the first Thursday of each month from
4–8 p.m. for FREE admission! Be sure to check out the new “Beyond Spaceship
Earth” exhibit and the popular “Hot Wheels — Race to Win,” which returned to
the museum in May. Dinosphere is always a hit with future paleontologists and
future doctors will love exploring “Doc McStuffins: The Exhibit.”
5. The Indianapolis
Museum of Art has something for every member of your family. While there is
an admission fee to check out many of the exhibits inside, various areas on the
campus are free — including the Virginia B. Fairbanks Art and Nature Park and
100 Acres, Robert Indiana’s “LOVE” sculpture and Roy Lichtenstein’s “Five
Brushstrokes” sculpture. Inside you’ll find more than a dozen current exhibitions,
and don’t forget to check out IMA Mini Golf, which is included in the price of
admission. Speaking of admission, it’s $18 for adults, $10 for children 6–17
and free for ages 5 and younger. If you time things just right, you can take
advantage of FREE general admission on the first Thursday of each month from
6. Grab the entire family for an Indianapolis
Indian’s baseball game. From the ballpark seats to the lawn, Victory Field
is a great place to watch a minor league baseball game. The Indians offer lots
of giveaways and specials like Monday Dollar Menu, 2-for-1 Tuesdays and Kids
Eat Free Sundays, so there’s always a way to save a few bucks with the home
team. Tickets are $10 for adults and $9 for youths.
7. Get lost in a book or enjoy a family-friendly
movie night during Summer Showtime at the Indianapolis
Public Library. The film series features box office hits, including “Star
Wars: The Force Awakens” (PG-13), “Inside Out” (PG), “The Good Dinosaur” (PG)
and “Ant Man” (PG-13). Dates, show times and movies vary per library branch.
Movies run through July 30 and are FREE.
8. If you’re not afraid of heights or are a bit of
a daredevil, take a ride in a hot-air balloon at Conner
Prairie Interactive History Park. The 1859 Balloon Voyage ($12 Conner
Prairie members; $15 non-members; $10 for groups of 15 or more) runs multiple
times a day, weather permitting. The balloon flies up to 370 feet and rides
lasts from 10 to 15 minutes (including ascending, viewing and descending). Save even
more money with a $3 coupon on Conner Prairie’s website.
9. If family fitness is a goal in your house,
Downtown Indy’s 2016 Summer Series hosts Workout
Wednesdays to help all ages stay or get in shape. The day begins with
Sunrise Yoga on the Canal (presented by Invoke Studio) from 6 to 6:45 a.m.
Bring your own mat and prepare to greet the sun on the Vermont Street Plaza on
the canal. (Parking is free until 7 a.m.) If yoga is not your thing or it’s
just a bit too early for you, Cardio on Georgia Street (presented by the YMCA
of Greater Indianapolis) runs from noon to 12:45 p.m. Wait! Did we mention that
both classes are FREE? All fitness
levels are welcome.
10. Grab your bike and or take a walk along the
Cultural Trail. Along this journey you’ll pass plenty of public art and
downtown cultural attractions (hence the name), including the Indiana Repertory
Theatre, Old National Centre, the Art Bank and more. Don’t forget to watch for
the nine public artworks, and the 12 luminaries in the Glick Peace Walk. Using
the Cultural Trail is FREE.
additional places to try:
- Check out “The Park” — the giant indoor
playground at Trader’s
Point Christian Church. And, no, you don’t have to be a member of the
church to have fun here. The “park” is open to the public. Featuring slides,
tubes to crawl through and lots of space to climb and jump, this is a dream
park for most kids and adults. It’s a great alternative any day, but especially
during inclement weather. Admission is FREE.
- Visit the Original
Farmers’ Market at the Indianapolis City Market. It’s a chance to taste a
variety of food from the city’s array of chefs and restaurant owners. You can
also watch one of the weekly cooking demonstrations or sample the many sweet
treats — from macaroons to crepes to chocolate chip cookies. Food prices vary.
Admission is FREE.
- There’s lots to do at Eagle
Creek Park. With more than 3,900 acres of land and a 1,400 acre lake, it’s
the perfect spot for hikers, bird-watchers, sailors, fishermen and more.
There’s even a swimming beach and picnic areas. Daily vehicle admission is $5
for Marion County residents.
- Grab your bike, blades or running shoes for a
stroll down the Monon
Trail! Completed in 2003, the popular trail is 10.4 miles from 10th
Street to 96th Street. It’s a great way to see the city from a
- Catch a cultural event or browse the wide
selection of new and used books at Indy
Reads Books. Situated along the Mass Avenue corridor of the Indianapolis
Cultural Trail, Indy Reads Books is a revenue source for Indy Reads, a non-profit
organization that helps to improve the literacy skills of adults in Central