(Written by Indianapolis native, Erika Hanes)
Within the last decade, Indianapolis has gotten really cool for adults. No, like, REALLY cool. The expansion of Mass Ave, the increase in breweries, and the addition of funky, small businesses has completely changed the look and feel of the city from when I was a kid and thought it was really boring. For a great night out without the kiddos, I recommend any of the following:
1. Eat and Drink on Mass Ave.Mass Ave, or Massachusetts Avenue, has some of the funkiest hole-in-the-wall bars and eateries, mixed with upscale fancy gastropub experiences. From Old Point Tavern to Mesh to Chatham Tap to Pizzology, you’re bound to find something that attracts you and keeps your interest. If you’re up for it, start at one end of Mass Ave and see how far you get before you’re stuffed and can’t walk!
2. The Rathskellar
Technically, this is part of Mass Ave but The Rathskellar is an experience all on its own. Modeled after the German biergartens, this bar has every kind of beer and a fantastic “meat-and-potatoes” menu. In the summer, you can enjoy outdoor blues, country, rock, or polka concerts in the gorgeous back deck. It is conveniently located right across the street from the Murat Theatre, so if you’re in town to see a show, you can either start at The Rathskellar and then go see the show, or you can go afterwards and have post-show drinks.
3. Indianapolis Museum of Art
For a romantic time away, try the Indianapolis Museum of Art. The standard exhibits are always interesting, and they usually have intriguing special exhibits as well. Aside from its world renowned art, the museum is famous for its large, rolling gardens (where I had my senior pictures taken). Take a romantic stroll through the trees and wild flowers, and just enjoy each other’s company on a nice day.
4. Indiana Repertory TheatreIf you like live theatre, catch a show at the Indiana Repertory Theatre. The theatre is an extravagant art deco building that still gives me chills every time I see it. I’ve seen everything from A Christmas Carol to A Midsummer Night’s Dream in that theatre, so you should be able to find something to enjoy no matter what your theatrical preferences are.
5. Follow the Canal
For a day outside in the city, you have to follow the Canal Walk in White River State Park. The canal curves through the city and touches lots of shops, restaurants, and other attractions. You can even take a paddle boat out on the canal, or rent a gondola and have someone else do all the work while you take in the scenery.
6. Eat at 3 Sisters Cafe
Located in Broad Ripple, 3 Sisters Cafe is a staple of the Indianapolis brunch scene. The restaurant is in a quaint renovated Victorian house painted in bright colors. Each room has a different theme and decor, so before you get seated, take a look around. Parking is scant, but the food is so worth it (think: blueberry goat cheese pie). The restaurant has increased in popularity, and was even featured on the Food Network. It’s not far from the Monon trail, so you could get in some exercise beforehand and then enjoy a fantastic brunch.
Whatever you choose to do during your time without your kids, you’ll find something to enjoy in Indianapolis. The important thing is to appreciate the time away to recharge, as in the end that little break will make you a better parent. Have fun! (And if the kids are along, we’ve got 6 things for you to try out with them, too!)
– Written by Erika Hanes, Jane of all trades, Master of PR and Advertising from DePaul University, craft beer and heavy metal gumshoe, traveler, and life-long boat rocker.
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