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Best things to do in Indianapolis

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Where in the world: USA  /  Indiana  /  Indianapolis

Top 15 things to do in Indianapolis

1. Room Escape Games

Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
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2. Children's Museum of Indianapolis

With five floors and more than 120,000 items, Children's Museum of Indianapolis is the world's largest children's museum. Adults and children can enjoy exploring American culture, international cultures, and natural science. Discover retro Barbie dolls; an Indonesian puppet's samurai suit of armor; and Bucky, the teenage T. Rex. Information is presented in a way that is easily accessible to children, with lots of interactive activities. Older children may want to visit the emotional exhibit about three extraordinary children: Anne Frank, Ryan White, and Ruby Bridges.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
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3. Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum

Home to the Indianapolis 500 and the city's Grand Prix, Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum is also known for its dedication to automotive and motorsports history. The speedway is famous for hosting some of the world's biggest races, and therefore the world's best drivers, since it was established in 1909. With the ability to hold up to 400,000 guests, it is the highest-capacity sports arena in the world. If you're in town for a race, or are just interested in learning more about racing, be sure to stop into the Hall of Fame Museum. The museum was founded in 1956 and was named a National Historic Landmark in 1987. Here you'll discover more than 75 cars, along with historical racing and automotive accessories and paraphernalia.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
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4. Indianapolis Zoo

The only U.S. institution accredited as a zoo, aquarium, and botanical gardens, Indianapolis Zoo is also the only Midwestern zoo with an in-water dolphin encounter program for its visitors. Explore animals in their specific habitats at each of the zoo's five biomes, or areas with similar climates, plants, and animals. Take a stroll through the botanical White River Gardens, interact with animals at the aquarium, or participate in one of its many educational programs. This nonprofit zoo is most committed to promoting and teaching the public about wildlife conservation.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
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5. Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden, Cincinnati

Home of the oldest zoo building in the United States, Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden is known for its extensive breeding and conservation program. In 1987, the oldest portions of the park were designated as National Historic Landmarks: the "Elephant House," the "Reptile House," and the "Passenger Pigeon Memorial." The reptile house claims the title of the oldest--it was built in 1875.
Suggested duration: 4 hours
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6. Kentucky Derby Museum, Louisville

Kentucky Derby Museum features two floors of artifacts and interactive displays that celebrate what some consider the most exciting two minutes in sports. Your first stop in the museum is the 360-degree theater, which screens the film "The Greatest Race." You're then welcome to explore the two floors on your own. Check out the interactive exhibit that allows you to record yourself announcing races with the assistance of a prompter screen. Or view the collection of Derby hats that have graced the heads of race goers since the opening of the track.
Suggested duration: 2h 30 min
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Tours including Kentucky Derby Museum:

7. Indianapolis Museum of Art

With a collection of over 54,000 African, American, Asian, and European works spanning 5,000 years, Indianapolis Museum of Art is the eighth-largest encyclopedic art museum in the United States. Established in 1883, it is the ninth oldest too. Visit international contemporary art exhibits and galleries of European paintings, sculptures, prints, and decorative arts. Find the statuette of a striding Egyptian official from the third millennium BCE. See African and Oceanic ritual masks and Native American child moccasins. Built on 62 hectares (152 acres) of land, the museum also features wooded areas, wetlands, open fields, a lake, hiking trails, and a florist.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
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8. Indiana Grand Racing & Casino, Shelbyville

Indiana Grand Racing & Casino, the closest casino to Indianapolis, is a Las Vegas-style gaming establishment that offers non-stop gaming action, fantastic food and a wide array of entertainment options all under one roof. The 233,000-square-foot facility features 2,000 high-tech slot machines and electronic table games including Blackjack, Roulette and Craps. The state-of-the-art Poker Room offers the best in Texas Hold’em.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
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9. Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory, Louisville

Delve into the world of America’s favorite pastime at the Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory. Home to the famous Louisville Slugger bat, the museum features a combination of hands-on, interactive exhibits dedicated to the history and legacy of American baseball. Practice your swing in the batting cages with one of your favorite bats, or join a factory tour to witness the fabrication of the Louisville Slugger. Don’t miss a picture with the 36.5 m (120 ft) tall bat, said to be the largest in the world, that adorns the museum’s front entrance. Pick up a replica of your favorite baseball player’s bat at the museum gift shop.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
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10. Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site

The Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site, previously known as the Benjamin Harrison Home, is the former home of the twenty-third president of the United States, Benjamin Harrison. It is in the Old Northside Historic District of Indianapolis, Indiana. Harrison's 16-room house was built from 1874 to 1875. It was from the front porch of the house that Harrison instituted his famous Front Porch Campaign in the 1888 United States presidential campaign, often speaking to crowds on the street. In 1896, Harrison renovated the house and added electricity. He died there in a second-story bedroom in 1901. Today it is owned by the Arthur Jordan Foundation and operated as a museum to the former president by the Benjamin Harrison Foundation.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
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11. Central Canal

Walk, paddle, or bike alongside the White River State Park at Central Canal. You can easily access many Indianapolis tourist attractions while traveling down this canal or its pathway, which runs beside 2.5 km (1.5 mi) of the state park. From here you'll have the chance to view the city's skyline and stop by the zoo, Indiana State Museum, IMAX Theater, and NCAA Hall of Champions, among other sites along the way. If you simply want to take in the scenery, you can walk, rent a bike or paddle boat, or hire a gondola for time on the canal.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
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13. Crown Hill Cemetery

Crown Hill Cemetery is a historic rural cemetery located at 700 West 38th Street in Indianapolis, Marion County, Indiana. The privately owned cemetery was established in 1863 at Strawberry Hill, whose summit was renamed "The Crown", a high point overlooking Indianapolis. It is approximately 2.8 miles (4.5 km) northwest of the city's center. Crown Hill was dedicated on June 1, 1864, and encompasses 555 acres (225 ha), making it the third largest non-governmental cemetery in the United States. Its grounds are based on the landscape designs of Pittsburgh landscape architect and cemetery superintendent John Chislett Sr and Prussian horticulturalist Adolph Strauch. In 1866, the U.S. government authorized a U.S. National Cemetery for Indianapolis. The 1.4-acre (0.57 ha) Crown Hill National Cemetery is located in Sections 9 and 10.

Crown Hill contains 25 miles (40 km) of paved road, over 150 species of trees and plants, over 225,000 graves, and services roughly 1,500 burials per year. Crown Hill is the final resting place for individuals from all walks of life, from political and civic leaders to ordinary citizens, infamous criminals, and unknowns. Benjamin Harrison, 23rd president of the United States, and Vice Presidents Charles W. Fairbanks, Thomas A. Hendricks, and Thomas R. Marshall are buried at Crown Hill. Infamous bank robber and "Public Enemy #1" John Dillinger is another internee. The gravesite of Hoosier poet James Whitcomb Riley overlooks the city from "The Crown".

Many of the cemetery's mausoleums, monuments, memorials, and structures were designed by architects, landscape designers, and sculptors such as Diedrich A. Bohlen, George Kessler, Rudolf Schwarz, Adolph Scherrer, and the architectural firms of D. A. Bolen and Son and Vonnegut and Bohn, among others. Works by contemporary sculptors include David L. Rodgers, Michael B. Wilson, and Eric Nordgulen.

The cemetery's administrative offices, mortuary, and crematorium are located at 38th Street and Clarendon Road on the cemetery's north grounds. Crown Hill's Waiting Station, built in 1885 at its east entrance on 34th Street and Boulevard Place, serves as a meeting place for tours and programs. The Crown Hill Heritage Foundation, a nonprofit corporation established in 1984, raises funds to preserve the cemetery's historic buildings and grounds. Crown Hill Cemetery was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on February 28, 1973.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
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14. The Eiteljorg Museum

The Eiteljorg Museum holds one of the country's finest collections of Native American art and artifacts, and it also presents a robust assemblage paintings and sculptures by artists from the American West. Make your way through exhibits of Native American relics, such as weapons, clothes, Hopi Katsina jewelry, and Inuit sculptures. Check out works by famous Taos Society artists, such as Georgia O'Keeffe and Randall Davey. The museum offers temporary exhibits in addition to its permanent collections, and numerous festivals and events also take place here throughout the year.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
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15. Beer Tastings & Tours

Suggested duration: 4 hours
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