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Ten Free Things to Do in Indianapolis

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No money? No problem. You can still find plenty of things to do for free in Indianapolis. Check out this list of free activities for starters. You don't have to break the bank to have fun in Indy.

1. Visit the Art Museum

Indianapolis Museum of Art
Chuck Szmurlo/Wikimedia Commons

Explore works of art at the Indianapolis Art Museum. The IMA offers ten exhibits, including decorative art, textile and fashion art, contemporary art, and art representing different parts of the world, and best of all, admission is free.

2. Get Free Books, Movies, and Music

Check out free books, movies, and music at any of the Indianapolis Marion County Public Library’s many branches throughout the city. Visit the branch nearest you and see for yourself all that it has to offer. Library cards are free to Marion County residents.

3. Climb the Soldiers and Sailors Monument

Put on your walking shoes and climb to the glassed-in observation platform of the Soldiers and Sailors Monument, located in the center of Monument Circle downtown. The monument stands just 15 feet shorter than the Statue of Liberty, and affords a panoramic view of the city. A Civil War exhibit is featured on the lower level.

4. Find an Opportunity to Volunteer

Volunteer your time and talents and make a difference in the lives of local residents. To find an opportunity that’s right for you, visit Volunteer Match.

5. See the World-Renowned Children's Museum

Visit the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis at 3000 N. Meridian St. (phone 317-334-3322) free of charge the first Thursday of each month from 4-8 p.m. Admission is also free on December 24 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., on Martin Luther King Jr. Day (Jan. 18, 2010), and on Presidents Day (Feb. 15, 2010). Free parking is available in the museum’s parking garage on the west side of Illinois Street.

6. Go Window Shopping at Indiana's Biggest Mall

Copyright: Ellie Snyder

Go window shopping. It doesn’t cost anything to look. Check out Castleton Square, Indiana’s biggest mall, on Indy’s northeast side. Some folks take advantage of this indoor mall's long corridors to do some power walking.

7. Browse Art Boutiques

Take a stroll down Mass Avenue to see a bevy of unique shops and art galleries. One of six designated cultural districts in Indianapolis, it’s located just a few blocks northeast of Monument Circle.

8. See Indy's Own Ruins

See The Ruins on Indy’s north side at Holliday Park, 6363 Spring Mill Rd. (phone 317-327-7180). Here you’ll find three massive statues made of Indiana limestone, representing “The Races of Man,” designed by famed architectural sculptor Karl Bitter. Holliday Park became the home of the statues after their original location, the St. Paul Building in New York City, met its demise in the 1950s.

9. Take a Walking Tour of Lockerbie Square

Copyright: Ellie Snyder

Take a walking tour of Lockerbie Square, Indianapolis’s oldest surviving residential neighborhood, and the former home of famous Hoosier poet James Whitcomb Riley. Lockerbie Square is the first historic district to be placed on the National Register of Historic Places.

10. Go Play in the Park

The Indianapolis Department of Parks and Recreation maintains 206 parks in Marion County, ranging from six large regional parks to community and neighborhood/mini parks. Check out the IndyParks Web site to find the park nearest you.

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