80 Fun Activities for $5 or Less in Indianapolis

“What are we going to do today?” whines one. “I’m bored!” cries another. Soon a chorus of complaints fills the air. The bubble of bliss has popped, and they won’t stop until a solution has been found. It’s hard to balance daily entertainment with a reasonable budget, but Indy’s Child has you covered.

For more free fun, check out our list of free things to do in Indianapolis with kids or free Indianapolis events this month. 

The list below opens up many possibilities for fun activities for $5 (per person) or less in Indianapolis!

SUMMER VERSION

  1. Try for a turkey with Indy’s Kids Bowl Free Program!  Children participating must register online beforehand. Free
  2. Pack a picnic for the Concerts on the Canal.  Free seating in the lawn.
  3. Catch a $1 summer movie at Regal Cinemas.
  4. Visit several local museums during Free Museum Days.  Many museums around Indianapolis offer free admission on different dates throughout the year. Free.
  5. Soak up the sun at Saxony Beach in Fishers. Free for Fishers residents, $5 for non-residents.

    Saxony Lake & Beach in Fishers
    Saxony Lake & Beach in Fishers
  6. Go on a self-guided tour at Wolf Park, a 70-acre nonprofit park dedicated to providing habitat to wolves, foxes, bison, and other animals for educational purposes. Self Guided tours are $5/person.
  7. Catch a discount movie at Flix Brewhouse for only $5.25 all day on Wednesdays. 
  8. Browse the local Farmer’s Market. 
  9. Gather around the campfire at Cool Creek Nature Center for their weekly themed Cool Creek Campfire series. Free

    Cool Creek Campfire
    Cool Creek Campfire series
  10. Take your trip to the playground to a whole new level at one of the top 10 coolest playgrounds in Indianapolis. Free.
  11. Take in the fresh air on one of Indianapolis’ hiking trails. Some parks require small entry fees but most are free!
  12. Rent a free Nature Exploration Backpack from Fishers Parks. Free
  13. Explore Greenwood’s KidCity indoor playground, $5/kid, adults are free. 
  14. Learn about agriculture at AgriPark in Fishers. Free
  15. Jam out at the Clay Terrace Summer Concert Series. Free
  16. Go Climb a Tree at The Treehouse at Plainfield Christian Church. Free.

    The Treehouse at Plainfield Christian Church - Free things to do in indiananapolis
    The Treehouse at Plainfield Christian Church.
  17. Create a masterpiece at Ignite Art Studio and Makerspace in Fishers. Free. 
  18. Ride the zip line at the Nature Adventure Playground at Jill Perelman Pavilion. Free.
  19. Attend a Touch-a-Truck event. Many Indianapolis events are free, but almost all are under $5 per person. 
  20. Head downtown to the Indiana State Museum for weekly Canal Nights. Themes change weekly, and guests can expect fun hands-on activities. Free
  21. Splash around at Morse Beach in Noblesville. $5 per person.

    Morse Beach
    Morse Beach
  22. Visit and borrow a book from all of Indy’s unique Public Collection stations.
  23. Children 5 and under can paint for just $1 at Color me Mine every Monday (except on certain holidays).
  24. Climb away on the Treehouses at Flat Fork Creek. Free.
  25. Browse a locally owned bookstore
  26. Go for a swim at Indy Island Family Aquatic Center. Admission for kids ages 3-17 is $5. Admission for adults is $6. 

    Indy Island Aquatic Center
    Indy Island Aquatic Center
  1. Learn about space at the Carmel Planetarium. Once a month, the planetarium is open to the public for evening shows. Adults $4, Children $2. 
  2. Have donuts and a family game night at Doughnuts & Dragons. Games are free, and donuts prices range from $1.50-$2.75.
  3. Tour the Strawtown Enclosure Native American Village at Strawtown Koteewi Park. Free
  4. Have archeologists adventure at River Road Park. This one-of-a-kind park includes features you’ll see nowhere else around Indy. Free.

    River Rock Road
    River Rock Road
  5. Learn about wild birds at Bird Fever. Free.
  6. Take a family bike ride on one of our favorite bike paths in Indianapolis
  7. Explore Indianapolis in the form of a scavenger hunt. 
  8. Learn about the best of the best at the NCAA Hall of Fame! Admission is $5 for adults and $3 for kids and seniors (kids under 5 are free). 
  9. Find the perfect skipping rock at one of these nearby creeks. Free.
  10. Stroll the Children’s Garden at Coxhall Gardens, one of Indy’s most beautiful parks. Free.

    Things to do in Indianapolis: Children’s Garden at Coxhall Gardens
    Children’s Garden at Coxhall Gardens
  11. Explore any (or all) of Indy’s six cultural districts.
  12. Catch a family favorite movie at Grand Junction Plaza
  13. Respect the law and learn all about it at The Indiana State Police Museum. Donations are accepted. Free.
  14. Visit the interactive and fun Holliday Park Nature Center Free.
  15. Grad your frisbee, and head to one of these local disc golf courses
  16. Take a farm walk and watch the process of milking real cows at Trader’s Point Creamery! Admission is $3 and kids under 2 are free!

    Traders Point Creamery cows
    Traders Point Creamery. Photo credit: www.facebook.com/Traders-Point-Creamery-361064221639
  17. For all the cat and dog lovers, volunteer or schedule a free tour at the Indy Humane Society. 
  18. Catch an outdoor movie every Monday at Midtown Plaza in Carmel. Find the movie lineup here. Free!
  19. Walk around the ArtsPark at the Indianapolis Art Center. Free.ArtsPark at the Indianapolis Art Center - free things to do in indianapolis
  1. Get your art on! Admission to Newfields is free on the first Thursday of every month, 11 am-8 pm, for the general public. Make sure to reserve your ticket here!  Free.
  2. Take a stroll along the Indianapolis Cultural Trail.
  3. Head inside to one of these 10 places to play inside for FREE.
  4. Skate the night away at Skateland! Enjoy Family Fun Night every Tuesday from 6 pm-9 pm. $5 Admission if you bring your own skates!
  5. Practice yoga together as a family. Bi-monthly free class at Geist Park. Free
  6. Stomp out the creek on a nice spring day at Cool Creek Park. Free.
  7. Visit the Kawachinagano Japanese Garden in Carmel. Free.

    Kawachinagano Japanese Garden
    Kawachinagano Japanese Garden
  8. Discover the world of Geocaching as a family, and explore Indianapolis in a whole new way. 
  9. Create your own bath bomb at Buff City Soaps. Free with purchase from the shop. 
  10. Check out Royal Pin’s bowling specials at different locations around the city, like $2.50 early bird Sunday games, $2.50 game/$2.50 rental Monday night specials, and more.
  11. Play a family game of ping pong, shuffleboard, corn hole, or bocce ball at Midtown Plaza Carmel. Free

    Midtown Carmel playground
    Playground at Midtown Carmel Plaza
  12. Jam out at Daniels Vinyard during one of their free family concerts
  13. Spread love and joy by volunteering at the Mid-North Food Pantry.  Free.
  14. Hoosier history junkies of all ages should visit the Indiana War Memorial Museum, depicting the chronological timeline of Indiana’s role in our nation’s conflicts. Open Wednesday – Sunday, 9:00am – 5:00pm. Free.
  15. Spend the day watching traffic go by at The Idle. Benches are set up to watch traffic at the intersection of I-65 and I-70. 
  16. Enjoy $6 (so close!) per person admission to The Children’s Museum on the first Thursday of the month. 
  17. Discover Grand Junction Plaza, a newly opened space in downtown Westfield.

    Grand Junction Plaza Opens in Westfield
    Grand Junction Plaza in Westfield
  18. For plane and engine lovers, the Rolls-Royce Heritage Trust Allison Branch might just be heaven, hosting an impressively extensive collection of aircraft engines. Open to the public Monday – Friday, 9:00am – 3:00pm. Free.
  19. Scope out The Carmel Fire Buffs and Fire Department Museum. Donations at the door are appreciated. Free.
  20. Go for a swim at George Washington Community School Pool. Free for children under 2; $2 for children 3-17; $3 for adults.
  21. Explore Indianapolis on the new IndyGo Red Line! Single rides with a 2-hour transfer are $1.75 and day passes are $4. Kids under 5 are free with a fare-paying rider.  
  22. Discover Indiana Flora and Fauna at the Zion Nature Center, open Friday – Sunday. Free.
  23. Explore The Learning Curve at Central Library! Free.
Central Library is a must visit thing to do in Indianapolis with kids
Central Library
  1. Explore a new playground destination.
  2. Head to any Royal Pin bowling alley Sunday morning for their early bird special. From 9 am-noon, all games are just $2.75.
  3. Climb on Funky Bones at the Virginia B. Fairbanks Art & Nature Park. Free.
  4. Enjoy First Fridays at the Indiana Landmarks Center on the first Friday evening of every month. Free.
  5. Did you know the Monon Trail stretches through Indy for 26 miles? Get the family outside on bikes, blades, or foot and enjoy one of Indy’s local treasures! Free.
  6. Spend a rainy day inside at Cornerstone Lutheran Church Indoor Playground. Free
  7. Visit Mass Ave on Sundays to explore fun stores without paying for the parking meter!
  8. Have you checked out the Colts Canal PlaySpace yet? Spanning about an acre on the north end of the Downtown Canal Walk and connected to the Cultural Trail, the whole family will enjoy this public play area. Free.
Things to do in Indianapolis: Colts Canal Playspace
Colts Canal PlaySpace
  1. Rent bikes through the Indiana Pacers Bikeshare. $1 to ride, plus 15 cents per minute, that’s almost a half-hour of fun for $5! 
  2. Climb to the top of the Soldiers and Sailors Monument on the Circle. Free.
  3. Spend a day at Eagle Creek! The park includes hiking trails, a playground, a nature center, and more. $5 per car for Marion County residents.
  4. Browse our free things to do this month calendar for even more ideas! 
  5. Stuck at home? Here are 70 Activities to try anytime

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