50 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. 

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

 

  1. Beat the summer heat at one of the best splash pads around Indianapolis
  2. Try for a turkey with Indy’s Kids Bowl Free Program!  Children participating must register online beforehand. Kids are free. 
  3. Catch an outdoor movie every Monday at Midtown Plaza in Carmel. Find the movie lineup here. Free!

    MOVIES at MIDTOWN
    Midtown Plaza; Photo Credit: facebook.com/midtowncarmelin
  4. Take in the fresh air on one of Indianapolis’ hiking trails. Some parks require small entry fees and some are free!
  5. Take your trip to the playground to a whole new level at one the top 10 coolest playgrounds in Indianapolis. Free.
  6. Enjoy live music every Thursday in July at the Indiana Historical Society, during Concerts on the Canal. Free.
  7. Visit and borrow a book from all of Indy’s unique Public Collection stations.

Public Collection, Martin Luther King, Jr. Park

  1. Climb away on the Treehouses at Flat Fork Creek. Free.
  2. Foster imagination at the Museum of Miniature houses!  Admission is $5 for kids aged 3-9.
  3. Have donuts and a family game night at Doughnuts & Dragons. Games are free, and donuts prices range from $1.50-$2.75.
  4. 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). 
  5. Go creek stomping! Free.
  6. Stroll the Children’s Garden at Coxhall Gardens, one of Indy’s most beautiful parks. Free.

    Children’s Garden at Coxhall Gardens
    Children’s Garden at Coxhall Gardens
  7. Explore any (or all) of Indy’s six cultural districts.
  8. Respect the law and learn all about it at The Indiana State Police Museum. Donations are accepted. Free.
  9. Head to the Garfield Park Arts Center for Arts for All to grab a project take-home kit. Kits are FREE, but require registration online for pickup. Once you have registered, you can pick up your kit up to a week following enrollment. Free!
  10. 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
  11. For all the cat and dog lovers, volunteer or schedule a free tour at the Indy Humane Society.
  12. 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.
  13. Take a stroll along the Indianapolis Cultural Trail.
  14. 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!
  15. Stomp out the creek on a nice spring day at Cool Creek Park. Free.
  16. Visit the Kawachinagano Japanese Garden in Carmel. Free.

    Kawachinagano Japanese Garden
    Kawachinagano Japanese Garden
  17. Discover the world of Geocaching as a family, and explore Indianapolis in a whole new way. 
  18. Not in Indy but road trip-worthy nonetheless. Roll your own beeswax candle at Hunters Honey Farm! Cost ranges from $3.25 – $4.50. The farm offers many other activities at varying prices as well.
  19. Enjoy $1 family movies on Tuesdays and Wednesdays all summer long with Regal Summer Movie Express!
  20. 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.
  21. Spread love and joy by volunteering at the Mid-North Food PantryFree.
  22. 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.
  23. Explore Kid City at Greenwood Community Center. This indoor playground is just $4 per child. Accompanying adults are free.

Kid City at Greenwood Community Center

  1. Use our comprehensive guide to explore Indianapolis’ parks. Free! 
  2. Visit the interactive and fun Holliday Park Nature Center. Free.
  3. Enjoy $6 per person admission to The Children’s Museum on the first Thursday of the month. 
  4. Have a beach day at Saxony Lake & Beach in Fishers. Fishers residents are free, and everyone else is just $5. 
  5. Or spend the day relaxing at Morse Beach in Noblesville. $4/person.

    Morse Beach
    Morse Beach. Photo credit: www.facebook.com/myhcpr
  6. For plane and engine lovers, the Rolls-Royce Heritage Trust Allison Branch might just be heaven, hosting an impressive extensive collection of aircraft engines. Open to the public Monday – Friday, 9:00am – 3:00pm. Free.
  7. Scope out The Carmel Fire Buffs and Fire Department Museum. Donations at the door appreciated. Free.
  8. 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.  
  9. Walk around the ArtsPark at the Indianapolis Art Center. Free.
  10. Discover Indiana Flora and Fauna at the Zion Nature Center, open Friday – Sunday. Free.
  11. Explore The Learning Curve at Central Library! Free.

Central Library
Central Library

  1. Explore a new playground destination.
  2. Climb on Funky Bones at the Virginia B. Fairbanks Art & Nature Park. Free.
  3. Do you have a budding politician in your midst? Schedule a free tour of the Indiana Statehouse to learn about the branches of government, as well as the building’s history and architecture.
  4. Browse the Indianapolis City Market, or walk around the Summer Farmers’ Market from May – October.
  5. Enjoy Barnes & Noble Storytime and Activities. Free.
  6. Enjoy First Fridays at the Indiana Landmarks Center on the first Friday evening of every month. Free.
  7. 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.
  8. Visit Mass Ave on Sundays to explore fun stores without paying for the parking meter!
  9. 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.

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. Find somewhere to volunteer as a family
  4. Learn about agriculture at AgriPark in Fishers.

    Fishers AgriPark. Photo credit: www.facebook.com/FishersAgriPark
  5. 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.
  6. Road Trip to Fort Wayne and explore Promenade Park.
  7. Learn something new on a tour of Strawtown Enclosure, a Native American village that was inhabited over 700 years ago.

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