78 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!

FALL VERSION

  1. Visit several local museums during Free Museum Days.  Many museums around Indianapolis offer free admission on different dates throughout the year. Next Event: Free admission to the Children’s Museum on Sept 25, 2022. Free!
  2. Head to Tuttle Orchards for a pumpkin. Admission to the field is free and you can take home a mini pumpkin for only $2.

    Tuttle Orchards
    Tuttle Orchards
  3. Grab your lawn chairs and blankets and enjoy a free outdoor concert in Greenwood. The new Greenwood Fall Concert Series is Free! 
  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 younger kids to ride a pony at Natural Valley Ranch. $5 for pony ride, $2 for animal interactions. pony ride Natural Valley Ranch
  6. Listen to live music all month long at The Apple Works. Admission is free, along with many of their fun fall activities. 
  7. Get lost inside the McCloud Nature Park fish-themed prairie maze. Free!
  8. Visit one of the top 10 Nature Centers in Central Indiana.
  9. Catch an outdoor movie every Monday (Saturdays beginning in November) at Midtown Plaza in Carmel. Find the 2022 movie lineup here. Free!

    MOVIES at MIDTOWN
    Midtown Plaza; Photo Credit: facebook.com/midtowncarmelin
  10. Get outside and enjoy the fall colors with your family. 
  11. Visit Nehemiah Ranch for free fall fun. Free.
  12. Visit Daniel’s Vineyard & Winery during one of their free fall events. 
  13. 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.
  14. Browse the local outdoor Farmer’s Market while you still can. 
     
  15. Take your trip to the playground to a whole new level at one of the top 10 coolest playgrounds in Indianapolis. Free.
  16. Visit the Treehouses at Flat Fork Creek, where you can climb and explore. Free.Flat Fork Creek Park
  17. Discover the stories of some of the greatest athletes in NCAA history at the NCAA Hall of Fame. Admission is $5 for adults and $3 for kids and seniors.
  18. 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.
  19. Pack a picnic and enjoy live music during a free concert. Part of Greenwood’s New Fall Concert Series. Free
  20.  Rent a free Nature Exploration Backpack from Fishers Parks. Free
  21. Let your kids run wild at Greenwood’s indoor playground, KidCity, for only $5 per child.
  22. Learn about agriculture at AgriPark in Fishers. Free
  23. Create a masterpiece at Ignite Art Studio and Makerspace in Fishers. Free. 
  24. Ride the zip line at the Nature Adventure Playground at Jill Perelman Pavilion. Free.
  25. 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.
  26. Visit and borrow a book from all of Indy’s unique Public Collection stations.
  27. Explore The Learning Curve at Central Library! Free.
    Central Library - free things to do in indianapolis
    Learning Curve, Central Library
     
  28. Browse a locally owned bookstore
  29. Learn about exotic birds at Bird Fever. Free. 
  30. 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 an 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. Find the perfect skipping rock at one of these nearby creeks. Free.
  9. 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
  10. Explore any (or all) of Indy’s six cultural districts.
  11. Catch a family favorite movie at Grand Junction Plaza. Free movies run through December. Free. 
  12. Visit the interactive and fun Holliday Park Nature Center. Free.
  13. Grad your frisbee, and head to one of these local disc golf courses
  14. 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

  15. Walk around the ArtsPark at the Indianapolis Art Center. Free.ArtsPark at the Indianapolis Art Center - free things to do in indianapolis
  1. Take a stroll along the Indianapolis Cultural Trail.
  2. Head inside to one of these 10 places to play inside for FREE.
  3. 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!
  4. Stomp out the creek on a nice spring day at Cool Creek Park, then check out the nature center. Free.
  5. Visit the Kawachinagano Japanese Garden in Carmel. Free.

    Kawachinagano Japanese Garden
    Kawachinagano Japanese Garden
  6. Discover the world of Geocaching as a family, and explore Indianapolis in a whole new way. 
  7. Check out the trails at the Marian University EcoLab for a fall hike.
  8. Create your own bath bomb at Buff City Soaps. Free with purchase from the shop. 
  9. 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.
  10. Take a stroll around Downtown Indianapolis, and discover something new about our city. 
  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. Spread love and joy by volunteering at the Mid-North Food Pantry.  Free.
  13. 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.
  14. 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. 
  15. Enjoy $6 (so close!) per person admission to The Children’s Museum on the first Thursday of the month. 
  16. Discover Grand Junction Plaza, a newly opened space in downtown Westfield.

    Grand Junction Plaza Opens in Westfield
    Grand Junction Plaza in Westfield
  17. 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.
  18. Scope out The Carmel Fire Buffs and Fire Department Museum. Donations at the door are appreciated. Free.
  19. Go for a swim at George Washington Community School Pool. Free for children under 2; $2 for children 3-17; $3 for adults.
  20. 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.  
  21. Discover Indiana Flora and Fauna at the Zion Nature Center, open Friday – Sunday. Free.
  22. Explore a new playground destination.
  23. Head to any Royal Pin bowling alley Sunday morning for their early bird special. From 9 am-noon, all games are just $2.75.
  24. Climb on Funky Bones at the Virginia B. Fairbanks Art & Nature Park. Free.spring break indianapolis
  25. Enjoy First Fridays at the Indiana Landmarks Center on the first Friday evening of every month. Free.
  26. 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.
  27. Spend a rainy day inside at Cornerstone Lutheran Church Indoor Playground. Free
  28. Visit Mass Ave on Sundays to explore fun stores without paying for the parking meter!
  29. 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. Go trick-or-treating! Check out Indianapolis-area Trick-or-Treat times. Free + Treats! 
  5. Browse our free things to do this month calendar for even more ideas! 
  6. Stuck at home? Here are 70 Activities to try anytime

 

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