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How to have a retro day in Indianapolis, IN

Inside Atomic Bowl with a neon sign

There are bowling alleys in the basement + fourth floor of the Theatre Building. | Photo by INDYtoday team

Table of Contents

Today, we’re taking you back to the good old days + sharing eight retro ways to enjoy the Circle City.

Dress the part

First thing’s first — let’s talk about the threads you’ll need. You’re guaranteed to be outta sight with a fit from one of these vintage clothing shops:

Pro tip: We’re aware that some places tend to skew toward feminine looks, but Naptown Thrift + Zodiac Vintage have a great selection of menswear.

Bring your A game

Play your favorite childhood games (no matter what your age is) at Tappers Arcade Bar or kick it really old school by gathering up the crew for some bowling at Atomic Bowl Duckpin in the basement of the Fountain Square Theatre Building. The unique venue features authentic 50s + 60s equipment.

Don’t be discouraged if you’re not hitting those strikes like you normally do, the smaller ball and thinner, lighter pins make for a difficult game.

A row of Pinball machines

So many pinball machines, so little time. | Photo by INDYtoday team

Get your groove on

Square Cat Vinyl has you covered when it comes to that classic 70s aesthetic — complete with listening booths to try before you buy. If you’re looking for live music, check its schedule of upcoming performances.

If you happen to be in Fountain Square on the second or fourth Friday of the month, the Theatre Building also hosts all-ages swing dancing, including beginner lessons.

Put it in park

What’s a retro day without a drive-in? Tibb’s Drive-In Theatre plays new + old movies with kid-friendly options and plenty of concessions.

If you’d rather leave the slug bug at home, try one of Garfield Park’s vintage movie nights.

Put the cherry on top of your throwback Thursday by grabbing some grub at the Historic Steer In Diner, which has been open since 1960.

Pro tip: If you stop by, don’t bug out until you’ve tried the spicy tenderloin — a spin on the classic Hoosier sandwich.

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