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Free things to do this summer in Indianapolis, IN

Indy is known for its affordability — so on any given day, you can find some free things to do around the city.

Newfields garden with fountain in center

Here’s a bit of inspo from Newfields — named the best garden in the US to stroll through last year.

Photo via @newfieldstoday

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Want to make the most out of a summer in Indy — but also want to keep it affordable? There are plenty of ways to have fun in the Circle City without spending a cent.

We’ve rounded up some free things that you and the family can add to your summer bucket lists.

Free First Thursdays

On the first Thursday of the month, you can visit Newfields for free general admission. Bring your friends and family for a day of art making, live music, games, and Artful Conversations while you enjoy the Newfields campus. If the weather is nice, make sure to explore the gardens. Check out the July schedule.

Downtown Indianapolis canal walk with skyline

A view of the downtown canal walk with the Indianapolis skyline in the background.

Canal Nights

Join the Indiana State Museum on the Canal Walk outside of the museum from 5 to 7 p.m. for family-friendly outdoor activities + themed, hands-on experiments. Pro tip: you can still access the museum entrance on the Canal if you park in the garage — just walk through level one of the museum. Check the calendar for the different themes.

a picnic basket and takeout food set up on a blanket with a view of the Indianapolis skyline

City Editor Nicole’s go-to order from ClusterTruck is the orange chicken + sidewinder fries.

Photo by @nicolexindy

Visit an Indy park

Getting some fresh air is free. Visit at one of Indy’s 211 city parks, from Holliday Park, with its nature trails to Highland Park, with one of the most beautiful sunset views of the city. City Editor Nicole likes having ClusterTruck delivered to Highland Park for a summer picnic — if you’re willing to pay — or you can pack your own food.

Hit the trails

Walking, biking, or scooting down the Monon or Cultural trails is a great way to explore the city and get active. The trails can connect you to some of the best spots for local shopping and dining, like Mass Ave., Fountain Square, and Broad Ripple.

Mural of Mari Evans

Mari Evans was a major figure in the Black Arts Movement.

Photo via @venkycr

Go on a mural scavenger hunt

Make your way around downtown, and you’re sure to spot some larger-than-life murals created by local artist. Make it a challenge and see how many you can find. Use our guide.

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