15 Things to do Before the End of 2016

Cheers to the mid-year! The year may be half over, but the fun has just begun. Here are 15 things to do Downtown before the end of 2016.

1. Gen Con Aug 4 – 7
The “Best Four Days in Gaming” comes to the Indiana Convention Center and brings with it 500+ exhibiting companies, award-winning authors and artists, costumed attendees, 14,000 events, a Family Fun Pavilion and more. Not purchasing tickets to the convention? Plan to walk around Georgia Street to view the incredible costumes and munch on food from dozens of food trucks.

Gen Con returns to Indianapolis August 4 - 7 with thousands of gaming fans.

Gen Con returns to Indianapolis August 4 – 7 with board games, card games, video games, movies, anime, family events and more.

2. IN Light IN Aug. 26 & 27
From 8:52 p.m. to 1:02 a.m., Aug. 26 and Aug. 27, Indianapolis will harness the power of light, technology and creativity for a world-class event unlike anything The Circle City has seen before. IN Light IN is a free, two-day interactive light festival along the Canal featuring artists and performers from Indianapolis and beyond, plus some of the city’s most inspiring places.

3. Kanye West – Aug. 25
Because where else would Kanye West kick off his first North American tour in three years besides Indianapolis? See the 22-time Grammy Award winning rapper’s first performance in Indianapolis since 2006 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. It just might be as entertaining as reading his tweets.

4. Downtown Indy, Inc.’s Motorcycles on Meridian – Aug. 27
Motorcyclists from across the state gather in Downtown Indy for the annual Motorcycles on Meridian tradition. This free event is for people with and without bikes. Those interested with no steel horse of their own are welcome to walk around at this free event on Meridian and Georgia Street from 12 p.m. to 12 a.m. and marvel at the impressive choppers and sport bikes.

About 20,000 motorcyclists and an additional 10,000 spectators came Downtown last year for the annual Motorcycles on Meridian.

About 20,000 motorcyclists and an additional 10,000 spectators came Downtown last year for the annual Motorcycles on Meridian.

5. DigIN: A Taste of Indiana – Aug. 28
Did you know Indiana is ranked 10th in the nation in agricultural production? And yet Indiana still imports 90% of its food. DigIN: A Taste of Indiana aims to bring our state’s rich agricultural heritage into focus with a celebration of farm to fork experiences at Military Park on Aug. 28. Come hungry – there will be tables upon tables of food samples, not to mention wine and beer, from Indy’s best chefs and restaurateurs. Tickets are $40, $60 for early entry and $120 for VIP.

Indiana chefs, brewers, vintners and food artisans come together for Dig IN - a one-day festival at White River State Park.

Indiana chefs, brewers, vintners and food artisans come together for DigIN – a one-day festival at White River State Park.

6. Downtown Indy, Inc.’s INspired Beauty – Sept. 15
Downtown Indy is one of the cleanest Downtown’s in the nation. Celebrate the beauty of Downtown during Downtown Indy, Inc.’s annual fundraiser – INspired Beauty. Celebrate on Monument Circle with live music, tasty treats, great company and incredible views! Watch some of the city’s best landscapers compete as they each assemble a container garden on location in a timed competition “Iron Chef” style. One winner will prevail and a few lucky attendees will take home a planter.

INspired Beauty is Downtown Indy, Inc's annual fundraiser with live music, food and planter competitions on Monument Circle.

INspired Beauty is Downtown Indy, Inc.’s annual beautification fundraiser with live music, food and planter competitions on Monument Circle.

7. IMS Red Bull Air Race – Oct. 1 & 2
The Red Bull Air Race World Championships is the fastest and most exhilarating motorsport on the planet. The competition takes place over eight races in four different continents – and above the skies of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway will be one of those races this year. Tickets begin at $25.

8. Kellogg’s Tour of Gymnastics Champions 2016 – Oct. 15
Gymnastics fans can head to Bankers Life Fieldhouse and see the biggest names in the sport including Simone Biles, Gabby Douglas, Aly Raisman, Nastia Liukin and more. Plus, who knows what impressive titles will be added to their resume after this summer’s Olympics. Tickets start at $17.

The 2016 Kellogg's Tour of Gymnastics Champions makes a stop at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on Oct. 15.

The 2016 Kellogg’s Tour of Gymnastics Champions makes a stop at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on Oct. 15.

9. Hoosier Homecoming – Oct. 15
Celebrate Indiana’s Bicentennial at the Indiana Statehouse grounds with this free, family-friendly event full of activities, entertainment, ethnic food and more. Rumor has it you can expect Hoosier celebrities to make some appearances throughout the day.

10. Indianapolis Monumental Marathon – Nov. 5
#BeMonumental and race in one of the largest marathons in the US. Starting and ending at the Indiana State Capitol, the course highlights landmarks and neighborhoods throughout Indianapolis. Along with a 5k, half marathon and kid’s fun run, the race weekend is full of events for the family, including the Indianapolis Monumental Health and Fitness Expo at the Indiana Convention Center. Tickets are $35 for the 5k, $80 for the half marathon and $100 for the marathon (through Oct. 11).

Now one of the 20 largest marathons in the US, the Monumental Marathon is the ideal fall marathon.

Now one of the 20 largest marathons in the US, the Monumental Marathon is the ideal fall marathon and also includes a 5k and half marathon.

11. Indianapolis Colts Thanksgiving Game – Nov. 24
Not only should you go to a Colts game – period – but if you can only go to one, make it to the game that’s projected to be one of the top NFL primetime games of 2016. The Colts will be taking on the Pittsburgh Steelers at home Thanksgiving evening at 8:30 p.m. Yep, good timing for those who will not be in attendance waking up from their post-thanksgiving-food-coma-nap.

12. Downtown Indy, Inc.’s Circle of Lights presented by IBEW 481 – Nov. 25
For 54 years, thousands of spectators have gathered Downtown at Monument Circle to see the most spectacular holiday display illuminate. Watch all 4,794 colored light bulbs come to life on the Soldiers and Sailors Monument. Throughout the season, millions of sightseers will take in this holiday spectacle.

Circle of Lights is one of Indy's most beloved holiday traditions.

Circle of Lights is one of Indy’s most beloved holiday traditions.

13. Mass Ave Midnight Shopper – Nov. 25
Get a head start on your holiday shopping with the annual Mass Ave Midnight Shoppers evening. Participating restaurants and stores will be open until midnight for you to enjoy Indy’s best shopping, dining, drinking and entertainment. The evening is always a favorite, unique night for Downtown Dwellers.

14. Yelp’s Totally Bazaar – Dec. 8
Yelp’s Totally Bazaar holiday shopping party at the Central Library is a free event that features over 150 local businesses. The live entertainment and local drinks are sure to make this annual event one of your favorite ways to shop for the holidays.

15. Downtown Indy, Inc.’s New Year’s Eve Celebration – Dec. 31
Ring in the new year on Georgia Street with Downtown Indy’s, Inc.’s New Year’s Eve Celebration. The evening is filled with live music, food and drinks, fireworks and a unique “Indy-fied” midnight extravaganza. At 11:59 p.m., when in most cities the traditional “ball drop” takes place, a suspended IndyCar hoisted high above the crowd will descend to a collective countdown.

Toast the New Year at Downtown Indy, Inc.'s New Year's Eve Celebration on Georgia Street.

Toast to the New Year at Downtown Indy, Inc.’s New Year’s Eve Celebration on Georgia Street.

Post written by Emily Sickert, marketing and communications intern.