Branch out of your college bubble this year and explore Downtown Indy. Put down your Netflix and shake up your weekend routine with a trip with friends into the city. Between the exciting food and drink scene and sports for every fan, Downtown has something to offer every college student – and offer it within their budget. Here’s the low-down on all the great things Downtown offers, so mark your calendars for upcoming events and bring your crew for an adventure.

1. Not Your Average Cafeteria Food

Yes, your local pizza joint and subs are delicious, but why not mix it up and go Downtown for a dinner with friends? Check out some of my favorites – NADA for #TacoTuesday and a margarita or the casual environment of Scotty’s Brewhouse for Wing Wednesday. Make the most of your weekend and explore the many offerings of Mass Ave or Fountain Square – two Downtown districts that are always a great place to visit. Going to Mass Ave? Browse the one-of-a-kind shops (pick up jewelry or some Indiana swag at Silver in the City) and stop at a local restaurant for food and drinks (like The Tap for excellent craft beer and trivia or Bru Burger for a mouthwatering burger). Headed to Fountain Square? Visit Bluebeard for shared plates and #treatyoself to a popsicle from Nicey Treat next door.

2. The Bar Scene

As much as we love our college town bars, sometimes a fresh take on your weekend routine is just what you need. One of my favorites is Wednesday at Kilroy’s, with half-priced drinks – easy on the college wallet. On Thursdays, enjoy FREE cover when you present your college ID to Howl at the Moon. Another great spot is Tin Roof, a great atmosphere with live music and drink specials every night. With many other places to gather for brews with friends, you really can’t go wrong in Downtown Indy.

3. Sports for Every Fan

No matter where you’re from, Indiana sports have something everyone can enjoy. Cheer on the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium at least once while you call Indiana your home. And in 49 other states it’s just basketball –  but in Indiana catch the Indiana Pacers during the winter and spring and the Indiana Fever during the summer. Catching a professional sports game Downtown can also be relaxed and easy on your wallet. Tickets for Indy Eleven games at “The Mike” start at just $5 for college students. Lawn tickets to an Indianapolis Indians game at Victory Field are just $11 or check out two-for-one Tuesdays.

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4. Music Galore

Big name music may not come to your mind when you think Indy, but we have plenty of opportunities to jam. Ed Sheeran and Lady Gaga are among the big names in town this year- at Bankers Life Fieldhouse Sept. 8 and Nov. 5 respectively. The Farm Bureau Insurance Lawn at White River State Park offers picture-perfect views of the city, and a great outdoor venue to hear some great tunes. Some performers this fall include Logic, The Flaming Lips and more. For a more casual, fun night out with live music, visit the Rathskeller located in the historic Athenaeum building. The Rathskeller hosts everything from Polka nights to local bands, with a great outdoor area to enjoy the beautiful fall weather.

Take a seat at the Rathskeller and relax after a long week of classes by listening to great live music in the outdoors.

5. Holidays in Your Indiana Home

If you can’t make it home for the holidays, your Indianapolis home has plenty of ways to celebrate, that won’t break your budget either! Come holiday season, be sure to make it Downtown for Circle of Lights on Nov. 24 and Downtown Indy, Inc.’s New Year’s Eve Celebration on Georgia Street.

6. Snap That “Insta-Worthy” Pic

Downtown Indy has several fantastic places to take photos because honestly, we college folk love to share an “insta-fabulous” adventure shot. The NDY sign is a popular spot with many different locations such as Washington Street and more. The Canal is another great place to snap a picture with a fantastic city view. Rent a paddle boat or take a gondola with Old World Gondoliers for a memorable ride down the scenic waterway. Show off the fun time you and your friends had in the city using #DowntownIndy.