Hot Happenings

50 Date Ideas for less than $50 in Downtown Indy

You and your wallet are friends - and you want to keep it that way. The following is a list of Downtown Indianapolis date ideas under $50.

Free

Date Idea #1: Easley Winery

Visit Easley Winery Downtown and receive a FREE guided winery tour on Saturdays and Sundays. More than 2,000 wine and grape-related gadgets, home accessories, glasses, wine racks and more are available. You can also enjoy a glass of fine wine and great jazz at Groovin' in the Garden, a FREE seasonal concert series on Saturdays in May through September. Local acts perform and carryout is available from a variety of Downtown restaurants. Call (317) 636-4516 for more information.

Date Idea #2: Concerts on the Canal

Head to the Canal for numerous outdoor concerts. Spend Thursday evenings at the Indiana Historical Society's Concerts on the Canal. Enjoy FREE musical performances along the canal plaza. Bring your own chairs and blankets or reserve a table. Concerts take place every Thursday May through late-July from 6 - 8 p.m. Call (317) 232-1882 for more information. (Seasonal)

Date Idea #3: Indianapolis Museum of Art

The famous LOVE sculpture at the Indianapolis Museum of Art was ranked by USA Today as one of the top 10 locations for marriage proposals. Meander through the beautiful outdoor gardens situated on 152 acres of land. Visit 100 Acres: The Virginia B. Fairbanks Art & Nature Park Acres. Adjacent to the Museum and located on 100 acres that includes woodlands, wetlands, meadows and a 35-acre lake, 100 Acres is one of the largest museum art parks in the country, and the only one to feature the ongoing commission of site-specific artworks. Admission to the Museum, Lilly House and 100 acres is FREE. Call (317) 923-1331 for more information.

Date Idea #4: Monument Circle

Did you know that the Soldiers & Sailors Monument located on the Circle is just 15 feet shorter than the Statue of Liberty? Visit the top of the Soldiers & Sailors Monument and get a top-notch view of the city. There is a $2 fee to use the elevator or walk the stairs for FREE. Call (317) 232-7615 for more details.

Date Idea #5: Mass Ave

If you enjoy outdoor public art, take a stroll along Massachusetts Avenue and admire talent of many different artists. The Mass Ave Arts & Theater Cultural District boasts unique, one-of-a-kind art in various locations that can't be found anywhere else in Indianapolis.

Date Idea #6: Monuments & Memorials

Downtown Indianapolis displays the second largest number of war memorials in the U.S. next to Washington, D.C. Explore them all and learn about Indiana history. Discover Downtown Indianapolis Memorials

Date Idea #7: City Market

In an Old World atmosphere, the Indianapolis City Market hosts shops and restaurants offering fresh produce, meats, baked goods, flowers and imported foods and coffees. A variety of food stands offer traditional, ethnic and specialty cuisines. During the summer months, visitors will find a traditional farmers' market Wednesdays and Saturdays on the West Plaza. City Market hosts the Indy Winter Farmers Market November - April on Saturdays too.

Date Idea #8: Picknic at White River State Park

The Lawn at White River State Park accommodates up to 5,000 people for concerts and events. Enjoy a picnic in the area when no events are taking place. While you're there, check out the many sculptures that adorn the area. Call (317) 233-2434 for more information.

Date Idea #9: Cultural Trail

Take a bike ride or stroll along the Indianapolis Cultural Trail. The world-class trail links all six Indianapolis Cultural Districts. Discover art and natural beauty any hour of the day on this fully lit, safe path through Downtown. Stop for a bite anywhere along the way at one of Downtown's 200+ restaurants.

Date Idea #10: Artsgarden

Located above the busy intersection of Washington and Illinois streets is the Indianapolis Artsgarden, a unique glass-domed structure suspended 17 feet over street level and rising to 95 feet above the ground. Owned and operated by the Arts Council of Indianapolis, the Artsgarden provides more than 300 free arts performances and exhibits each year. Call (317) 624-2563 for more information.

Date Idea #11: First Friday Art Tour

Join Indianapolis Downtown Artists & Dealers Association every First Friday of the month and visit Downtown's great art galleries for FREE. Meet the artists and browse the collections.

Date Idea #12: Browse the Museum

The Colonel Eli Lilly Civil War Museum, located in the Indiana Soldiers & Sailors Monument, tells the story of the Civil War through the experiences of Hoosiers who lived during that time. The exhibits look at both the soldier's experiences while away at war and the home front activities that supported the war effort.

Date Idea #13: Circle of Lights

The Circle of Lights® presented by the Contractors of Quality Connection and Electrical Workers of IBEW #481 is illuminated the day after Thanksgiving through the beginning of the new year as the Soldiers and Sailors Monument shines with 4,784 multi-colored lights on 52 garland strands.

Date Idea #14: Tour the Circle

Every Friday and Saturday from May-October beginning at 10 a.m., Indiana Landmarks hosts a Monument Circle tour for FREE, perfect for history buffs itching to learn about several monuments that decorate Downtown Indy.

Under $25

Date Idea #15: Baseball Game

Take your significant other to an Indianapolis Indians game. Victory Field was voted "Best Minor League Ballpark in America" by Sports Illustrated. Enjoy fun promotions like Friday Night Fireworks, Monday Dollar menu and FREE giveaways. Call (317) 269-3542 for more details.

Date Idea #16: Indiana State Museum

The Indiana State Museum in Downtown’s White River State Park is the crossroads of everything interesting, educational and unique about the state. The Indiana State Museum features original works of art, hands-on exhibits, science and history and an atmosphere that invites discovery and exploration. Call (317) 233-4629 for more information.

Date Idea #17: Pacers Bikeshare

Enjoy a romantic bike ride around Downtown Indy with the Pacers Bikeshare. A 24-hour pass is only $8. Rent a bike and spend the day exploring Downtown in a new way with someone special.

Date Idea #18: Eiteljorg Museum

The Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art is one of two museums east of the Mississippi that showcases Native-American and Western art. The museum contains one of the best Native American and Western art collections in the world, including traditional and contemporary work. Students and faculty of IUPUI receive FREE admission. Call (6317) 636-9378 for more information.

Date Idea #19: Tempting Appetizers

Visit McCormick & Schmick's Seafood Restaurant, located at 110 North Illinois St., one block west of Monument Circle. Enjoy tempting appetizers starting at only $1.95 Monday through Saturday from 3 – 6:30 p.m. Enjoy appetizers including beef sliders, black mussels, baja fish tacos and more. Call (317) 631-9500 for more information.

Date Idea #20: Start Your Engines

Start your engines at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame! For $5, see 75 historic race cars on display, including the Marmon "Wasp," which won the inaugural Indianapolis 500 in 1911. For a more visual experience, visit the Tony Hulman Theatre to catch rare Indy 500 footage. The museum and grounds are on the National Historic Landmark registry and are open 363 days a year. Two gift shops and a snack shop make this the perfect stop for any racing fan. Call (317) 492-6784 for more information.

Date Idea #21: ComedySportz

Located in the heart of Mass Ave Arts and Theater District, ComedySportz Indianapolis is team competitive improvisation. No, it’s not comedy about sports, it’s a comedy played as a sport! Two teams of improvisational “actletes” compete against each other for points by playing improv games based on audience suggestions. Ticket prices are $16 for adults and $14 for students and seniors. Attend Thursday Cheap Seat Night and get tickets for $10 per person. Call (317) 951-8499 for more information.

Date Idea #22: Biergarten

Visit the Biergarten at the Rathskeller and enjoy a full service walk-up bar, gourmet pub style food and no cover charge. This seasonal outdoor venue is one of the hottest spots in Indianapolis during the summer. The Biergarden features live entertainment throughout the week. Call (317) 636-0396 for more information.

Date Idea #23: Spicy Shrimp Cocktail

Did you know that St. Elmo Steak House goes through more than 760,000 shrimp and 65 tons of beef each year to please guests looking to savor these world-famous culinary delights? Lovebirds on a budget can stop in for an appetizer and try St. Elmo’s renowned shrimp cocktail with its famous fiery sauce for under $16. Head upstairs to check out the prohibition-era bar, 1933 Lounge and order the signature “Elmo Cola.” (You can also get the shrimp cocktail at Harry & Izzy’s).

Date Idea #24: IMAX Theatre

The IMAX Theatre at the Indiana State Museum is a 404-seat theater specializing in 3D and 2D films projected onto a giant six-story-tall screen. Featuring cutting-edge technology, films in the theatre are a one of a kind experience for any visitor. The Academy award–winning IMAX technology brings images to life like no other. Treat your senses to the most powerful and involving movie experience yet created. Call (317) 233-IMAX for more information.

Date Idea #25: Goose the Market

Goose the Market, more properly noted as the “food lover’s market,” is a one-stop shop for artisanal cheeses, local meat, gelato, wine, sandwiches and more. The Market provides all the essentials for a gourmet picnic outing or night in. Call (317) 924-4944 for more information.

Date Idea #26: Movie Date

Nothing says romance like a night at the movies. The United Artists Theatre is located on the fourth floor of Circle Centre mall. The venue features Hollywood’s latest films. Show a college ID and receive a student discount. Call (317) 237-6490 for more information.

Date Idea #27: Indianapolis Zoo

The Indianapolis Zoo is the nation's only accredited combined zoo, aquarium and botanical garden. Visit the amazing International Orangutan Center, Dolphin Pavilion, shark touch tank, Flights of Fancy and so much more. Prices and hours vary seasonally.

Date Idea #28: NCAA Hall of Champions

Start your date at the NCAA Hall of Champions, complete with two levels of interactive exhibits. All 23 NCAA sports are represented and include trivia, video highlights and college artifacts. Play basketball in a 1930s retro gymnasium or watch current games on seven TVs. Be sure to check out special, rotating exhibits. Admission is $5. Since the museum closes at 5 p.m., head to dinner at one of Downtown’s many enticing restaurants. Call (317) 917-6084 for more information.

Date Idea #29: President Benjamin Harrison Home

Take a tour of the historic President Benjamin Harrison Home, built in 1875. The 16-room Italianate mansion, from which Harrison campaigned in 1888, has been carefully restored to its late 1800s appearance with original Victorian furnishings and political mementos. Tours costs $10 for adults, $8 for seniors 65 and older and $5 for students. Call (317) 631-1888 for more information.

Date Idea #30: Duckpin Bowling

Action Duckpin Bowl, in the Fountain Square Theatre Building, is the only authentic Duckpin Bowling in the Midwest. In addition to the eight lanes of bowling, Action Bowl has a café area with a vintage pool table. Windows surround the cafe for a magnificent view of Downtown Indianapolis. Open bowling from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. on Monday – Thursday costs $25 per hour. For more information call (317) 686-6006.

Date Idea #32: Chatterbox Jazz Club

The Chatterbox Jazz Club, located in the heart of the Mass Ave Cultural District, showcases live jazz every night of the week. Call (317) 636-0584 for more information.

Date Idea #33: Boat on the Canal

Enjoy a magnificent view of Downtown on the canal located in a romantic urban park in the heart of Downtown Indianapolis. Imagine floating down the waterway in a pedal boat and viewing waterfalls, a 40-foot geyser and sprinklers. *Explore the canal on a two or four person pedal boat or on a kayak. Wheel Fun Rental Company is open mid-April through October and all holidays. For details call (317) 767-5072.

Date Idea #33: Swing Dance

Show off your moves at the Fountain Square Theatre’s Friday Night Swing Dance. Beginning swing dance lessons are from 7:30 - 8:30 p.m. Enjoy live musical entertainment from 8:30 - 11:30 p.m. Admission is $10 - $12. Call (317) 686-6010 for more information.

Date Idea #34: Wine Bar

Table for two! Bring out your inner wine connoisseur and enjoy half price glasses of wine every Tuesday at Tastings. Voted Indianapolis's Best Wine Bar four consecutive years since opening its doors in 2009, Tastings also offers half price flatbread pizza on Thursdays. With two outdoor patios, Tastings is a great place to see and be seen.

Date Idea #35: Rhythm! Discovery Center

An extension of the Percussive Arts Society, the educational and interactive Rhythm! Discovery Center offers rare and unique instruments to keep visitors entertained. Watch sound waves hit the Shimmer Wall or play an 8-foot Gong Drum. Admission is $9 for adults, $8 for seniors and students.

Date Idea #36: Farm to Fork

Dating a foodie? Use Downtown Indy's Farm to Table guide to find the best local food events, businesses, markets and gardens Downtown. Spend the afternoon at Indianapolis City Market’s Tomlinson Tap, and then pick up some fresh and local produce before heading home to test your own cooking skills.

Date Idea #37: Theatre on the Square

Located in the Mass Ave Cultural District and Chatham Arch, Theatre on the Square offers contemporary, classic and lesser-known plays and musicals in an intimate environment. Tickets are $25 for adults; students and seniors (55+) receive discounted tickets for $20. Call (317) 685-8687 for more information.

Date Idea #38: Phoenix Theatre

The Phoenix Theatre, located in the historic Chatham Arch neighborhood, was a turn-of-the-century church– renovated to house an intimate 125-seat main stage venue and an 85-seat underground stage. Tickets are $18 for plays opening weekend and the first Thursday – Sunday of the month. Individuals 21 and under receive a discounted ticket price. Call (317) 635-7529 for more information.

Under $50

Date Idea #39: Indy Eleven Soccer

Be sure to catch an Indy Eleven soccer match with your sweetie. Find a great sets in general admission for $20 or less.

Date Idea #40: Carriage Ride

Take a carriage ride around the Circle City! Yellow Rose Carriage offers rides seven days a week. The “Taste of the City Tour” is 25 minutes for $50. Also, Blue Ribbon Carriage Company offers romantic horse-drawn carriage rides in the Downtown Indianapolis area. Call (317) 631-4169 or (317) 634-3400 for more information.

Date Idea #41: The Symphony

The Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra performs 200 concerts each year to an audience of more than 500,000 people. Since 1994 the group has been heard in more than 250 radio markets in 41 states and has performed in three European musical capitals. Some tickets start at just $15. Call 639.4300 for more information.

Date Idea #42: Broadway in Indianapolis

Catch the excitement of Broadway, right here in Indianapolis! See a world-renowned musical theatre performance at the Old National Centre. Call (800) 793-7469 for more details.

Date Idea #43: Dance Kaleidoscope

Take your better half to see Dance Kaleidoscope, the professional contemporary dance company that performs a unique blend of contemporary dance, live music and theatre. Call (317) 940-6555 for more information.

Date Idea #44: Mind Tripping Show

Mystify your date with the #1 comedy mind reading act in the nation. The Mind Tripping Show is a cabaret-style, intimate show with mind reading, psychological illusions and mental surprises. Held at the Hilton Indianapolis Hotel & Suites every Friday and Saturday at 8:30 p.m., performers Christian and Katalina promise a mind-tripping evening! Tickets are $25; $20 for military and seniors (with free parking).

Date Idea #45: Take a Brew Tour

Treat the hubby to the greatest beer tasting experience in Indy. Brewery Tours of Indianapolis takes you to four local craft breweries, gives you an in-depth brewery walkthrough, a chance to meet the brewer, samplings of the local beer and even has bottled water and coolers on the bus to keep your purchased growlers cold. Mention Downtown Indy’s 50 Dates under $50 and get two tickets for $50 ($10 off!)

Date Idea #46: Micro-brew Tour

Take a flight Downtown! With multiple microbreweries and wineries located close by, head to the tasting rooms and sample all Indianapolis has to offer! For craft brews, visit Sun King Brewery, Flat 12 Bierworks, Rock Bottom Brewery and others. For wine, check out Easley Winery. Find our Local Brewery Guide Here

Date Idea #48: Rooftop Garden

Spend an evening relaxing high above the city at the Rooftop Garden in Fountain Square. Enjoy a casual dinner served from The End of the Line Public House, or just chill out with a cocktail and a spectacular view of the Downtown skyline. For more information call (317) 687-4857.

Date Idea #49: Sports Date

Find a great game, concert or performance at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. From fast-paced Pacers and Fever games to spectacular concerts, date night is sure to be a success with an exciting event here!

Date Idea #50: Circle City Tour

Get to really know your city and take a Circle City Tour via a comfy bus. See and hear about more than 50 points of interest including Lucas Oil Stadium, White River State Park and the Indianapolis Museum of Art. Soon after you’ll be the life of the party with all your new Indy fun facts. Tickets are $25. Call (317) 899-9285 for more information.

Plan your Date

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111 Monument Circle,
Ste. 1900
Indianapolis, IN 46204
  (317) 237-2222