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: Monument Circle

Did you know that the Soldiers & Sailors Monument located on Monument Circle is just 15 feet shorter than the Statue of Liberty? Visit the top of the Soldiers & Sailors Monument and get a top-notch, Instagram-worthy 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 #2: Mass Ave

If you enjoy outdoor public art, take a stroll along Mass 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 #3: Monuments & Memorials

Downtown Indianapolis displays the second largest number of war memorials in the U.S. next to Washington, D.C. Take your own walking tour and explore them all while learning about Indiana history.

Date Idea #4: 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 #5: First Friday Art Tour

Join Indianapolis Downtown Artists & Dealers Association every First Friday of the month from 6 - 9 p.m. The IDADA First Friday Art Tour is a free, self-guided tour of galleries and other types of visual art venues throughout Downtown. Meet the artists and browse the collections.

Date Idea #6: Cultural Trail

Take a walk or bike ridealong 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. Don't let colder months stop you: Indianapolis Cultural Trail, Inc.’s keeps the Trail clear of snow and ice throughout winter.

Date Idea #7: 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 #8: Art at the Alexander

Ooh and aah your way through the Alexander Hotel, Indy’s hip art hotel curated by the Indianapolis Museum of Art. Browse works of art that reference or are inspired by Hoosier state culture and history. See a portrait of the Indianapolis hair-care tycoon Madam C. J. Walker made out of 3,840 combs, a wall-mounted installation made from vinyl records, stream-of-consciousness text cut from reflective stainless steel and much more. On your way out, pop into Plat 99 and sip on a cocktail under the light of 99 vibrant hand-molded acrylic lamps.

Date Idea #9: City Market

In an Old World atmosphere, the Indianapolis City Market boasts 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. From May through October, visitors will find the Original Farmers' Market on Wednesdays.

Date Idea #10: Concerts on the Canal

During summer months, 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 plus beautiful views of the Canal. Bring your own chairs and blankets or reserve a table. Concerts take place every Thursday in late May through late July at various times. Call (317) 232-1882 for more information.

Date Idea #11: Picnic at White River State Park

Located in the heart of Downtown, White River State Park is Indiana's only urban state park. Take advantage of the 250 acres of green space and enjoy a picnic in the area when no concerts 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 #12: Tour the Circle

Every Friday and Saturday from May-October beginning at 10 a.m., Indiana Landmarks hosts an hour long Monument Circle tour, perfect for history buffs itching to learn about several monuments that decorate Downtown Indy. Tours are FREE and reservations are not required. 

Date Idea #13: Workout Wednesday

Impress your date with a FREE workout. From May-September, enjoy Workout Wednesday. Grab your yoga mats and stretch out for sunrise yoga class on the Canal from 6 - 7 a.m. or break a sweat with a cardio class on Georgia Street from 12 - 12:45 p.m. Don't have "Moves like Jagger"? Not to worry. These classes are all-levels.

Date Idea #14: Get Hungry

Find a swarm of mobile vendors every week during Food Truck Fridays on Georgia Street. Running May through September, indulge in the savory selections of Indy’s best food trucks from 11 a.m. - 2p.m. Admission is FREE.

Date Idea #15: Circle of Lights

Downtown Indy, Inc.'s Circle of Lights® presented by 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. Stand in front of the lit-up Monument for that perfect holiday selfie.

Under $25

Date Idea #16: Indianapolis Museum of Art

Check out exhibitions highlighting art from around the world or meander through the beautiful outdoor gardens of the Indianapolis Museum of Art 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 100 Acres is free and admission to the Museum is $18 for adults; call (317) 923-1331 for more information.

Date Idea #17: Easley Winery

Visit Easley Winery for $5 daily wine tastings. FREE guided winery tours are available on Saturdays and Sundays beginning at noon. 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 wine and live jazz at Groovin' in the Garden, a FREE seasonal concert series on Saturday during May-September. Local acts perform and carryout is available from a variety of Downtown restaurants. Call (317) 636-4516 for more information.

Date Idea #18: 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 #19: 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) 232-1637 for more information.

Date Idea #20: Pacers Bikeshare

Indianapolis was recognized by Away.com as one of the Best Cities to See from a Bicycle Seat in the world. Rent a Pacers Bikeshare and enjoy a romantic bike ride around Downtown Indy. A 24-hour pass is only $8. Spend the day exploring Downtown in a new way with someone special.

Date Idea #21: 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 has 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 (317) 636-9378 for more information.

Date Idea #22: Start Your Engines

Start your engines at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame! For $10, 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 #23: ComedySportz

Located in the heart of Mass Ave Arts and Theater District, ComedySportz showcases competitive improv comedy where groups of performers make up scenes, create songs or play games based on audience suggestions. Everything is unscripted, and no two matches are the same. Ticket prices are $16 for adults and $14 for students and seniors. Matches are Thursday-Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and 10 p.m. Attend Thursday Cheap Seat Night and get tickets for $10 per person. Call (317) 951-8499 for more information.

Date Idea #24: Biergarten

Visit the Biergarten at the Rathskeller and enjoy a full service walk-up bar, pub style food, German brew and live music. This seasonal outdoor venue is one of the hottest spots in Indianapolis during the summer. Beer lovers will find much to love on the drink menu, as the restaurant's biergarten and Kellerbar offer brews and microbrews from Germany, Europe, the U.K. and North America. Call (317) 636-0396 for more information.

Date Idea #25: 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 $18. 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 #26: IMAX Theatre

The IMAX Theater 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 #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 much more. Prices and hours vary seasonally. Call (317) 630-2001 for more information.

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. 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 costs $30 per hour and reservations are recommended. For more information call 686-6006.

Date Idea #31: Swing Dance

Show off your moves at the Fountain Square Theatre’s Friday Night Swing Dance. Take a dance lesson at 7:30 p.m. then stay for live entertainment from 8:30 – 11:30 p.m. with some of the hottest swing bands around. The dance lesson is $12 and dancing only is $10. Call (317) 686-6010 for more information.

Date Idea #32: Wine Bar

Table for two! Bring out your inner wine connoisseur and enjoy half price glasses of wine every Tuesday at Tastings. Voted Best Wine Bar since opening its doors in 2009, Tastings also offers a Sunday brunch with $5 mimosas, $5 Bloody Mary bar, and half off bottles of wine. With two outdoor patios, Tastings is a great place to see and be seen. For more information call (317) 423-2400.

Date Idea #33: Yoga Class

Looking for a relaxing date with your partner? Calm your minds and stretch out during one of Invoke Studio's Community Yoga or Pilates classes. Taught by one of Invoke’s highly qualified instructors, these classes are suitable for all levels, including beginners. Classes are $10 and offered on Fridays at 9:30 a.m. and Sundays at 4:30, 5 and 6 p.m. For more information call (317) 631-9642. Ready to turn up the heat? Get steamy at The Hot Room. Their Original Hot Yoga and Hot Pilates classes are designed for beginners as well as more advanced levels. Single classes are $20 and offered seven days a week at various times. Call (317) 650-7736 for more information.

Date Idea #34: Slippery Noodle Inn

Live blues bands perform seven nights a week at the Slippery Noodle Inn, a historically renovated building and the oldest bar in Indianapolis. Dates can enjoy daily drink specials and snacks or meals from the huge food menu before the music (and dancing) begins. The music starts at 8:30 nightly, and continues until the late hours of the morning.

Date Idea #35: 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 #36: 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 $20 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.

Date Idea: #37: Kayak or Pedal Along 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.

Date Idea #38: Jam Out

An extension of the Percussive Arts Society, the educational and interactive Rhythm! Discovery Center offers rare and unique instruments to keep visitors entertained. Make music with kitchen appliances, learn the history of electronic percussion and get groovy in the groove space. Admission is $12 for adults, $8 for seniors and $9 for students.

Under $50

Date Idea #39: Glide Down the Canal

Take a gondola ride on the Canal and enjoy a magnificent view of Downtown Indianapolis. Imagine floating down the waterway while a singing gondolier from Old World Gondoliers serenades you. Public rides are $25/person + 20% gratuity. For more information call (317) 340-2489.

Date Idea #40: Indy Eleven Soccer

Cheer on the boys in blue and catch an Indy Eleven soccer match with your sweetie. Bring your school ID and take advantage of the Indy Eleven’s new College Student Ticket Special for $10.

Date Idea #41: Old National Centre

From concerts to comedians to musicals, Old National Centre is host to some of the best entertainment in the city. Impress your date with a live show, then stroll around Mass Ave.

Date Idea #42: Indiana Repertory Theatre

Every year, the Indiana Repertory Theatre (IRT) comes up with a season of nine unique plays that offer a variety historic and cultural views and emotional and intellectual experiences. Bring your partner to the first Thursday showing of a "Signature Six Play" and receive two tickets for $50 with promo code: DATENIGHT. (Signature Six Plays are all performances excluding: A Christmas Carol, Exploring Stages and the Young Audiences production.) For more information call (317) 635-5252.

Date Idea #43: 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. Come early for Stella Artois Happy Hour at the Symphony to enjoy complimentary food and drink samples from local vendors before the show begins. Call (317) 639-4300 for more information.

Date Idea #44: Broadway in Indianapolis

Catch the excitement of Broadway, right here in Indianapolis! Experience Broadway in Indianapolis at Old National Centre and Clowes Memorial Hall. Call (800) 793-7469 for more details.

Date Idea #45: Concerts at the Lawn

Take in a concert at the Farm Bureau Insurance Lawn at White River State Park, named one of the top 100 outdoor venues in the world (Pollstar). A variety of artists perform May–October. And you can’t beat the twilight setting and incredible views. For more information call (317) 776-8181.

Date Idea #46: Take a Brew Tour

Treat your significant other to the greatest beer tasting experience in Indy. Indy Brew Bus is a fun way to visit multiple craft breweries Downtown. Each tour visits four breweries and participants receive a Personal Sampling Scorecard to keep track of favorites. Tickets are $30 per person. For more information, email info@indybrewbus.com.

Date Idea #47: 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 brew lovers, 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 at the Fountain Square Theatre Building. 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. 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