If you know anything about me or follow me on social media, you’re probably well aware of how much I enjoy summer. Every year, I rather impatiently count down the days until my favorite season is officially upon us. (We’re at eight now, in case anyone was wondering.)

But what’s the big deal with summer, you ask?

Think back to when you were a child. If you were anything like me, summer meant freedom. It meant playing outside, traveling, staying up late, spending time with friends and all sorts of other adventures. Sure, these things were technically possible in other seasons, but no other season promised them with the same level of excitement as summer.

For the most part, adults don’t treat summer with the same gusto as their younger selves. Something about working full time jobs and paying off student loans must make us a little less carefree, but that’s no reason to hole up in your house and pout about it. There are plenty of great and inexpensive things to get out and do this summer, right here in Indianapolis. Because I happen to be a big fan of summer, I try to get out and do as many outdoor activities as possible. Seriously, call the office anytime after 3pm from June-September and you’ll probably find me frantically trying to finish up as much work as possible so I can get outside and enjoy the day.

The good news is, with such a variety of things to do during the summer in Indianapolis, I can usually find some creative activities to entertain myself and get inspired at the same time.


Summer Nights at the IMA:
Who could resist watching a movie under the stars in the backyard of the IMA? People pack picnic baskets and sprawl out on lawn chairs and blankets to enjoy one of twelve movies, ranging from old black and white films to modern movies and cult favorites. Checking out the schedule early in the summer is your best bet for getting tickets to the shows you want to see, and don’t forget to come early to walk around 100 Acres and the gardens!


Talbot Street Art Fair:
The least formal of the three major art fairs in Indianapolis, Talbot Street is an eclectic mix of people, food, art and music. Unlike the Broad Ripple Art Fair and Penrod, this event is free, and guests come and go as they please. If you’re looking for some artistic inspiration, or to meet artists who really love what they do, this is the place to go. In my experience, all the artists have been unbelievably enthusiastic and friendly. If you have any questions for the artists, just ask! You’ll be really happy you did.


Indianapolis Art Center Artspark:
Ok, so this is technically up all year long, but summer is absolutely the time to visit. Not only do the sculptures in Artspark, which was designed by world renowned architect Michael Graves look nicer surrounded by green leaves and beautiful landscaping, but they’re just begging to be interacted with on a warm summer stroll. No one sees the famous Twisted House for the first time and doesn’t smile. The casual nature of the park is always welcoming and relaxed.

Pro tip- stop by the snow cone stand (does that thing have a name?) or Nicey Treat in Broad Ripple on your way for maximum level of happiness.


IndyFringe Festival:
If you’ve never been to this you’re missing out on one of the most interesting cultural experiences in Indianapolis. This happens to be the 10th anniversary for the festival, so I’m guessing they will be going all out to make sure everyone is having a great and often weird time. A direct quote from the Fringe website: “Unjuried and uncensored. Anyone can perform; anything can happen!” You never know what you’re going to get until you get there, but you can definitely expect some laughs and a unique experience. For a first timer, the best thing to do is start with preview night on Aug 13. You’ll get to see brief previews of every show, and can plan which ones you’d like to see more of.

This list could go on and on, and there are many other ways to enjoy summer, but these are all great places to start if you’re looking for some fun, inspiring activities. I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty excited so see what the best season has in store this year!