3 Hour Activities


DALLARA INDYCAR FACTORY
120 Main St., Speedway
317-243-7171
indycarfactory.com

FEED YOUR NEED FOR SPEED

  • Tour an Italian-owned car factory (there’s gelato in it for you)
  • Strap in for a street legal two-seater ride
  • Take a spin around the track with the pros 

Indianapolis Motor Speedway hosts only three races a year, and the Month of May is dedicated to the Indianapolis 500. But there’s always action in the town of Speedway, about five miles west of downtown, with its racing-team garages and auto industry factories. At the center of it all is the relatively new Dallara Indycar Factory, a slick Italian-owned production facility that makes racecar chassis. Dallara also imported Lino’s Coffee cafe from Parma, Italy (like an Autogrill on the prairie) which even non-gearheads find worth the trip for the authentic gelato and pressed panini. Tour the production floor and catch a glimpse of a professional driver testing the world’s most advanced racing simulators. To get in the driver’s seat, race video-game-style in an open-wheel car against your friends, or strap into a real IndyCar and whiz around in a Street Legal 2-Seater Ride. You can also hit top speed with Indy Racing Experience. Slip into a fire suit and take the wheel around the famous track, or let a pro driver show you what 200 miles per hour really feels like.

The town of Speedway is five miles west of downtown, between 10th and 16th streets. A taxi or Uber is recommended.

DALLARA INDYCAR FACTORY
120 Main St., Speedway
317-243-7171
indycarfactory.com

INDIANA STATE MUSEUM
650 W. Washington St.
317-232-1637
indianamuseum.org
$10 adults, $7 kids 12 and under

DO A SCAVENGER HUNT

  • Seek out massive hidden mastodons
  • Uncover sculptures built into a museum’s exterior

No tablets or phones are needed to engage kids at the Indiana State Museum, just three blocks from the Conrad Indianapolis. In-the-know parents grab a worksheet (yep, it’s old-school fun) at the admission desk and follow the organized seek-and-find activities. Stuffed mastodons are hidden throughout the three-level exhibit spaces, and once kids have tracked them all down, they can turn their worksheet in for a prize. Next, head outside and take the “92 County Walk” and see if you can spot the 92 sculptures (each one representing a county in Indiana) in limestone, sandstone, and steel studding the museum’s exterior. There’s a map inside if you need an assist (insider intel: the trickiest sculpture to spot is suspended over water).

Head west on Washington Street for three blocks. Cross West Street, and enter White River State Park, the city’s museum campus.

INDIANA STATE MUSEUM
650 W. Washington St.
317-232-1637
indianamuseum.org
$10 adults, $7 kids 12 and under

TRADERS POINT CREAMERY
9101 Moore Rd., Zionsville
317-733-1700
traderspointcreamery.com

RUSTLE UP A FARM-FRESH SUPPER

  • Dine at an organic dairy farm
  • Enjoy a short drive to the country
  • Feast on cheese, meat, and produce steps from the source

Just a zippy 20-minute Uber ride from downtown delivers you to the edge of the rolling farmlands the Midwest is known for. This proximity to Indy’s city limits makes farm-to-table dining a regular part of the lifestyle. Traders Point Creamery, an organic dairy farm (you might have seen their yogurt at your local Whole Foods), does it best with a polished yet laid-back restaurant in the loft of a restored Amish barn. Dressed-down but discerning diners linger over wine, the creamery’s award-winning Fleur de la Terre cheese, pasture-raised pork, and grass-fed steaks, all from the surrounding fields. The menu changes often and seasonally, but the Dairy Bar in the corner is a permanent fixture (many come just for dessert). You could go big with ice cream and the works, but we’re partial to a glass of their decadent chocolate milk. On Friday nights in the summer, get even closer to the source, and opt for a table on the garden deck surrounded by a fragrant field of wildflowers and herb and vegetable gardens.

TRADERS POINT CREAMERY
9101 Moore Rd., Zionsville
317-733-1700
traderspointcreamery.com

LONG-SHARP GALLERY
Inside the Conrad, 50 W. Washington St.
866-370-1601
longsharpgallery.com
Hours fluctuate, so check the website or call the Conrad’s front desk

MINTON-CAPEHART FEDERAL BUILDING
575 N. Pennsylvania St.

CENTRAL LIBRARY
40 E. St. Clair St.
317-275-4100
indypl.org

TAKE AN ART AMBLE

  • Contemplate art steps from your suite
  • Make an offer on original works
  • Head out on a public art neighborhood stroll

It’s hard to argue with Indy’s art cred if you know where to look—starting with the lobby of the Conrad Indianapolis. The on-site collection, curated by the Long-Sharp Gallery, includes contemporary works (all for sale) such as the pop art Chanel logo bubbling behind a layer of clear eyeglass lenses by David Datuna. Any of the Conrad Art Ambassadors (they’re the staff members wearing a paint-palette lapel pin) can field questions about the art on display. Next up: take the short stroll to the recently restored 1970’s mural, “Color Fuses” by Milton Glaser wrapped around the Minton-Capehart Federal Building. Instagram to your heart’s content, then pass along several blocks of manicured green spaces and war memorials before landing at the Central Library to admire Thinmanlittlebird by California sculptor Peter Shelton, an alien-esque stick figure towering above the roofline. Finally, make the seven-block stroll back toward the hotel, passing by the swaying LED woman known as Ann Dancing by British artist Julian Opie, and stop to snap another shot (for Facebook this time?) of the 40-foot-tall Kurt Vonnegut mural by artist Pamela Bliss.

This two-mile route, north of the hotel on Pennsylvania and Alabama streets, is easily covered on foot.

LONG-SHARP GALLERY
Inside the Conrad, 50 W. Washington St.
866-370-1601
longsharpgallery.com
Hours fluctuate, so check the website or call the Conrad’s front desk

MINTON-CAPEHART FEDERAL BUILDING
575 N. Pennsylvania St.

CENTRAL LIBRARY
40 E. St. Clair St.
317-275-4100
indypl.org

ACTION DUCKPIN BOWLING
1105 Prospect St.
317-686-6006
fountainsquareindy.com
Reservations strongly recommended and accepted by phone only

ROLL STRIKES WITH A VIEW

  • Test your skills at an old-timey game
  • Admire the skyline from the top-floor of a historic building

One of the most picturesque vistas of Indianapolis can be spied from the top level of The Fountain Square Theatre Building during a friendly game of Action Duckpin Bowling. You’ll find a pair of the quirky duckpin lanes just a couple of miles from the Conrad. Take note: only the upstairs lane affords the killer views, so be sure to make a reservation in advance. Born in Baltimore, duckpin bowling is a variation on 10-pin bowling, but trades a full-sized bowling ball for one about the size of a coconut. It may be perfect for kids but that doesn’t mean scoring is easy. But that’s beside the point, especially when you get to spend a few hours in a 1928 building that was recently restored. The lanes have vintage wooden return rails and metal hoods over the pins, and you can almost imagine someone’s grandparents sitting in the weathered booths sipping cream sodas on their first date.

The Fountain Square Theatre Building is two miles from the hotel. Use the Prospect Street entrance, just west of Shelby, and look for the duckpin-bowling sign on street level.

ACTION DUCKPIN BOWLING
1105 Prospect St.
317-686-6006
fountainsquareindy.com
Reservations strongly recommended and accepted by phone only

MILKTOOTH
534 Virginia Ave.
317-986-5131
milktoothindy.com
No reservations, closed on Tuesdays

GRAB THE DAY BY THE HORNS

  • Dine at the city’s most talked about brunch spot
  • Fuel up at the Modbar coffee station

Indy’s most colorful characters converge at Milktooth, a converted mechanic’s garage that serves brunch six days a week, just a 15-minute walk from the hotel in downtown’s new restaurant row. Weekends are a madhouse, so we suggest weekday lunches if you’re pressed for time. If you want the full experience, head over on Saturday or Sunday, order a pour-over cup of coffee or espresso from the Modbar coffee station (an under-counter espresso machine that was invented in Indiana), and chat up the locals. It’s worth any wait for the Dutch Baby pancakes, ancient-grain porridge, and Korean BBQ chicken wings. Be advised, menu alterations are politely (but firmly) declined unless they are allergy related.

Take a 15-minute walk along the Indianapolis Cultural Trail or five-minute drive from the hotel to Fletcher Place.

MILKTOOTH
534 Virginia Ave.
317-986-5131
milktoothindy.com
No reservations, closed on Tuesdays

HOMESPUN
869 Massachusetts Ave.
317-351-0280
homespunindy.com
Open daily, hours vary

PATTERN WORKSHOP
877 Massachusetts Ave.
patternindy.com
Open irregular hours

CRIMSON TATE
845 Massachusetts Ave.
317-426-3300
crimsontate.com
Open daily, hours vary

INDY READS BOOKS
911 Massachusetts Ave.
317-384-1496
indyreadsbooks.com

GET CRAFTY

  • Discover the best of the Midwest’s handicrafts in one stretch
  • Pick up one-of-a-kind finds from leather bags to vintage fabrics

The 800-block of Massachusetts Avenue is proof that the modern handmade movement has ventured well beyond finger puppets and crocheted tissue box covers. For the widest variety, head to Homespun, which showcases contemporary Midwestern creations for the design-obsessed. For local flavor, look for Wilks & Wilson cocktail elixirs or ReFind Originals upcycled-leather bags. Pattern Workshop is the headquarters for the eponymous magazine sold internationally. Quilting studio Crimson Tate is a not-your-granny’s shop with its selection of vintage patterns and mod fabrics. Indy Reads Books is one of those rare independent bookstore wonderlands (think: Powell’s in Portland or Strand in New York City), and a must-see just for the counter constructed entirely out of stacked hardbacks. Buy a book and the proceeds support local literacy programs.

The 800 block of Mass Ave is located at the northeast end, between St. Clair and 10th streets, about a 25-minute walk or 10-minute drive from the hotel.

HOMESPUN
869 Massachusetts Ave.
317-351-0280
homespunindy.com
Open daily, hours vary

PATTERN WORKSHOP
877 Massachusetts Ave.
patternindy.com
Open irregular hours

CRIMSON TATE
845 Massachusetts Ave.
317-426-3300
crimsontate.com
Open daily, hours vary

INDY READS BOOKS
911 Massachusetts Ave.
317-384-1496
indyreadsbooks.com

GOOSE THE MARKET
2503 N. Delaware St.
317-924-4944
goosethemarket.com

SIP WINE AT AN ENOTECA

  • Sample locally-made and regionally in-demand charcuterie
  • Snag a seat at a communal table and say saluti!

After moving back to their hometown from Chicago, Christopher and Mollie Eley set out to create a full-service butcher shop, gourmet pantry and eatery they found lacking in Indy, and Goose the Market was born. Visit and you’ll find shelves stocked with farmstead cheeses, house-made charcuterie, seasonal produce, craft beers, small batch wines, and meat sourced from Indiana farmers. Now, top-tier restaurants in Indy, Chicago, and New York come to them for charcuterie and specialty items, and the locals wonder how they ever lived without this place. The best part of the market for travelers is downstairs in the two-room beer-and-wine section that doubles as an intimate Italian-style wine bar. We love the rustic communal tables and minimal menu scribbled on an old mirror. With an ever-changing menu of small plates and tasting flights, be sure to ask the friendly staff’s recommendations on the day’s best snacks, sandwiches, and more.

Goose the Market is best reached by Uber, taxi, or BlueIndy electric car–share.

GOOSE THE MARKET
2503 N. Delaware St.
317-924-4944
goosethemarket.com

INDIANAPOLIS MUSEUM OF ART
4000 Michigan Road
317-923-1331
discovernewfields.org

VIRGINIA B. FAIRBANKS ART & NATURE PARK
100 Acres: 400 Michigan Road
317-923-1331
discovernewfields.org

COMMUNE WITH CONTEMPORARY ART

  • Stroll through acres of site-specific installations
  • Be wowed by one of the world’s largest collections of modern art objects

A few years ago, at the same time curators from the Indianapolis Museum of Art (IMA) represented the United States at the Venice Biennale, they also sparked a renaissance of contemporary art in their backyard—literally. The museum, a taxi trip from downtown, opened both 100 Acres: The Virginia B. Fairbanks Art & Nature Park and the Contemporary Design Gallery which showcases more than 400 objects made after 1980 and ranks as one of the largest permanent collections of its kind in the world. You might be familiar with the bench sculpture Funky Bones by Dutch artist collective Atelier Van Lieshout, which appeared in the movie The Fault in Our Stars by Indy author John Green (a big fan of the park). It’s just one of a dozen site-specific commissions seamlessly integrated into the woods and lawns. Check out the museum’s calendar of events, too—Scott Stulen, who created the Internet Cat Video Festival, now works at the IMA and puts on inspired movie nights and other kooky gatherings.

The Indianapolis Museum of Art (IMA) is about four miles north of downtown at the corner of 38th Street and Michigan Road (which is called Martin Luther King Jr. Street south of 38th).

INDIANAPOLIS MUSEUM OF ART
4000 Michigan Road
317-923-1331
discovernewfields.org

VIRGINIA B. FAIRBANKS ART & NATURE PARK
100 Acres: 400 Michigan Road
317-923-1331
discovernewfields.org

EVAN TODD SPA AND SALON
50 W. Washington St., sixth floor
317-524-2575
evantoddindianapolis.com

SNEAK OFF TO A SECRET SPA

  • Splash around in the pool
  • Unwind with a massage
  • Pop in for a manicure 

Pssst…. there is a superb spa just steps from your room — the Evan Todd Spa and Salon is tucked away on the sixth floor of the Conrad Indianapolis. Arrive mid-morning to swan around the sunny indoor pool and have lunch delivered right to your cushioned teak lounger. While locals could squeeze in a quick massage or facial over the lunch hour, you’ll most likely be lounging with those playing hooky for the day at this temple to relaxation. Move energy around (to all the right places) with a Chakra Balancing massage or get a natural lift from a Green Science Renewing facial. Even a simple salon visit includes a hand massage and a mini facial at this Aveda spa.

EVAN TODD SPA AND SALON
50 W. Washington St., sixth floor
317-524-2575
evantoddindianapolis.com