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Explore Downtown for Back To School Fun

Category Downtown Vibe

With back-to-school season in full swing, college students are returning to Indianapolis after a well-deserved summer break. While breaking out the books again may not be the most exciting, the atmosphere waiting for you in Downtown Indy surely is! Escape the grind and find great options for eating, shopping, and exploring here in Downtown Indy. Read on for a complete list of recommendations to enjoy Downtown at its fullest!


Find delicious, affordable food options Downtown, with a variety that can satisfy any post-class craving.

Check out Slapfish on Mass Ave, with a casual, order-at-the-counter feel that doesn’t diminish from the bold, delicious flavors of fresh seafood and appetizers with a modern twist. Be sure to visit Yard House at Circle Centre for Happy Hour on Monday through Friday from 3-6 p.m., which features tasty half-price appetizers and pizzas.

Whether it’s yummy chips and queso from Bakersfield, a breakfast bite from Yolk, or a savory Indian dish from Aroma, there are a multitude of options to grab some friends and share a meal in Downtown Indy.


Have a free day and want to unwind from the college stress with some retail therapy? Downtown’s got you covered.

Stop by Penn & Beech Candle Co. and give your dorm room, apartment, or college house a personalized and comforting scent. With options to curate your own scent and make your own candles, Penn & Beech is a great place to shop or spend a day creating. Need some new shoes? Stop by Stout's Footwear on Mass Ave, the oldest shoe store in the USA, for your next pair!

Or maybe you want to shop ‘til you drop at Circle Centre Mall with the wide selection of stores and inventory to choose from. Be sure to visit The Garage Food Hall to grab a bite to eat and peruse the many unique vendors and merchandise available. A successful shopping day is within reach in Downtown Indy.


Whether your hobbies outside of class involve being a sports fanatic, an art enthusiast, a live-music devotee, or a bookworm, there’s something for everyone to enjoy when exploring the Downtown area.

Big fan of spending time outdoors? Be sure to check out SPARK on the Circle, open daily from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., to play a round of ping pong or sit under an umbrella and enjoy lunch with a friend.

Sign up for the various FREE outdoor workout classes, from Tabata in the Park, to Pilates on the Plaza, and Yoga on the Canal with the Indianapolis Cultural Trail.

Visit the many art galleries and museums that Downtown has to offer, such as the Eiteljorg Museum or Long-Sharp Gallery. Also, the Indiana State Museum offers a student discount for college students!

Looking for some live music? There are a plethora of restaurants and businesses hosting talented artists for weekly appearances, like 'Lunch Break Live Tuesdays presented by Lake City Bank' at SPARK, or The Garden Sessions at the Indianapolis Artsgarden. College students, look no further than Downtown Indy for your next study break.