Of all seasons, summer is usually most associated with fun.
With the price of many household items inching up, however, some families are struggling to make ends meet. Fun and recreation, therefore may end up being low on the budget priority list.
Fortunately, there are several local venues offering affordable options that are enjoyable for the entire family. Following is a listing of low cost or free activities on the schedule this summer.
Indiana History Center – Enjoy free nights at the museum every Thursday from 4 to 8 p.m., from now until Aug. 9. The Indiana History Center is located at 450 W. Ohio St. For information visit indianahistory.org, or call (317) 232-1882.
Pet Carnival – This event is for the animal lovers in the family. The 14th Annual IVEC Pet Carnival will be held July 14 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Veterinary Referral Center, 5425 Victory Lane. The free, pet-friendly event will include discounts, door prizes, goodie bags, free food, pet adoptions, demonstrations, live entertainment, and more. For more information visit indyvet.com or call (317) 782-4484.
Music Heritage Festival – Held as part of Indiana Black Expo’s Summer Celebration, the Music Heritage Festival is presented as a free outdoor gift to the community. This year’s concert will feature Gladys Knight, ConfunkShun and Zapp. It will begin at 6 p.m. on July 20 at the American Legion Mall. Be sure to check out IBE’s other free/affordable family activities by visiting indianablackexpo.com or calling (317) 925-2702.
Crispus Attucks Museum – Anyone who wants to learn more about key historic events and people in the city’s African-American community should visit the IPS Crispus Attucks Museum in Indianapolis, located at 1140 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. St. The museum, open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturday from noon to 5 p.m., houses memorabilia from the first all African-American high school in Indiana. For more information visit crispusattucksmuseum.ips.k12.in.us or call (317) 226-2432.
Concerts on the Canal – Throughout the summer the Indiana History Center will host its Concerts on the Canal Summer Music Series, featuring live performances by a different artist every Thursday at 6 p.m. Free lunchtime concerts on the canal are offered every Wednesday from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Seating on the grass is free, but guests must bring their own chairs. Reserved table seating is available at a minimal price. For an artist listing, visit indianahistory.org or call (317) 232-1882.
Soldiers and Sailors Monument – Located on Monument Circle downtown, the Soldiers and Sailors Monument is worth a visit. The Colonel Eli Lilly Civil War Museum is located on the lower level, and is open Friday through Sunday from 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Also, guests can climb the stairs or (for a small fee) ride an elevator to the observation deck near the top of the monument (just 15 feet shorter than the Statue of Liberty), and see a panoramic view of the city. For more information visit ingov/iwm/civilwar/ or call (317) 232-7615.
Indianapolis Zoo – The Indianapolis Zoo, located in downtown’s White River State Park, is open Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Friday through Sunday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Throughout the summer the zoo offers special affordable activities, exhibits and a concert series called Animals and All That Jazz. For more information visit indyzoo.com or call (317) 630-2001.
Children’s Museum – Visit The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis at 3000 N. Meridian St. free of charge the first Thursday of each month from 4 to 8 p.m. The Children’s Museum, which recently added a variety of new, interactive exhibits, is consistently ranked as one of the best of its kind in the nation. Free parking is available in the museum’s parking garage on the west side of Illinois Street. For information, visit childrensmuseum.org or call (317) 334-4000.
Easley Winery – Adults in the family may enjoy one of the free tours of Easley Winery held on Saturdays and Sundays. Visit easleywinery.com or call (317) 636-4516.
Canal Walk – It will cost you nothing to take a nice walk along the 1.5-mile long Central Canal in downtown Indianapolis. Enjoy the lovely sights, and take a stroll through White River State Park so you can visit such places as the Indiana State Museum, the Eiteljorg Museum, Buggs Temple, the Indianapolis Zoo and the NCAA Headquarters.