Top 12 Romantic Things To Do in Indianapolis

Last Updated on February 20, 2024 by Emily Johnson

Known as the Crossroads of America and the Racing Capital of the World, visitors to Indianapolis can also discover the city’s romantic side. From pedal boating by the canal to concerts under the stars at intimate venues to strolling hand in hand through lush gardens and zoos, Indy provides plenty of destinations perfect for couples.

ActivityDescription
Bed and BreakfastIntimate accommodations with charm and privacy, featuring historic and scenic inns.
Trendy RestaurantsGourmet share plates from top restaurants, fostering connection through shared dining experiences.
Central CanalPedal boat or kayak rentals for a leisurely paddle through downtown, offering scenic views and photo ops.
Intimate Music VenueSmall venues hosting live music for an up-close and personal entertainment experience.
Indiana Botanic GardensOver 30 themed gardens for strolling and enjoying nature’s beauty together.
Indianapolis Museum of Art GardensArtfully designed gardens within the museum’s extensive parkland, perfect for romantic walks.
Luxury TheaterElevated movie-going experience with upscale amenities, including dining options during the film.
Escape RoomTeam-based puzzle-solving for a fun and challenging date activity.
Hot Air BallooningSunrise balloon rides offering breathtaking views and a unique perspective of the city.
Topgolf Swing SuitesVirtual golf and other games in a comfortable setting, suitable for both golfers and non-golfers.

This guide covers the most romantic things to do in Indianapolis for travelers looking to add a little extra spark to their getaway. It provides date ideas adaptable for all relationship stages and interest levels. Read on for sweet spots to stay, dine and play as a twosome exploring Circle City.

Cozy Up at a Bed and Breakfast

Name and Location: Indianapolis and surrounding areas feature dozens of charming bed and breakfast establishments. Popular neighborhoods include Old Northside, Meridian-Kessler, Butler-Tarkington.

History and Significance: B&Bs allow visitors to stay in beautifully preserved historic homes often dating back to the late 1800s infusing heritage into travel while supporting small businesses.

What to Expect: Guests can choose from intimate cottages to mansions with period décor, furnishings and architecture. Amenities emphasize hospitality, tranquility, privacy and homemade breakfasts.

Visitor Information: VisitIndy.com lists accredited AAA properties. Advance reservations recommended for personalized hospitality. Area attractions are usually nearby.


For more intimate accommodations than a large hotel, check into one of Indianapolis’ adorable bed and breakfast inns ideal for couples seeking privacy and charm. Nestle into Historic Nest Bed & Breakfast located downtown in the city’s first recorded home from 1827 filled with fireplaces, fine art and fancy bedding. Their package for two includes flowers, candies and even an in-room couples massage upon request.

On the outskirts of town, Willow’s Lodge bed and breakfast charms lovebirds with individual log cabins featuring oversized jetted tubs, fieldstone hearths and rustic wooden beams overlooking the wooded grounds. Wherever you lay your head, Indy’s B&Bs allow traveling duos to relax away from home in total comfort and calm.

Sip and Share Plates at Trendy Restaurants

Name and Location: Indianapolis dining scene shines with chef-driven restaurants offering sharable small and large plates showcasing global influences in hip exposed-brick style settings.

History and Significance: The city’s contemporary dining renaissance focuses on delivering distinctive worldly flavors in an approachable manner led by rising star chefs. Popular areas cluster in Fountain Square, Mass Ave, Broad Ripple.

What to Expect: Visitors can savor creative tapas, flatbreads, noodles and more traveled fusions and familiar comfort foods meant for sampling solo or groups in ambient modern or refurbished spaces.

Visitor Information: Reservations recommended. Locals tip: explore Fountain Square, Mass Ave districts. See VisitIndy.com for listings.


Gourmet share plates allow couples to bond over trying new flavors and menu items spanning cuisines. Some of Indianapolis’ top restaurants incorporating shareable small plates into menus include:

  • Ukiyo downtown excels at beautifully presented Asian-fusion sharables like tuna tacos with wasabi aioli or glazed pork belly steamed buns alongside inventive sake-based cocktails.
  • In Mass Ave’s arts district, Room 4 offers a “grazing menu” with delicate ricotta toasts topped with edible flowers or duck confit dip paired nicely by their global wine list.
  • Homespun in Irvington focuses on Midwestern fare perfect for splitting like pretzel-crusted cheese curds, charcuterie boards piled high or catfish po’ boy sliders at the rustic but romantic eatery.

Sharing dishes fosters connection through breaking bread together, an ideal date night activity for gastronomically inclined duos.

Paddle through Downtown on the Central Canal

Name and Location: The Indianapolis Canal Walk is a scenic pedestrian pathway that extends through downtown following alongside the Central Canal and White River.

History and Significance: Currently extending 5 miles with future expansion plans, the Canal Walk connects multiple area districts and attractions with opportunities to jog, pedal or paddle by downtown landmarks and pretty waterways.

What to Expect: Visitors can rent kayaks, bikes or stand-up paddleboards right on downtown portions of the Canal to peacefully explore icons like the Indiana Statehouse,useums and fountains by water enhancing scenic city views along the way.

Visitor Information: Rentals and entry points at Indiana Ave/Senate Blvd. Guided history tours also available. Open year-round for exercise and recreation.


Rent a colorful pedal boat or kayak at Wheel Fun Rentals to leisurely traverse through downtown by water along the Central Canal. Glide under arched pedestrian bridges as swans drift past and city sights like the Indianapolis Zoo whiz by. Paddle at your own pace pausing for photos ops in front of iconic landmarks like the Indianapolis Central Library before looping back 3 miles to where you started.

Many boat rentals accommodate up to four passengers but the low-to-the-water kayaks work well for a romantic outing for two. Pack a small cooler with snacks and relax as your date powers through the biking and jogging path traffic floating on the canal connecting White River State Park attractions.

Cheer at an Intimate Music Venue

Name and Location: White Rabbit Cabaret is an intimate music venue hosting 200+ indie bands and comedy acts annually located at 1116 Prospect St in Indianapolis’ trendy Fountain Square neighborhood.

History and Significance: Having opened in 2004 in a converted 100-year-old church building later merged with comedy club Crackers Downtown, the White Rabbit has emerged as one of Indy’s hottest tickets for national rising talents.

What to Expect: With a speakeasy vibe and stellar sound, the cozy historical venue delivers extraordinary access to acclaimed music, comedy and burlesque performers within suited old-world architecture.

Visitor Information: Shows most nights. Offerings skew alternative but diverse. Ticket links at website whitrabbitcabaret.com where 21+ only. Street parking available.


Skip crowded arenas and opt instead for an intimate music venue hosting touring bands in a setting ideal for couples seeking entertainment perfect for date night bonding. The Hi-Fi in Fountain Square draws acts spanning country to indie rock performing on their small open floor dotted with cocktail tables for only 150 lucky fans to see top talent upclose.

For jazz and blues, the Jazz Kitchen keeps couples cozy at candlelit tables circling a dimly lit stage where acclaimed musicians solo just feet away. Arrive early to snag seats at the bar immersed in superb acts spanning classic hits to contemporary tunes at this upscale yet comfortable listening room.

Stroll through Nature at Indiana Botanic Gardens

Name and Location: The Indiana Botanic Gardens is a 36 acre botanical garden open to the public located at 3220 Broad Ripple Avenue in Indianapolis just north of the Central Canal.

History and Significance: Founded in 1996, the gardens showcase over 1,000 carefully cultivated plants and flowers across 15 themed areas like Iris Lake, Maple Grove, Pine Grove and Formal Garden amid scenic wooded walking trails with water features throughout the grounds.

What to Expect: Visitors explore landscaped gardens showcasing vibrant floral displays, water features, stonework and event spaces connected by winding mulch paths perfect for photos, sketching, weddings and serene contemplation among nature.

Visitor Information: Open daily dawn to dusk year-round. Voluntary donations appreciated. Benches scattered throughout the nonprofit grounds.


Located about 30 minutes northwest from downtown, the Indiana Botanic Gardens delights lovebirds with over 30 themed gardens to explore across their bucolic 100 acres. Meander through vibrant floral displays hand planted to cascade colors from spring through fall passing whimsical art sculptures along curving mulched paths.

Don’t miss the Sunken Garden showcasing 1,300 hydrangea plants or the romantic English Garden room modeled after Jane Austen-era mansions complete with gazebo. Other themed gardens include herb beds, a cherry orchard and serene aquatic plantings surrounding a lilypad dotted pond. Packing a comfy blanket allows couples to cuddle up surrounded by colorful petals or towering trees whispering in the wind for idyllic Instagram backdrops and zen nature vibes.

Tour the Indianapolis Museum of Art Gardens

Name and Location: The Indianapolis Museum of Art Gardens are 152 acres of beautifully manicured themed gardens located on the grounds of the IMA Museum at 4000 Michigan Rd.

History and Significance: Originally created in 1969 for the museum, today 100 acres are cultivated by a dozen specialist gardeners featuring both permanent installations and annual floral designs across multiple regions.

What to Expect: Visitors explore winding mulch paths through the idyllic Virginia B. Fairbanks Art & Nature Park; over 35 themed areas like All-American Adventure, White River Greenway, Meadow Garden; with benches, artworks and pastoral vistas throughout the sprawling sanctuary.

Visitor Information: Museum tickets not needed for garden entry. Open daily. Free but donations appreciated. Maps in IMA Visitor Center.


Nestled on 100 acres of parkland, the Indianapolis Art Museum also contains vast, artfully designed gardens perfect for languid afternoon rambles between admiring paintings or sculptures in their extensive galleries. The Virginia B. Fairbanks Art & Nature Park combines public artwork installations with expertly cultivated greenery across 25 acres interwoven by walking paths and bridges traversing wooded wetlands populated with local flora and fauna like migratory birds.

Don’t miss the museum’s ipsilateral Deer Pavilion showpiece framed beautifully behind a picturesque lake along with rotating large-scale art displays dotting the lawns. For art and garden aficionados, an authentic gondola ride drifting through museum’s bucolic grounds capped with wine tasting allows couples to feel world away without leaving town.

Catch a Movie at a Luxury Theater

Name and Location: Flix Brewhouse is a luxury movie theater chain featuring in-seat dining service and onsite microbrewery with a prominent Indiana location at 8052 E. 96th St.

History and Significance: Opened in Carmel in 2018, Flix Brewhouse reimagines the cinematic experience combining critically reviewed films alongside extensive dining and drinking menus, with tabletops and swivel trays allowing proper meal enjoyment with all theater comforts.

What to Expect: Enjoy first-run blockbusters and indie films from luxury recliners housed in modern auditoriums outfitted with digital sound systems. An usher summons your food while the adjacent brewery serves Flix’s signature beers, cocktails and wines.

Visitor Information: Open 365 days a year from 11am daily. Reserved stadium seating. Full restaurant/bar menu accessible from plush electric recliner seats during shows.


Skip sticky-floored multi-plexes and opt instead for dinner-and-a-movie date night at one of Indianapolis theaters fusing first-run films with upscale amenities for an elevated cinema-going experience. Both the champagne and truffle popcorn serving Keystone Art Cinema and also Living Room Theaters lure lovebirds with reserved reclining seats serving cocktails and upscale bites inside their state-of-the-art theaters.

Living Room goes even further offering customized fine dining menus to enjoy while taking in indie films and blockbusters on their giant screens. With luxury loungers and upscale concessions, these theaters up the ante on regular movie outings.

Adventure at an Escape Room

Name and Location: Escape rooms offer exciting interactive adventure games where groups work together to solve puzzles and unravel mysteries to win the game unfolding within elaborately themed sets and stories. Popular Indy-area escape rooms include The Escape Room and Mystery Room.

History and Significance: Escape rooms first gained popularity in Japan in 2007, combining trivia and puzzles with immersive roleplay, eventually spreading globally by the 2010s as experiential entertainment appealing to all ages testing wits and teamwork.

What to Expect: Groups register for available time slots then are briefed on the unique adventure scenario before entering their escape room to examine clues, codes and curios among intricate sets and props in pursuit of “escaping the room” by solving all puzzles within the allotted timeframe.

Visitor Information: Area venues located downtown Indy/Fishers/Carmel. Most games are 60 minutes for 2-8 players, minimum ages vary. Reservation sites provide theme and difficulty options.


Work together towards a common goal while locked in a puzzle-filled room at one of Indianapolis’ popular escape room venues, an exciting date activity for competitive or creative couples. At Captive Escape Rooms, teams like the Museum Heist, Gold Rush or other themed rooms using clues to unravel codes to breakout in under 60 minutes. Beginners can opt for more hints while experienced puzzlers ratchet up difficulty levels across their ever-changing escape rooms.

Escape Factor similarly challenges couples via rooms with mysterious disappearances, haunted houses and locked libraries to unravel through interactive set design elements and quick deductions. Playing detective or sleuthing side-by-side, escape rooms make for playful group date nights when you want to bond over something completely new and intriguing.

Enjoy Morning Views Hot Air Ballooning

Name and Location: Hot air balloon experiences providing scenic sunrise/sunset tours are available from operators flying regularly across central Indiana. Popular launch locations include Plainfield, Noblesville and Anderson areas.

History and Significance: Floating serenely over patchwork rural landscapes in a hot air balloon basket allows adventurers to soak in dawn/dusk vistas and photo opportunities unavailable from the ground during the average one hour aerial sightseeing tour.

What to Expect: Passengers gather pre-dawn/early evening for safety briefings before the colorful balloon is prepared for inflation. Groups then float skyward together once inflated, gliding over forests and farm fields while the pilot identifies landmarks from refreshing heights.

Visitor Information: Book trips in advance. Launch locations vary based on weather/winds. Year-round availability. Typically last 60+ minutes starting early morning or early evening based on forecast.


Glimpse Indianapolis neighborhoods, stadiums and green spaces from a new height floating onboard colorful hot air balloons. Multiple companies offer sunrise balloon sightseeing trips where couples toast champagne while soaring above the waking city. Watch the skyline silhouette against cotton candy clouds and then land for gourmet brunch together recounting favorite views between bites of omelets and waffles.

Most early morning tours run May through October with couples welcomed to join small groups for safety while still retaining intimacy high atop the balloon basket. Capture photos cuddling together hundreds of feet in the air for that perfect Instagram couples shot above Circle City.

Tee Off at Topgolf Swing Suites

Name and Location: Topgolf Swing Suites offer a high-tech simulator golf and entertainment experience with a private bay located in the heart of downtown Indianapolis at Pete Dye-designed Topgolf 1089 Virginia Ave. Suite 180.

History and Significance: Blending indoor golf, fantastic video and music into group entertainment, the cutting-edge Swing Suite bays equipped with massive overhead screens allow visitors to practice or play renowned courses globally while enjoying drinks, games and relaxation.

What to Expect: Guests play simulated rounds mimicking top-level professional tournament golf equipment and accuracy across 11 sports offerings and activities from a personal bay outfitted with lounge seating, while ordering from extensive dining and cocktails menus ideal for groups or corporate gatherings.

Visitor Information: Open daily with last reservation 11pm. Bays accommodate 6-15 guests. All food and drinks must be purchased onsite once bay doors are closed. Reservations strongly recommended via Topgolf app or website.


Even non-golfers enjoy a friendly competition teeing off in tricked-out Topgolf suites equipped with virtual golf games, sports broadcasts and chef-crafted share plates ideal for date night. Reserve your own luxe bay at Topgolf Fishers to take aim at floating targets across an open driving range from the comfort of your personal lounge dotted with big screens.

Order ballpark fare or flatbread pizzas to enjoy between virtual hole challenges trying to earn the high score or simply cheer each other’s long shots. With comfy seating, quality feeds and golf games adaptable for every skill level, Topgolf provides lively indoor fun for couples seeking to play together.

Conclusion

Nicknamed the “Crossroads of America” thanks to its central location, Indianapolis also connects couples to romantic opportunities spanning lavish spa retreats to beer garden laughs to strolls through world-class gardens hand in hand. Theater and music venues cater to intimate audiences while share plate dining encourages bonding across meals.

From paddle boating downtown to hot air balloon sunrise views over the waking city, Indianapolis sets the scene for making magical memories together. Use our local’s guide to tailor date night activities or full weekend itineraries celebrating your shared love, whatever your interest or budget. Discover why Indianapolis woos so many sweethearts as the Midwest’s secreted romantic getaway gem.

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