Looking for a fun getaway in the Midwest? Discover Indianapolis


There is so much more to Indianapolis these days than the Indy 500. Take a long weekend and see what’s new in Circle City – from a new $ 300 million entertainment district to a new permanent exhibit at the museum. from kids to new dining options.

The Bottleworks neighborhood, the new entertainment district along the north edge of Massachusetts Avenue, defines hipster cool in Indy. It is anchored by the room of 139 Bottle hotel which recently opened in what was once the largest Coca-Cola bottling plant in the world. This sparkling white Art Deco gem retains an old-fashioned vibe, as if Marlene Dietrich could suddenly float up the graceful marble staircase.

The lobby features striking terrazzo floors and beautifully tiled walls. Large, dramatic portraits line the hallways, and room doors are painted Coca-Cola Red (bottleworkshotel.com).

A few steps away is the Salon, an eight-screen cinema that shows independent and foreign films. Movie buffs settle into the comfort of reclining chairs, eagerly awaiting internationally acclaimed films (livingroomtheaters.com).

If the subtitles aren’t your thing, try out Mechanics Company Pins, a duck pin bowling bar (no ugly shoes required) with old-fashioned pinball machines, foosball and more (pinsbar.com/indianapolis).

Other attractions

So your kids don’t want to go to school? Take them to Indianapolis Children’s Museum and introduce them to Malala Yousafzai, a Pakistani activist who had to fight for her right to education as a girl living under the Taliban in the Swat Valley. Even an attack on the 15-year-old did not silence her voice.

The museum recently added Yousafzai to its permanent exhibit, “The Power of Children: Making a Difference”. She joins three other courageous young people who promoted social change: Anne Frank, the Jewish teenager whose diary documented the years she hid from the Nazis during the Holocaust; Ruby Bridges, who faced racism as one of the first black students to enter the New Orleans public school system, and Ryan White; a hemophiliac who fought AIDS-related discrimination in the 1980s.

These are difficult topics, but the information is presented in a way that is suitable for people 8 years of age and older. Graphic scenes of violence are excluded.

“The topics of racism, the Holocaust, discrimination and terrorism are some of the most difficult that we can discuss with our children,” said Monica Humphrey, director of exhibitions and interactive media, “but our goal is to providing families with a safe place and a variety of tools to have conversations with one another. “

The addition features a recreation of Malala’s childhood home and the computer she used to blog about life under the repressive Taliban. We can also see the Nobel Peace Prize diploma awarded to her at the age of 17, making her the youngest laureate in history.

As a child, Yousafzai wore henna tattoos of mathematical equations on his hands instead of decorative designs. Thanks to a special light, children can see these equations with their own hands. Today, the 24-year-old Oxford graduate continues to advocate for a world where all girls can learn (childrensmuseum.org).

Stop at Eugene and Marilyn Glick Indiana History Center and say hello to Madame CJ Walker, the African-American beauty mogul who made her fortune selling hair care products to black women in the early 20’s.e century.

The exhibition “You Are There 1915: Madam CJ Walker, Empowering Women” tells the story of the orphan from poverty to wealth and describes how her business model of employing thousands of black women as agents of The sale enabled them to gain financial independence, which is remarkable at a time when women, regardless of race, had not yet been granted the right to vote.

A replica of Walker’s office as it appeared in his Indianapolis factory features actors in period attire representing the entrepreneur and his employees. “Some agents earn more than their husbands,” said one actor describing Walker. “They build financial stability for their families. The family helps the community, and the community helps our race.”

Several Walker’s products are on display, including Walker’s Wonderful Hair Grower who started his business, and styling tools similar to those used in his schools and beauty salons. The exhibition runs until April 2 (indianahistory.org).

An incident of racial discrimination at a theater in Indianapolis inspired Walker to build his own theater. The Madam CJ Walker Building, a few blocks from the History Center, was completed in 1927. The sprawling four-story structure housed a 1,500-seat Art Deco theater and an elegant ballroom, and was a hub of entertainment for the African American community. After a $ 15 million restoration, the National Historic Landmark was renamed the Madame Walker Heritage Center (madamwalkerlegacycenter.com).

Where to eat

High-end Asian-inspired cuisine has never been Indy’s strong suit, but To modify, the restaurant at the Bottleworks Hotel, is a bright spot for those looking for flavors from the Orient. Ravioli, noodles, sushi, and robata-grilled meats abound (modita.com).

For casual dining, cross the street for The food hall in the garage. The 38,000 square foot food and market hall has dozens of vendors serving everything from Venezuelan arepas to Azucar Morena to oysters on the half-shell of Bluepoint Oyster House & Bar (garageindy.com).

Steakhouse of Saint-Elme is a culinary landmark, a meat lover’s paradise serving some of the best steak in town since 1902. Intrepid diners start with the famous spicy shrimp cocktail that makes them cry for joy (stelmos.com).

More information

Visit Indy: 1-317-262-3000 or visitindy.com.

Tracey Teo is an Indiana-based travel writer.

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