In the mood for a picnic? Just want to be outside but need to eat? Indianapolis offers a plethora of beautiful locations for dining al fresco (and most have lots to offer when the sandwiches are gone).
The neighborhood gem that is Canterbury Park is located in South Broad Ripple on the Monon Trail. Within walking distance of the Fresh Market, Locally Grown Gardens, and Broadripple there are many options for grabbing picnic supplies if you didn’t come prepared. The playground is small and manageable for families with young children, and it’s location on the Monon makes it an easy walk to Broadripple or down to see the Love Train mural.
The Indianapolis Museum of Art offers gardens, fountains, and (you guessed it) art galore. Picnic near the LOVE sculpture or venture to one of the more hidden gardens for a secluded lunch. On a hot day you can pop inside to view the current exhibits or create something of your own in the Star Studio. Although the IMA now charges an admission fee the 100 Acres area is still free and kids of all ages will love the space to roam and the fun art installations which are available to climb and explore. If evening picnics are your thing check out the IMA’s Summer Nights movie schedule.
If you are near the Butler University Campus take a walk to Holcomb Gardens. Located along the canal path these beautifully maintained gardens are a wonderful place to relax and enjoy a sunny day.
Downtown has much to offer in the way of picnics, and many places along the canal make for lovely dining. One canal alternative, though, is the American Legion Mall. With two blocks of monuments, a museum, and the Central Library this is a great place to people watch or play a game of catch. If you prefer to watch professionals play catch you can spread your picnic blanket out on the lawn at Victory Field and take in an Indian’s game. They allow coolers into the stadium, but be sure to check their website for regulations.
Fort Harrison State Park and Eagle Creek Park are both great places to picnic and walk or hike. Both have small entrance fees unless you have a State Park pass, but Ft. Harrison also has horse back riding and a great playground and Eagle Creek offersboating and swimming for warm summer days.
If you are on the south side consider a trip to Garfield Park. Enjoy the beautiful gardens, check out the art center, or just enjoy the green space. In Greenwood I recommend Craig Park. You can enjoy all that the park has to offer or pop in to the library after lunch, but don’t miss the Mrs. Curl Ice Cream Shop across the street. Bring cash, it’s worth a trip to the atm.
If you are on the north side Holliday Park never disappoints and Cool Creek Park and Nature Center in Carmel has similar options, from hiking to creek stomping to swings and slides. Happy picnicking!