Updated for 2014 Season
I had the opportunity to do something really cool this spring. After hearing about the catacombs under the Indianapolis City Market, I just knew I HAD to see them! I put on my tennis shoes and met up with my lovely tour guide. We headed down some stairs and stepped through a door that transported us back in time, or at least into a world that didn’t seem to fit beneath a bustling city.
That catacombs are the remnants of Tomlinson Hall, a public meeting space that seated about 3,500 people, was constructed in 1886 and then burned down in 1958. The beauty left behind for all of us to see is unbelievable; 20,000 square feet of brick and limestone walls and arches seem to go on forever, the smell of dirt and age — like grandma’s basement when you were a kid — permeate the air. Clearly there was a plan for this area but historians are having a hard time figuring out what is was! Come be a part of the mystery!
The catacombs tour is probably best for families with older children or kids who are really into buildings and dark spaces. There’s not a lot to see but it is VERY interesting. You’ll have to be the judge of your child’s interest level. I did not take Lulu my first time but during a special event at City Market, Jay and I took both Lulu (2 1/2 years) AND Scout (10 months) with us. Lulu loves talking about tunnels and dirt is always a win so it was great! It’s important to wear closed toe shoes and if you have any breathing issues, this tour is probably one you should miss — the area is damp, musty and dusty.
Tours will take place on the first and third Saturday of the month May through October. Tickets are $10 for adults who are members of Indiana Landmarks, $12 for non-members, $5 for child 6-11 who is accompanied by a member, and $6 child 6-11 non-member, and children 5 and under FREE. Reservations should be made online. Children under 17 years of age must be accompanied by an adult. You will be required to sign a waiver.