Written by Lisa Viaches
My family spent an amazing Sunday afternoon in the Bottleworks District in downtown Indianapolis. We had a blast playing pinball and duckpin bowling at Pins Mechanical and had a delicious lunch at The Garage Food Hall. There’s so much to do in the area with kids. I’m already planning our next visit!
The Bottleworks District fills the space of the former Coca-Cola Bottling Company in Indianapolis. The redesigned area is at the northeast end of Mass Ave, just west of I-70 and south of I-65 where the two roads meet. The center of the action is The Garage Food Hall, a 30,000-square-foot community-focused retail and food hall with over 20 local dining options. The north strip houses a day spa, clothing shops, a coffee shop, electric bike rentals, and other retail stores. You’ll find a movie theater, duckpin bowling alley, yoga studio, and restaurant in the northeast building.
What to Do in the Bottleworks District with Kids
The Garage Food Hall
For our first stop in the Bottleworks District, we dined at The Garage Food Hall. There are over 20 local restaurants offered with cuisines including Greek, ramen, Indian, Brazilian, Cuban, fish and chips, pho, sushi, poke bowls, burgers, fresh catch lobster, and Korean. There are also a couple of distilleries, a wine bar, a meal prep pick-up station, a juice bar, and an ice cream shop.
There are two sides to the open-air food hall with garage door ends that open up in nice weather. The giant space is separated by a hallway with restrooms and the main entrances in the middle. There’s plenty of seating as well as a large projection screen. The day we were there, they showed a tennis tournament. The Garage is a very lively environment where everybody can choose the cuisine they want and come together to eat.
We love duckpin bowling! The balls are small and lightweight so little kids can handle them easily. There are no special shoes you have to rent. Pins Mechanical in the Bottleworks District has so much more than duckpin bowling though! There are two levels of fun with over 40 pinball machines, three bars, ping pong, bocce ball, foosball, swings, darts, and giant lawn games like Connect Four, Jenga, and garbage pail pong. There’s even a rooftop terrace with teeter totters for nice summer days.
On Sundays, kids bowl for free until 8 pm. Soft drinks are also free for kids on Sundays. What a deal! There can be a line for a lane, so we played bocce ball while we waited and pinball after. There are machines to change cash for coins to play pinball so don’t forget cash! We could have spent all day playing the various lawn games (most of which are free) on both levels. Pins Mechanical is dog friendly and they even gave my dog a gift when we walked in.
Living Room Theater
There’s a fancy movie theater called The Living Room at Bottleworks. They show a mix of current releases as well as local and independent films. Each reclining seat is equipped with a table, so you can dine in-theater.
History meets luxury at the Bottleworks Hotel. The boutique hotel occupies the top two floors of the historic bottle works administration building. Its distinctive art and architecture have earned it national recognition as one of the best hotels in the nation. Enjoy a staycation here with so much to do in the Bottleworks District as you walk out the door.
The W Nail Bar
Pop in for a manicure or pedicure with your little one. It’s always extra special to be pampered while enjoying some bonding with mommy time.
Blue Collar Coffee Co.
Grab an espresso, drip coffee, or a handcrafted specialty drink at Blue Collar Coffee Co. They also offer tea, smoothies, and pastries like apple strudel.
Good Neighbor Apparel Store
A travel and outdoor adventure apparel store featuring inspiring designs. Their products include denim, shoes, jewelry, and accessories. You can find Midwest t-shirts, Indiana dunes apparel, and cool travel bumper stickers.
Browse through an eclectic collection of unique gifts and yummy goodies sourced from around the world. Located inside The Garage Food Hall, you can stop by as you are waiting for your order number to be called.
The Fountain Room Restaurant
The vibe at this restaurant is classy hipster with unique architecture and floor-to-ceiling glass windows. Their menu is extensive and the food is delicious for lunch or dinner. I personally loved their ahi tuna.
There is a social virtual reality gaming experience located in the Bottleworks District! Groups of up to six can transport into their own action movie or freely explore virtual worlds or work together to succeed in games. Guests must be at least 48” to play and should be comfortable wearing up to 20 lbs of gear.
Treat your teen to a relaxing massage or custom facial at the Woodhouse. I love their cinnamon tea while waiting in their relaxation room. Spend a couple of hours here hanging out in your fluffy robes and slippers on the comfortable couches.
Brick and Mortar Barber Shop
Inside The Garage food hall is a barber shop! There’s even a classic red and white striped barber’s pole out front. Treat your little guy to a special cut or wash on your day out.
Things to Know
Parking and Restrooms
There is a large paid parking lot in the Bottleworks District. There are also several street parking spots in the district as well as on the side streets surrounding it.
Public restrooms are located inside The Garage Food Hall. You can also find a water station to fill up water bottles here.
Hours are accurate at the time of publishing, but subject to change. We recommend verifying open times directly with the venue before your visit.
The Garage opens at 11 am daily. Pins Mechanical opens at 12 pm Saturday and Sunday and at 4 pm the rest of the week. There can be a line when they open on weekends, so get there early and put your name on the list! Check with other businesses at Bottleworks for their individual hours of operation.
I can’t wait for our next visit to the Bottleworks District. The kids can’t stop talking about the duckpin bowling at Pins Mechanical. Next time, we’ll plan more time there so we can really enjoy all of the different free lawn games! We didn’t even realize there was a whole second floor and rooftop terrace until we were walking out. We’re also looking forward to The Garage Food Hall again. There are so many different restaurant options to try, you’ll always find something new.
Plan a whole Indianapolis staycation based in the Bottleworks District! We’d definitely grab tickets to The Living Room for dinner and a movie and I could have my boys get a special cut at the barber shop. There’s opportunity for more businesses to set up at Bottleworks in the future so I’m excited to see who else moves in.
A night out in the Bottleworks District makes a great Indianapolis date night.
Staying at the Bottleworks Hotel? Don’t miss the Circle City Industrial Complex!
850 Massachusetts Ave