We all hear people refer to Mass Ave in passing, mostly for their fantastic restaurants and crazy angled street, but did you know that Mass Ave is a family fun destination? Consider yourself informed, Massachusetts Avenue in Indianapolis has so many things to do, we couldn’t fit them all in a full day! Here are our top picks for kid-friendly fun on Mass Ave — we’ll be adding to this list, because we’ve found even more things to do while we were walking around.
Things to do on Mass Ave
Old National Centre is located just off of Mass Ave and their calendar is chock full of fun shows for all ages. We’ve seen Paw Patrol, Peppa Pig, Aquanauts and Broadway shows at Old National Centre. Add this busy kid show schedule to their more mature line up, and there’s something to do with kids and without kids almost every single week! That’s right, while we’re sharing the family friendly side of Mass Ave, there are certainly incredible date night ideas on every corner!
This theater offers live improvisational comedy matches (it’s like a game between two teams) Thursday – Sunday and they’re great for ages 4 and up. The late night shows are a little more risqué, but the matinees and evening shows are great for kids AND adults. ComedySportz offers birthday parties and family discount packages. The matches last about 90 minutes and allow for audience participation, but you’ll still be a spectator and not heckled or made fun of. My kids love raising their hand to add their ideas to the show when it comes time for that. Reserve your date now.
Penn & Beech Custom Candles
I’ve wanted to try creating my own candle at Penn & Beech ever since they opened, but it’s been so popular and I haven’t been able to get in! We made reservations and visited with the kids on a Saturday morning and had a great time! My kids loved smelling all of the different fragrances and then working together to create the perfect mixture of fragrances to create their own custom candle. And then they got to pour it in to the jar! This activity is a great one to work on together and it keeps it affordable for a large family.
Indy Reads Books Bookstore
This special used bookstore raises funds to help with adult and child literacy programs. Their book selection includes both used and new books, with used books starting at just $1. My kids love curling up on the chairs with a book and reading aloud to anyone who will listen. Lucky for everyone, Indy Reads also has a social calendar full of kid-friendly activities, from special story times to chess club, there’s a lot to do. Our children loved when the Paws to Read dog came to visit and listen to the children read stories.
These activities are on our list to go back and try with the kids: Mimosa and a Masterpiece paint the family pet class and Escape the Room.
Mass Ave Restaurants
With more than 40 restaurants to choose from, it’s fair to say that it’s going to take us some time to check them all out. If you’re in the area for a show at Old National or one of the other theaters, we have some family friendly Mass Ave restaurant recommendations for you.
This taco restaurant stormed in to Indianapolis last year when they opened up in Broad Ripple. Our family loves this place for their build your own taco concept. The chips and salsa/guacamole/queso are favorites for all of the little ones in our crew. The colorful wall murals give kids plenty to look at — this restaurant is pretty noisy both visually and audibly, so if this isn’t your scene, we want to warn you. There is not children’s menu but kids love choosing their own taco toppings and if all else fails, ask for a quesadilla.
Perfect for foodie kids or kids and their foodie parents, Roosters Kitchen sources local ingredients when possible to create their delectable dishes, including delicious gluten free menu choices and a fantastic brisket. We loved the hummus and veggies, the fresh made pork rinds, the mac and cheese, the brisket…okay, we loved everything we tried!
Books & Brews
Books N Brews has a great menu, fantastic beers and you can’t beat the ambiance. My kids love B&B for their board game collection and used book selection. I love it because their soft pretzels and beer cheese are luscious and their naan flatbread pizzas are packed with yummy flavor. We can play a board game as a family while we wait for our food, or the kids can pair up and tackle their own interests while my husband and I relax and talk. If you like craft beer, Books n Brews is your place. Also, kids eat free on Sunday at Books and Brews.
More Family Friendly Restaurants on Mass Ave
Bazbeaux Pizza, Bru Burger, Coat Check Coffee at the Athenaeum, Forty-Five Degrees (1/2 priced sushi on Sundays), Goodfellas Pizza, MacNivens, Mimi Blues Meatballs, The Rathskeller, Tavern at the Point, The Garden Table and Wild Eggs.
Treats and Sweets on Mass Ave
Parents and children love a sweet treat and Mass Ave has just the spot to give your sweet tooth the fix it needs. Everyone will find the perfect sugar rush.
Sub Zero is famous for their space age ice cream, but their notoriety extends beyond the flavors and their super cool process — Sub Zero can actually teach kids a little bit about science as they’re standing in line ordering and watching their ice cream be prepared. If you’re lucky, one of the Sub Zero team members will show you a quick science experiment as you travel along the counter to collect your snack. In addition, they have several different types of bases for creating ice cream and can serve up some allergen friendly scoops.
Stop in to the Macaron Bar on Mass Ave and choose your favorite flavors or try new ones, like Birthday Cake, Lemon Lavender (my favorite), Salted Caramel and other really wonderful flavor combinations. Also, the Macaron Bar offers macaron making classes for adults and kids! Kids age 8 – 12 years old will love the macaron baking class at Indy’s Macaron Bar.
Other Treats and Snack Stops on Mass Ave
The Best Chocolate in Town and Yogalatte are on our list for when we return.
Shopping on Mass Ave
There are so many cute shops along Mass Ave, I’ve made it my goal to stop in to each of them sometime over the next year. You’ll find the perfect gift for anyone along this street, you might even treat yourself! Which shops do you recommend?
Homespun on Mass Ave
This adorable shop is anything but little — handmade and locally crafted merchandise is artfully displayed throughout the store. Find local flare in the way of t-shirts, greeting cards, stickers, jewelry and more. A small selection of handmade children’s clothing and toys are thoughtfully arranged at child-level. My six and eight year old wanted the beautiful jewelry, my two year old was ogling the toys and my four year old son used his allowance to purchase a pun-y button that said, “Leaf me alone”. I’ll be coming back to peruse the Indiana (and others) themed t-shirt collection.
Other Retail Shops on Mass Ave
Nurture Baby and Child, Pumkinfish, Silver in the City.