Get your engines ready because the Month of May is here. Looking for things to do in Indianapolis in May?
As the temperatures continue to rise and the racecars descend on Indy, there will be lots to do this month for the Indy 500. We’ll be updating the calendar daily, so make sure to check in often to see what’s happening all around town. For now, here are some of our picks for May.
Things to Do in Indianapolis in May
The best way to kick off the month of May in Indianapolis is at the official Kickoff to May with the 500 Festival. It takes place on Monument Circle on Wednesday, May 3rd, 2023. There’s fanfare and race car drivers and the whole fleet of Indy 500 festival cars.
May the 4th be with you on Thursday, May 4th for Star Wars Day. That’s right, Indy has quite the Star Wars following and social schedule. Check out these May the 4th Star Wars events.
Taco Tuesday is a myth in our family. We’re down for tacos ANY night of the week. Cinco de Mayo is a great time to try out a new taco place, or just go straight to Moe’s, you KNOW they’ll have a family-friendly deal on Friday, May 5th!
Every year there are a few free fishing days in Indiana. Typically, there are events and activities surrounding the whole experience of fishing in Indiana. At some of the events, fishing poles and instruction are provided! This month you can fish for free on Sunday, May 7th.
The 500 Festival Kids’ Day is a huge festival for children that celebrates all things racing and race cars. Admission is free, the activities are free and it’s a lot of fun! They even have a little running marathon for children. See you on Sunday, May 14th.
Don’t forget to celebrate Mother’s Day on Sunday, May 14th. Make a reservation at one of these great restaurants for Mother’s Day.
Zoopolis 500 at the Indianapolis Zoo is a fun play on the Indianapolis 500. During the Zoopolis 500, tortoises are placed on a race track and encouraged to move toward the finish line where there are treats waiting for them. The event is a fun way to showcase the natural behaviors of tortoises and to promote conservation efforts. In 2023, Zoopolis 500 takes place on the morning of Wednesday, May 24th.
Strawberries on the Square in Franklin takes place on Friday, May 26th in downtown Franklin. Strawberries, shortcakes, ice cream, and whipped topping are served up from 11 am until they sell out. Other food vendors are on site for this event and live music begins at 7 pm. A movie will be shown at the Artcraft Theater and a Car Cruise-in will take place at 5 pm.
The 500 Festival Parade is on Saturday, May 27th at noon in downtown Indianapolis. Admission is free on a first come first served basis in limited areas, however, the best seating is in the bleachers with a reserved seating ticket.
Crown Hill Cemetery has an annual Memorial Day Ceremony that includes patriotic music, flag-lowering, Taps, a 21-Howitzer cannon salute, and historic walking tours. This is the most meaningful way we’ve found to share Memorial Day and Memorial Day weekend with our children. See you at Crown Hill Cemetery on Monday, May 29th.
More Things to Do in Indianapolis in May
Touch-a-Truck events are an annual favorite for many local families. Kids (and their adults) can check out large vehicles like fire trucks, cement mixers, utility trucks, and others.
The Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum and Hall of Fame are a great pit stop during the month of May. See championship cars from the past, and learn about the evolution of Indy Car and the Indianapolis 500.
Farmer’s Markets are in full bloom and there’s definitely one near you. Many neighborhoods, cities, and organizations have their own regularly scheduled market days.
Have you seen the Urban Forest in Franklin? It’s a purposefully planted forest right in the middle of the city. There’s a short walking trail among lots of little trees that will someday be a forest of big trees. Within the Urban Forest, there’s also a StoryWalk. While you’re there, check out these other things to do in Franklin.
The Indy 500 is such a huge event in Indianapolis, there’s not just one day to pay attention to. If you aren’t quite ready to take your kids to the Indy 500, you can attend Indianapolis 500 practice sessions and qualifications.
Walking along the canal is one of our favorite things to do in Indianapolis during the warm months. We love listening to the fountains, crossing the bridges, and then playing at the Colts Canal Playground.
SoChatti is one of the top places for foodie families to visit. You’ll love their gorgeous tasting room, their delicious SoChatti chocolate-tasting experience, and their specialty classes for both kids and adults.
If you love board games or fantasy role-playing games like Dungeons and Dragons, there’s a really fun place for your family. Doughnuts and Dragons is an all-ages, part gourmet donut shop, part board game library, part clubhouse, and part craft beer hangout. We like to try new board games from their shelves and play a few old favorites too.
Did you know that kids bowl free every day this summer? If you’re looking for things to do in May, June, July, and beyond, there’s a great program where your kids can bowl for free and adults can pay a one-time fee to get a summer bowling pass of their own. Sign up today!
Nothing screams spring and summertime like a round of outdoor mini golf or putt-putt. Add this activity to your must-do list.
One of the best parks to run around and play at during the springtime has a very untraditional playground. Coxhall Gardens is a colorful children’s garden with delightful little playhouses and other spaces for fun, imaginative play in nature.
My children and I love visiting the Garfield Park Sunken Garden when the flowers are blooming and the grass is greener than you could ever imagine. It’s a beautiful space to explore and have a picnic. While you’re there, if the Conservatory is open, it might be worth the price of admission to look around.
If you’re the dramatic sort, check out the final show in the 50th season at the Indianapolis Repertory Theatre. Clue is on stage now and it’s a great show for the older children in your crew. Our 5th and 7th graders loved it.
Midtown Plaza in Carmel is a fantastic place to visit and relax or play. There’s a great playground for the littles, cornhole, ping pong, and billiards for everyone, and lots of seating for gathering with your family or friends. Plus, you’re surrounded by great cuisine and entertainment.
If you haven’t tried Top Golf yet, you’re missing out! I know, I know, golf is already a “game,” but Top Golf has really gamified this game in a way that makes it really fun for everyone, not just the BEST golfers out there.
Sur la Table offers Family Fun cooking classes. Your whole family (ages 7+) can reserve seats for a variety of classes. This month seems to be an Italian recipe theme.
Live music, trivia, karaoke, half price pizza, are just four of the reasons we love taking our family to Daniel’s Vineyard. There’s plenty of space for the kids to run and play, just bring a ball to toss around. This family vineyard is great for all ages and has so many things to do in Indianapolis in May.
Explore Flowing Well Park to learn about its namesake, go creek stomping, and get close to nature.
Get a sneak peek of the new Geist Waterfront Park. After Memorial Day, non-residents (of Fishers) will have to pay $30 to go see it, so check it out while you can. You won’t be able to swim during this time, but you can play at the park.
If May marks the final day of school for your kids, we have some great ideas for ways to celebrate the last day of school.
Big Woods is a great restaurant in downtown Speedway. It’s right in the middle of all of the May madness and fun. Look for live music, a beautiful patio, and a fun atmosphere. ORDER THE NACHOS!
I hope you found so many things to do in Indianapolis in May, that you’ll never be bored! We have even more ideas on our Indianapolis events and activities calendar.