Looking for an exciting place for your next student trip? Look no further than Indianapolis, Indiana. With its world-class attractions and cosmopolitan vibe, this capital city has made a name for itself in recent years as a popular student travel destination. The Circle City turns you from one memorable experience to the next, leaving your student tour group feeling energized and upbeat.

Winning Student Attractions in Indianapolis

Indianapolis has an enthusiasm about sports that is unrivaled. And with the NCAA Hall of Champions Museum within the city borders, it’s difficult not to be excited. Students can take educational and interactive tours of the facility, taking advantage of hands-on exhibits and activities that teach them all about being a championship athlete. This is a popular attraction for students, especially high schoolers looking to pursue sports in college.

For younger school groups there’s the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, the world’s largest children’s museum. According to Chris Gahl, associate director of communications at the Indianapolis Convention and Visitors Association, “The museum has programming conducive to all groups.” On top of educational programs and interactive tours, the museum creates world-renowned exhibits that travel around the globe for other children to experience. “It’s the kind of place where an exhibit will be researched and produced to be shown around the country,” says Gahl.

Indiana State Museum

Indiana State Museum

The Indiana State Museum tells the history of the state through three floors of galleries and exhibits. Not only does the museum house Indiana’s artifacts, it’s made of them as well. The building is constructed from materials all found in Indiana, including symbols from each of the state’s counties. For more sports memorabilia, student groups can head over to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame Museum, which holds one of the world’s largest collections of classic racing cars. The Indianapolis Museum of Art is one of the top 10 art museums in the country. Its new Virginia B. Fairbanks Art and Nature Park is a contemporary sculpture park where student groups can wander through 100 acres of lakes, woods and meadows while observing impressive art.

While the city center of Indianapolis thrives with activities and attractions, a quick side trip out of the city limits will leave your student group hungry for more, literally. Trader’s Point Creamery, located about 12 miles from Indianapolis, is a family-owned dairy farm that produces 100% grass-fed, organic products. Student groups can sign up for private tours of the farm, allowing them to see the daily operations and get up close and personal with the animals. On a tour and tasting package, student groups can sample freshly made cheese, yogurt and ice cream.

Top Student Sightseeing Tours in Indianapolis

School field trips can get a taste of the historic city sites through Indiana Landmarks, an organization dedicated to the preservation and appreciation of Indiana’s history. School groups can enjoy any one of the many walking tours available, each catering to academic curricula. These tours will teach students about history, art and architecture, and provide teachers will pre- and post-tour materials.

Popular Student Dining in Indianapolis

Student tour groups will swing and jive at the Fountain Square Diner, a 1950s-style establishment that serves classic American fare like malts, burgers and fries. After stuffing their faces with a large meal, students can head over to the duckpin bowling alley. This miniaturized version of bowling originated on the East Coast and slowly made its way west.

Indianapolis Skyline

Indianapolis Skyline

For a casual and quick dining experience, student groups can head to the Canal Cafe and Terrace at the Indiana State Museum. The restaurant offers a student-friendly atmosphere, serving sandwiches, pizza, burgers and more. Diners are given the option of sitting inside the café or outside overlooking the canal running through White River State Park. The Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art is not only a great attraction for student groups to visit, but it also features the Sky City Cafe, which overlooks the Indianapolis skyline.

Put on a Show at these Indianapolis Student Performance Venues

Indianapolis ArtsGarden

Indianapolis ArtsGarden

Student performance groups can showcase their talent at the Indianapolis Artsgarden, a suspended, glass-enclosed structure that hangs seven stories over the busiest intersection in the city. During lunch, the facility hosts free performances, and student groups are welcome to sign up as the daily entertainment.

Students can also reserve pavilions and open green space at downtown’s White River State Park. The park also has numerous amphitheaters available for rental, where student groups can perform for audiences of 100 or more.

Student Lodging in Indianapolis

With over 7,100 hotel rooms in the downtown area, Indianapolis offers plenty of student-friendly accommodations. Nearly 90% of the hotels in the area offer student group discounts, and the Indianapolis CVA planners are available to check for deals. Most hotels are reasonably priced and include complimentary breakfasts, like the Comfort Suites City Centre and the Looking Glass Inn. Prices become slightly cheaper as you move away from the city center, but most hotels are still within walking distance of popular area attractions.

Indianapolis is a “very savvy group tour destination,” says Gahl. A combination of modern finesse and competitive attitude make Indianapolis a must-see for any student trip.