Beyond the Butler bubble

Indy offers students a variety of unique experiences. Photo by Katerina Anderson.


Spring semester begins cold and snowy, and spring break is the only thing to look forward to … or is it? Across Indianapolis, hundreds of events occur every month, and students have the opportunity to explore these limitless opportunities.

Adventure awaits

Christine Zetzl, associate director of marketing at Visit Indy, shared options for what Butler students can partake in. She noted her top recommendations for attractions, music and dining close to Butler’s campus.

“[In] Butler’s backyard is Newfields,” Zetzl said. “The possibilities are endless. It is such a treasure in our community.”

Newfields, Indianapolis’s art museum showcases pieces from various genres and styles. Currently, THE LUME is Newfields largest exhibition, featuring an immersive 19th-century Parisian art experience.

All Butler students qualify for a free membership to Newfields, plus admission is free on the first Thursday of every month for certain exhibits.

For those looking for a change of pace, there are sporting events across Indianapolis. As while there are sporting events here at Butler, select professional sports reside in Indianapolis. Slam dunk it with friends at an Indiana Pacers game, score big with the Indy Fuel Hockey or have a home-run afternoon at the Indianapolis Indians this spring.

First-year exploratory student Ben Forness, a native of St. Louis, shares his hopes to venture to various sporting events.

“I would really like to go and see the Pacers play,” Forness said. “I have [already] been to Lucas Oil for a Colts game. I look forward to attending new events with my friends.”

The Indy 500 is an Indianapolis highlight. Whether a fan or want to learn more, check out the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum. Open every day from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. One can have a blast crossing the finish line. 

The world’s largest children’s museum is located here in Indianapolis. As the Indianapolis Children’s Museum’s primary audience is for children, but it really is for all ages. With five floors of fun, including the newly renovated Dinosphere and current Scooby-Doo exhibit, there are limitless adventures for everyone at the museum. The outdoor Riley Children’s Health Sports Legend Experience opens again on March 18th, which houses 11 unique sections dedicated to sports and sports history here in Indiana. 

Across Indianapolis, there are hundreds of engaging attractions such as bowling, mini golf, escape rooms or just avenues to hang out with friends. 

However, Zetzl’s favorite evening attraction is “Shining A Light.” A daily evening light show on Monument Circle. Local musicians often play as the visual presentation illuminates downtown Indianapolis. 

“This is my favorite spot in the city,” Zetzl said. “It is the heart of Indianapolis [and] at dusk any day … just the perfect spot to go and cap off at night.”

Music to our ears

Music is the way to the soul. Last semester, students went to the hotel room with Pitbull at Ruoff Music Center. Many big-name artists will stop at Indianapolis soon, but it does not mean Indianapolis has no local talent occurring. 

Zetzl noted the Indianapolis locations where live music is never-ending.

“The Jazz Kitchen is really close to Butler’s campus and south Broad Ripple,” Zetzl said. “A little further away is DUKE’S. They have a fun vibe, and many country musicians come there.” 

For the foodies

Even though students can utilize Atherton Union, Plum Market or Resco for their meals, sometimes local restaurants hit the spot. 

Lucía Mercado, a sophomore healthcare and business major, is originally from Spain but half her life has been in Indianapolis. During her time in Indianapolis, she discovered her favorite local restaurants.. 

“The Garage Food Hall and La Piedad are some of my top picks,” Mercado said. “I also recommend getting sushi in Broad Ripple.”

Hundreds of restaurants across Indianapolis are full of rich history and creative ideas. Owners have poured their hearts into their food while creating a welcoming environment for all customers. 

Zetzl also shares her top recommendations for Butler students to grab a bite. 

City Market is an original food hall,” Zetzl said. “They have really great local vendors. Also the AMP at 16 Tech, you can get a coffee, have lunch with friends and enjoy their great cupcakery. There are so many fun food options for students to try.”

Being close to the heart of Indianapolis, students have a multitude of avenues to explore.

Mercado encourages students to get out of their comfort zone and try new things.

“Be spontaneous,” Mercado said. “Look up events and go, especially if they are downtown or even at Butler.” 

This semester is what students make of it; take advantage of the vast opportunities in this amazing city. Grab a friend or two and hit the road to explore what Indianapolis has waiting for you. 

Photos by Katerina Anderson.


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