What to do in Indianapolis When Your Flight is Delayed


It's no fun to be stranded. Well, unless you're on a tropical island with no care in the world. But, if you're flying the friendly skies trying to make it home for your son's baseball game, or trying to get to a work event on time, and hear a voice bellow over the terminal speakers that your flight is delayed, EGADS! That kind of stranded is no fun. But if you're "lucky" enough to get stuck at the Indianapolis International Airport, there's plenty to do. Here're a few things to do if you're stranded in Indy, all within a 15-25 drive from the airport—and all things you can only do in Indy.



If you're a race fan
Indianapolis is the racing capital of the world, so why not check out the place where all the hype happens. Come Memorial Day weekend, The Indianapolis Motor Speedway hosts the greatest spectacle in racing—The Indy 500— but the Speedway is also home to the Brickyard 400 and the Indianapolis motorcycle Grand Prix among other events. This oblong track has an infield big enough to fit Churchill Downs, Yankees Stadium, the Rose Bowl, the Roman Colosseum and Vatican City—all at one time! Which means if you ever do get back in the friendly skies, chances are you'll be able to see the IMS from above.

If you have kids
Considered the largest children's museum in the world, The Children's Museum of Indianapolis will take you out of this world—figuratively, of course—and transport you to outer space, to prehistoric times, to pioneer days. The many exhibits and artifacts help bring imagination to life and it's the perfect place for families with children of all ages to lull away the hours. Besides, you might even learn something.

If you love a good steak
Consistently recognized as one of the top steak joints in the country St. Elmo Steakhouse is a longtime Indianapolis staple for great food served in a great atmosphere. But this steakhouse is more than beef—known world-wide for its fiery, colossal shrimp cocktail, this downtown landmark is the one all steak lovers have on their bucket list. And when you get back on your way, flip through the inflight magazine—you're sure to find St. Elmo at the top of the Best Steakhouses in the Country list.

If you're a war buff
Second only to Washington D.C. for the number of memorials dedicated to our service men and women, downtown Indianapolis has close to 25 acres of war memorials—and they're all located near the city center. The urban area is plush with green grass, fountains and enough steps to make even the most dedicated CrossFit enthusiast want to get their workout gear on.

If you're a basketball fan
Hinkle Fieldhouse —home to the Butler Bulldog's basketball teams—is the sixth-oldest college basketball arena still in use in the United States, and is a U.S. National Historic Landmark. And it's also the iconic setting for the Indiana-based film, "Hoosiers." A fun place to see and maybe, just maybe, you might be able to catch a game if the Bulldog's are in town.

If you love art
Sitting in the middle of a 152-acre campus, the Indianapolis Museum of Art has many galleries and exhibits to explore inside, plus interesting sculpture and beautifully landscaped grounds to saunter around while outdoors. The property, which includes the Lilly House and Gardens as well as The Virginia B. Fairbanks Art & Nature Park, makes for a serene backdrop to enjoy an afternoon picnic, or layover, as the case may be. And it beats hunting for Pokémon in the Indianapolis Airport all afternoon.

Shauna Nosler lives in Indianapolis. She's a contributor to both the Indianapolis Star and Indianapolis Monthly Magazine as well as to the national news organization U.S. News & World Report. More of her writing can be found on the lifestyle blog, The Flavored Word.

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