Guides

Nightlife & Entertainment in Indianapolis

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From the bright lights of Downtown with its theaters and concert venues, to the boho-chic of Broad Ripple and Fountain Square, Indy is party-ready any night of the week. Things really heat up at weekends, when comedy venues put on big acts, laid-back bars become late-night dance clubs, and live music rocks the city.

 

Brewpubs

 

With home-grown breweries dotted all over town, it’s hard to get a bad beer in Indy. Most of the pubs and bars stock the local brews, and you can get a head start with brewery visits for tasters. But there are also a few dedicated brewpubs, small-scale artisanal operations, where the barman may also be the brewer.

 

Black Acre Brewing Company

 

With its reclaimed-wood walls and a blackboard scrawled with information about the beers, this Irvington brewpub has a reassuringly rustic atmosphere. These guys know their craft, starting off as home-brewers. Now, they offer unique seasonal ales, as well as a sturdy corps of regulars. For real ale lovers, it’s heaven.

 

5632 E Washington Street, Indianapolis IN 46219. Tel: +1 317 207 6266

 

Black Acre Brewing Company website

 

Live music

 

Indy knows how to rock the live music scene. From local bands performing in trendy, hipster bars, to anthemic sing-alongs in cavernous venues, it’s all about having fun. Of course, the city sees plenty of stadium gigs too – the Lawn at White River State Park is the top summer venue for huge, festival-style concerts.

 

Radio Radio

 

Right at the center of bohemian Fountain Square, Radio Radio is the go-to live music venue for the cool cats in town. With its hardwood sheen and elegant bar, it’s like stepping into a different era, but the live music is right up to date, with local up-and-coming stars performing.

 

1119 Prospect Street, Indianapolis IN 46203. Tel: +1 317 955 0995

 

Radio Radio website

 

Howl at the Moon

 

A dance club, gig venue, and bar, Howl at the Moon is a rip-roaring experience. Think party anthems, heaving crowds, and plenty of singing along with the performers, while cheap drinks flow. Reserve a table in advance if you want a little space of your own among the madness.

 

20 East Georgia Street, Indianapolis IN 46204. Tel: +1 317 955 0300

 

Howl at the Moon website

 

Comedy clubs

 

As well as live music, Indy has a lively comedy scene, attracting big names to its top comedy clubs, while improv venues give a stage to those just cutting their teeth in the industry. There are comedy locations all over the city, so you don’t have to go far for a laugh.

 

Crackers Comedy

 

For decades, Crackers Comedy in Downtown has established itself as the foremost laughter lounge in the city. In fact, it’s grown so big that it’s spawned a sister club in Broad Ripple. The line-up bursts with big-name acts, with Ellen DeGeneres and Jay Leno among the past performers.

 

247 S. Meridian Street, Indianapolis IN 46225. Tel: +1 317 631 3536

 

Crackers Comedy website

 

Nightclubs

 

Whether you want to give your goth T-shirt an outing in a grungy, alternative spot in Fountain Square, or dress to the nines for a swish night out in Downtown, Indy has a whole range of night clubs on offer, and a variety of musical styles to match.

 

Blu

 

Right at the heart of Downtown, Blu is a laid-back cocktail lounge during the week, and a fully-fledged dance club at the weekends. With eclectic DJ sets, ranging from 70s punk to modern house, there will be a tune to get you on the dance floor. Private VIP areas offer a more relaxed experience.

 

240 South Meridian Street, Indianapolis IN 46225. Tel: +1 317 955 8585

 

Blu website