Looking for things to do in Indianapolis? If so, I’ve got a great day exploring Indianapolis planned for you at the Circle City Industrial Complex (CCIC). You’ll find yummy food, interesting art, delicious craft beverages, chocolate, and more. If you live within an hour or so of the city, it would be a fantastic day trip!
Isn’t it crazy how you can live someplace almost your entire life and STILL find a new area to explore? I was reminded of how much fun it is just to pick a part of town and see what we could find on a recent adventure to downtown Indianapolis. So, brace yourself for a day packed with surprises and unforgettable moments!
Start with the Indy winter farmer’s market
The actual intent of the day was to visit the Indianapolis winter farmers market and pick up some ciders from a local cidery. We did accomplish both of those tasks but we also discovered an entirely new to us area of the city full of fun things to do.
The Indy Winter Farmers Market is located close to downtown Indianapolis in the Circle City Industrial Complex. What is the Circle City Industrial Complex? From my experience, I can tell you that it’s definitely an up-and-coming part of the city.
Not far from Mass Ave (one of our Cultural Arts Districts), this complex is drawing an interesting and eclectic mix of small businesses, artists, and more. And we had a blast exploring it!
Circle City Industrial Complex, 1125 E. Brookside Ave. Indianapolis, IN
Enjoy a drink (or two)!
After we checked out the farmer’s market, it was just about time for Centerpoint Brewery to open. As a lover of local breweries, I was excited to check Centerpoint out! The brewery has a large indoor area with an industrial feel (which fits right in with the complex). We headed to the bar to check out the variety of beers. The beers on tap were all their own brews and the variety was perfect – something for everyone.
I enjoyed the Blackberry Sour (we ended up taking a growler home with us, so I was glad I had a cooler with me), and my husband actually liked a few of their IPAs. Although we couldn’t currently enjoy a flight (COVID), in the future they will hopefully offer them again.
There wasn’t any food on-site, but the bartender assured us we were welcome to bring in whatever we wanted or we could order delivery. I particularly liked the picnic tables outdoors in the sun – I could definitely order something from the nearby Garage Food Hall (that’s a post for another day) and enjoy a few drinks in the sunshine!
Explore The Circle City Industrial Complex through local art
The Circle City Industrial Complex is huge, and we found numerous art studios and exhibits throughout the building. We’d enter a door with a sign that stated “art”, and ended up walking down hallways and into the large center of the building and then out another door!
It was fun, if a bit confusing and we discovered quite a few local artists that we really enjoyed. I’m sure we didn’t find them all!
One of our favorite finds was Glass Arts Indiana, a glass-blowing studio, community, and shop. In addition to beautiful works of glass for purchase, the studio offers glass-blowing classes. In just a few hours, you’ll create either a gorgeous paperweight or a lovely flower. What fun, right?
We watched a student work on her flower for a bit and decided that we would definitely return to make our own creations soon.
Glass Arts Indiana, 1125 Brookside Ave. Ste. C-25, Indianapolis, IN
Indulge in decadent chocolate
Walking along the outside of the building, we noticed an interesting-looking space with a modern, clean design. Not sure exactly what it was all about, we headed in and discovered chocolate heaven.
SoChatti is a new chocolatier that specializes in pure, rich chocolate. Their products are made with three simple ingredients: cacao nibs, organic sugar cane, and organic cacao butter. All the chocolate is nut-free, dairy-free, and AMAZING. Although you can eat the chocolate hardened, they recommend serving it melted.
When we entered, we were greeted with a friendly hello and asked if we’d like to do a chocolate tasting. Um, yes, please! We were treated to four different varieties of chocolate warmed up and with info cards detailing a bit about where the chocolate was sourced, what it would pair well with, etc.
What I found intriguing is how different the four chocolates tasted even though the proportions of ingredients in each one were exactly the same. The difference is in the type of beans. It was pretty mind-blowing.
We ended up picking up a few sample packs to share with the kids later -we’ll have our own chocolate tasting again at home soon.
Enjoy a new sport – with kids or without!
At the opposite end of the complex from Centerpoint Brewing, we discovered a truly unique new entertainment option. Once again, we couldn’t tell from the outside what we were going to discover but we walked on in.
Fowling Warehouse has a new type of game that’s a cross between bowling and cornhole. Basically, you throw a football at bowling pins and try to knock more down than your opponent. Crazy, right?
This football bowling game was actually created at the Indy 500 and although there are several locations outside of Indiana, this is the first Indianapolis location.
The building is HUGE, with dozens of lanes, multiple tables to sit and chill, and two full bars. It was not very busy on a Saturday afternoon, so I could see bringing my son and a bunch of his friends back on a future trip (kids are allowed during the day).
We got a kick out of the Mystery Beer Machine at the bar. After talking to the bartender about it, we learned that they randomly stock it and you can select the type of drink you want, but you won’t know the brand or flavor until it comes out.
End your exploration with a cocktail
I was thrilled to discover that 8th Day Distillery was a part of the Circle City Industrial Complex. Visiting a distillery is always fun, and this one had a chill, laid-back vibe, perfect for enjoying a cocktail and maybe playing a game.
They do offer drink classes which I would love to take someday, and often fun events like trivia, tours, tastings, and the like. They are only open Thursday – Sunday so try to visit the complex on one of those days if you want to stop in.
8th Day Distillery, Ste. D06, 1125 Brookside Ave. Indianapolis, IN
Where to stay near the Circle City Industrial Complex
The CCIC is far enough from the Indianapolis City Center that I would highly recommend staying at the nearby Bottleworks Hotel. Not only is it close by, but it’s also rated one of the top boutique hotels in the country!
Conclusion: Exploring Indy at the Circle City Industrial Complex
From the bustling stalls of the Indy Winter Farmers Market to the art-strewn corridors of the Circle City Industrial Complex, every step was a revelation waiting to happen. The rich taste of craft beers at Centerpoint Brewery, the mesmerizing artistry at Glass Arts Indiana, the velvety allure of SoChatti’s chocolates, and the quirky excitement of Fowling Warehouse – they all wove together a tapestry of memories.
What a fun and unexpected adventure close to home. It was a vivid reminder that even in the places we think we know best, there’s always a new chapter to explore, a fresh page to turn. So, as you mull over your own adventures, remember the magic that unfolds when curiosity leads the way. Just goes to show that if you are open to wandering around your city, who knows what you’ll discover!
💥If you are looking for more fun ideas for things to do, be sure to get your FREE copy of 5 Fun Family Activities!