Things to Do in Indianapolis in October

Races, Runs, and Crawls in Naptown

Skyline Indianapolis

John J. Miller Photogrpahy / Getty Images

Indianapolis offers plenty of festive autumn activities in October, including picking pumpkins and apples, and features Halloween-themed events all month long, but the fun doesn't stop there. Indiana's capital city is a pillar of the Midwestern United States, and has a fall lineup that features a German-themed festival, a popular fundraising race held in the historic Fountain Square cultural district, NFL football games at the state-of-the-art Lucas Oil Stadium, and pub crawls all worth checking out when visiting Indianapolis in October. 

01 of 10

Run or Walk at Fountain Square

Fountain Square

Derek Jensen / Wikimedia Commons

Honor the businesses and charities in the Fountain Square cultural district—the oldest historic district in the state, located southeast of downtown Indy—by participating in this October 10, 2019, event called Run(317), a name that honors both one of the city's area codes and the 3.17 mile distance of the run/walk. Those 21 and older can enjoy complimentary craft brews after the race, when there will also be live music and food at the fun post-race party. Proceeds will go to Keep Indianapolis Beautiful, a nonprofit organization.

02 of 10

Get Spooked by Ghost Stories and RIP Reception

Crown Hill National Cemetery in Indianapolis, Indiana.

ncrob1 / Wikimedia Commons via Flickr / CC-BY-SA-2.0

700 38th St, Indianapolis, IN 46208, USA
Phone +1 317-348-2648

Come to Crown Hill Cemetery on October 13, 2019, for some bone-chilling ghost tales by Storytelling Arts of Indiana—if you dare. Food trucks are usually available onsite, and attendees may also bring a picnic dinner to this fun ticketed gathering. You'll want to grab a folding chair or blanket for this event held under an outdoor tent in the middle of the cemetery.

If you'd enjoy attending a reception with a buffet, drinks, and an auction of decorated pumpkins, you can buy separate tickets for the RIP Reception in the Waiting Station building, which takes place before the storytelling event.

03 of 10

Attend the Indianapolis Scottish Highland Games & Festival

Indianapolis Scottish Highland Games

Indianapolis Scottish Highland Games & Festivals

8600 S Meridian St, Indianapolis, IN 46217-5098, USA
Phone +1 317-885-0283

At this entertaining charity festival in German Park on October 12, 2019, you can learn about Scottish traditions, history, and culture while enjoying face painting and live Celtic and Irish music and dancing, along with other entertainment. The day's highlight is the caber toss—a sport in which a large tapered pole is tossed—and other competitive traditional Scottish highland sports like the hammer throw.

04 of 10

Party at the Indianapolis Halloween Bar Crawl

Nightlife on Meridian street in the Entertainment District
Douglas Sacha / Getty Images

At this 21 and older event, dozens of Indianapolis bars in various locations in the city will host a two-night pub crawl on October 26 and 27, 2019, that includes live bands, DJs, dance parties, and costume contests. There are various ticket options which include food or beverage gift cards, cheap drink specials, and no cover charge at the venues. Those dressed for Halloween can participate in a costume contest with a $1,000 grand prize. A portion of the proceeds goes to local charities.

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05 of 10

Check out GermanFest

401 E Michigan St, Indianapolis, IN 46204, USA
Phone +1 317-655-2755

Celebrate all things German at Athenaeum, Indianapolis’ center of German heritage located near the Indianapolis Cultural Trail public space. This family-friendly event on October 12, 2019, features wiener dog races, the OktoberFAST 5K run/walk, and a kids' play area. You won’t want to miss the booze-themed competition known as the Durstig games or the Strong Man competition. Of course, you can also enjoy German food, beer, dancing, and live music. Make sure to wear your lederhosen (short leather breeches) if you have them.

Proceeds go toward the care of the historic Athenaeum, a former German clubhouse and gymnasium built in Germanic style in 1893—the building received the National Historic Landmark designation in 2016.

06 of 10

Catch Caffeine and Chrome

Gateway Classic Cars of Indianapolis
Courtesy of Gateway Classic Cars of Indianapolis
4400 W 96th St, Indianapolis, IN 46268-2912, USA
Phone +1 317-983-5821

If you’re a car connoisseur, you'll want to head to Caffeine and Chrome at Gateway Classic Cars of Indianapolis for a no-cost event that is open to the public. This hassle-free event happens the last Saturday of every month. Drive your prized classic car—or just come to admire them—at the showroom and enjoy a morning of free coffee and donuts. Talk to other car aficionados and classic car owners, and check out Gateway’s latest arrivals.

07 of 10

Experience an Indianapolis Colts Game

Lucas Oil Stadium In Indianapolis, Indiana

traveler1116/ Getty Images

500 S Capitol Ave, Indianapolis, IN 46225, USA
Phone +1 317-262-8600

See the NFL Indianapolis Colts football team in action at Indianapolis's Lucas Oil Stadium with city skyline views. This top-notch facility opened in 2008 and features a retractable roof over a seven-level facility that seats more than 67,000 fans. The stadium covers approximately 1.8 million square feet and receives nearly 1 million visitors each year.

08 of 10

Venture to the Indiana Renaissance Faire

Indiana Ren Faire

TheMOX / Flickr

If you take a 35-minute drive north of Indy to Noblesville on October 5 or 6, 2019, the whole family will find fun and history at the Indiana Renaissance Faire. The event features music, juggling, knighting ceremonies, acrobats, costumed characters, and over 70 artisans and vendors, all in honor of the Golden Age of Queen Elizabeth I. Numerous food vendors will be onsite, and free games for kids are offered.

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09 of 10

Honor Day of the Dead (Dia de los Muertos)

Day of the Dead, Dia de los Muertos

Oleg Elkov / Getty Images 

The Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) Community Celebration takes place October 26, 2019, educating and entertaining the public about Latino culture through its musical and dance performances, beautiful ofrendas (altars), and parades. The event also presents opportunities to create art and shop at the Mercado (marketplace), among other festivities. Located at Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians & Western Art in White River State Park, Indianapolis, this is a free celebration.

10 of 10

Go to Indianapolis Pagan Pride Day

Indianapolis Pagan Pride Day

Indy Pagan Pride

Indianapolis Pagan Pride Day at Marion County Fairgrounds is an annual gathering since 1997 at which the local Pagan community—which holds beliefs different from those of the main world religions—gives back to the larger metropolitan area through charitable means. Rather than accepting an admission fee for the October 26, 2019, event, organizers ask that canned and dry goods or toiletries are donated to specific charities. It's also a fun and engaging early October day featuring dancing, art, drumming, an auction, and educational workshops.

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Things to Do in Indianapolis in October