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Indianapolis Dating Tips for Singles

Indianapolis has the best of both worlds: A big city vibe with a small Midwestern town feel. Discover what Indianapolis holds for you and your next big date.

Voted one of Money magazine’s Top Places to Live in 2006, Indianapolis boasts city culture while maintaining a small Midwestern town feel. For your best dating bets, explore the city and enrich yourself by enjoying all that Indianapolis has to offer.

1) Love Your Space

Want to surround yourself with singles? Then nab a condo in Broad Ripple, where twentysomethings flock to the restaurants and bars. If you prefer your nightlife with a side of sophistication, end the evening at your rented loft in the Massachusetts Avenue area.

Singles with kids or anyone craving a little more peace and quiet might enjoy Castleton or Meridian Hills. As a bonus, just a quick 20-minute trip from these near north suburbs puts you back into the thick of things.

2) Head for the Water

Some of the most scenic areas in landlocked Indianapolis involve water. The downtown Canal and White River State Park feature a three-mile pedestrian loop, perfect for holding hands and taking in the great city architecture or a peaceful view of the river. The area surrounding the canal houses the Indianapolis Zoo, Victory Field, the NCAA Hall of Champions, and the IMAX, so bring your date and make a day of it, then finish up with a romantic gondola ride or an outdoor concert at the Lawn.

If your special someone really loves the outdoors, then reconnect with nature at the Eagle Creek Park and Reservoir. Give windsurfing a try, rent a Hoby, go fishing, or feel the burn with cross-country skiing. And for the spectator in you, kick back and watch one of the park’s national rowing competitions or triathlons.

3) What Not to Wear

Although home to fashion great Halston, Indiana’s claim to fame revolves more around its academics and agriculture than its haute couture. Ultra-trendy, skimpy clothes might get you noticed, but probably for all the wrong reasons. As with most midwestern cities, discretion is the better part of valor when it comes to dressing for a date. Unless you’re actually hitting the clubs, go for classy and comfortable over nightclub superstar.

4) Get Involved

Nothing is quite as attractive as somebody with a purpose. Church plays a big role in the Indianapolis lifestyle and offers a great opportunity to meet like-minded people. These days, there’s a church to suit virtually every spiritual need. But don’t worry if religion just isn’t your thing. Fulfill yourself and your sense of civic duty while making friends through volunteer work. Check out volunteer organizations like the Indianapolis Ambassadors, Young Professionals of Central Indiana, or Indy Hub.

5) Work It Out

Want to meet new people and feel good about yourself, too? Then join a fitness group. The amazing National Institute for Fitness and Sports on the downtown IUPUI campus offers over 60 exercise-related classes every week, including kickboxing, Pilates, boot camp, and Zumba. If your dream girl or guy is a cyclist, then get in gear and join the Indy Cycling Meetup. And if you prefer your exercise outdoors but on foot, stride on over to the Indy Runners or get involved with the Indie Hiking Club.

6) Calling All Sports Fans

Indianans love their sports. To fill that awkward silence, strike up a conversation about the Colts’ new $720-million stadium or Pacers basketball. Prefer your innings to quarters? No problem – the Indianapolis Indians are rated one of the best minor league baseball teams in the country. Of course, Indianapolis wouldn’t be the same without its famous Motor Speedway. If your date loves to party, The Indy 500 is a must-see event, or try the Formula One U.S. Grand Prix.

7) Treat the Right Side of Your Brain

Not only does art get your creative juices flowing, it also provides a great go-to conversational topic on a date. So take advantage of Indianapolis’ Arts District on Massachusetts Avenue. Choose from five different theaters, or grab your date on the first Friday of the month for the gallery tour sponsored by the IDADA. Hit Broad Ripple Village in May for its annual Art Fair. And if you’re feeling truly inspired, sign up for an art class at the Indianapolis Art Center.

8) Day Trips and Overnighters

For an extra special treat, consider a quick getaway with your honey. If you’ve never seen the famous IU Hoosiers play, a trip to Bloomington is a must, followed by an outing at scenic Lake Monroe. History buffs can head to nearby Conner Prairie to participate in the town’s historic living museum, then picnic outdoors while sipping wine and listening to a live orchestra. Rustic Randolph County features Christmas tree farms, a winery, an old train depot filled with art displays, and an old-fashioned drive-in. If time is not of the essence, Columbus, Ohio’s architecture is worth a view, and for a truly memorable night, make the three-hour trek to Chicago.

9) Pick Your Date, Pick Your Festival

In Indianapolis, festivals and street fairs are a way of life and provide a great outing whether you’re with a date or on the prowl. Here are just a few of the favorites: IndyFringe Festival: Over 200 theater shows in ten days Rib America Festival: Ribs and music – who could ask for more? Oranje: An interactive music and art festival Talbot Street Art Fair: Ranked one of the best in the nation Irish Festival: Get in touch with your beer and blarney

10) So You’ve Got a Date…Now What?

Put on your coolest threads and check out the clubs in the Wholesale District. Enjoy the outdoor beer garden and authentic German cuisine at the Rathskeller, the oldest restaurant in Indiana, or sample the contemporary theater and excellent buffet at Beef and Boards. If you’re feeling particularly extravagant, dine at the Restaurant at the Canterbury Hotel, or for a picture-perfect setting, the casual Rick’s Cafe Boatyard on the Eagle Creek Reservoir is just the ticket. Throw back a drink while listening to the blues at the Slippery Noodle Inn, the favorite hangout of John Dillinger. And for a truly unique date experience, check out Saturday Howl Night at Wolf Park.

What are your top tips for singles in Indianapolis?