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361 votes

White River State Park

801 W Washington St, Indianapolis, Indiana USA

Free to Visit
Open Now
Sun 5a-11p
  • Independent
  • Pet Friendly
  • Wheelchair
  • Public
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Local Favorite

Our Take

Billed as the country's only "cultural urban state park," White River State Park is the central hub for many of Indy's attractions. Paddleboat or walk along the canal before stopping to visit one of the many museums, the zoo, the garden, the IMAX theater, Military Park, the lawn, or the river itself. It's also home to Victory Field, where the minor league Indianapolis Indians play. It has a ton of history, culture, and scenery all rolled into one conveniently walkable state park!

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“more to do than you ever knew”

Located in the heart of downtown Indy, White River State Park is Indiana’s only urban state park. The Park is full of attractions, entertainment, and 250 acres of greenspaces, waterways, and more. There’s more to do than you ever knew.

White River State Park boasts world-class attractions and destinations that offer distinctive experiences for every interest and visitor! Yes, you will you find greenspaces, trails, trees, and waterways that you expect at any state park. In addition to nature’s wonderland, you will find cultural, educational, and recreational attractions and events in the urban getaway’s 250-acres. Annual must-dos, such as the Mini-Marathon post-race celebration, The (Farm Bureau Insurance) Lawn Concert Series, Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians & Western Art’s Indian Market, Rib America Festival, Indianapolis Irish Festival, IBE’s Circle City Classic Pep Rally, Indiana State Museum’s Celebration Crossing, and family programming are just a few of the diverse reasons to visit the Park all year round – Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter.

Also, White River State Park is a spectacular place to hold your next memorable event. Our green spaces and facility rentals are perfect locations for weddings, parties, charity events, and other must-do experiences. In addition to special events, the Park is a breathtaking place just to relax. Whether you are catching Indianapolis Indians Baseball (in the Park), having a family picnic under shaded trees, or just tossing around a football (doing your best Andrew Luck or Payton Manning imitation) in Celebration Plaza, there is more to do than you ever knew. Located in the heart of downtown Indianapolis, White River State Park is the place you can enjoy the outdoors without ever leaving the city.

The Indiana General Assembly created the White River State Park Development Commission in 1979 as a quasi-governmental agency. It operates outside of the state park system and the Department of Natural Resources. This was done so the Commission could build the Park without restrictions often placed on state agencies, and so they could think “outside the box” for present and future developments. The Commission is composed of the Mayor of the City of Indianapolis, the President of Indiana University, the Director of the Department of Natural Resources, and seven citizens appointed by the Governor for four year staggered terms. Four members of the Indiana General Assembly also serve as non-voting members of the White River State Park Development Commission.

The first attraction to call the Park home was the Indianapolis Zoo in 1988. The following year, the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians & Western Art opened its door to the community. Following the openings of these two world-class destinations, there was much discussion as to what else was needed in the Park. Many ideas were suggested – including a Knott's Berry Farm amusement park. With skillful foresight, the Park became home to Indianapolis Indians Baseball at Victory Field, the state’s largest IMAX® Theater (still the largest), the NCAA® Hall of Champions Museum (and the NCAA® World Headquarters), The Congressional Medal of Honor Memorial, Indiana State Museum, The (Farm Bureau Insurance) Lawn at White River State Park Concert Venue, about 1/3 of the Historic Central Canal (Cultural District), and segments of The Indianapolis Cultural Trail. With all of these magnificent attractions coming to the Park, it was important to have the infrastructure to support these destinations. A unique partnership of the state, city, and federal governments constructed viable pathways (for both vehicles and pedestrians), Historic Central Canal, Historic Old Washington Street (Pedestrian) Bridge, and Celebration Plaza in the Park.

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  • 4 Reviews
  • 0 Helpful
January 04, 2021
Rated 5.0

This a really nice and expansive place. If you park here you can see the zoo, stadiums, a nice river walk, lots of cool sculptures, and some NCAA stuff. There are bathrooms at the back of the visitor center. Great place to stretch a bit.

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White River State Park

801 W Washington St
Indianapolis, Indiana
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Open now until 11:00 pm
  • Sun - Sat: 5:00 am - 11:00 pm

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Good for boating and paddling.

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