Looking to get out of your weekday funk? So are we! To challenge ourselves to go out and explore Indy, we found local businesses with fun events to spice up our work week. As thrifty spenders, we decided to give ourselves a budget to see how little we’d have to pay for really fun (and mostly free!) experiences.
While it was tough at times to make ourselves go out every night, it gave us more energy throughout the week because we always had something to look forward to. It made our week more spontaneous and gave us a chance to hang out with our friends. Read below to learn how we spent our week!
Total Spent: $6.00 – Chocolate Sea Salt Iced Latte
Provider Coffee on 16th Street (open 8am-10pm)
We’ve both been to Provider before, but we’ve never ventured out on a Sunday afternoon. Most of the time the vibe is definitely geared more towards a workspace with everyone sitting on laptops or reviewing notes for class. The space is really cool with exposed bricks, lots of light and plants, which make it feel very airy, but there is not a lot of seating, so be prepared to be on the hunt when you get there.
Unfortunately, Indy has decided have one more weekend of winter, but come warmer weather, you’ll definitely find us sitting outside on the beautiful outdoor patio. This place is also a gem right outside of the city with a large parking lot, so no worries if, like us, you can’t parallel park to save your life.
The menu isn’t extensive, but it’s got some drinks you don’t typically find at a coffee shop including beer and liquor and some pretty tasty coffee.
Total spent: $7.00 – Fat Burner Juice
Songwriter’s Open Mic Night at Square Cat Vinyl (6:30pm-10ish)
Square Cat Vinyl is a record store in Fountain Square that has a coffee shop inside and puts on various events each week. Be sure to check out their events calendar!
After working up a sweat at the YMCA, we decided to head down the street for a little live music. While Fountain Square looks a little dead on a Monday night, tons of people packed together to hear local talent belt out their original songs at Square Cat. It has a really eclectic vibe that you don’t find anywhere else in Indy because people are showcasing different music genres. It feels very acoustic and authentic in a kind of gritty and emotional way. You can tell there’s a lot of local support for the singers because everyone went crazy when the bartender absolutely killed it.
We got pretty lucky with seating and snagged a few bar stools. A lot of people were sitting on the floor, so we’d definitely try and get there earlier if you want a seat because it can get crowded at times.
They have quite the range of choices on their menu and everything is pretty reasonably priced, even though it’s located in a trendy, up-and-coming part of Indy. The average price is around $6, but there’s not anything on the menu over $10.
This place is definitely a bit under the radar, but we can see all music lovers really enjoying this scene!
Total spent: $5.00-6.00 plus tip*
Trivia Night at The Tap on Mass Ave. 8-10pm
*Parking price varies
We’ve been looking to explore some new bars, so when we heard The Tap had trivia on Tuesday nights, we formed a tiny team and decided to test our knowledge. The place gets pretty packed, so we’d recommend arriving early to claim a table, especially if you have a larger team. The acoustics are pretty good, and it’s easy to hear the Trivia Master from anywhere in the bar. This is also the place where there seemed to be the most people our age, which is kind of surprising.
We chatted, tried our best at trivia, listened to some music and ordered a new, Spring cider. Even though we came in 14th place, everyone had a lot of fun, and we’d definitely go back (just maybe loaded with a bigger team and some people who actually know random trivia).
Total Spent: $8.00 plus tip*
Burnside Inn on Mass Ave.Open 5pm-1:30am (Karaoke from 9:30pm-12:30am)
*Parking price varies
Burnside Inn is right next to The Eagle and pretty easy to miss! Don’t be fooled, this building is three stories high and is known for its different mules.
Who knew Wednesday is THE NIGHT for karaoke on Mass Ave.? Well, at Burnside Inn it most definitely is. Looking for a casual, quiet space to have a drink and chat? Stick to the bar on the 1st floor. Want to dance around and listen to karaoke? Then, head on up to the 2nd floor. Need to sit back and relax on some couches? The 3rd floor is the place to go. The 2nd floor gets packed with people eager to sing and who are clearly karaoke regulars. There’s nothing like watching tone deaf joe shmoes performing their little hearts out to get through hump day.
Burnside Inn is known for its mules of all flavors – we tried cranberry and blueberry (they’re pretty spicy). Pro Tip: you can grab an ice cream sandwich from the 2nd floor bar!
Total Spent: $5.00*
Latin Night at The Jazz Kitchen on College 8pm-2am
*Cover for girls is free until 10pm. Guys are $10.
The Jazz Kitchen has been hosting Latin Night for 20 years, and it shows. We came here a few times in college and were excited to see it hasn’t changed a bit. The vibe here is pretty unique and a true Latin dance experience. 95% of the music is in Spanish and no one is shy about getting on the dance floor or asking you to dance. Everyone is pretty carefree, whether you’re an expert or salsa beginners like us. You’re pretty much guaranteed to break a sweat, and if you aren’t, you’re doing Latin Night wrong.
All in all, we spent approximately $30 each the entire week, not including tips and parking. This was just a small sampling of what Indy has to offer during the week, we encourage you to move outside your routine and explore, especially as the weather turns!
Lexa and Caroline are the faces behind the travel blog Sippin’ Sangria. They’re Butler grads who traveled to over 13 countries together and are now roommates in Indy. In their free time, they love finding affordable adventures, taking road trips and keeping their Spanish skills fresh.