Why 100 Acres Is the Most Underrated Attraction in Indianapolis

100 Acres IMA
100 Acres IMA | Sarah Stierch / Flickr
Courtney Johnston

Indianapolis is full of stunning outdoor nature attractions. From state parks to hidden gardens, there are dozens of natural oases hiding in this Midwestern city. One of the best and most underrated outdoor attractions is hiding within the Indianapolis Museum of Art, now called Newfields: The Virigina B. Fairbanks Art & Nature Park, also known as 100 Acres.

100 Acres Park

This stunning outdoor exhibit at Newfields is not only one of the best hidden gems in the city, it’s also completely free to explore. You’ll find remarkable and unique sculptures, eye-catching art, and breathtaking, whimsical naturescapes that offer an unforgettable retreat in the middle of this bustling city. Here are a few of the incredible attractions you’ll find within this nature park.

NOTICE: A Flock of Signs

This topsy-turvey exhibit looks like it popped straight out of Alice in Wonderland. This whimsical and humorous work of art showcases a variety of funny, inspiring, and curious signs showing you which way to travel next. Kids and adults alike will love reading all of these amusing signs when figuring out which direction to head.

A Flock of Signs

Free Basket

Paying tribute to Indy’s most beloved sport is this gigantic sculpture that catches the eye instantly. With sweeping colors mirroring the movement and bounce of a basketball and a basketball net at the center, kids will love playing inside and climbing on top of this beloved sculpture.

Free Basket

Team Building (Align)

One of the most stunning exhibits in this park is this amazing “floating” sculpture featuring two large rings. The rings are suspended high in the sky and are each 30 feet wide (in diameter). These rings were actually designed so that during the summer solstice, their shadows come together, aligning and creating the illusion of only one ring.

Team Building: Align

Bench Around the Lake

Running throughout the course of the park is a bight yellow bench that is actually a work of art unto itself. This fantastic bench seemingly pops up from underground, twisting and turning in unexpected places before disappearing back into the ground again. Altogether, you’ll find this bench exhibit popping up 15 times throughout this park.

Bench Around Lake

Funky Bones

This wacky and wild exhibit is often the kids’ favorite. It was even featured in the hit movie A Fault in Our Stars. This huge skeleton sculpture is intended to be interactive, allowing kids and adults the opportunity to rest upon one of the bone sculptures, climb and jump on them, or simply photograph this unique work of art.

Funky Bones

Eden II

Since the park is nestled around a lake, it’s only fitting to have a lakeside attraction to take in. This incredible ship sculpture is the park’s darkest exhibit. Visitors can enter the nearby guardhouse to listen to the sounds of assumed refugees fleeing from a catastrophe brought about by intense climate change. It’s a well-thought out and creative exhibit and is one of the park’s most moving.

Eden II

Chop Stick

Unwind after your long trek by grabbing some snacks from this living concession stand and tree swing. Designed from a 100 foot-long poplar tree from Anderson, Indiana, this tree house offers a creative new type of playground. The concession kiosk also sells syrup made from the tree itself, allowing you the opportunity to actually consume part of the tree house you’re enjoying.
With unforgettable exhibits that will unlock your imagination, 100 Acres in Indianapolis is easily one of the most underrated places you’ll ever visit.

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