I love art and nature. And when combined together makes for a perfect day. One of the best places to enjoy both in Indianapolis happens to be Newfields. Newfields consists of the art museum, formerly the Indianapolis Museum of Art, the Lilly family estate, Oldfields, and the outdoor area. While we’ve been to Newfields in the past for their Winterlights exhibit (A must-see during the holidays. In fact, I highly recommend an Indy holiday visit!), I wanted to experience Newfields during the day. What a wonderful spot to get your art fix and then explore nature’s beauty!
Stay tuned for more Indianapolis fun with the family!
Disclosure: A huge thank you to Visit Indy and Newfields for hosting my family. As always, all opinions are my own. Read full disclosure policy here.
Getting started at Newfields
Since we wanted to start our day at the art museum, we parked at the free outdoor lot. The art sculpture area, 100 Acres, has a closer parking lot off 38th Street. On a busy day, parking at 100 Acres may be hard to come by.
Take some time to look around the art museum. So many great pieces of work from artists like Picasso to Cezanne and art from Asia to South America. Whatever you do, don’t miss the LOVE sculpture on the second floor by Robert Indiana (Yes, that’s really his last name.)
We truly lucked out on our visit as it was the same weekend as Art in Bloom, an exhibit where flowers are styled to reflect a certain piece of artwork or sculpture. I absolutely loved it!
The 4th floor was closed off as they were preparing for The Lume Indianapolis, an immersive experience featuring paintings of Vincent van Gogh through state-of-the-art floor to ceiling projections. How cool, right? I may need to come back to see this!
Explore the garden
We didn’t get to explore the gardens fully (because, kids) but the parts we did get to see were SO beautiful. After exiting the Art Museum, we proceeded left over the bridge and past the gates and explored the area by the Lilly House. My favorite area was behind the house.
Relax at the Beer Garden
My husband and I couldn’t leave without grabbing a beer (or two) at their beer garden. Located at the Greenhouse (really close to the house) this is a must. Great Indy brews are on tap as well as canned options. Kids are definitely welcome here, so have them bring something to do. Or order a pretzel to keep them busy. Just sayin’
See the Sculptures
Located on the campus is one of the largest art parks around, The Virginia B Fairbanks Art & Nature Park, offering art among nature on 100 acres. The first piece of art was easily found by the parking lot. It also happened to be a basketball court.
Tip: We saved this part of the visit for the next day. Admission here is free.
Tip: Make sure to bring a basketball to shoot around at the coolest basketball courts around.
Once my swing-lovin’ kids spotted the swings they couldn’t help but run to it. Word is this swing/art was created out a of a 100 foot tree. Love that this art could be functional and enjoyed by all.
Don’t miss a chance to see Funky Bones, the large skeleton sculpture consisting of 20 fiberglass benches.
Tip: You may remember seeing Funky Bones in “The Fault in Our Stars.”
Take a hike
Not only can you see art here, but its a wonderful place for a quick and easy hike. Here you’ll find woodlands, wetlands, meadows, and the shoreline of a 35-acre lake is just waiting to be explored. Plus, how cool is it to have the White River on one side and the lake on the other?
Along the lake trail were more functional art – these cool yellow benches. The kids made it a goal to find most of them. Hey, anything to keep the kids moving!
Final thoughts about Newfields
What a wonderful spot to enjoy art and nature! If we lived closer, I’m sure this would be one of our favorite places to hang out.
Address: 4000 Michigan Road, Indianapolis, Indiana