Indiana’s meetings-friendly destinations are beaming with delightful nightlife activities for groups that would like to let off some steam after a day of business.
From Indianapolis to Fort Wayne to Bloomington, entertaining attractions and team-bonding opportunities, plus a great mix of restaurants, bars and breweries, await groups that have energy to spare for some after-hours fun.
In Indianapolis, a lively place when the sun sets, groups can tap into the city’s award-winning craft beer portfolio, which already includes more than 26 breweries that offer tours and tastings, and is growing every day.
“Groups can simplify the tour process by partnering with Indy Brew Bus, the original Indy brewery tour willing to pick groups up at any downtown location, including hotels or the convention center, for convenient after-hours fun,” said Susie Townsend, senior vice president of visitor experience for Visit Indy.
The artisan distillery scene has also taken off in Indy, and currently includes Hotel Tango, New Day Craft, Black Acre Brewing Company and Ash & Elm, which all offer private event space.
Hotel Tango, according to Townsend, is among the distilleries that offer a chic tasting room, and it also recently opened the Tinker House event space, complete with skyline views.
Indy is also recognized as a top Midwest foodie destination, with more than 80 restaurants having opened downtown over the past five years, including the new Latin-inspired Livery.
Located in the Mass Ave Arts District, a prominent dining/nightlife area, Livery is a “swanky gathering place for groups,” according to Townsend.
“A restored 1890s horse stable maintains the area’s heritage, but in a stylish and artistic way,” she said. “The menu pairs well with an extensive tequila and mezcal selection, and a rooftop patio provides the perfect location for a private group event.”
Among the city’s arts offerings is The Cabaret, which is on track to open a new space in spring 2018 that will host both marquee performances and private events. A redesign of an adjacent alley into an art gallery and event space will complement the new performance space and expand reception capabilities, according to Townsend.
“No other city in the region, including Chicago, has year-round professional cabaret to the degree that Indy does,” she said.
At the Indianapolis Zoo, groups can count on a terrific evening soiree, during which attendees can explore the grounds at their leisure and enjoy nibbles at food stations set up throughout the facility.
Planners can ask about the zoo’s Bicentennial Pavilion, a new 40,000-square-foot covered outdoor event venue that houses macaws and accommodates group gatherings.
South Bend is a group-friendly destination where visitors can experience everything from the pageantry of a college football game to an outdoor concert along the banks of the St. Joseph River.
There are also some great nighttime diversions for interested groups to choose from, including a “breakout” teambuilding activity that is “intense and fun,” according to Mike Franz, communications and public relations manager for Visit South Bend Mishawaka.
At the Locked Up Escape Room Experience, located in Mishawaka, six to 12 participants search for clues, solve riddles and puzzles, and work together to escape a locked room in 60 minutes.
Downtown South Bend is home to Vegetable Buddies, which was a famous nightclub in the late 1970s that featured some of the best artists of rock, jazz, bluegrass and blues. It reopened in 2016 as a restaurant with menu items such as shrimp andouille fries, pulled pork smothered in barbeque sauce and apple pierogi for dessert.