Explore central Indiana—inside and out.

From fashion to natural wonders, summer is ripe with places to escape for a day.
Crystal Hammon

A free exhibit for fashion and film lovers

Over her decades-long career as an actress, Glenn Close wore and collected hundreds of historically significant costumes, made by the world’s most celebrated designers. A portion of that collection, which she donated to Indiana University in 2017, is on display at the Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Museum of Art in Bloomington through November 15, 2021. The Art of the Character  exhibition emphasizes the highly-collaborative creative work that occurs between costumers, makers and actors in bringing characters to life. From the breathtaking gowns in Dangerous Liaisons and 101 Dalmatians to the nurse’s uniform in The World According to Garp, you’ll see how Close’s stage and film characters were channeled by fashion.

Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Museum of Art, 1133 E. Seventh St., Bloomington, 812-855-5445. 

Keep your distance, prisoner.

If offbeat destinations are a magnet for you, tour the Rotary Jail Museum, the first jail of its kind in the U.S., built in 1882 in Crawfordsville as the Montgomery County Jail. The circular jail is one of only three left standing and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Inspired by early prison reforms, the rotary jail has a mechanically-controlled crank at the center of the spoke that rotates the cells. The unusual design was meant to prevent escape and allow guards to interact with prisoners at a safe distance. The jail was initially touted as a superior method of confinement. By 1918, that was no longer the case, as standards for safety, security and humane treatment of prisoners improved.

Rotary Jail Museum, 225 North Washington St., Crawfordsville, 765-362-5222.

Unwind in nature’s tranquility.

Plan a peaceful day at the White Violet Center for Eco-Justice, a mecca for anyone who cares about the earth and social justice. Located at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, this site spreads sustainable living practices through its alpaca herd and certified organic gardens. Bring a bike or stroll miles of paved paths next to chickens, horses and alpaca. Visit the farm store for locally-grown produce, herbs, flowers and handcrafted gifts made with fibers from the Center’s alpaca herd. You can tour the farm and gardens by appointment or by a self-guided map. Throughout the year, Saint Mary-of-the-Woods is an ideal place to renew yourself at a private or group retreat. Historians will savor the on-campus architecture, which includes 66 items on the National Register of Historic Places.

White Violet Center for Eco-Justice, 1 Sisters of Providence, Saint Mary-of-the-Woods. Call 812-535-2933 to schedule a tour. For retreat rentals, call 812-535-2946.  

Kayak Indiana’s White River.

Outdoor adventures wait at Canoe Country in Delaware County. Rent canoes, kayaks and tubes for a few hours or a day on the White River. Park there and let the Canoe Country staff shuttle you a short distance to an upstream launching point. Paddle along quiet, undeveloped stretches of the river where the Native American tribes of the Miami and Delaware people once lived.

Canoe Country, S. 6660 County Road, 900 W, Daleville, 765-378-7358.

Make a medley of music and history.

Clear every Thursday on your July calendar to capitalize on free admission at the Eugene and Marilyn Glick History Center. Tickets are free, but they must be purchased in advance at tickets.indianahistory.org. The museum is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. If you can’t make it during the day, come Thursday evenings for free outdoor concerts along downtown Indy’s Central Canal starting at 6 p.m. No tickets are necessary for the live concerts.

Eugene and Marilyn Glick History Center, 450 West Ohio St., Indianapolis, 317-232-1882.