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What To Do In Indianapolis This Weekend Before The Game

Thousands of Penn Staters will gather in Indianapolis this weekend to watch the game no one saw coming. It’s no surprise numerous students, alumni, and fans all over the country are counting down the days until they get to cheer on the Nittany Lions to victory at Lucas Oil Stadium in the Big Ten Championship. But if you plan on traveling to Indy this weekend, chances are you’ll have some time to kill before kick-off Saturday night. We’ve created a guide for some things to do and places to see in the city in order to pass the time.

Penn State Alumni Association Mixer at Buffalo Wild Wings 

Penn State Alumni Association’s Indiana chapter plans to gather at the Buffalo Wild Wings on 7 East Washington Street this Friday to host a mixer for alumni and other fans visiting the area. The event will officially start at 7 p.m. on Friday evening and will go until about 9 p.m. According to the Facebook page, Penn State Cheerleading, the Lionettes Dance Team, and the Nittany Lion will make appearances. The event will also showcase Penn State-themed music and videos throughout the night. There is no early registration for the event — spots will be available on a first come, first serve basis.

Big Ten East Champions Penn State Pep Rally

The Alumni Association will also sponsor a pep rally at 6 p.m. before the game. The rally will take place in exhibit halls D and E in the Indiana Convention Center and will be free to attend. However, guests must get a wristband at the wristband distribution beginning at 3 p.m. outside of the exhibit halls. The rally will feature performances by Penn State Cheerleading, the Penn State Pep Band, and the Nittany Lion himself. Doors open at 5:30 and space is limited. Check out the Alumni Association’s Facebook page for more information and updates throughout the weekend.

ESPN’s College GameDay Show 

Via ESPN’s College GameDay

Penn State fans are invited to attend ESPN’s College GameDay pre-game show Saturday from 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. The show will take place at the Pan American Pavilion, located at 201 South Capitol Street. Stay updated by checking College GameDay’s Twitter and Facebook page.

Big Ten Network Tailgate Show and Fan Fest

Fans can also attend the BTN Tailgate Show and Fan Fest events at the Indiana Convention Center. The Fan Fest will be open from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Friday, as well as 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturday. Admittance to Fan Fest is free for fans with tickets to the game, but there will be an $8 entry free for those who do not have a ticket. The BTN Tailgate Show will kick off at 3 p.m. this Saturday and will feature a performance by the Penn State Blue Band. For more information, check out event information on the Big Ten website.


While it looks like BDubs will be the place to be if you’re looking to congregate with other Nittany Lion fans before the game, there’s nothing stopping you from embarking on your own bar crawl as well. Venues such as Ball & Biscuit, Tomlinson Tap Room, and Working Man’s Friend boast some of the best ratings for food and drinks by Indy residents. If you’re interested in indulging in some of the best beer in the city, check out The Rathskeller. The bar features an indoor/outdoor beer hall, German food and drink, and live music. It’ll also remind you of Dear Old State. Click here for a guide to more of the different bars and some of the specialties they feature.

(Photo: The Rathskeller)
(Photo: The Rathskeller)


Indianapolis is home to numerous museums and exhibits that you can explore this weekend. The Children’s Museum of IndianaIndiana State Museum, and the Benjamin Harrison House are just a few of the ones you can check out. As the state’s capitol, the city is arguably the hub of Indiana’s historical sites — you won’t have trouble finding one that interests you. 

Indianapolis Zoo 

Located in White River State Park, the Indianapolis Zoo is a non-profit organization that features attractions such as an animal park and botanical gardens. If you’re missing your furry friends at home, consider stopping by to check it out. Take a look at the website for more information about ticket sales.

(Photo: CBS4 Indianapolis)
(Photo: CBS 4 — Indianapolis)

Festival of Trees 

Looking to get in that holiday spirit? Like many other cities, Indy has begun to prepare for the holiday season with various events and attractions. One of the city’s most notable is the Festival of Trees located on 450 West Ohio Street at the Eugene and Marilyn Glick Indiana History Center. The event is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and hosts a winter wonderland exhibit, including 72 themed trees on display. You can look at the website for more information regarding the themed events throughout the day.

Indianapolis Motor Speedway

Indianapolis holds the world’s largest auto racetrack — the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. You may know it for the Indianapolis 500 and the Brickyard 400 races, but what you may not know is that the venue actually hosts  other special events throughout the year. Attractions such as Lights at the Brickyard and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum are just a few of the things you can check out if you visit. For more information on events and tickets, visit its website.

(Photo: Indianapolis Motor Speedway)
(Photo: Indianapolis Motor Speedway)

About the Author

Claire Fountas

Claire Fountas is the student life editor for Onward State, as well as a junior pursuing a double major in journalism and psychology. She lives in a suburb of Chicago and strongly disagrees with anyone who hates the Cubs or the Blackhawks (so, pretty much anyone at Penn State). You can follow her @ClaireFountas or email her at [email protected]


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