Indiana Historical Society events for the summer

There are plenty of ways to enjoy downtown Indianapolis in the summer, and the Indiana Historical Society (IHS) is offering several—its time-honored favorite Concerts on the Canal, popular Museum Nights on the Canal programming and Sunday hours in June and July. The Eugene and Marilyn Glick Indiana History Center, home of the IHS and the Indiana Experience, is located at 450 W. Ohio St. in downtown Indianapolis, along the picturesque, historic Central Canal.

On Thursday evenings this summer, the IHS will host some of the area’s best performers. The concert lineup includes a diverse selection of musical styles, from jazz, blues and classic rock to big band, swing and the Great American Songbook. Local and regional favorites like The Woomblies, The Flying Toasters, Cynthia Layne, The Cool City Band (featuring Shannon Forsell and Laney Wilson) and Jessie Brown are just a few of the acts on this season’s schedule.

Concerts take place from 6 to 8 p.m. on Thursdays from May 29 to July 31, in addition to IHS’s annual Independence Day Bash on Friday, July 4, which will start at 5 p.m. with the Indianapolis Municipal Band and feature King James and the Verses.

Guests are welcome to bring their own food and non-alcoholic beverages to Concerts on the Canal, but food service is also provided in the History Center’s Stardust Terrace Café and at an outdoor grill, both operated by Hoaglin To Go. All alcohol must be purchased on-site, and a cash bar will be offered. No pets and no smoking are allowed on the Plaza. Parking is available on a first-come, first-served basis in the History Center’s parking lot.

Seating can be purchased on the Kruse Family Stardust Terrace in tables of eight ($45/$40 IHS members) or four ($35/$30 IHS members), and single-seats at the community table ($10/$9 for IHS members). Free seating is available across the canal on the grassy knoll. The 2014 Concerts on the Canal series is presented by The Indiana Rail Road Company, in partnership with the IUPUI Department of Music and Arts Technology.

For concert dates in June and July, IHS’s Museum Nights on the Canal will offer free Indiana Experience admission, as well as hands-on activities and extra entertainment, from 4 to 8 p.m. Indiana Experience admission will also be free on July 4, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Museum Nights on the Canal is presented by Citizens Energy Group and The Glick Fund, a CICF Fund.

Indiana Historical Society’s 2014 Concerts on the Canal Schedule

May 29

The Woomblies

Popular Motown, soul and rock

June 5

The Flying Toasters

High-energy dance favorites

June 12

Hopkins and Miller

Jazz of the 1920s and 1930s

June 19

Seth Jenkins and the Tides featuring Michael Beck and Dane Dye

Eclectic music from the 1950s to today


June 26

Cynthia Layne

R&B and jazz

July 3

Carmel Brass

Patriotic tunes

July 4

Indianapolis Municipal Band (5 to 6:15 p.m.)

Patriotic tunes and marches

King James and the Verses (7:30 to 9:30 p.m.)

Classic rock and blues

July 10

The Cool City Band featuring Shannon Forsell and Laney Wilson

Music of the Lounge Era

July 17

Deb Mullins

Cabaret with a mix of standards, bluesy jazz and pop

July 24

David Mannell with Laura Hammer-Erhart and Becky Barton with special guest John Alvarado

Classic music of Spain and Latin America, standards of musical theater

July 31

Jessie Brown

Country, rock and soul


Museum Nights on the Canal and July 4 Programming


Hop, Skip and Jump

Meet up with your friends and learn how to salsa dance and do the swing and the foxtrot. Take a 30-minute lesson at 5:15 p.m. or 6 p.m.

June 5, June 12 and July 24


Banding Together

Bring friends and coworkers – or come alone – to the History Center at

5:15 p.m. for a networking event to participate in improvisational activities and get to know new people.

May 29, June 19 and July 31


Eleven for Eleven

Did you know the Indiana 11th Regiment, formed during the Civil War, inspired the name of our city’s new soccer team? Learn 11 fun facts about the Indy Eleven and meet members of the team from 5 to 6 p.m.

July 10


Picturing Your Way Through History

Take a new look at the stunning architecture of the History Center through two interactive sessions at 5:15 p.m. or 6 p.m. Scope out creative shots to share on Instagram or even create a Vine.

June 26 and July 17


What’s Red, White and Blue All Over?

Is wine really good for you? Join us for a special wine and cheese tasting from 5:15 to 6 p.m. and hear what a member of the medical community has to say about the benefits of social time with friends and libations that serve you well.

July 3


Hoosiers Helping Hoosiers

As you celebrate our country’s birth, spend a day here and find out how you can help others in our community.

July 4



Cool Sundays Programming

Racing Through History

Using toy cars, race on a track like no other in Indianapolis for a chance to win tickets to another favorite Indianapolis pastime, an Indianapolis Indians game.

June 1, June 15 and July 27


Recipes Gone By/Recipes Made Anew

Join us as we taste and explore dishes from Indiana’s history and make them new. We are pulling recipes from our collections and having local chefs interpret them with contemporary flare and local ingredients.

June 8, June 29, July 20


Snappier Pics

Tired of taking photos that don’t turn out? Learn from Indianapolis Star photographers how to take the best possible photos from your smartphone.

June 22 and July 13

The Indiana Historical Society (IHS) will offer the general public its first look at the former home of more than one leading Indianapolis citizen with the Historic Twin Oaks Home and Garden Tour. The home will be open June 6, 7 and 8, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. each day.

Guests will enjoy a rare peek inside Twin Oaks, the 1941 Colonial Revival home built by Lyman S. Ayres II and his wife, Isabel. Hidden behind the trees at 555 Kessler Boulevard West Drive, Twin Oaks was the residence of philanthropist Ruth Lilly from the late 1980s until her death in 2009.

Starting with the elegant spiral staircase and distinctive murals in the entry, visitors can explore 17 rooms in the mansion, from the grand drawing room to the beauty parlor, as well as 21 paintings from the IHS’s collections that adorn the walls of this extraordinary house. Guests can also take a stroll through the home’s meticulously kept English Garden.

The home is accessible by shuttle service only, and parking with shuttle service is available at Fox Hill Elementary School (802 Fox Hill Dr., Indianapolis)—just a one-minute ride to Twin Oaks. This historic home has stairs and no elevator, and the shuttle cannot accommodate wheelchairs.

Tickets for adults are $18 in advance or $20 at the door, and cost for children ages 3 through 12 is $5 (ages 2 and younger are free). Advance tickets available at the Eugene and Marilyn Glick Indiana History Center, Charles Mayer, Sullivan’s Hardware at Keystone, The Empty Vase and online at

The Historic Twin Oaks Home and Garden Tour is presented by Litz Real Estate and John Eaton Homes, with media partner Indianapolis Monthly. For more information on this and other IHS programs, visit or call (317) 232-1882. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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