Fishing at Houghton Lake
An architect’s rendering of Indianapolis’s Super Bowl Village

Go Long

Sick of hosting Super Bowl parties? Be a guest at one thrown by the city of Indianapolis. Super Bowl Village is a ten-day ‘round the clock tailgate party that starts this year on Friday, January 27 and runs through game day. The Village also houses a temporary nightclub, zip lines, immersive Xbox gaming facilities, and enough broadcast booths and big-screen TVs so everyone can follow the action. Here, just a few of the attractions:

  • Pre-tackle flight. The organizers claim they’re running the longest temporary zip line in the country—a ZipTrek Ecotours–operated contraption 96 feet up and 800 feet long down the side of Capitol Avenue. Tickets, $10, are available at the Zipline Launch Tower at 258 South Capitol Avenue.
  • Hamster-ball. Imagine two giant hamster wheels, each powered by fans of the big game’s opposing teams. That’s the set-up for the daily Super Dash, a 100-foot race where the winning team isn’t necessarily the fastest but rather the one that generates the most “crowd energy.” The champion will be crowned February 5.
  • Bands, bands, and yet more bands. Two stages will host free live entertainment until 11 p.m. Friday through Sunday. This weekend’s headliners include Poison’s Bret Michaels at 9:30 p.m. on Friday, and Patti LaBelle at 9:15 p.m. on Saturday.
  • Food, drink, and sportscasters. Head for “The Huddle,” which is a former Nordstrom’s converted into a nightclub, complete with a continuous light-and-surround-sound installation by the multimedia artist Benji Ramsey, 23,000 feet of Super Bowl/NFL-related merchandising, and jumbo-size screens showing HDTV broadcasts including the game. There’s also a beer garden and a warming area. For $100, you can jump the line and access the VIP Huddle After Hours lounge for the 10 nights leading up to the game; nightly cover charges to the After Hours club will vary.

GO Indianapolis Super Bowl Village in downtown Indianapolis, Indiana (317-631-2947,

Where to stay: The 140-year-old DeWolf-Allerdice House (1224 N. Park Ave.; 317-822-4288, has three luxury rooms on the second floor, a large third-floor suite, and lavish daily breakfast featuring dishes from the innkeeper’s own cookbook; rooms are $240 a night. The Canterbury Hotel (123 S. Illinois St.; 317-634-3000, has five bi-level penthouse suites and Chippendale four-poster beds in some rooms; rates range from $179 to $399 a night.

Where to eat: Mama Carolla’s Old Italian Restaurant (1031 E. 54th St.; 317-259-9412, prides itself on its rosemary chicken lasagna and has an extensive menu of traditional Italian dishes. Black Market (922 Massachusetts Ave.; 317-822-6757, offers comfort food (peanut butter and chocolate pudding, sausage and roasted apples) and more inventive choices (roasted marrow bones, marinated tofu), as well as an impressive roster of draft, craft, and seasonal beers and ales.


Photograph: Courtesy of the Indianapolis Convention and Visitors Association