GO TO THE GAME
Seats are still available for the Patriots-Colts clash at Lucas Oil Stadium. To get your hands on tickets, visit www.colts.com or call 317-299-4946. If your stay in Indy extends beyond the weekend, you can also go on a stadium tour (500 S. Capitol Ave.; 317-262-8600; www.lucasoilstadium.com), typically offered on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
Your best bet for watching the game with fellow fans is Stadium Tavern (802 S. West St.; 317-916-8888), which is owned by a Boston native. Just a stone's throw from the stadium, this popular sports bar has invited all of Patriots Nation to join them throughout the weekend, whether pre-game, post-game or during the action. See Patriots Tailgate for information on planned gatherings. Another option is to check out Indianapolis Colts Grille (110 W. Washington St.; 317-631-2007; www.coltsgrille.g3restaurants.com), a true haven for football fans. Here you'll find big screen TVs, plenty of food, and a long list of beer, wine and cocktails, all within walking distance of Lucas Oil Stadium. Or, head to the nearby Slippery Noodle Inn (372 S. Meridian St.; 317-631-6974; www.slipperynoodle.com). Don't let the name fool you; this hot spot comes with a truly awesome history (like being a stop on the Underground Railroad) and nightly live blues music.
If you're in Indianapolis on Friday, you can grab a bite to eat from the food trucks on Georgia Street (www.georgiastreetindy.com), a downtown thoroughfare lined with restaurants, bars and hotels. During lunchtime, the city's most famous mobile eateries serve everything from finger-licking barbecue to seriously sweet cupcakes. Another foodie event is Tailgate with Tastings, a Sunday brunch hosted at downtown wine bar Tastings (50 W. Washington St.; 317-423-2400; www.awineexperience.com). There are discounted drinks as well as a build-your-own Bloody Mary bar. For lunch or dinner, try the legendarySt. Elmo Steak House (127 S. Illinois St; 317-635-0636; www.stelmos.com) or its sister restaurant, Harry & Izzy's (153 S. Illinois St.; 317-635-9594; www.harryandizzys.com), which counts Peyton Manning as part owner. If you dare, order their famous shrimp cocktail, which was named "world's spiciest food" by the Travel Channel.
Lucas Oil Stadium is conveniently located downtown, so the hotel options are endless. You can treat yourself to a luxurious break at the JW Marriott (10 S. West St.; 317-860-5800; www.marriott.com), which is famous among NFL fans for the 33-story image of the Lombardi Trophy it displayed during Super Bowl XLVI. Or, stay at the Marriott Indianapolis Downtown (350 W. Maryland St.; 317-822-3500; www.indymarriott.com). Flash your ticket to the game at on-site sports bar Champion's and you'll be rewarded with a free order of wings. On a bit of a budget but still want to be in the heart of the action? Try the Holiday Inn Express (410 S. Missouri St.; 888-465-4329; www.ihg.com), a comfortable, casual hotel that is across the street from the stadium and serves complimentary breakfast each morning.
Pay a visit to the Indiana State Fairgrounds (1202 E. 38th St.; 317-927-7500; www.indianastatefair.com), where you'll have your pick of activities over the weekend. You can get a jump on your holiday shopping at the Indie Arts and Vintage Marketplace, check out the local Indy Fuel hockey team or join in the fun at a public ice skating session.
While in Indy, you also don't want to miss out on the chance to snap a selfie with the famous "LOVE" sculpture at the Indianapolis Museum of Art (400 Michigan Road; 317-923-1331; www.imamuseum.org). The free museum is a great place to soak up a bit of culture during your trip.
Prefer a totally sporty weekend instead? Start with a tour of theNCAA Hall of Champions (700 W. Washington St.; 317-917-6084), which is currently displaying the exhibit, "Celebrating NCAA Football Traditions." You can also experience a true Indy classic at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame Museum (4790 W. 16th St.; 317-492-8500; www.indianapolismotorspeedway.com) and then get an adrenalin rush with a zip line adventure through Eagle Creek Park (Go Ape! Ziplines, 5855 Delong Road; 800-971-8271; www.goape.com).