Best Of Indianapolis: Lifestyle

Treat yourself to something enriching, such as the coolest themed Airbnb in town, a gorgeous garden party, or some self-care at Indy’s best new old school barber.


Cody Potter opened Wild’s Barber Shop with the goal of “making you feel like you’re walking into a shop from the 1960s.” That means a set of original chairs from the era, a vintage fridge and pool table, and walls covered with classic advertisements. Potter initially operated a much smaller shop next door in the loft of leather goods shop Howl + Hide, then opened his five-chair storefront in July 2023. The business has quickly become a neighborhood staple, serving men, short-haired women, and even kids (little ones get their cuts while sitting in a special speedboat chair). 1048 Virginia Ave., 317-699-0467


From the outside, Wildeye Dab Lounge looks like a random garage with a cool green mural. But once inside, you know you’re in for a fun time. In addition to nonalcoholic beverages such as the hibiscus-flavored Atta Boy Blue and the I’ve Got My Chai on You (served dry or infused with CBD, CBG, Delta-8), this nontraditional bar with live entertainment serves gummies and “dabs” of concentrated Delta-8 and hemp-derived cannabinoids from certified weed growers—all of it 100-percent legal. 1026 Shelby St., 463-279-2823


“That relationship you have with your pet is unlike any other relationship you have in life,” says Prickly Pears Photo’s Christine Erlandson, but pets are often left out when it comes to memorializing major life events. With her degree in animal science from Purdue and a past life as a zookeeper, Erlandson has grown to “love the chaos that comes with pets,” and her photos demonstrate a unique ability to sense an animal’s inner self and channel it for posterity. A 30-minute session starts at $200 and makes a great gift. Prickly Pears also offers free or discounted sessions for pets nearing the end of their lives. She notes, “I don’t want price to stand in the way of an important memory.”


Until this past summer, the only option for an organized paddling trip on White River kept you anchored in Hamilton County. Now, you can drift downstream in Marion County courtesy of Frank’s Paddlesports Livery based in Riverside Park, which offers kayak, canoe, and standup paddleboard excursions. Choose between a 4- or 7-mile trip to see a new side of the city and let the gentle currents carry you along as you glide past sunbathing turtles while the commotion of the city fades. That definitely floats our boat. 3001 N. White River Pkwy. Dr. W, 260-226-3075


Photo courtesy Fishers Flower Farm

Inspired by the famous book of the same name, The Secret Garden dinner party at Fishers Flower Farm (near 106th Street and Allisonville Road; inquire for details) captures the story’s enchantment in the form of an alfresco night amid fields of strawflowers and native pollinators. For $200, guests walk an illuminated trail through the woods to dinner tables set up on the garden’s path and dine by candlelight on a chef-prepared farm-to-fork dinner. Attendees make their own bouquets, watch a watercolor painter work en plein air, and pose for portraits with a professional photographer. Watch the website for announcements of future events.


Growing up, childhood friends Daniel West and Joey Bauchle followed separate but similar creative paths, Daniel becoming a tattoo artist and Joey delving into the decorative South Asian body art known as mehndi. They’ve since reconnected as adults and founded Fountain Square’s Mehndi + Marked, a studio that also serves as a space for other artists to share their work. Patrons can get henna done for special occasions or fun or get permanently inked. They can also buy a pothos from plant-seller Happy Roots or a tin of handmade potpourri, peruse the vibrant art on the walls, and even check out events like poetry readings. 1339 Prospect St., 317-724-3117


Be sure to pack your ring light for a stay at Paul’s Flower Shop, the ultimate photo shoot location inside a 2,000-square-foot home in historic Irvington. Once used as an actual flower shop, the home boasts a fusion of retro and vintage-style decor arranged specifically for creative sessions. Monochromatic, themed areas include a hot pink Barbie dream room; a black, Goth-inspired entryway; and a rustic living room in patterned browns. Reserve the space for $75 an hour on or book it for a night on 5365 E. Washington St.


Unveiled in January, the sleek, new Broad Ripple Park Family Center features an indoor walking track, a workout room, a gymnasium, a two-story play structure, party and meeting rooms, and enhanced space for programming in everything from crafting and senior fitness classes to science and art camps. It’s a considerable upgrade from the previous center and represents a $140 million effort to improve Indy parks’ community offerings. 1426 Broad Ripple Ave., 317-327-7161


Think etiquette is an antiquated concept? Minju Witte politely begs to differ. Her courses at Empower Etiquette live up to the name. Licensed by The Emily Post Institute, Witte has created a holistic brand of etiquette that goes beyond manners. While her clients learn which fork to use, they also receive lessons on how to set boundaries kindly, use awkwardness to their advantage when making small talk, and think before acting. The idea is to build connections based on mutual respect, something it seems almost everyone these days could do a little better at.


Unlike most world-class cities, downtown Indianapolis suffers from a lack of freely accessible dog parks. That’s likely why you’ll see people with pups packing the Metazoa Brewing Company parking lot almost every evening. The beer destination boasts one of the area’s best runs for dogs, an AstroTurfed park that includes loads of shade and benches for humans, as well as play structures and shallow wading pools for dogs. As the bar doesn’t serve diners, dogs are allowed to walk in with their owners as they order; food is handled by a truck located outside. It all makes for a noteworthy social scene for canines and the people who love them—and it doesn’t hurt that 5 percent of Metazoa’s profits go to animal rescue groups across the country. 140 S. College Ave., 317-522- 0251


Photo by Andrea Watts
Maven Space

Woman-to-woman networking is a driving theme at this spiffy venue that caters to “Mavens of all identities, orientations, and backgrounds.” Taking full advantage of a location in the heart of downtown Indianapolis, it also provides members with a cafe, gym, and even a podcast studio. Membership levels range from a $25 day pass to the $2,950 annual team buy-in. 433 N. Capitol Ave., 317-426- 2235


This company has three Indy-area locations that remain open 24/7—the buzziest one inside downtown’s Stutz building. The workspaces provide private offices, suites, and meeting rooms, as well as perks such as a weekly happy hour. They are also pet-friendly. Pricing starts at $299 a month. 1060 N. Capitol Ave., 317-383- 0630; 350 Massachusetts Ave., 317-734-0360; 880 W. Monon Green Blvd., Carmel, 463-235-1010

Draft Creative Space

Everything about this full-service coworking space in Fountain Square is artfully sleek, from the private studios to the shared sunroom and lovely covered garden. Draft’s target market is Indy’s creatives, providing a gorgeous space for meetings, retreats, and workshops. Rates start at $25 for a day pass and top out at $600 for monthly studio rental. 1525 Prospect St.

The Club Coworking

You can find luxury executive suites and meeting rooms, as well as an auditorium, fitness center, cafe, and recreation room with a golf simulator, at this northside outpost. The vibe is professional, suitable for anyone from a nomadic businessperson to an entrepreneur who needs a place to meet clients. Packages start at $110 a month. 9800 Crosspoint Blvd., 317-806-0003