The Birch Bayh Federal Building & U.S. Courthouse is open to the public, Monday-Friday from 8am to 5pm. Members of the public who present a valid photo ID and undergo security screening are welcome to take a self-guided tour of the building and visit the Federal Court Learning Center during business hours, no appointment necessary.
Free guided tours of the building require advanced notice and are subject to the availability of court staff. To inquire about availability, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please provide the date(s) and times you are available, as well as the size of your group. Tours last around one hour and are available for all ages, community groups, and individuals. Tours focus on a mix of law and government, art, architecture, and the history of the court.
All individuals entering the Birch Bayh Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse will need to pass through a security screening checkpoint and present a valid, government issued photo ID.
For more information on the history and architecture of the Birch Bayh Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse, please refer to our visitor guide - Birch Bayh Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse Visitor Guide.
*Image of courthouse exterior copyright David Sundberg.
NEW! Visit the Federal Court Learning Center:
The Federal Court Learning Center is now open! Discover the federal courts and engage in critical thinking activities in the new exhibit space. Visit the new Learning Center Monday-Friday during business hours. No appointment is necessary. Visits to the Learning Center may be included during a scheduled field trip, depending on group size. View the Learning Center flyer.
Field trips to the United States Courthouse in downtown Indianapolis are educational, entertaining, and engage students in the study of government, history, law, civics, and even art and language arts. All field trips to the courthouse meet Indiana's academic standards in social studies and language arts. We have activiies available for students in elementary, middle, and high school.
All field trips are customized to the ages and interests of the visiting group. Court staff will work closely with teachers to plan an appropriate outing. Field trips may include a courtouse tour, interactive activity, courtroom observation, or Q&A with a judge or court lawyer, depending on the court's schedule on the day of your visit.
To inquire or schedule a field trip, please send an email to email@example.com. Please include date(s) and times of availability, as well as approximate group size and age of students. While last-minute reservations are gladly accepted, early scheduling improves the likelihood of availability.
Maximum group size is 60 students. Please see frequently asked questions below for more information.
For questions by telephone, please contact Mary Giorgio, Public Outreach Coordinator, at (317) 229-3711.
Frequently Asked Questions:
How long can we stay?
Visits typically last between 1 and 2.5 hours, but will depend on staff availability and the activities scheduled. Court staff will work with teachers to determine the appropriate length of time for your group's visit.
What will we do?
Court staff will work with teachers to select activities, depending on the age of the student and size of the group. Most group visits will include a tour of the courthouse. Elementary-aged students may also visit a courtroom and participate in a "Design a Courthouse" activity or "Objects and Images in the Courtroom" activity. Middle and high-school students may observe a court proceeding and participate in a mock trial or mock sentencing activity. All ages may meet a federal judge or court lawyer, subject to availability.
Is there a cost?
No - field trips to the federal courthouse are offered free of charge.
How soon should we reserve a date?
Federal court is a busy place, so the earlier you contact us to schedule a visit, the more likely the court will be able to accommodate your request.
How many students can we bring?
We have a maximum capacity of 60 students at a time. If you have a group of more than 60 students, you will need to split your students into two or more groups. Please contact us to discuss options that may include multiple groups visiting on the same day (half of your group tours a nearby venue such as the Statehouse or Indiana War Memorial while your other half visits the courthouse then the groups switch) or groups visiting on different days or weeks. Options available will depend on the court's calendar on the date selected.
Can we eat lunch at the Courthouse?
No. There is no cafeteria or appropriate eating space inside the federal courthouse. By prearrangement, teachers may bring in student lunches/beverages to be stored during your visit, but will need to find an alternate eating location. On a nice day, students are welcome to eat outside on the Courthouse's exterior terrace or greenspace. There is also a park across the street. The City Market is located just a few short blocks away and has adequate indoor seating for groups.
Where are you located?
The U.S. District Court is located in downtown Indianapolis at 46 E. Ohio St., about a block from Monument Circle. The building's public entrance is located at the corner of Pennsylvania and Ohio Streets. Buses may drop students off on Ohio St.
Is there parking nearby?
There is no parking available at the courthouse. For passenger vehicles, there are parking garages and metered spaces located in short walking distance from the courthouse. After drop off, buses can park at the zoo and return to pick up students upon completion of the field trip.
Virtual Field Trips:
Can't come to the federal courthouse in person? We are happy to connect with your classroom via Zoom. Please contact us to discuss options.
Homeschoolers, we offer the same field trip opportunities to you as we do to students in traditional schools. Because many of these activities require group interaction, we ask that you put together a group of at least 6 school-aged students. Parents and younger siblings are welcome to participate, but should not count towards the total number of students in your group. If you do not have a group of 6 or more, but would still like to visit, contact us to discuss options.
By email: firstname.lastname@example.org
By telephone: Mary Giorgio, Public Outreach Coordinator, (317) 229-3711