Everyone knows that Indianapolis is the home to the Indy 500. However, you do not have to be a race fan to appreciate this city! I called Indy home for 20 years and we love to go back and visit about twice a year. Here are my favorite places to hit when in Indianapolis with kids…
1. White River State Park is America’s only urban cultural state park. This is such a cool park; You really have to see it in person to appreciate it. They hold a concert series and many festivals, including The Taste of Indiana. We are foodies and love it!
2. Eagle Creek Park is one of the largest city parks in the country. Home of the Go Ape Treetop Adventure, you’ll find everything from hiking trails to beaches. There is truly something for everyone here. If you love the water, this is the place for you, with everything from kayaks to sailboat rentals.
3. Victory Field, home of the Indianapolis Indians minor league baseball team, is a great stadium to watch a game and do it at an affordable price. Baseball is our favorite sport; who doesn’t love a good baseball game? Hot dogs and peanuts? The boys are sold.
4. Central Canal offers gondola rides, pedal boats, and bicycles of all types for rent. The canal is 1.5 miles long and runs along many Indianapolis attractions. There are also two restaurants at the north end. The kids have fun walking along the canal, and we’ve also rented one of the boats. Pedal boats are a workout, but so much fun!
5. The Indianapolis Zoo. You can touch a shark or watch a dolphin show at the pavilion, which we all love. Those water mammals are amazing! Get up close while feeding the giraffes… Just watch out for those tongues! Exploring the five different areas of the zoo will be fun for the whole family. The zoo recently opened up an Orangutan exhibit, and the wilds loved it!
6. Holliday Park is a great playground for children. You can also find hiking trails and green spaces for a picnic and the Nature Center is huge! There are several feeding stations for feeding the birds. If you’ve got kids who are obsessed with birds of all kinds, like mine, this is perfect.
7. Hit the Museums! The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis is home to one of the largest displays of juvenile and family dinosaur fossils in the world. My wilds are obsessed with dinosaurs. It is known for its hands on exhibits. Learn about everything from Egypt to World War II. This is our favorite Indy spot. My wilds could spend days on end here. I love it too. Tons of fun to be had here. And don’t miss Rhythm! Discovery Center – it’s not your typical museum. The Discovery Center holds interactive exhibits that test your percussion ability and knowledge. It has a unique display of rare percussion instruments from many different cultures. Thursday they have extended hours. During the evening hours on Thursday they hold a family drum circle. This is perfect for the little rock star in your life.
8. Indianapolis Motor Speedway is one of the most famous racetracks in the world. If you are lucky enough to visit during racing season, there is no shortage in things to do. The two biggest races held here are the Indy 500 and the Brickyard. I’m not much of a race fan but, even so, it is so much fun and my little racers love watching the cars. Just make sure you bring earmuffs because it’s loud! Also, check out the museum which holds restored race cars including the 1911 race winner.
9. Fastimes Indoor Karting boasts a bi-level track with speeds up to 40 mph. There is a minimum height requirement of 53 inches, so this is definitely better suited for older children. I can’t wait until the boys are big enough to do it!
10. Need a kid-friendly place to eat? Head to The Old Spaghetti Factory. They have an amazing kids’ menu and it is definitely a family tummy pleaser. It doesn’t get much better to my boys than eating spaghetti in a railroad car. The best part? The endless warm garlic bread that magically appears on the table. Italian is our favorite, so this restaurant is at the top of our list.
Did I miss any great Indianapolis activities for kids? Leave them in the comments!