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A 2-hour drive south of our hometown South Bend, Indiana takes us to the capital of the state–Indianapolis.
The Midwestern city of Indianapolis, Indiana is dubbed the Crossroads of America. If you’re in a cross country road trip, the city as it plays hub for several major interstate highways that criss-cross the state. When you’re there, I recommend visiting the following attractions to enjoy with your family.
Children’s Museum of Indianapolis
If there’s only time for you to visit 1 attraction in Indianapolis with your kids, you should go to the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis.
It’s the world’s largest children’s museum. The exhibits are interactive and fun. From dinosaurs, superheroes, trains, Hot Wheels, and more, your kids will play and learn at the same time. If you happen to visit during great weather, I suggest that you experience their outdoor attractions as well. Fancy a race or a game of mini-golf? Hockey, tennis or baseball are also a few of the outdoor family activities you can do.
As a parent, I enjoyed our visit here. You will find some exhibits have more running kids around while some are calmer. There are some exhibits that encourage sit-downs if you prefer a lesser stimulating event such as storytelling time or a show in the theater. The museum is designed for families. Hence, there is a lot of seating for parents or grandparents to let the children take it all in. Very worth it!
Admission rates for each person may vary according to the day you are visiting. Weekdays start from $15.00 while weekends and holidays can get up to $30.00. Annual family passes are also available for $215.00. You can save money by visiting during first Thursdays, 4-8 PM, when the museum sells discounted tickets for $5.00. More information is available at the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis website.
The Indianapolis Zoo is one of the largest zoos in the country. With 64 acres of diverse fauna and flora enclosed in biomes, the zoo has a lot to show for a family visiting the city. It is also the first institution to be triple-accredited as a zoo, aquarium and botanical garden.
Your kids will see penguins, orangutans, dolphins, birds, among other animals and also learn about humanitarian efforts and programs to conserve the ecological systems.
We recommend purchasing the tickets ahead of time online. The tickets cost more on-site. Parking is also not included in the admission price at $8.00 for non-members and $16.00 for bigger recreational vehicles. Depending on the day that you visit, children admissions could cost from $12.00 and up while adult admissions cost $15.00 and up. You can read more about their different promo packages on the Indianapolis Zoo website.
Rhythm Discovery Center
The Rhythm Discovery Center is an interactive museum dedicated to music education particularly percussion instruments. It features exhibits that explore the history of percussion, its evolution through time and the notable people that helped evolved them.
If you or your kids are musical enthusiasts or enjoy hitting things such as drums and xylophones, it is worth a visit while in downtown Indianapolis.
The Rhythm Discovery Center is closed during Tuesdays and is open the rest of the week mostly from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM. Hours may vary depending on the day. Admission costs around $12.00 per adult while children ages 6-16 are charged $6.00, students of ages 17-25 cost $9.00. Children under 5 years of age are free. Seniors have discounted admission at $8.00. You can view more information from their website.
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Indianapolis Museum of Art at Newfields
The Indianapolis Museum of Art at Newfields is one of the country’s largest and oldest general art museums.
Their collection of art spans an immense range of culture and era including the original and iconic LOVE sculpture by Robert Indiana. Aside from the permanent gallery inside its premises, there is also a garden that visitors could tour. Elsewhere in its 152 acres of grounds, The Virginia B. Fairbanks Art & Nature Park showcases a contemporary collection of sculptures integrated with its environment.
Admissions for kids aged 5 and under are free. Kids aged 6-17 years have tickets at $10.00. Adults have to pay $18.00.
Indy Canal Walk
The Indy Canal Walk is a 3-mile loop of the pedestrian-friendly walkway in downtown Indianapolis, Indiana. The Canal Walk is surrounded by attractions and entertainment options that you don’t want to miss when in Indianapolis, which makes it the perfect hub to spend time with your family.
There are several activities that you could do while in Canal Walk. Rent a kayak, pedal boat, bike or surrey. You can even experience a gondola ride even without being in Venice. Stroll along the canal while admiring public art like murals and sculptures made by local artists.
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Enjoy a picnic while enjoying the sights of the Indy Canal. Pack some lunch or dinner or dine with the restaurants and cafes that offer open-air seating options. Try a good ‘ol burger from Burgerhaus. The Fresco Italian Café is also known for their Italian beef sandwiches. Quill Coffee can also give you that caffeine boost from their farm-to-cup java.
Near the Canal Walk, you can explore the White River State Park or immerse yourself in the history of Indiana in museums like the Eiteljorg Museum, the Indiana State Museum, the Indiana History Center or the NCAA Hall of Champions. The Canal Walk also plays host to the city’s largest events such as concerts and public markets.
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There are several things to do with the kids in Indianapolis. Most of these attractions are less than $15.00 per person, which gives you plenty of room to enjoy each of their offerings. There are also plenty of nice hotels to stay in the area too.
Have you been to Indianapolis with your family? What’s your favorite place to go in Indianapolis with the kids? Share in the comments below.