This summer we had the opportunity to visit Indianapolis for a few days, and I was quickly reminded of just how family friendly and fun this city is! We lived an hour north of Indy years ago, so we’re somewhat familiar with what the city has to offer, but going with older kids was a whole new experience.
With great family attractions and wonderful public spaces, Indianapolis is the perfect destination for a short get-away or long weekend. Here are a few of our favorite things to do in Indianapolis:
Conner Prairie: With historical villages, a giant tree house, trails, indoor play spaces, seasonal events, and even a hot air balloon, Conner Prairie is a must do with elementary-aged kids! My kids loved pretending to purchase nails in the general store and learning from the historical actors.
The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis: This is truly one of the best children’s museums you will ever visit! The museum offers hours of fun with both its permanent and visiting exhibits, as well as a huge outdoor area featuring different sports for kids to try, like football, baseball, and hockey. My kids particularly loved the sports fields! One great thing about the museum is that it has a food court, which allows you to eat lunch without loading back into your car and spend the entire day exploring this gem.
Indianapolis Zoo: Indy has a state of the art zoo, including unique animal experiences, a few rides, and even a dolphin show! Don’t miss the butterfly area outside the gates.
Canal and White River State Park: Plopped right next to downtown Indy is a really cool canal with a 3-mile loop around it that you can walk…or you can rent a surrey bike! We took our entire family of 7 around the loop on a bike, and it was hard work but a super fun memory. Along the canal, you can find popsicles and ice cream, as well as paddle boat rentals, and there’s a great park on the shore with really interesting play equipment (Colts Canal Playspace). The canal is an excellent place to spend an evening with kids!
Monument Circle: Monument Circle, along with the Soldiers and Sailors Monument, is a great place to explore. We like to stay downtown, eat dinner, then head to the monument during the gorgeous evening hours. South Bend Chocolate is located right on the circle, and it has a huge variety of sweets and ice cream with outdoor sidewalk seating.
There’s tons more to do in Indianapolis, and every time we’ve visited we have found the city to be clean, welcoming, and very family-friendly. If you’ve visited and have additional recommendations, let us know below!