2012 Summer List – CLICK HERE FOR THE CURRENT LIST!
The Farmer’s Almanac says that summer doesn’t really begin until the 20th of June but everyone knows that the Indy 500, Memorial Day weekend and the opening of the city pools marks summertime in Indianapolis. With that in mind, we’ll just say that the closing of the pools and the return to school are the end of our summer. This gives us 101 Days of summer to have some fun! Sound overwhelming? I’ll help you find something to do each day — and if you are a working parent like me, you can still partake in some of the fun!
May 26th – Why not kick off your summer in a traditional way? The Indianapolis Indians baseball team is playing right down the street and there are plenty of deals and steals to help you and your family enjoy the game even without spending a lot of money!
May 27th – Take your kids to the Indy500. Come on! Really! Here are some great tips from IndyCar Mom.
May 28th – Enjoy your own backyard or a neighborhood park and let the kids make s’mores for the holiday weekend. Don’t have a place to have a campfire? Make them in the oven on a cookie sheet! A lot of city parks have grills on site that you can use too!
May 29th – Go Bowling! Make sure you’ve signed up your kids for FREE bowling all summer long! Two free games EVERY single day of summer! There are some great deals for parents and other adults to participate also!
May 30th – What is better than running through the sprinklers on the lawn? Running through an amazing assortment of interactive water features that were designed specifically to run around and run through and stay cool! Visit one of the more than 20 FREE spray parks (splash pads) in the Indianapolis area.
May 31st – Many kids who grew up in Indianapolis have fond memories of going creek stomping at Marott Park (7350 N College Ave, Indianapolis). Marott park has a picnic shelter but packing your lunch and carrying it with you wherever your legs lead you has much more appeal to our family! Take your water shoes or hiking boots or rain boots and stomp away in the creek that runs through the park! Kids of all ages are sure to have fun and see something cool!
June 1st – Looking for something to do in the evening for dinner? Why not head downtown for Food Truck Fest? We had a great time! There was a wonderful variety of delicious food, a kids activity area and lots of music!
June 2nd – Hoosier Park has a fantastic day planned for families every Saturday! Family Fun Days include rides & games, live entertainment in the yard, cornhole, face painting, fun tattoos, Winner’s Circle giveaways, a lemon shake-up stand, cheeseburgers, hot dogs, brats and more! Admission is free and all activities are free!
June 3rd – Have you seen the canal lately? It’s been a few years since I have but OH.MY.GOSH! I love it! Being at the canal and White River State Park made me proud of our city in a way I can’t explain! It’s so colorful, beautiful and interesting! Talk a walk, rent a paddle boat or a surrey bike or take your own bikes there. Your kids will love riding the hills and the straight aways.
June 4th – The IMA has an amazing outdoor exhibit that changes with the weather, the seasons and time. A year ago I was fortunate enough to have a tour with a docent but even without a tour, you will LOVE the Virginia B. Fairbanks 100 Acres Art and Nature Park! A popular place for family photos (hint, hint: bring your camera), a picnic or just a walk.
June 5th – Head over to the Lego Store tonight for a free mini-model build. The first 250 kids will get a free set to build in the store. And what a fun and colorful place to visit anyway!
June 6th – If you haven’t already signed up for the Summer Reading Program at your local library, do it! Indianapolis-Marion County Libraries are offering a great program that allows your family to earn great prizes, including tickets to area events and attractions! For FREE!
June 7th – The Children’s Museum offers free admission on the first Thursday night of each month from 4-8pm. What wonderful hours for those of us who have to work all day! See, we don’t miss out on everything cool!
June 8th – It’s no secret that in the summer our family becomes H2O obsessed! We swim in the kiddie pool on lazy days, we run through the sprinklers when we’re watering the grass, we visit every spray ground we see, we head to the lake when we can and hitting the pool is always a win, especially anywhere with a lazy river and a toddler area with zero depth entry. Water slides are a plus and other fun water activities rock too! Splash Island in Plainfield and the Monon Community Center are our favorites!
June 9th – Today is one of the busiest days of summer in Indianapolis! There are so many activities to choose from! We’ll be at the PBS Kids in the Park event but please check out the Calendar page for MANY more ideas!
June 10th – The Talbot Street Art Fair offers a lot of family fun and creativity on display from all over the country. This is a family friendly event with FREE admission.
June 11th – Carmel Clay Parks has a wonderful summer concert series for kids every Monday morning! Beat the heat, party in the park and be entertained!
June 12th – Movies for Kids on Tuesdays and Wednesdays for $1 at Regal Cinemas in Carmel and Indianapolis! What a great deal! Movies start at 10am. Sounds like a wonderful way to stay cool on a HOT summer day!
June 13th – The Indianapolis City Market Catacombs Tour would be interesting for some kids but lunch at the City Market should be enjoyed by all kids! Lulu recommends the crepes and I recommend the Philly Cheesesteak sandwich!
June 14th – It’s the most delicious day of the year! Head over to Monument Circle today and eat some really, really yummy strawberry shortcake with ice cream at the Strawberry Festival! It’s delicious and pretty much the entire city is there!
June 15th – Check out the Cool Creek Concert Series! Tonight is Polka Boy! Kids under 12 are free and 13 and up are $5.
June 16th – Today is another busy Summer Saturday but our pick is the Radio Disney Family Fun Day at the State Fairgrounds! Lot’s of prizes, games, entertainment and it’s FREE! Parking is $5 per car at the fairgrounds but admission is free.
June 17th – Once a year kids can take a ride on very special a train — Thomas the Tank Engine to exact! The drive to Connersville is worth it! If you haven’t done this yet, you are missing out. Our whole family enjoyed the experience! There are a few other dates available other than today but when it’s over, it’s over!
June 18th – Free movies today at 10am at the Plainfield Metropolis 18 movie theater! Catch a free family friendly movie on Mondays and Thursdays throughout the summer!
June 19th – Go see the Batmobile and batcycle today at Walmart on Keystone. It’s a one day visit!
June 20th – Conner Prairie is such a fun place to visit! We enjoy going during the day because of all of the activities and our favorite, Prairie Town. Our family also loves Symphony on the Prairie on the weekend evenings.
June 21st – Enjoy free admission to the Indiana Historical Society tonight from 4pm-8pm and there’s a concert right outside on the canal! Free seating is available on the grass or premium seating is available for $10.
June 22nd – The Free Balloon Glow at Mt. Comfort Airport is a part of the Indianapolis Air Show. This Free event takes place from 8-9:30pm one night only. A fun way to kick off the weekend!
June 23rd – The Fishers Freedom Festival is an annual event that over 50,000 people attend. Admission is free and most activities are free! Don’t miss it!
June 24th – The Indianapolis Air Show takes place at the Mt. Comfort Airport and it’s so much fun for everyone! There is a special kids area, remote control airplane races, REAL airplanes doing tricks in the sky and more! Bring the sunscreen and have a great day!
June 25th – Taking your whole family to the Indians baseball game is an affordable summer outing. Check out all of the seating options and find great coupons and deals for other nights of the week.
June 26th – What to do when the pool is too crowded, the movie theaters aren’t cool enough? We go ice skating! It takes your mind off of the heat…until you step outside to head back to the car.
June 27th – It’s too soon to catch a football game but Lucas Oil Stadium offers tours on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. It’s the most economical way to get your kids into the Colts stadium.
June 28th – Garfield Park has so much to offer. We enjoyed our visit to the Sunken Gardens and Conservatory. There are a lot of fun programs for kids and families on a weekly basis. Try the scavenger hunt when you check in at the Conservatory!
June 29th – The Greenwood Freedom Festival is a fun time for the whole family. The entertainment is wonderful and the fireworks are spectacular!
June 30th – Eagle Creek has a wonderful concert series and today is one for the whole family! Secret Agent 23 Skido will kick off at 11am.
July 2nd – With summer temperatures darn close to unbearable, why not cool off at a spray ground/splash park? What a cool surprise that would be if you were out running errands, or after lunch just pulled up and let the kids go nuts and cool off! Here are more than 20 Indianapolis area locations.
July 3rd – Community Tuesdays at White River State Park mean discounted admission to many attractions in WRSP. Visit the zoo for only $8!
July 4th – Downtown Fireworks blast off at 10pm but the party starts at 6:30 at the Indiana War Memorial! Bring your picnic blanket!
July 5th – Skateland offers free admission from 6-9pm on Thursdays all summer long! What a fun after dinner treat that would be for your family! Bring your own skates or rent than on site for a small fee.
July 6th – Hunter’s Honey Farm is a little bit of a drive but it’s a perfect fit for a summer day. The honey farm has a lot of activities for your kids and adults like it too!
July 8th – Go see the Wizard of Oz at Beef and Boards Dinner Theater. The food is yummy and the show is entertaining!
July 9th - Saxony Beach is the new fun place around here! Go swimming, kayaking and more at a lake with a sand beach!
July 10th – If you have kids that are ten or older, paintball is a fun activity that they can play indoors or outdoors and you can play along if you are brave enough!
July 11th – When was the last time you went to the drive in movies? Have you ever taken your kids? Tibbs Drive In is right around the corner! We love taking Lulu there, generally she is asleep after the first movie so we get to pick a mommy and daddy movie.
July 12th - Frisbee Golf courses are plentiful in Indianapolis and the rules are simple. The game can be adapted to most children’s skill levels.
July 13th – The Indiana Dairy Ice Cream Social is today on the Circle! Meet us there?
July 14th – What the heck is the Indy Criterium? Something you should check out with your kids! Children’s bicycle races, helmets and more! This Saturday only!
July 15th - Traders Point Creamery has a lot to offer as far as fun and adventure go. Take a hike, grab a bite, see some cows…
July 16th – Check out Natural Valley Ranch and take a trail ride or feed the goats. Pack a picnic lunch and enjoy the ooutdoors.
July 18th - The Incredible Pizza Company is air conditioned and has attractions and games that appeal to all ages. The buffet is yummy and the prices are right!
July 19th – Duckpin bowling is an Indianapolis thing, you’ve got to try it!
July 20th – Take a tour of Monument Circle today at 10am. Meet in front of the South Bend Chocolate Company for this free guided walking tour.
July 21st – Watch the Circle City Derby Girls bout at the Forum in Fishers. We’re Naptown Roller Girl Fans and we haven’t had a chance to see the CCDG but I can imagine that their bouts are just as entertaining.
July 22nd – One of my favorite Indiana Summer pastimes is to float on an innertube on a river or a lake. The closest place I’ve found is Sugar Creek at Turkey Run/Shades.
July 23rd – The new ice cream shop and soda fountain in Fortville has delicious things like Marshmallow Coke and banana splits!
July 24th – Pottery Barn offers children’s story times on Tuesdays at 11am!
July 25th – My friend Crystal from Mom for Less recommends Founders Park in Carmel. Bring sand toys!
July 26th – Older kids and teens will have a great time playing Laser Tag. If your kids are cool with it, you should join in! It’s a really fun workout!
July 27th – Rhythm Discovery Center is a great place to make some noise! My friend, The Average Parent blogs about her visit last winter.
July 28th – Farmers Markets are abundant in the Indianapolis area and we take advantage of them for delicious food and learning opportunities.
July 29th – Colts Training Camp is taking place in Anderson! It’s HOT, HOT, HOT but you’ll still be cooler than the players! Check it out!
July 30th – Devour Downtown happens twice a year. It’s not designed with families in mind but some of our favorite family restaurants are on the list!
July 31st – Spencer Farm has raspberries for picking! They are open on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday at this time. Call ahead to be sure that there are raspberries still available before you go!
August 1st – If your kids aren’t back to school yet, they will be soon, right? A haircut is in order. Take advantage of JC Penney’s Free Kids Haircuts (grades K-6 only) during the whole month of August. Book your appointment today but don’t expect to get IN today. Call 855-JCP-KIDS.
August 2nd – I know that the Children’s Museum has already been on this list but tonight is another FREE Target Family Night from 4-8pm! The museum stays open late AND it’s free!
August 3rd – Cars 2 is the final outdoor movie in the Carmel Park summer movie series. Bring your dinner for a family fun movie in West Park at dusk. Chairs and/or blankets are a must!
August 4th – Symphony on the Prairie has always been a win for us, even when Lulu was an infant! 6 more weekends left in the season!
There’s more where this came from! Stay tuned and please share this on Facebook and Pin it on Pinterest!
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My name is Katy Mann, and I'm the creator of Indianapolis with Kids. With over 10 years of experience working with children, and my excitement towards the great city of Indianapolis; I offer readers guidance about great events and activities to do around Indianapolis with their kids and grandchildren. Join us on our family travels and adventures across the country!