It’s hard to believe, but I’ve been parenting for more than 18 years – all of them in the Indianapolis area. Over time, I’ve come to recognize certain hallmarks of being an Indy parent. Here are my top 10:

1. You know the best time to go to the Indianapolis Zoo is first thing in the morning when the animals are awake and moving or even in the off season; and the best time to go to the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis is in the afternoon when all the little ones are napping so you can enjoy more of the museum with fewer crowds. (Yes, there is life after the preschool years.)

2. You wish the Children’s Museum, the Indianapolis Zoo, the Indiana State Museum and Conner Prairie offered a discounted admission-to-all Family Fun Pass.

3. You make two trips to the Indiana State Fair each year – one with the kiddos to enjoy Little Hands on the Farm, fishing with the Department of Natural Resources, to take photo in the giant tractor tire and the kiddie rides on the Midway. The second trip is for date night, complete with concerts, admiring the handiwork in the Home & Family Arts building, and beer tasting.

4. Your children own t-shirts, sweatshirts or hats that say Colts, Pacers, and Indians. If you’re a really super cool Indy parent, they own apparel expressing pride in the Indy Fuel and the Indy Eleven, too.

5. Your holiday traditions include at least one of the following: sipping hot chocolate under the glow of the “world’s largest Christmas tree” on Monument Circle, driving through the Reynolds Farm Equipment light display in Fishers, lunch at the L.S. Ayres Tea Room at the Indiana State Museum, or enjoying A Yuletide Celebration with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra.

6. You let your kids stay up past their bedtimes to watch the NCAA men’s basketball tournament. This IS Indiana after all.

7. Your children’s favorite food trucks are Scout’s Treat Truck, Der Pretzel Wagen, and Nicey Treats.

8. You consider waiting in line at 5:30am outside of Long’s Bakery for hot and fresh donuts a right of passage that will not be denied to your offspring.

9. Your kids have a favorite race car driver and can point out their car on the track at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

10. You know where the best parks are on each side of town – Holliday Park (north), Garfield Park (south), Fort Benjamin Harrison (east), and Eagle Creek Park (west).

BONUS: You follow Indy with Kids on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram so you don’t miss any of the Indy-area fun!