Written by & Angie Teed
Fall in Indiana is a great time to plan an adventure, take a trip to a local festival or stay indoors and enjoy time with the family. We have helped with the planning, making a list of 100 of our favorite activities around the state. From high jumps at Urban Air to picking pumpkins, apple orchards to archery, we hope you find some fun ideas and enjoy the fall weather!
Featuring activities from dodgeball to a ropes course to battle beams and trampolines, Urban Air Adventure Park is a fun indoor playground for the entire family. Offering year round activities, Urban Air also has special hours for little ones and those with sensory needs. They have locations in Franklin and Noblesville with one in Carmel opening soon. Check out the Urban Air Adventure Park website for details on hours and admission.
Try your hand at archery at the Koteewei Range: Sport & Target Archery Center. No experience or equipment is necessary, but you do need to make reservations 24 hours in advance, so plan ahead if you are interested in heading to the range. The Strawtown Koteewei Park also offers trails, a natural history museum, and zip lines if you want to make an afternoon out of your adventure.
Do your kids love climbing? Introduce them to rock climbing at Columbus Rock Gym, Hoosier Heights, or Climb Time Indy.
Enjoy gorgeous fall views through wooded trails on a guided horseback. Ride through 100 acres of wooded trails at Crown Haven Center, located an hour north of Indy. Options for guided horseback riding closer to Indy are available at K-Trails Equestrian Adventures, Nature Valley Ranch, and Fort Harrison State Park.
Admire fall leaves from a different angle, ziplining through Eagle Creek Park or Edge Adventures Kotweei: Aerial Adventure Park. If you have a child under the age of 7 years, be sure to check the website before you visit, as each park has different minimum age and weight requirements.
Take a 20 minute train ride on the Nickel Plate Express to a pumpkin patch and fall festival on board the Pumpkin Express. Train rides depart from Noblesville.
Golf at Victory Field
Take this chance to hit golf balls onto a professional baseball field. You can reserve times as an individual or foursome and hit targets at Links on Victory Field from October 7 through October 9.
The Children’s Museum Haunted House
Lights on or off? You choose at The Children’s Museum’s Guild Haunted House Frightful Frontier. Celebrating 57 years, the Children’s Museum Guild Haunted House is a fall classic. This year, visitors should saddle up for a spook-tacular ride through the Frightful Frontier. Additional fall activities at the Children’s Museum include Sports Spooktacular, Friendly Feast with the Wtiches and an adults only ‘Halloween After Dark.’ https://www.childrensmuseum.org/exhibits/haunted-house
Conner Prairie Headless Horseman
Stay Wary on the Prairie while looking for the headless horseman on a haunted hayride through Conner Prairie. Please note the reservation system has changed this year due to COVID procedures.
Zoo Boo at the Indianapolis Zoo
Dress up and head to Zoo Boo to enjoy your favorite animals, Halloween activities, and festive decorations. Wander the trick or treat trail, take a ride on the Spooktacular Train Ride or opt for Adult only fun during an Adult Trick or Treat Trail. Refer to the Zoo website for details.
Choose from a variety of spooktacular events around the state hosted by the Indiana State Museum. From Family Fright Night at the State Museum to Ghost Stories under the October Sky at the T.C. Stelle site in Nashville, Indiana, there are offerings for all ages and locations.
Get dressed in your spirit wear and attend a local school’s football game. Enjoy the atmosphere, competition, cheers, halftime show, and treats.
Dress up in your Halloween costume before the big day and collect some treats. There are plenty of dates and locations all across the city to attend several Trunk-or-Treats this season.
Tour the honey barn, take a hayride, and learn about all things honey at Hunter’s Honey Farm. Try the different flavored honey sticks for a fun treat to take home.
Pick apples at one of the orchards around town including Tuttle Orchards in Greenfield, Stuckey’s Farm Orchard in Sheridan, or Anderson Orchard in Mooresville. We have included a link to some more of our favorite picks.
Take a hayride, pick pumpkins, climb the straw mountain, visit farm animals, and have fun at the kid zone at Piney Acres Farm.
Featuring pumpkins, miniature golf, a petting zoo, pedal carts and a huge inflatable slide, you can make a day of your visit to Russell Farms. Admission to the farm includes all attractions.
Dig in Corn
Visit Kelsay Farms and dig in a barn full of corn kernels. You can also jump on the jump pad, visit the animals, challenge yourself with a corn maze, climb a straw bale mountain, or ride the Moo Choo Express.
Fire a Corn Cannon
Check out Lark Ranch to launch ears of corn over 60 miles per hour. With your ticket, you can also enjoy rides, a corn maze, slide mountain, pedal go karts, and a pumpkin patch.
Visit this 33-acre park that is actually a farm. At the Fishers Agripark you can talk to the animals, play on the playground complete with a mud kitchen, walk the nature trail, and more.
Scare in the Air
Visit the Urban Air Halloween Event where the bright lights go dim and fog fills the air. The event features costume contests, spooky craft stations, Halloween games, and haunted attractions. Visit the Urban Air website for dates and details. https://www.urbanairtrampolinepark.com/scare-in-the-air
Artspark Fall Festival
Attend the Artspark Fall Festival featuring pumpkin carving, beaded bracelets, printmaking, and wool pumpkin bouncy balls. The Artspark Fall Fest is held at the Indianapolis Art Center.
Dress up your pup and bring them to Dog Daze at the Maze at Beasley’s Orchards. Beasley’s Orchard also has a pumpkin patch, corn maze, apple cannons, and a barnyard bonanza.
Let’s Can Hunger
Visit Stuckey’s Farm during their Cider Fest, Pumpkin Fest, or Let’s Can Hunger! Food drive. See the Stucky Farm website for dates and details.
Check out the wide range of family activities found at Dull’s Tree Farm Pumpkin Harvest. It features a corn maze, pumpkin patch, and over 40 activities, all included with admission.
Drive around Johnson County to support a good cause and find 100+ scarecrows decorated by residents and businesses. There is a map and FB page with pinned locations of the scarecrows. You can also purchase your own kit to design a scarecrow and join the tour.
Waterman’s Fall Harvest Festival
Take a trip to Waterman’s Farm either in Greenwood or their Raymond Street location, and you’ll find hayrides, straw mountains, a human hamster wheel and more. Tyranny, the pumpkin-chomping dinosaur, is a fan favorite and only at the Raymond Street location.
Hoosier Fall Festival
Visit the Johnson County Fairgrounds for the first Hoosier Fall Festival and explore vendor booths, animals, and bounce houses. Sit down with a meal from the food trucks and enjoy live music.
Wander the paths behind Newfields and find thousands of glowing pumpkins. You’ll also see an eerie Train and Mischief Manor at the Lilly House mansion. Purchase tickets before you go.
Sullivan Express to PumpkinTown
Ride the Sullivan Express through the Enchanted Forest to Pumpkintown. Enjoy exploring Pumpkintown’s magician, trick or treating, and photo opportunities before re-boarding the train. Purchase tickets in advance.
Apple Cider Slushies at Anderson Orchard
Visit Anderson Orchard in Mooresville and enjoy an apple cider slushie. You can also pick your own apples, find a pumpkin, and play on the playground while you’re there. https://indywithkids.com/locations/anderson-orchard/
Apple Donuts at Apple Works
Apple pies, apple bars, and apple dumplings are all popular treats at Apple Works. Try the apple donuts for an extra special treat, but be sure to check that they’re in stock before you go. https://indywithkids.com/locations/the-apple-works-apple-orchard-pumpkin-patch/
Enjoy three distinct chocolate flavors crafted at SoChatti. Located at the Circle City Industrial Center, this chocolate shop features a tasting room where you can try their signature chocolates, make drop candies, or sign up for a kids’ class.
Caramel Apple Dip
Gather cream cheese, toffee bits, caramel and sugar to make this sweet treat with your kids. Enjoy it for a snack, dessert, or share it with neighbors.
Follow a recipe or make up your own for a fun fall trail mix. Use candy corn, candy pumpkins, peanuts, raisins, pretzels, chocolate candy, and more.
Kids love this simple recipe using pumpkin, cool whip, cinnamon, sugar, and cream cheese. Mix it all together and serve with graham crackers, apples, or snacks of your choice.
Try to find your way through the three corn mazes at Conner Prairie. New in 2021, they have a kids’ maze for the little ones, a puzzle maze for family friendly fun, and a haunted maze inspired by local ghost stories and legends. After you conquer the mazes, visit the Conner Prairie Apple Store for a sweet treat.
Explore The Virginia B. Fairbanks Art & Nature Park: 100 Acres at Newfields. The park includes woodlands, wetlands, a 35 acre lake, and amazing outdoor art.
Hike at a local park. Use the time outside to talk about the animals in the woods, weather, and safely. If you have preschoolers or elementary aged kids, print out a scavenger hunt list and put on a clipboard so they can find items on your nature walk. Don’t want to bother with a paper? ‘‘I spy’ makes for an easy on-the-go game to keep kids engaged and walking.
Put on some boots, pack a towel, and head to one of these parks to have fun stomping in the water. We asked parents for their list of favorite places to take their kids to go creek stomping.
Go on a colorful leaf scavenger hunt. Read We’re Going On a Leaf Hunt by Steve Metzger, then grab a bag and head outdoors to find some leaves of your own. Depending on your child’s age, you can challenge them to find a specific number, color, size, or type of leaf. When you are finished, you can glue the leaves on paper and decorate to remember your adventure.
Carve pumpkins or break out paints and let your kids paint. However you choose to decorate your pumpkins, the kids are sure to have fun. If you choose to carve, you can save the seeds and roast them.
Take a family bike ride around your neighborhood or take a trek on one of the great trails around town. If you opt to ride in a park or neighborhood, you could play ‘Follow the Leader,’ or ‘Turtle Race.’ To play ‘Turtle Race,’ decide on a spot and see who can ride the slowest to it without placing down a foot.
Have the kids help find sticks to gather to make a fire. If you are feeling adventurous, add Reese’s cups or Nutella to the usual marshmallow, chocolate bar, and graham cracker s’more combination.
If your kids are old enough, they can help rake a pile big enough for an epic jump. If you have little ones, you can spread the leaves into a maze or make smaller piles leading to one big pile. Or, if you have a pup, everyone can pitch in to make one big pile for the dog to enjoy.
Enjoy the cooler weather and play a round of putt putt with the family. Check out some of our favorite courses around town.
Take a StoryWalk®
Many local parks, including parks in Fishers, Plainfield, and Greenwood have a StoryWalk® along the walking trails. Read a page with your kids, then do the activities it suggests as you walk to the next page. It’s exercise and a story at the same time.
Grab some discs, or simple frisbees, and visit a nearby disc golf course. Modify the distance to the holes for younger players.
Using small candy pumpkins or pumpkin jellies and toothpicks, see who can build the tallest structure. You could also cut open pumpkins to examine the parts and count the seeds.
Visit a local greenhouse and plant some fall flowers in your yard. Plant bulbs such as tulips and daffodils now and reap the benefits in the spring.
Pick up some bait, grab your fishing poles, and spend some time fishing. There are plenty of local parks that make great fishing spots.
Chalk the Walk
Make fall drawings in your driveway with chalk. You could even make chalk paint by mixing 1 cup of water and 1 cup of cornstarch, then pouring it in a muffin pan. Color each cup with food coloring colors of your choice and paint away.
Download a star-gazing app such as SkyView Lite and take your kids outside when it gets dark. You’ll be able to point out the Big Dipper, Orion, and maybe even a planet or two.
Gather four or more players and a soft ball. Use four squares already imprinted into the concrete of your driveway, or draw your own with chalk. Rank the squares one through four, and take turns bouncing the ball in your opponents’ squares. Don’t let the ball bounce more than once!
Marian University Ecolab
Visit this 75-acre nature area on Marian’s campus where you can walk paths and look for birds, flowers and beavers. Check out their website for information on upcoming events such as bird walks and hikes.
Substitute a golf ball with a soccer ball, use your leg instead of clubs, and you have foot golf. Try it at Woodside Golf in Greenwood.
Find two pickleball paddles, a ball, and 2 to 4 people, and play pickleball, a game similar to tennis. There are courts, both inside and outside, throughout central Indiana.
Watch a Sunset
Fall sunset colors are some of the best. How often do you get to just sit and watch it? Spread out a picnic blanket and enjoy.
Get a variety of apples and have an apple taste test. Encourage your kids to describe each one before selecting a favorite.
Find some fancy cups and saucers and throw an apple cider ‘tea’ party. Dress up in fancy clothes or bring out stuffed animals and dolls if you want a few more guests.
If you have entrepreneurs, they can try their hand at running a cider stand. Swap out the lemonade sign for cider and let the kids do the work.
Read a Book
Head to your local library and check out their selection of fall-themed books. Some good fall titles include When the Leaf Blew In by Steve Metzger and I Know An Old Lady Who Swallowed Some Leaves by Lucille Colandro.
Nowhere to go for the day? Wear pajamas all day long. Kids love avoiding the chore of getting dressed.
Avoid the pesky bees and bring your picnic indoors. Spread out a blanket and feast on your favorite picnic food.
Bring out the tent or even just the sleeping bags and have a campout! Sleep in your backyard, on the porch, or even in your living room. Make a real or pretend campfire for extra fun.
Decorate for Halloween
Fall break is the perfect time to put the kids to work and get out all those Halloween decorations. Have your kids find the perfect spot for all those pumpkins, spider webs, candy corn lights, and other items you’ve collected over the years.
Van Gogh Experience at Newfields
Break out the crayons, grab some leaves from the backyard, put the leaves between two pieces of paper, and make some leaf rubbings. Plain white copy paper works best, as it is thin enough to show details of the leaf. Place the veins of the leaf up, and cover with a piece of paper. Use the side of an unwrapped crayon to apply pressure on top of the paper, to allow the detail of the leaf to appear.
Want to see your kids giggle? Surprise them by putting some sticky googly eyes on apples, pumpkins, leaves, etc. It makes for a fun craft and lots of laughs.
Collect acorns, heat up the hot glue gun (adult part), and make acorn animals/people. You can add paint, sticks, pinecones, and paper to make arms, feet, or wings.
Yarn Spider Webs
Give kids a ball of yarn. Let them wrap around door knobs, furniture, banisters, and other items in the house to make spiders’ webs. Can they manage to stay out of their own webs?
Let the kids help decorate the front door. With trick or treaters coming in a couple of weeks, their hard work and creative spirit will be appreciated by those coming to your door.
Pumpkin Pie Play Dough
Make your own play dough. It smells as delicious as pie. Older children can help with measuring and mixing while little ones can help stir and play.
- 15 oz can of pumpkin
- 3 tbsp pumpkin pie spice
- 2 ½ cups of cornstarch (adjust as needed)
Mix the pumpkin and pumpkin pie spice. Slowly add the cornstarch, stirring as you add. Once the dough reaches the desired consistency, knead it with your hands. You can use pie pans, cookie cutters, plates, and more during pretend play. Have fun playing!
If the weather is nice, head outside with buckets, plastic bags, gloves, rubber bands, bottles of dye, and whatever you want to tie dye. Natural fibers hold dye best, and it is recommended you wash items before dyeing. Prefer to make your own tie dye creations without the mess? Then we recommend visiting the Tye Dye Lab in Avon.
Give your kids some cardboard boxes and let them get to work. They could make garages for hot wheel cars, a library drop box, rocketship, house, or whatever their imaginations desire.
Cut a couple apples in half and gather some washable paint and cardstock paper. Have your kids dip the apple in the paint and use it as a stamper. They can even brush the paint on the apples to make different patterns.
Pine Cone Bird Feeders
Tie some string on the top of the pine cone to make a loop. Then, spread peanut butter all over the pinecone and dip it in bird seed. Hang it on a tree where your kids can see birds eating it.
Cut a leaf outline from black construction paper and lay it on a piece of contact paper. Cut up several squares of colorful tissue paper and have your kids put them on the contact paper. Press another piece of contact paper on top and cut the leaf around the edges. Hang it in the window and enjoy the colors!
Let your kids’ creativity shine with face painting. Water-based paints make for easy clean up. Have a variety of brushes and colors available, as well as water, stencils, towels and a mirror. If you are looking for inspiration, there are ideas on YouTube and Pinterest, as well as face painting kits.
Make some music at the Rhythm! Discovery Center. Located in downtown Indianapolis, the Rhythm! Discovery Center is the worlds’ only interactive drum and percussion museum. Explore the museum, learn about percussion instruments, and let your kids make some noise!
Watch a movie at the Tibbs Drive-In. Earlier shows typically cater to the younger crowd.
Visit your local kid-friendly independent bookstore and snuggle up with a good book. Check out some of the our favorite kid-friendly bookstores.
Garfield Park Conservatory and Sunken Gardens
Originally constructed during the early 1900’s, you can walk through the Garfield Park Conservatory and see several plant species or walk through the gardens and see them as they were designed in 1910. Visit their website to learn more about programs being offered such as Fall Break Scavenger Hunt, Critter Chat, and the Spooky Stroll.
Mural Scavenger Hunt
Drive around town to discover the 18 murals by local artists and complete the Jiffy Lube Mural Scavenger Hunt. The Arts Council of Indianapolis partnered with Jiffy Lube to commission the murals and bring art to the community.
Ride on an underground river and explore the longest cave in the state at Indiana Caverns.
Drive to Fort Wayne to visit the amazing Fort Wayne’s Children’s Zoo (open through October). Some of our favorite things to do at the zoo are feeding the giraffes, riding the Z.O. & O. railroad, and the Crocodile Creek Adventure Ride.
Big Things in a Small Town
Check out some huge finds and take some fun photos in Casey, IL. It is well worth the hour and half drive to check out the ‘big things in a small town.’
Take a trip north of Indianapolis to Fair Oaks, Indiana. Go on the crop, dairy, or pig adventure or visit their apple orchard or pumpkin patch. They even have a hotel on site if you’d like to stay longer. Be sure to try the grilled cheese or milkshakes.
Drive-Thru Animal Safari at Wilstem Ranch
Roll down your windows and drive through Wilstem Ranch near French Lick, Indiana, where you’ll find buffalo, ostriches, zebras, and alpacas. Buy the feed if you’d like the animals to come close up. You can even walk the ranch and find giraffes, kangaroos, lizards, and more.
Louisville Jack O Lantern Spectacular
Take a walk on the path of Iroquois Park illuminated by over 5,000 pumpkins. Over 100 pumpkins are carved into works of art. Open daily at dusk. Be sure to buy tickets before you go.
Conner Prairie Apple Store
Stock up on caramel apples, apple slushies, doughnuts and everything apple at the Conner Prairie Apple Store.
Grab lunch at Mug’n’Bun and watch your kids’ faces light up as it is served on a tray on your car window. On Indianapolis’s westside for over 50 years, try the hand dipped onion rings or homemade root beer for a special treat.
Try a couple recipes and let your kids be the judge. If you have picky eaters, you can encourage them to try the ingredients separately (e.g. beans, tomatoes, shredded cheese, crackers). Bonus – leftovers for the next night’s dinner.
Try something new at The Garage Food Hall at the new Bottleworks District. They have every type of cuisine you can imagine, from ice cream and coffee and hamburgers to Greek, Brazilian, and Mexican favorites. The whole family will find something to enjoy.
Decorate cupcakes without the clean-up! Several colors of icing, sprinkles, and candy decorations are all provided.
Watch how candy is made at the Martinsville Candy Kitchen. Be sure to try their famous candy canes.
Whether you’re up for an adventure outdoors or would rather stay home, we think you’ll be able to keep your kids busy every day of fall break. Keep it simple or go all out with the planning, either way they’ll enjoy the extra dose of fun!