Like many families, we’ve spent our summer looking for fun activities that are safe and abide by the social distancing recommendations set by the state. This summer, we rented beautiful pontoon boats on Morse Reservoir and Geist Reservoir. Both marinas did a great job sanitizing our boats between rentals with a COVID cleaning solution. We took our kids on this boat ride, but renting a pontoon boat would be a unique date night idea.
Boat Rentals Near Indianapolis
No boating license or experience is needed to rent a pontoon boat; the staff at the marina can teach you the basics of operating a pontoon boat. The rental costs range from 200 – 350 dollars + fuel. During our two hour trips, we used about 15 dollars in fuel.
Both Geist Reservoir and Morse Reservoir are popular places near Indy to watch 4th of July Fireworks, but some shows have been canceled.
Morse Reservoir Marina
Our family tried a two hour evening rental of a pontoon boat on Morse Reservoir. We cruised around, trying different fishing spots, and learning the layout of the lake. Masks are required in and on the Marinas but once you’re outside of the marina, you can remove your mask.
The boats are not equipped with ski bars so inner-tubing is not permitted. Most families take the boats out to cruise and enjoy the beauty of the reservoir or go swimming.
Wolfies Waterfront Grill is a waterfront family restaurant that offers delicious food to go or you can dock at the restaurant and dine in.
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Geist Reservoir Marina
After a wonderful evening pontoon boating around Morse reservoir, we decided to rent another pontoon boat for the day, but this time on the Geist Reservoir. Geist Marina rents pontoon boats with Bimini tops, which are great for those bright and sunny summer days. Some of the boats even offer bluetooth stereos for playing your favorite playlist. Our rental period was from 10:30 am until 6:30 pm and we crammed a lot of fun into those hours.
Boat rentals begin at 9 am, 9:30 am, 10 am, 6:30 pm and 7 pm. You must be 25 years old or above to rent a boat from Geist Marina. Rentals for boats start at $200. Dogs are welcome aboard if they are well behaved. Youth and Adult vests are provided, but guests will need to bring their own life vests for anyone under 50 pounds. The marina also has life vests for sale if needed. The boats are equipped with depth finders that we used while fishing with the kids. In order to go fishing in Indiana, you need a fishing license. The boats have ladders on the back so you can easily get in and out of the water.
Wolfies Grill in Geist is a popular waterfront family restaurant and they have dock side parking for dining in or carryout. On Friday and Saturday nights, they have live music. Dockside delivery is also available from Crave Ice Cream Social, Eddy’s Neighborhood Bar and Grill and Puccini’s Pizza and Pasta.
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Things to Bring for Your Boat Rental
You’ll need to bring sun protection: hats, sunglasses and sunblock. If you want to go swimming, bring along your floaties, swim suits and towels. Pack a picnic with lots of snacks and beverages, especially water. Youth and Adult vests are provided. Guests will need to bring their own life vests for anyone under 50lbs. The marina also has life vests for sale if needed.. If you’re bringing food and beverages, bring your own cooler, there will not be a cooler provided on board, but you can purchase ice at the marina.