By Michelle McNally
Some kids are night owls, others are early birds. I have one of each. With my early bird, I’ve seen the sun rise over Niagara Falls, kept towels in the trunk to wipe off playground equipment in the early morning, and have often sat down to lunch at 10am.
If your house is up & ready for the day as the sunrises, sometimes the best option is to head out and get started. Early risers are sometimes early-eaters and early-nappers, so it’s best to make the most of your children’s waking hours.
Fun, kid-friendly errands include car washes & oil changes. First thing in the morning, there’s no waiting & many places give an early bird discount. Kids who love cars will love both. Stores open 24 hours are always happy to see early morning customers. Kids fascinated by how things work may like to watch shelves being stocked and floors being buffed. Some of those same stores may also have small pet departments where kids can watch fish swim in aquariums or a bakery department with delicious donuts. For a change in your regular grocery shopping routine, mix it up with a local farmer’s market. Farmer’s markets often open early, especially on the weekends. Another early morning destination is one of the area’s free little libraries. These book boxes are fun to check out, and they’re always open. Have some books ready to donate, and you may find a new read or two for your family.
Downtown is always an exciting place, even in the early morning. Enjoy a morning snack on the steps of the Sailors & Soldier’s Monument, or take a walk along the White River Canal. Connecting the White River Canal and the Indianapolis Zoo is the Old Washington Street Bridge, which is filled with sculpture. It’s a fun place to stroll and investigate the art. The Indianapolis Zoo opens at 9am. If you’re looking for an interesting place to have breakfast, visit City Market ,which opens at 7am.
Energetic early risers will love going to the park before the heat of the day. Head out to a Carmel Park and then stay for a free Kids Koncert on select dates.On rainy days, check out the hours at the indoor play spaces. Trader’s Point opens daily at 8am, which is awesome for early birds. Other places to play include the 100 Acres Art & Nature Park and Ritchey Woods, both of which open at dawn.
Parents looking to get their workouts in can hit the Monon Trail & other green ways as soon as the sun is up. Load up your young ones & go for a run or a bike ride. Plan your route right & you can land at the Soho Cafe in Carmel or any number of coffee shops in Broad Ripple.
The years for early morning adventures are short ones- all too soon kids are either leaving for school or sleeping in. Enjoy these early morning adventures while you can!