31 Things to Do in July with Kids | Indianapolis July Events and Activities

It’s hard to believe July is here. It’s the last full month before school starts, so we’ve packed the calendar with lots of great activities to make the most of every day. Here are a few of our top picks for every day of the month.

Indianapolis July Events and Things to Do

Festivals, fairs, fireworks, and more. July in Indy is absolutely packed with summer excitement.

Celebrate Freedom

Kick off the month with a spectacular Independence Day! Where will you spend your July 4th? There are 4th of July parades, 4th of July festivals, and 4th of July Fireworks. Several 4th of July events take place in June, but there are still many scheduled on the actual holiday. As for food, we love a cookout with friends and family, but you can also let one of Indy’s best burger restaurants do the grilling for you.

Indianapolis July Events: Four children look on as a small firework shoots sparks into the air in the street nearby.

Explore Indy via Scavenger Hunt

Grab a copy of Katy Mann’s book, Indianapolis Scavenger, and set out to discover the landmarks and stories that make Indianapolis an amazing place to live, work, and play. Choose a walkable neighborhood to explore, then follow rhyming clues to track down all the unique gems in the area.

Watch an Outdoor Movie

Summertime tends to bring out the most opportunities to see free summer movies at the movie theater, movies in the park, and lots of other outdoor movies. It’s also a great season to head to the drive-in movie theater. Newfields has a Summer Nights movie series featuring some kid-friendly flicks. You can even watch a movie while floating in the pool at a Flix and Float at Forest Park Aquatic Center in Noblesville!

Splash the Day Away

Splash pads are totally free and one of the best ways to beat the heat on hot July days. Of course, Central Indiana is also home to a host of amazing swimming pools your kids can cannon-ball into. By the way, have you seen the Indiana waterparks that are close to Indianapolis?

Indianapolis July Events: Children splash and play at a splash pad full of colorful sprayers, jets, and dumping buckets.

Play Like an Olympian

The 2024 Summer Olympics begin on July 26, but every July is a great time to try out some of the sports we see highlighted in the games. Some gymnastics studios, like DeVeaus, offer summer camps for school-age kids or drop-in programs for preschoolers. Look into swim lessons or teams at pools and aquatic centers near you, play table tennis at Midtown Plaza in Carmel, or challenge your family to train together for a 5k.

Go on a Night Hike

Summertime is a great time for a night hike. As the sun goes down, the temperature outdoors becomes much more pleasant. Many local parks and recreation programs offer organized night hikes. If there’s not one near you, head outdoors and chase fireflies!

Float Down a River

Have you ever been on a river tube float? We love floating down the river in an inner tube. There are so many places that offer a river tubing trip, some of our favorite places to do this are Turkey Run’s Sugar Creek and the White River in Hamilton County.

Indianapolis July Events: A man and three children relax on colorful tubes floating on the White River.

Conquer the Climbing Structure at a New Playground

You know we have to recommend some playgrounds! Play hard at a favorite Indianapolis park. Some of the best options for July have splash pads adjacent to the playground. Try Quaker Park in Westfield, Tarkington Park in Indy, Westermeier Commons in Carmel, or City Center Park in Greenwood.

Join the Race at Indy Crit

Head to University Park on July 13, 2024, for a family fun day during the Momentum Indy bike race weekend. Watch the adult and junior races, get a free bike helmet, watch BMX stunt shows, play yard games, and ride your own bike through an obstacle course. Don’t forget to register your 3-12-year-olds for the free Kids Race!

Go to a County Fair

Several Central Indiana counties host their county fair during the month of July. Sample fair delicacies like funnel cakes and sweet corn, stroll through the animal barns, hop on a midway ride, or check out the impressive projects created by Indiana’s 4-H kids. You never know what might spark some inspiration in your own child. No matter what fair you decide to visit, check the schedule before you go so you can plan your trip around any fun events or performances!

In 2024, the  Marion County Fair is open from June 28-July 7, the Hamilton County Fair is July 18-22, and the Hendricks County and Johnson County Fairs are both July 14-20.

Hit the Beach

You don’t have to plan a road trip to enjoy some sun and sand! Geist Waterfront Park is open for the summer and non-Fishers residents can visit for free on weekdays (excluding July 4) and between 11-1 on Saturdays and Sundays. Kids love the pirate ship-themed playground at this beach! You can also try the beach at Eagle Creek Park, which is free with park admission. Morse Park and Beach is open daily from 12-6 pm and costs just $6 per person.

If you don’t mind driving a couple of hours, the Indiana Dunes are amazing for a day trip or weekend getaway!

Indianapolis July Events: A small playground on a sandy beach at Geist Waterfront Park.

Catch Fireflies

Did you know Indiana has an official state insect? It’s the Say’s Firefly, perhaps more commonly known as the lightning bug, and you probably have dozens to hundreds of them flying around outside your home on summer nights! Stay out late to let your kids experience the magic of the twinkling lights in the darkening sky around them. Teach them the classic Hoosier pastime of gently catching fireflies in your hands and releasing them to continue brightening the night.

Register for a Parent’s Night Out

Due for a date night? With all the options for Parent’s Night Out programs at local venues with kids’ activities, your kids can have a blast while you and your significant other get some time on your own. Check out our list of gyms, museums, and more locations offering these fun events, then make a dinner reservation!

Discover a Local Ice Cream Shop

Ice cream is the ideal summertime treat! You’ve probably been to your go-to favorite ice cream shop once (or many times) by now, so why not branch out? Indianapolis has so many delicious places to get a cone or dish. You can find a list of our recommendations here. By the way, National Ice Cream Day is July 21!

Plan a Family Getaway

Sneak in some family fun before school gets back underway! Living in Indianapolis means you don’t have to hop on a plane or even travel far to reach some amazing destinations. Spend a weekend in Chicago or check out all the kid-friendly activities in St. Louis. French Lick and South Bend are both popular destinations you can visit without leaving the state. Want a week-long vacation? With all its free museums, Washington DC is surprisingly budget-and-kid-friendly and is under nine hours from Indy.

Things to do in South Bend, Indiana - Notre Dame

Snap Photos in a Sunflower Field

Late July is when all those sunflowers that have been growing since spring suddenly burst into bloom! You can get the most beautiful photos of your family in the fields at a local farm or cut some stems to take home to brighten up your kitchen counter. This month is also a great time to visit a cut-flower farm, either with your kids or for a night out with friends.

Attend a Library Program

Summer reading programs are in full swing at all the local libraries! If you haven’t already, get your kids registered now while there’s still time to snag some fun prizes before the end of summer. Indy’s summer reading program features prizes ranging from snacks and toys to tickets to Indians’ games and passes for the best museums in the city. You can also pick from a range of special Summer Reading events to attend! Don’t miss Silly Safaris animal shows, bilingual musical adventures with 1,2,3 Andres, or woodworking workshops with Deeply Engrained.

See What’s Growing at the Fishers Agripark

Did you know that one of the most unique parks in the Indianapolis area lets visitors harvest farm-fresh produce for free? The Fishers Agripark is a working farm with fields of healthy vegetables and barns with animals to meet. You can also set off on a walk on the nature trails or get messy in the mud kitchen. Follow the Agripark on social media to get news about what’s ripe and available to harvest!

Day Trip to an Indiana Children’s Museum

Summer is the perfect time to explore our home state on some exciting day trips! Of course, the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis is world-class, but did you know Indiana has several other must-visit museums just for kids? Science Central in Fort Wayne is a fantastic place to spark your kids’ interest in physics or geology, while kidscommons in Columbus features a camping exhibit, a bubble station, and a giant toilet slide.

Indianapolis July Events: A child uses a triangular metal wand to create a large bubble at kidscommons in Columbus.

Find Faerie Magic at Minnetrista

Delight your children with a trip to Muncie’s Minnestra, just over an hour from Indy. The annual Faeries, Sprites, and Lights festival is scheduled for July 25-27 and you don’t want to miss it! Guests are encouraged to don fairy wings and other whimsical attire. At the event, you can enjoy the beautiful garden surroundings, play games, make crafts, listen to live music, and twirl in the bubble garden. Tickets are $12 for non-members, but children 2 and under are free.

Catch a Concert

The Circle City is alive with music throughout the summer months! You can certainly pay for entry to one of the shows at Ruoff, Holliday Park’s Rock the Ruins series, or Conner Prairie’s Symphony on the Prairie. But every week also brings dozens of opportunities to listen to free live music around the city. Try the Concerts on the Canal series outside the Indiana Historical Society downtown. You can also head to the Nickel Plate AMP in Fishers for free concerts on Tuesdays, or Greenfield’s Depot Street Park for tribute bands from a variety of genres.

Seek Out Some AC

When the heat and humidity get to be too much, find a place to play inside! Let the kids burn some energy on the trampolines at Urban Air, sip coffee while your little ones play at a local play cafe, or check out the pinball machines and duckpin bowling lanes at Pins Mechanical. For budget-friendly (free) indoor fun, we love local libraries and these nine free indoor playgrounds!

Eat Tacos (Preferably on a Tuesday)

We won’t ever say no to tacos, but there’s something about summer and these tortilla-clad delicacies put together that just feels right. Create your own taco bar at home or try one Indy’s many amazing restaurants serving tacos. Did you know kids eat free at Moe’s Southwest Grill on Sundays? We also hear there’s a Taco Fest of food trucks coming to Daredevil Brewery in Speedway on July 12.

Pick Blueberries or Raspberries

If you missed strawberry season in May and early June, never fear! July is when blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries begin to ripen and the season may extend into August. You’ll want to follow your favorite farms on social media so you can stay up-to-date on how the crops are doing and when guests can grab u-pick produce. Nothing beats those super fresh berries straight from the field! Indy has tons of fantastic farms, but we’ll suggest Driving Wind Berry Farm for blueberries, Spencer Farm for raspberries, and Wild Blackberry Farms for — what else? — blackberries.

Indianapolis July Events: A child smiles while sampling a blackberry fresh from a bush at Wild Blackberry Farms.

Roast Marshmallows

Every Wednesday in July, Cool Creek Park hosts a family campfire, complete with marshmallows, songs, and fun nature presentations. At 7 pm, bring your own lawn chairs or blankets to sing a long with Moriah Music and learn about some animal friends. These events are free and no registration is required.

Get Into the Christmas Spirit

Bring some holly jolly fun to your summer with a Christmas in July celebration. We brainstormed dozens of festive activities if you need some inspiration! You can even start your Christmas shopping at the massive Christmas in July vendor market at Dull’s Tree Farm, about an hour northwest of Indianapolis.

Gather School Supplies

Summer must come to an end and back-to-school time is just around the corner. Make sure you’ve assembled all those boxes of fresh crayons, gluesticks, pencils, and other necessities. If your family could benefit from some assistance with these important materials, we’ve got a list of places around the community where you can get free backpacks stuffed with school supplies! Some giveaway events even offer free food, health checks, vaccines, haircuts, and fun kids activities.

Get our free printable 101 Days of Summer calendars!

Does your child have a July birthday? Use our Birthday Party Guide to make their day memorable.

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