If you have a Riley kid you may find yourself frequenting the hospital instead of the playground. Luckily, Riley’s location leaves regular visitors surrounded by some of the city’s best family-friendly locations. You’ve probably already tried the Children’s Museum, so here are four more amazing places to explore on upcoming visits.
1. Mass Ave. – Just two miles from Riley Hospital is the cultural area of Massachusetts Avenue. Local eateries dot the street so enjoy gourmet pizza at Bazbeaux, grab a Bru Burger, or brunch at Hoaglin To Go. When you’re properly fed check out Mass Ave Toys where kids can easily spend an hour trying out the items on display. Book lovers will enjoy Indy Reads Books (the non-profit shop sells mostly used books at great prices) and clothing and jewelry lovers will enjoy popping in to the local boutiques. On a nice day stay outside and enjoy one of the mapped routes on Indy’s Cultural Trail, an eight mile trail which runs along Mass Ave and connects different cultural districts and has public art on display. discovermassave.com
2. Fountain Square Theater – A little south of Mass Ave is the area of Fountain Square and the historic Fountain Square Theater. Enjoy a casual lunch at the End of the Line Public House, then head upstairs for some Duckpin Bowling, the only authentic duckpin bowling lanes in the midwest. With smaller balls and pins than traditional bowling, duckpin is a great option for families and a bit of a novelty as well. Fountainsquareindy.com
3. White River State Park – If you spend time in downtown Indy you’ve probably already tried out the Indianapolis Zoo, but you might not know about all the other wonderful attractions in the area. It’s impossible to do it all in a day, but try out one of many possible itineraries. Check out the Indiana State Museum (which currently has a skate boarding exhibit) and catch a movie at the IMAX, or try the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art (they have a great play area downstairs for younger visitors) and rent a Segway, bicycle, or boat to take in the outdoor sights. Sports aficionados will enjoy the NCAA Hall of Champions which has hands-on activities and sports simulators, and if the timing is right you can head over for an Indian’s game at Victory Field. There is so much to do that it’s worth a visit to their website to see what best suits your interests and time constraints. inwhiteriver.com
4. Rhythm Discovery Center – If you haven’t checked out the Rhythm Discover Center it’s high time. Located just southwest of the circle this interactive percussion museum is a fun and unusual stop for all ages. Most of the instruments are available for visitors to try out, and the selection is impressive for musicians and novices alike. If you need to eat there is a Panera Bread just upstairs, or step out onto the street for choices like Weber Grill and Rock Bottom Brewery. The Indianapolis Repertory Theater and Circle Center Mall are just a few steps away. rythmdiscoverycenter.org