Richmond, Indiana has been on our family radar quite a bit… it’s essentially the halfway point between Indianapolis and Dayton. It’s where we meet my husbands grandparents halfway or where we stop and take a “halfway break” when we’re traveling to see them. One on of our halfway stops back home, we drove around and found a waterfall! After playing there all afternoon, we just knew we were going to come back!
1. The first stop you’ll want to make is at the Old National Road Visitor Center (5701 National Road East). It’s a great resource that we often overlook when traveling BUT in this case you need to stop to grab your passports. Yes, you are going to pick up your passport for the Chocolate Trail (grab one for each family member), and your kids need a Whitewater Valley Fossil Passport. Don’t forget to grab a list of the fairy doors!
2. The Richmond Fairy Trail is a gem that will keep your kids on their toes for your entire trip. Local businesses and eating establishments have created fairy doors within their spaces. The doors are decorated and some even offer a peek inside of a fairy home. You’ll want to go out of your way to see specific locations but with many of the merchants and restaurants participating, it’s likely you’ll find a fairy door wherever you go.
3. The Richmond Chocolate Trail is great for everyone, especially chocolate lovers. EVERYONE will love this FREE activity. Complimentary samples are available at so many locations throughout the area. We enjoyed free ice cream, gorgeous artisan chocolates, baked treats and so many more yummy chocolate treats.
4. Fossil Park at Bicentennial Park is a prehistoric treat. There are several locations that you can search for fossils leftover from life the way it was 445 million years ago but Fossil Park is a great starting point for little geologists. Wear your play clothes and take a stroll down to the river to see the walls of rock that line the river. It’s amazing when you think about the millions of years that created those layers and layers. As your family combs through the fossil pile in the middle of the park, you’ll be able to match up what you find with a sort of key located on an information board nearby.
5. Cool off at Thistlewaite Falls. Bring along your water shoes and bathing suits for a fun time exploring the waterfalls and streams. We found fossils, we splashed and skipped stones and the kids didn’t want to leave! This activity is best suited for the warm summer months. Here’s a little more about our visit.
6. Ride the train on the top floor of the Richmond Furniture Gallery. Also, check out the model train display, the giant stuffed bunny, the penny castle and various other cool things. Visit from 12pm – 5pm on Saturdays and Sundays. Oh yeah, and it’s FREE!
7. The Joseph More Museum of Natural History at Earlham College (801 National Rd W, Richmond) was a fun place for the kids to play. They had reptiles to look at, a fun matching game, puppet areas and unique displays. So much of this small museum is hands on. There’s even a planetarium! My kids did not want to leave.
8. Hayes Arboretum (801 Elks Country Club Rd, Richmond) is home to a fantastic nature center with things for children to touch, feel, play with and see. You won’t want to miss the Bird Room, where you can sit in very comfortable chairs and watch and identify the birds. We paid a $5 fee to take the Auto tour. It was a fun drive with many great spaces to take photos.
9. Veach’s Toy Station (715 E Main St, Richmond) is pretty hard to pass up while in Richmond. This huge toy store sells fun and educational toys from smaller American toy manufacturers. The bright storefront will beckon to your family from the street and once you’re inside, you’ll love exploring. There are many toy displays set up for your kids to play and try things out. Check out the Toy Lab area to test out some great toy creations. http://veachstoystation.com/
10. There is a Playground and Splash Pad at Glenn Miller Park (2200 E Main St, Richmond). Our jam-packed weekend didn’t leave any more time for visiting this location but in addition to fun activities like outdoor movies in the summer, there are two features that make for a fun day for kids; a playground and a splash pad. We’ll be visiting this park on our next trip to Richmond…which is coming VERY soon.