Indiana weather is so predictable. Cold in winter. Hot in Summer. Rain in Spring. Actually, not really. Not even a little bit. In fact, it seems like Mother Nature likes to keep us on our toes and change things up at a moment’s notice. That’s why you need this list of ideas for rainy day fun for kids of all ages.
1) Run, jump and play off energy at one of Indy’s many trampoline parks or inflatable play centers like Bounce U, Monkey Joes and (my favorite) Skyzone. For those looking for more versatile entertainment for bigger kids AND adults, check out Incrediplex in Lawrence, where you’ll find a rock wall, inflatables, arcade games, laser tag, turf sports fields and so much more. Or head to Greenwood’s Zip City, where you can jump on 10,000 square feet of trampolines, climb the rock wall, play laser tag and soar through their one-of-a-kind indoor zip line park.
2) Painting pottery is a great way to spend a rainy day, no matter what your age. Kids love exploring their creative side, and I find that while I try to keep them on budget when selecting a piece, the more hands-off I am with their creations, the more amazing they end up being. Check out this list for a pottery place near you.
3) Hit up a gymnastics studio for open gym, where kids can enjoy the balance beam, trampoline, tumbling mats and more. Wright’s Fundamentals has locations in Westfield, Greenwood and Center Grove that offer “FUNtimes” at various times throughout the week for kids up to age 9. Other gymnastics studios around town offering open gym times on a weekly basis include (but are not limited to) Hamilton County Sports Complex (Noblesville), Gymnastics Etc (Greenwood), The Gymnastics Company (Indianapolis), and The Flip Zone (Plainfield).
4) Indy Parks aren’t just for sunny days. You can take your kids inside for Garfield Park’s Conservatory and view exotic plants from the world’s tropical regions, or hit up Eagle Creek’s Ornithology Center to bird watch or even see a bird of prey up close. Littler kids will love the recently renovated Habitat Hall at Holliday Park where they can enjoy interactive play, feel various animal pelts, dress up as animals and insects, and view displays at their level. Each center has general operating hours daily, as well as periodical educational events for kids.
5) Located downtown at the intersections of Illinois and Washington Streets, the Rhythm! Discovery Center is one of my favorite places to take the kids on rainy days. This interactive percussion museum, is filled with an assortment of instruments and artifacts from a range of time periods and places around the world. We could spend hours learning about all the exhibits, but really, we go to play. From the 8-foot gong, to the professional drum sets to the room of hand-held shakers, this is a place for kids to find their groove without disturbing the neighbors. Rhythm! offers general admission hours throughout the week, as well as special family friendly programming on Saturdays.
6) Get educational and be a tourist in your own city with a climb to the top of the Soldiers and Sailors Monument or enjoy a guided tour of the, Scottish Rite Cathedral, Lucas Oil Stadium, or the Lily House. For those who want to get a bit outside the city, head to Martinsville for a tour and tasting at Hunter’s Honey Farm.
7) Check out any number of FREE indoor playgrounds around town or head to Greenwood’s Community Center, where they recently opened Kid City, a two-story facility dedicated to science, technology, engineering, art and math.
8) Enjoy the water with a trip to the Monon Community Center Pool, where you’ll find a lap pool as well as a kid-friendly activity pool with zero-depth entry, kiddy slide and interactive water features. Or check out this list to find the perfect indoor pool offering open swim times in your area.
9) Indy has no shortage of amazing museums like the world-renowned Children’s Museum. But there’s so much more than that. Families with younger kids would also love visiting the Eiteljorg’s RB Annis Western Family Experience, where kids can take a ride in a stage coach, dress in 1800s era clothing, build a sod house wall, and much more. While older kids might enjoy the Indiana Experience at Indiana History Center, where they can step right into 3D recreations of historic photos, complete with characters who come to life. And Conner Prairie’s indoor play center is a place for kids of all ages to enjoy pretend play, hand-on science exploration, and work with tools and materials related to textiles, woodworking, metalsmithing, pottery and more.
10) Round out your day with a bite to eat. Head to one of these great eateries to chase away the rainy day gloom with a warm bowl of soup. Or take advantage of one of the many restaurants that offer free kids meals.