If you’re anything like me, and you’re a working parent, you can’t wait for the weekend. That glorious two-day break from the norm, when you and the kids get to hang out and enjoy some family time. What to do, though? I’ve compiled a list of places in and around Indy, that allow you to just drop-in for some last minute weekend family fun time.
The Indianapolis Zoo—lions, tigers, and koalas! Take your little monkeys to the zoo for a full day of fun, sun, and adventure. Www.indianapoliszoo.com
The Indianapolis Children’s Museum—there’s something for kids of all ages, and as an adult, I’ve never walked away disappointed from a trip to the world’s largest children’s museum. www.childrensmuseum.org
IMAX at the Indiana State Museum—Jump into the movie experience with a screen larger than your field of vision, giving yourself and your children a movie-going experience you aren’t soon to forget. Make sure to check online for show times, tickets, and films before venturing out. http://www.indianamuseum.org/visit#imax
Conner Prairie—Live amongst history when you visit Conner Prairie. Churn butter, pet farm animals, and step back into time in an interactive park setting that will provide years of memories. www.connerprairie.org
Attend a sports event—from the Indianapolis Indians, to the Colts and Pacers, we have plenty of options for the sports fan. During the summer, make sure to check out an Indians home game on Friday nights, where you get to experience a Victory Field fireworks show after the game, at no additional cost! www.indyindians.com
Studio Movie Grill—From feature films to the Family Rewind, SMG offers food service directly to your seat, as you sit back and enjoy a movie. The Family Rewind series offers two discounted showings a month of a retro movie, which both kids and adults will love. Check them out! https://www.studiomoviegrill.com/Movies.aspx
White River State Park—It’s not just a park. It’s an experience. It offers lush grass and waterways, as any park would, but the White River Park is also home to festivals, museums, and a cultural trail that is a favorite for many Indy-goers. www.inwhiteriver.com
Indianapolis Museum of Art—Family activities are offered, as well as drop-in art activities. There are games, workshops, and galleries to take in that are perfect for the whole family. www.imamuseum.org
Greatimes Family Fun Park—Open seven days a week, this park (aka gigantic playground) offers both indoor and outdoor activities, including go-carts, bumper boats, kiddie carts, mini-golf, and a multi-level arcade. www.greatimesfunpark.com
Explore downtown—If you’ve never taken a carriage ride through monument circle, you’re due. While there, you can visit the Soldiers and Sailors Monument, and climb to the top for a bird’s eye view of downtown. Don’t forget to top off your visit at South Bend Chocolate Co. for a sweet treat. Info on carriage rides: www.blueribboncarriages.com. Info on the monument: http://www.in.gov/iwm/. Hours and location of South Bend Chocolate Co.: http://www.sbchocolate.com/index.html
Indiana State Fair—It doesn’t matter what time of day, or what day of the week, you have to make it to the Indiana State Fair at least once! Fun for the entire family, the fair offers food, rides, animals, and so much more. Oh, and did I mention free concerts?! Just sayin’…check it out. http://www.in.gov/statefair/fair/
Splash Pads—Well, lookie loo…we’ve already done the work for you on this one: go here!
Sky Zone— With a couple of locations in Indy, this indoor trampoline park is sure to entertain the kids, and likely even wear them out faster than usual (hellooo…date night on the couch). Since it’s an indoor park, you don’t have to worry about being rained out, and they’re open all weekend. www.skyzone.com
Broad Ripple Village-– Where do I begin? Walk the canal and feed the ducks at the rainbow bridge. Stop in to Bazbeaux and treat the family to some delicious pizza. Meander around the shops. Grab something sweet at Broadripple Ice Cream Station (Brics). Go to www.discoverbroadripplevillage.com for more info and tons of other ideas.
Half-baked Pottery and Gifts—Speaking of Broad Ripple, this shop allows you to create your own pottery and hand-made creations, and you can drop-in anytime for a one-of-a-kind experience. You pick out your pottery, paint it, and pick it up a week later, after it’s been professionally glazed and fired. This place is so cool! Check it out! http://www.halfbakedpottery.com/
Indiana Transportation Museum—No matter how old we get, riding on a train seems to be a memory that can last a lifetime. Nestled in Forest Park, the ITM allows you to experience riding the rails, take a tour through a railcar, and explore history at the museum. Check out their seasonal train rides, including the Pumpkin Harvest Train and the Polar Bear Express. www.itm.org