Reader Suggestions: Activities in Indianapolis

ArtsPark at the Indianapolis Art Center

Address 820 East 67thStreet Indianapolis,IN46220 Map, Tel 317-255-2464 Call, Website

Art installations throughout the grounds right on the Monon Trail near the heart of Broad Ripple and all its character and action.
Smaller park but packed with fun art for kids to explore and discover. We start on the walking path nearest the Monon Trail. Ceramic sculptures low to the ground. Huge, spinning (you have to spin it) structure over a fountain. We count as many willow ball installations in the trees and bushes as we can find. We touch the nose of the giant head sculpture. Run towards the "Twisted House" to see who can reach it first and look out its windows. Climb the patio to see the ducks, geese, and river below. Finally admiring more art sculptures before heading up the hill and into the Art Center. We enter by the library and walk our way to the other end talking about the art and any classes that are taking place. If we're lucky we witness glass blowing or pottery spinning. more

Children's Museum

Address 3000 N. Meridian St., Indianapolis, IN 46208-4716 Map, Tel 317-334-3322 Call, Website

Love, love, love that they have different areas for different ages. My son is 16 months, so we hang out in Playscape (0-2), where he can play with water, sand, building blocks, dress up, obstacle courses... and then retire to the quiet room for a little rest, recharge, and nursing. I'm also impressed that they have a "brown bag" eating area, so people aren't obligated to pay for food served in the food court. We had such a good time that I bought a membership, even though we live over an hour away. more

Children's Museum of Indianapolis

Address 3000 N. Meridian St., Indianapolis, IN 46208 Map, Tel 317-334-3322 Call, Website

Aside from the obvious (it's a museum! for kids!) there are lots of small details that make this place super family-friendly. There are attractions for all-ages (we could have spent all day in "playscapes" with our 14-month-old but our friends' older kids needed to see some things too), a system of ramps connecting floors inside the museum and inside the parking garages (so no long waits for elevator rides with strollers) and a covered bridge between parking and the museum itself. The cafeteria had plenty of high chairs and booster seats, a couple of lines dedicated especially to kids (one of which was especially for toddlers, containing bite-sized portions of all of the adult foods including fresh fruits & veggies, protein, etc), and items for those with allergies. We were surprised to see single-serving containers of soy milk; traveling with a milk allergic toddler usually requires us to pack all of his food ahead of time. more

Holliday Park

Address Holliday Park, Indianapolis Map, Website

This is a beautiful park with a nature center, trails, and a playground area with 4 different sections designed for different age levels of children. Fun for everyone in the family! more

Indianapolis Museum of Art

Address 4000 Michigan Road, Indianapolis, IN 46208 Map, Tel 317-923-1331 Call, Website

I know, I know. It's an art museum. I thought my kids would be bored by it too. But they absolutely loved it. It's a great building, giving the kids room to explore. And the art isn't all stuffy and hidden away, the kids were actually intrigued and interested in it. Plus the grounds of the museum are beautiful and built for hiking and exploring. Add in a great retaurant and the fact that it has a free admission, it all makes for a perfect space to spend 4-6 hours with the kids. more

Indianapolis Zoo

Address 1200 W. Washington St. Indianapolis, IN 46222 Map, Tel 317-630-2001 Call, Website

They have added cheetahs to their already large variety of animals...and it's even great for kids in the summer because there is a little water park that the kids can run through to cool down. Also, the daily dolphin shows are a great way for the kids to relax out of the heat while still having fun. more

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