So you’ve made your way through the swaths of cornfields to the bustling heart of Indiana, have you?
Sometimes, when you’re on vacation or just looking for a fun way to spend the weekend, the sheer number of options and reviews on different attractions can seem overwhelming, but never fear!
We’ve got you covered for the top seven best family things to do in Indianapolis over the weekend.
- The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis
- Walk or paddle down the Central Canal
- Picnic at White River State Park
- Visit the Indianapolis Zoo
- Tour the Indiana State Museum
- Splash in the Freedom Springs Aquatic Park
- Explore Conner Prairie Interactive History Park
All of these locations have amazing family-friendly entertainment that you can enjoy in the warm summer air or the cool wintery breeze, and there are several great indoor options to beat the heat.
The rest of this article will dive into each of these items to discuss why they’re a perfect fit for your weekend adventure.
The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis
Travel back to the 1890s and explore the journey of the Reuben Wells, a 55-ton steam engine that mastered the steepest railroad grade in the United States, dazzle your senses on the Carousel of Wishes and Dreams, laugh ‘till you cry in Lilly theater, and delve into the mystery of an Egyptian tomb in the Treasures of the Earth exhibit.
However you choose to spend your adventure, the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis offers a plethora of family-friendly entertainment that’s sure to entertain the whole family.
Explore an ancient shipwreck and stand face to face with terracotta soldiers or explore the vibrant cultural landscape of Greece―all in one place!
A waterside promenade for bikers, walkers, and paddlers, the Central Canal is a must-visit location in Indianapolis. You can rent a boat and go out on the water for the day, enjoying the city landscape and rows of trees on either side.
Explore the vibrant city life of Indiana firsthand as you paddle the canal and marvel at the world-class architecture. As the city’s longest scenic walkway, the Central Canal is a beautiful glimpse of historic Indianapolis.
The canal also offers access to shopping districts and restaurants galore along the walk, offering plenty of midday activities and novelties that are fun for the whole family.
White River State Park
This scenic location not only boasts world-class experiences for guests, but it’s outfitted with trails and waterways for your family to explore.
Of course, you can stop to beat the heat at any of the myriad of attractions across the 250 beautiful acres of land.
Majestic waterways, mossy rock formations, and vibrant greenery make this location a must-visit for anyone wanting to explore the natural beauty of the Indiana landscape, offering plenty of space for outdoor family activities.
Be sure not to miss the Indianapolis Zoo while visiting White River State Park. With live music, attractions, and premium food, it’s not your run of the mill zoo.
Kids will enjoy having a close-up encounter with live dolphins, and the zoo plays host to a plethora of animals―elephants, orangutans, tigers, and giraffes― you name it.
If you’re looking to add the Indianapolis Zoo to your to-do list while you visit, make sure you book your tickets online, since you can save up to $8 by booking ahead!
Indiana State Museum
No trip to Indianapolis would be complete without a visit to the Indiana State Museum. Learn about the founding people of Indiana, explore an ancient moment frozen in time, and learn about the pioneering spirit that forged the state of Indiana.
Give your kids hands-on experiences in a real naturalist’s lab, explore the ancient ocean gallery, and marvel at the detailed natural dioramas of the Indiana landscape.
However you choose to forge your adventure at the Indiana State Museum, you’re sure to come out more enlightened by the experience!
Freedom Springs Aquatic Park
Offering a hectic and wonderful splash park experience, Freedom Springs Aquatic Park is a great place to take your kids for some family fun.
Brave the massive slides or take it easy on the lazy river. Cabanas and shelters are available for large parties, and the park is accommodated by a central ‘island’ that hosts live music.
At $12 per adult and $10 (less for residents), the Freedom Springs Aquatic Park makes for a perfect weekend trip for the whole family.
Conner Prairie Interactive History Park
Touted as Indiana’s living history museum, Conner Prairie Interactive History Park is an iconic location that lets you step into the past and experience life on the frontier.
This multigenerational entertainment option offers experiences year-round including a visit of 1836 Prairietown, an 1859 balloon voyage, and an 1863 Civil War experience.
Live animal encounters add to the magic of the place, and different programming throughout the seasons makes it worth visiting multiple times.
This is a great place for a blend of historical reenactments, indoor experiences, and nature walks, offering a variety of activities for the whole family to enjoy a weekend out together.
Indianapolis is a great place to visit to enjoy the rich cultural landscape of Hoosier country.
There are lots of experiences that your kids will love, too, from splashing around in the water park and experiencing the reality of life on the frontier.
A blend of indoor and outdoor entertainment can help you beat the heat and get away from the droning on of everyday life.
Whether it be appreciating the natural beauty of White River State Park or exploring history come alive in the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, there’s always something fun to do on a weekend that will be fun for the whole family.
A blend of beautiful landscapes, natural wonder, and wildlife encounters make the variety of Indianapolis entertainment wonderful for the weekend schedule.
So don’t just settle for seeing what’s on TV this weekend―get out there and enjoy the bountiful entertainment options that Indianapolis has to offer.