Family Fun in Indianapolis

The capital city of Indianapolis is among the premiere sites in Indiana, sporting a wide variety of options for living, entertainment, dining, and other aspects. Positioned right in the middle of “The Crossroads of America,” Indy has the advantages of a big city and a thriving downtown area without being so large as to be intimidating.

Among its features and attractions are many family-friendly options offered. For decades, Indianapolis has somewhat prided itself on having a safe, classy downtown area, where people are less afraid to walk around, even at night. This has largely been accomplished by, for the most part, avoiding massive gambling establishments and other businesses that can potentially attract those who make families feel less at ease.

Fortunately, in their place, there are a few locales that offer the highest quality of family fun in Indianapolis, the Circle City.

The Indianapolis Zoo

Indy’s version of a zoo has many of the popular mainstays for zoological attractions: Big cats, big bears, dividing the grounds by different environments, a dolphin show, and others. In addition, the Indianapolis Zoo boasts a status as the only institution accredited by the Association of Zoo and Aquariums and the American Association of Museums as a zoo, an aquarium, and a botanical garden. Its impressive biomes include Forests, Oceans, Deserts, Plains, and the Encounters biome where visitors may interact with the present animals.

The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis

Often cited as the world’s largest children’s museum, this location is sure to be a hit with kids, designed with a hands-on mindset and offering the resources to be able to host several world-class, large-scale exhibits at a time. Although some of its exhibit spaces change on a rotating basis, some of its mainstays are permanently popular: The Dinosphere, a standalone structure in which visitors encounter a sound-and-light experience with animatronics dinosaurs; the Carousel, a life-size indoor carousel that is considered their largest gallery artifact, is registered as a National Historic Landmark, and can be ridden by visitors; and the Science Works space, offering expansive opportunities for people, especially kids, to interact with and learn about natural sciences and processes by fun, hands-on activities.

White River State Park

Covering 250 acres just west of the downtown area, White River State Park is a source of family fun in Indianapolis because of the variety of attractions it offers. As one of the six designated cultural districts in the city, among the sites in or near the park include the Indiana State Museum, an IMAX theater, the White River Gardens, the Eiteljorg Museum which features Western & American Indian art, the NCAA Hall of Champions, and Victory Field where semi-pro baseball team Indianapolis Indians play. Although Wikipedia may not be considered the most legitimate source, it does label White River State Park as “America’s only urban cultural state park,” an interestingly distinct niche.

Indianapolis, hopefully like any similarly sized city, has many family-friendly entertainment options. These three are among the most prominent, each one likely able to become an all-day (or nearly so) trip for the family, even with repeat visits in following years.