As seasoned Chicagoans, we are used to spring seasons that have us slipping on ice in floral maxi dresses and cute new sandals. We know not to wait on anyone or anything to deliver us sunny skies and the perfect day for an adventure.
So, a couple of weeks ago, my family packed up our truck and headed to a new city. We had heard Indianapolis opened a new sports-themed exhibit at the popular (for good reason!) Children’s Museum that was too good to pass up. We had a blast there, and while exploring the rest of what Indy has to offer.
Here are more attractions not to be missed on your next Indy adventure:
Live theater shows, live animal feedings and a large chocolate slide don’t even touch the surface of the attractions inside the world’s largest children’s museum. However, it was the newest outdoor exhibit that had us making the three-and-a-half hour drive from Chicago to Indy. The Riley Children’s Health Sports Legends Experience is in a league of its own. Kids as young as toddlers can go wild on the mini golf course, soccer field, hockey rink, race track and basketball courts. Plus, they can try their hand at football drills, get some energy out at a “sports tree” and slide, and learn all about sports legends in the Avenue of Champions.
The Marriott Indianapolis Downtown is offering a Sports Legends Package where families can stay in one of their beautifully renovated rooms or suites, and get four tickets to the Children’s Museum, which saves you roughly $100 on ticket prices. Our suite in The Marriott Indianapolis Downtown was seriously dreamy, and fit the five of us very comfortably.
Consistently ranked one of the best zoos to visit in the U.S., the Indianapolis Zoo is also home to an aquarium and a botanical garden. It’s also the only place in the midwest where you can get in the water with dolphins while learning about marine mammals and conservation. With hundreds of tulips bloom in the garden, and milder weather bringing the animals out of their dens, spring is one of the best times of year to visit!
Built in the late 1800’s, the Indianapolis Art Museum is one of the 10 oldest art museums in the country. Even though it’s old, it’s far from outdated. Kids can create hands-on art projects and participate in sing-a-longs. And adults will enjoy seeing a Picasso masterpiece. Whatever you do, don’t skip a walk through The Garden. There’s yoga on Saturdays and adult crafting classes, so make sure you plan to spend your entire day there to get as much as you can out of the visit.
This local museum offers interactive historical value for both kids and adults. Exhibits change often and range from fossils to the Lincoln Log cabin and wood chopping. You can even learn how to fill a covered wagon. It also houses the state’s largest IMAX screen.
Where to eat
Indianapolis cuisine does not disappoint. Local gems Burger Study, Conner’s Kitchen + Bar, Bluebeard and St. Elmo Steak House offer some of the most delicious dishes in the midwest, and are beloved by locals and travelers alike.