Are you taking a family vacation this summer to Indianapolis? If so, you’ll have a wealth of fun things to see and do with the fam. From the world’s largest children’s museum to the most famous racetrack, Indy really has it all for an amazing summer vacation. In fact, there are so many family attractions, there are some that are not yet on your radar. Learn why Indianapolis is one of America’s top destinations to visit this year, especially for families.

Family Friendly Attractions

Entrance with dinosaur sculpture at the Children's Museum of Indianapolis
Children’s Museum of Indianapolis (credit: Randy Yagi)

 

Children’s Museum of Indianapolis
300 N. Meridian St.
Indianapolis, IN  46208
(317) 334-4000
www.childrensmuseum.org

It might take more than a day to try to see most everything at the Children’s Museum. After all, it’s the world’s largest, with nearly 500,000 sq. ft. of floor space. There’s also a 7.5-acre outdoor section – the Sports Legends Experience – that’s packed full of family friendly activities. Among the notable attractions at the museum are an authentic Indy race car, Jurassic collection and its vintage carousel.  Winner of multiple awards, Children’s Museum is the best of its kind in the country. It’s also been called one of the coolest places in the world for kids.

Advance Ticket Sales

Visitors are encouraged to purchase tickets in advance. At this time, admission to the museum is limited to less than 50 percent capacity.

 

Related: Family Friendly Campsites In America

 

Eagle Creek Park
Eagle Creek Park (credit: Eagle Creek Park via Facebook)

 

Eagle Creek Park
7840 W. 56th St.
Indianapolis, IN  46254
(317) 327-7275
www.indy.gov/eagle-creek-park

Just north of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Eagle Creek Park can be the perfect setting for a family day trip. Among the largest municipal parks in the country, it offers outdoor activities like boating, hiking and swimming. Eagle Creek  also has an adventure park and ziplining at Go Ape. The expansive park additionally features a dog park, café and a top rated public golf club with two championship-caliber golf courses. Please check online for current vehicle entry rates.

 

Midway rides at the Indiana State Fair
Indiana State Fair (credit: Wikimedia)

 

Indiana State Fairgrounds
1202 E. 38th St.
Indianapolis, IN  46205
(317) 927-7500
www.indianastatefair.com

Spanning 250 acres with over 1 million sq. ft. of floor space, Indiana State Fairgrounds hosts several events yearound. The biggest will be the Indiana State Fair July 30-August 22, now in its 164th year. Although some events haven’t yet been announced, the state fair will have food vendors, midway rides and a family fun park. Additionally the Indiana State Fair will have an animal farm and pioneer village.

 

Indy 500 trophy inside the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum
Indy 500 Trophy at IMS Museum (credit: Randy Yagi)

 

Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum
4750 W. 16th St.
Indianapolis, IN  46222
(317) 492-6784
www.imsmuseum.org

Located on the infield portion of the iconic Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the IMS Museum is celebrating its 65th year. The family-friendly IMS Museum is home to one of the world’s most prestigious auto and auto racing collections. Several notable race cars are on display, including the winning car from the first Indy 500 in 1911. The museum also features historical artifacts and cars from other premier races like Formula One and NASCAR.

IMS Museum Tours

IMS Museum offers special tours that can take visitors onto the legendary IMS racetrack. Among the favorites are the Kiss the Bricks Tour. New for 2021 is an exclusive Basement Tour, where a large number of race cars are stored.

 

Indianapolis Colts game at Lucas Oil Stadium
Indianapolis Colts Game at Lucas Oil Stadium (credit: Visit Indy)

 

Lucas Oil Stadium
500 S. Capitol Ave.
Indianapolis, IN  46225
(317) 262- 8600

With a seating capacity of 67,000 Lucas Oil Stadium is the home field for the NFL’s Indianapolis Colts. Although pro football games won’t be held until September, the stadium will host some events this summer. Upcoming events are Monster Jam June 12-13 and Bloomington Gold Corvette Show June 18-19. At this time, stadium tours are not being held although is subject to change. Outside the stadium is the Peyton Manning statue, one of the greatest quarterbacks in NFL history.

 

Robert Indiana's Love Sculpture at Indiana Museum of Art
Robert Indiana’s Love Sculpture at Indiana Museum of Art (credit: Randy Yagi)

 

Newfields
4000 Michigan Road
Indianapolis, IN  46208
(317) 923-1331
wsw.discovernewfields.org

Encompassing 152 acres, Newfields is home to the Indianapolis Museum of Art, in addition to a lush garden and other attractions. Established in 1883, the Museum of Art is among the oldest in the nation. Featured in its vast 54,000 collection are artworks from renowned artists like Monet, Picasso and van Gogh. Families may also enjoy Star Studio, especially designed for kids.  Newfields is also home to the historic Lilly House and Gardens, a café and museum store.

 

Aerial view of the NCCA Hall of Champions at White River State Park
White River State Park (credit: Visit Indy)

 

White River State Park
801 W. Washington St.
Indianapolis, IN
(317) 233-2434
www.whiteriverstatepark.org

Located in downtown Indy, White River State Park offers  plenty of fun things to see and do for the entire family. Extending across 267 acres, it’s home to a number of attractions, particularly the Indianapolis Zoo.

 

Aquarium at Indy Zoo
Aquarium at the Indianapolis Zoo (credit: Visit Indy)
Indianapolis Zoo

Drawing as many visitors as the Children’s Museum, Indy Zoo has an extensive collection of animals representing hundreds of species. Highlights are animal feedings, amusement rides including a roller coaster, aquarium and lovely botanical garden. Moreover, the aquarium is the only spot in the entire Midwest that features an in-water dolphin adventure.

Additional Family Friendly Attractions In White River State Park

In White River State Park, a visiting family can further consider the Indiana State Museum, with its Indiana Obelisk and IMAX Theater. Additional attractions are Eiteljorg Museum, NCAA Hall of Champions and Victory Field.

 

Indiana Obelisk inside the family friendly Indiana State Museum
Indiana Obelisk at the Indiana State Museum (credit: Randy Yagi)

 

 

 

Related: A Closer Look At The Historic Crowne Plaza Indianapolis Downtown Union Station

 

About The Author:

Randy Yagi is an award-winning freelance writer who served as the National Travel Writer for CBS Local from 2012-2019. More than 900 of his stories still appear in syndication across 23 CBS websites, including CBS New York, CBS Los Angeles, CBS Chicago and CBS San Francisco. During his peak years with CBS, Randy had a digital audience reach of 489 million and more than 5.5 million monthly visitors. His other stories have appeared in the Daily Meal, Examiner.com, CBS Radio, Engadget and Radio.com. He is a Media Fellow of Stanford University, U.S. Army veteran and lifelong resident of Santa Cruz County, California.

 

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