Are you taking a family friendly 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 friendly things to do, there might be a few that aren’t yet on your radar. See the best family friendly Indianapolis attractions!
Best Indianapolis Attractions That Are Family Friendly
Children’s Museum of Indianapolis
300 N. Meridian St.
Indianapolis, IN 46208
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 top family friendly attraction in Indianapolis. It’s also been called one of the coolest places in the world for kids. That’s to say nothing of the educational value you can provide for your children while visiting. Either way, make sure to set aside at least a half day to see the museum’s highlights.
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. However, you should check with the Children’s Museum directly to find about the latest on health policies. Chances are, the capacity limits will have gotten better by the time you visit.
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Eagle Creek Park
7840 W. 56th St.
Indianapolis, IN 46254
Just north of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Eagle Creek Park can be the perfect setting for a family friendly 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 zip-lining 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. That’s not to mention the Earth Discovery and Ornithology centers. Please check online for current vehicle entry rates. All in all, it might be worth your while to visit Eagle Creek Park during your Indianapolis vacation.
Indiana State Fairgrounds
1202 E. 38th St.
Indianapolis, IN 46205
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 fun park. Additionally this famous family friendly attraction will have an animal farm and pioneer village. Check the Indiana State Fair for the latest upcoming family friendly events. In fact, there are events going on year round.
Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum
4750 W. 16th St.
Indianapolis, IN 46222
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. In all, the IMS Museum should be high on your list of family friendly attractions in Indianapolis.
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. In other words, this tour actually stops near the Indianapolis 500 finish line. In further detail, it’s at the finish line where you can have someone take a photo of you “kissing the bricks”. New for 2021 is an exclusive Basement Tour, where a large number of race cars are stored.
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 and attractions 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. With this in mind, if you like the Indiana Pacers, stop by to see the mural of NBA legend Reggie Miller in downtown Indianapolis.
4000 Michigan Road
Indianapolis, IN 46208
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. Furthermore, it’s also among the world’s oldest encyclopedic art museums. Featured in its vast 54,000 collection are artworks from renowned artists like Monet, Picasso and van Gogh. Families may also enjoy the family friendly Star Studio. Newfields is also home to the family friendly historic Lilly House and Gardens, a café and museum store. By the way, the Gardens at Newfields is free to visit without having to purchase a ticket.
White River State Park
801 W. Washington St.
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. If you go, make sure to set aside a full morning or afternoon to visit.
Drawing as many visitors as the Children’s Museum, Indy Zoo has an extensive collection of animals representing hundreds of species. Family friendly 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. Perhaps even better is that admission to the aquarium is part of your entry ticket to the zoo.
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. At the Eiteljorg Museum, you and your family will see one of the world’s largest collection of Native contemporary art. The NCAA Hall of Champions speaks for itself and is another nice addition for your trip. As for Victory Field, check online to see if you can attend an Indianapolis Indians minor league ballgame.
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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 New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and 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, CBS News, Engadget and Radio.com.