13 Indiana Day Trips Perfect for Late Summer

It may feel like summer is flying by, but there’s still plenty of time to plan a last-minute day trip before school is back in session. We have a few ideas to help you make the most out of your summer vacation and add in some last-minute summer memories. 

13 Indiana Day Trips Perfect for Late Summer: 

Pine Lake Waterpark & Beach

Address: 4640 W State Rd 218, Berne, IN 46711
Perfect For: The whole family looking for a fun day at the beach.

If you can’t decide between the lake or the beach, Pine Lake Waterpark has you covered. This unique destination offers all the adrenaline rushes you would expect from a waterpark while getting back to nature on a trip to the lake. Pine Lake Waterpark, located about 2-hours north of Indianapolis, and is perfect for a summer day trip.

pine lake

Natural Valley Ranch in Brownsburg

Address: 6310 County Rd 350, Brownsburg
Perfect For: Horse lovers; Children 5 years of age and older can participate in a trail ride, but there are pony rides for $5 per person for younger kids.

Natural Valley Ranch in Brownsburg is a gem. The 78-acre ranch that runs along White Lick Creek is the biggest ranch in Hendricks County for horseback riding. It is also known for events like Bountiful Babies (a spring event celebrating the baby animals born on the farm).

Natural Valley Ranch in Brownsburg

Indiana Zipline Tours

Address: 4641 W. 450 S, Crawfordsville
Perfect For: Thrill seekers ages 3 and up. Children must be at least 3 years of age and must be able to fit into the smallest harness.

Head west of Indianapolis to find Crawfordsville, not far from Turkey Run State Park and Shades State Park you’ll fund Indiana Zipline Tours. A state-of-the-art course, you’ll find 8 ziplines, a swinging bridge, scenic walks through the woods, and suspended platforms among the trees.

Indiana Zipline Tours

Splashin’ Safari at Holiday World, Santa Claus

Address: 452 E Christmas Blvd, Santa Claus
Perfect For: Families who love rides, great first amusement park where children 36 inches and tall can ride a good amount of the rides at the park. 

This southern Indiana spot was recently named one of the top water parks in the United States by TripAdvisor and with good reason: Because it is! Not only are tickets good for both Splashin Safari and its adjacent theme park, Holiday World, there’s oodles of fun from slides to rides to wave pools. Bonus: They provide free soft drinks in Holiday World and Splashin’ Safari (which include lemonade, Gatorade, iced teas, and water, in addition to carbonated beverages).

Holiday World Water Park Indiana

Uranus Indiana Fudge Factory in Anderson

Address: 1423 W. 53rd Street in Anderson
Perfect For: Families with a good sense of “potty” humor. 

Looking for a place to get some great fudge along with a good dose of potty humor? Then head out to Anderson and visit Uranus Indiana, a tourist attraction and store that offers a variety of fudge, chocolates, sweets, novelties and more.

Uranus Indiana Fudge Factory in Anderson
Uranus Indiana Fudge Factory in Anderson

Whitewater Valley Railroad

Phone: 455 Market St, Connersville, IN 47331
Perfect For:
Train Lovers

With regular and special trains running April-December, you’re sure to find the perfect opportunity to visit the railroad with family and friends! Adults fares are for passengers over 12 years of age. Children fares are for passengers ages 2-12 and passengers under 2 ride for free when accompanied by an adult.

Mesker Park Zoo and Botanic Garden

Address: 1545 Mesker Park Dr., Evansville, IN 47720
Perfect For: Zoo fans looking to explore a new zoo

Located in Evansville, this zoo houses hundreds of animals to educate and entertain both kids and kids at heart. Visit Indiana’s first zoo for a day of family fun!

Mesker Park Zoo and Botanic Garden
Mesker Park Zoo and Botanic Garden

Bluespring Caverns Park

Address:1459 Blue Spring Caverns Rd. Bedford, Indiana 47421
Perfect For: Families looking for an underground adventure. Bonus: Temperatures are a consistent 53 degrees year-round, which will give you a great break from the summer heat. 

Explore the heart of the natural world by boat! An hour-long boat tour through Bluespring Caverns brings you up close to the majesty of the underground in a trip as natural as we can make it. This is your chance to visit Indiana’s largest sinkholes (covering over 15 acres).

Bluespring Caverns Park
Bluespring Caverns Park

Wilstem Wildlife Park

Address: 4229 US-150 W, Paoli
Perfect For: Wild animal admirers

Experience the self-guided Drive-Thru Safari in your vehicle and see over 50 different species! Along the way, there are opportunities to get out of your car and get a closer look at certain animals. 

Wilstem Wildlife Park


Turkey Run State Park

Address: 8121 Park Rd, Marshall
Perfect For: Active nature lovers

Turkey Run has a little something for every nature lover. The many hiking trails, sandstone gorges, and water access for canoeing and kayaking ensure a good time and great memories.

 Paradise Rental Boats at Fourwinds Marina

Address: 9301 S Fairfax Rd, Bloomington, IN 47401
Perfect For: Anyone who wants to spend the day on the water

If you’re looking for a relaxing activity for your family, there’s nothing like being out on a boat in the middle of the water. Whether you’re a seasoned skipper or just looking to get your feet wet like my family, here is my advice from renting a boat with Paradise Rental Boats at Fourwinds Marina.

Indiana Dunes National Park

Address: 1215 N State Rd 49, Porter, IN 46304

Indiana Dunes spans 15,000 acres and includes more than 50 miles of trails, which will take you over sandy dunes, wetlands, prairies, rivers, and forests. There are 15 miles of sandy beach to explore all year long, whether you’re relaxing on the sand and swimming in the lake during the summer or marveling at the icy beauty of the water during the winter.

Related Article: 6 Best National Parks in the Midwest for Families

Paynetown State Recreational Area

Address: 4850 S. State Road 446, Bloomington
Perfect For: Anyone who loves the beach

This state-operated recreational area on the northeast side of Monroe Lake offers electric and non-electric camping, a beach, boat rental service, a marina with gas sales and a camp store.$7 for in-state license plates; $9 for out-of-state license plates


Indy's Child
Indy's Child
For 40 years, Indy's Child has been the trusted source for Indianapolis families seeking fun, educational, and enriching experiences. Our award-winning magazine and website are dedicated to providing expert advice, insider tips, and up-to-date information on everything from the best local attractions and events to parenting resources and support. As local experts deeply rooted in the central Indiana community, our passionate team at Indy's Child is dedicated to uncovering the best family-friendly experiences and resources our city has to offer. Whether you're new to parenting or looking for new ideas, Indy's Child is here to help you enjoy the adventure of raising a family in central Indiana.

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