Educational Day Trips for Families

These destinations combine fun and learning!

When a family outing can be both fun and educational, everyone wins. Whether you have young children or teenagers, there are lots of educational destinations around Indiana that will ignite your family’s curiosity and inspire a love for learning. Here are some day trip ideas that are not only entertaining but also offer lots of opportunities for learning a little something, too!

Learn About Jim Davis and Garfield the Cat

Fairmount, Indiana

Fun fact: Jim Davis — cartoonist and creator of everyone’s favorite lasagna-loving fat cat Garfield — was born and raised in Indiana! In fact, he’s from a small town northeast of Indianapolis called Fairmount. If you’re a fan of Jim Davis and Garfield the Cat, then the James Dean Museum (formerly The Fairmount Historical Museum) is the place to visit to see a vast collection of Jim Davis and Garfield memorabilia, including the Hoosier cartoonist’s awards, early sketches and vintage photos. While you’re in Fairmount, drive along the Garfield Trail: a self-guided, driveable tour of 14 unique statues of Garfield. |,

Learn About the Early Years of Abraham Lincoln

Lincoln City, Indiana

Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial in southern Indiana commemorates the formative years of Abraham Lincoln, one of America’s greatest presidents. Visitors can explore the farm where Lincoln spent his childhood, walk along scenic trails, and discover the fascinating history of this iconic figure. During the self-guided tour, you’ll encounter educational exhibits, interactive displays and lots of cute farm animals. Be sure to pick up a Junior Ranger Activity Book at the visitor center before you set off on your journey. Kids who complete the activities and show the activity book to the ranger at the visitor center will receive an official Junior Ranger badge and certificate. |

Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial

Learn About Indiana Poet James Whitcomb Riley

Indianapolis and Greenfield, Indiana

During his lifetime, James Whitcomb Riley was known as the “Hoosier Poet” and “Children’s Poet.” Visitors can learn about this famous poet’s life at two locations in central Indiana: The James Whitcomb Riley Boyhood Home and Museum in Greenfield, and the James Whitcomb Riley Museum Home in downtown Indy’s Lockerbie Square neighborhood. Both museums offer visitors a glimpse into the life of the renowned writer, who was so beloved that an Indianapolis hospital was named after him: Riley Children’s Health. Open by appointment only, each museum is an immersive experience that transports visitors back to the mid-1800s to early 1900s with a collection of artifacts and exhibits that showcase the cultural and historical significance of Riley’s literary contributions to Indiana and the world. |,

James Whitcomb Riley Museum Home

Learn About Wilbur Wright and the History of Flight

Hagerstown, Indiana

The Wilbur Wright Birthplace Museum pays tribute to the life and legacy of Wilbur Wright, one of the pioneers of modern aviation. The museum is situated at the site where Wilbur Wright was born and raised with his family in eastern Indiana. Visitors to the museum can explore the reconstructed Wright family farmhouse and discover a vast collection of artifacts, memorabilia and exhibits. One of the highlights includes a full-size replica of the 1903 Wright Flyer, which took 10 years to build and was the first heavier-than-air, powered aircraft to fly successfully. The museum offers a unique perspective on a pivotal period of American history and the evolution of air travel. |

Wilbur Wright Birthplace Museum
Nicole Sipe
Nicole Sipe
Nicole Sipe is the editor of Indy's Child and Southwest Ohio Parent magazines. She has a BA in Journalism from California State University Northridge, and has been involved in the print and digital publishing world for most of her life. Born and raised in Southern California, Nicole traded the city and sun for corn and creeks, and now lives in central Indiana with her husband, two sons and Collie. Her latest book for children, “All About Me! Art Journal” was published in 2022 by Walter Foster Jr. In her spare time, she likes traveling with her family, enjoying good food and drink, volunteering at her children’s schools and around her community, and practicing yoga.

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