Spring break’s here … and, we’re still battling a pandemic. But happily, spring is springing here in Indianapolis, and between outdoor parks and attractions, there are a multitude of options for epic spring break fun. If you are staying local for spring break, Indy has tons of kid- and socially-distant-friendly activities to keep the whole family busy! Explore some new places or things you’ve never done this spring break.
Visit a museum
The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis is always a good idea, and the Riley Children’s Health Sports Legends Experience is an incredible exhibit that combines rich sports history, physical fitness, and health education in a variety of family-fun, indoor and outdoor experiences. Run, drive, jump, putt, and play while learning how to stay happy, healthy, and safe at this must-visit attraction.
For a classic museum-going experience, Indiana State Museum and Historic Sites has 12 locations around the state, including the eponymous, triple-story museum. Running now through September, the “State of Nature” exhibit at Indiana State Museum is an outdoor, hands-on lesson in Indiana prehistory and biodiversity. The exhibit also contains art and artifacts that encourages an aesthetic appreciation of the natural world in Indiana, for a total STEAMrific experience.
And, of course, Conner Prairie is one of the coolest children’s museums in the area, and spring is the very best time to visit. Younger kids will enjoy “Playtime on the Prairie,” an early childhood experience for children ages 0-5, organized into groups by age; older kids, meanwhile, can put their maker hats on for one of the museum’s Make and Take activities. Of course, this museum is perfect for good, old-fashioned free play, too – the Treetop Outpost opens in April and is four stories of tree fort fun, and the Nature Walk is a scenic and fun way to explore the Great Outdoors.
Be a tourist
Indianapolis is just plain fun to explore, so grab the family and play “tourist” for a day. Bottleworks District just opened in downtown Indy, and features loads of options for outdoor dining, shopping, and entertainment. There’s even a luxury hotel — the Bottleworks Hotel — which would make for an extra-special spring break staycation.
Of course, the Indianapolis Zoo is one of the city’s best attractions, and spring is *the* time to check it out. Embrace the season with xZOOberance, a delightful celebration of spring. Happening just in time for spring break, xZooberance runs every Thursday through Sunday, March 25-April 11, and features seasonal animal encounters, fun activities, photo opps, and more – all in a safe, socially distant setting.
Other socially-distant tourist musts? The NCAA Hall of Champions, two floors of love for Indiana’s unofficial sport. Kids can shoot hoops in a 1930s replica gymnasium, kick a soccer goal in a sports simulator, play a game of trivia on one or all of the 24 NCAA sports kiosks and more.
Or go for a bike or pedal boat ride with Wheel Fun Rentals, an active outdoor adventure that lets you experience Downtown Indy in a whole new way.
Connect with nature
Indianapolis has no shortage of natural beauty, and it’s best enjoyed in the spring. Eagle Creek Park’s Discovery Center is part nature center, part science museum, with lots of animal encounters and activities. Hayes Arboretum is an amazing outdoor oasis, housing 3% of Indiana’s old forest growth, plus a Nature Center in a converted 1833 dairy barn. And Mounds State Park Nature Center is beyond cool. The park itself is home to the Great Mound, a structure thought to be constructed by the Adrena-Hopewell people in 160 B.C. The Nature Center also includes a wildlife viewing room, animal displays, and interactive opportunities.
Enjoying a walk or a family bike ride on the Monon Trail is a sure way to enjoy spring in Indy. The Monon Trail is 18.1 miles long, and stretches from Downtown all the way up to Westfield. Along the trail, you’ll find some of Indy’s best local shops and restaurants, making for a perfect, low-key day of exploring.
And of course, you can’t talk about connecting with nature in Indy without mentioning White River State Park.This must-visit park offers nine different attractions across 250 beautiful acres in downtown Indianapolis. All are a must-do!
Finally, if the campgrounds are calling, Camp Jellystone is the way to go. With several locations around Indiana, you can camp the old-fashioned way, or “glamp” by renting a cabin. Either way, you’ll get a hefty dose of the Great Outdoors.
This spring break, embrace the season in Indianapolis, and plan some socially-distant fun with your family!