Summer Fun Without the Sun

Summer is here, and with it comes soaring temps. Of course, you want to get outside and enjoy the hot weather and sunshine while it lasts. But when the heat becomes too much to handle, don’t sweat it! There are plenty of indoor activities in Indianapolis that are sure to keep you and your family entertained.

Make Your Way to a Museum

The obvious choice when you’re looking for a cool indoor place to visit? A museum! We are fortunate to have lots of great museums in the Indianapolis area. The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis is the ultimate destination for families; check out Dinosaur Train: The Traveling Exhibition before it leaves the museum on July 30. The Eiteljorg Museum’s Nina Mason Pulliam Education Center on the lower level includes opportunities for young children to play, discover and create. While you’re in the White River State Park area, be sure to visit the Indiana State Museum, especially on July 22 during their all-day Family Discovery Day, where families can learn about space through hands-on activities. Also in the area is the NCAA Hall of Champions, where you can learn about college basketball and the 23 other college sports sanctioned by the NCAA. 

It’s All About Art

The Indianapolis Art Center has lots of classes and camps for kids looking for a creative way to spend the summer. Kids can unleash their creativity with classes ranging from drawing and painting to woodworking and photography. Garfield Park Art Center is a great place to find classes and art exhibits, as well. (Bonus: The nearby Garfield Park Conservatory is a cool indoor oasis to explore and be surrounded by beautiful plants and flowers.)

Nurture a Love for Nature

Nature centers combine fun and learning all in one space! Holliday Park Nature Center educates visitors with hands-on experiences, arts and crafts, and more. The Ornithology and Earth Discovery Center at Eagle Creek is a cool place to learn about birds. Look out over the bird sanctuary from the observation room and learn all about feathered friends with hands-on kiosks and activities. At Cool Creek Park & Nature Center, nature lovers are invited to learn about the science of Indiana woodlands and the importance of preserving plants and animals in their natural habitats.

Check Out a Library or Bookstore

Your local library is a great place to hang out during the summer! Find your nearest branch and attend one of the many free events and activities they offer. There’s something happening nearly every day at all Indianapolis Public Library branches, including a Teddy Bear Concert with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra on July 16 at the Central Library. You’ll find a rich selection of books, games, puzzles and creative-play toys at Kids Ink Children’s Bookstore, an independent bookstore that also offers in-store events. Find your next read while dining and playing a board game at Books & Brews, with locations in Indianapolis and Brownsburg. 

Get Your Game On

Speaking of board games: They are the perfect activity to do indoors. Fortunately, there are lots of places to play around Indy. Doughnuts & Dragons is a family-friendly doughnut shop and board game shop on the Northside. Pop in and play a game from their collection, or bring your own to play with friends. You’ll also find delicious gourmet donuts, like Key Lime and Butterbeer. Step inside Greenfield’s Hitherto Coffee & Gaming Parlour, and you’ll enter a relaxing and engaging hybrid cafe where you can play games, as well purchase games from their retail selection. Family Time Games offer a large selection of board games, cards and gaming supplies, and they also regularly hold events in the store, plus offer lots of space to hang out and play.

Lights, Camera, Action!

Take a break from the heat and catch a flick on the big screen at the Indiana State Museum IMAX Theatre, which shows the hottest summer movies as well as educational films at a discounted price. Studio Movie Grill and Flix Brewhouse in Carmel are both movie theaters that offer a full menu of food options that can be enjoyed while watching a movie.

No matter how hot it gets outside, there are plenty of indoor summer activities in Indianapolis to beat the heat and have some fun!

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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