I took my kids to have tea today.
Real life, three-tier platter high afternoon tea. There were porcelain cups that could break, there was clotted cream and I kid you not, there was a real English lady there baking scones.
If you haven’t checked out Tina’s Traditional Old English Kitchen & Tearoom in Carmel, you should. My wife, our two youngest kids, and I took a seat next to the front window. The gorgeous late morning sun was beaming in, creating an idyllic and picturesque background for my two little darlings to shove copious amounts of sugar cubes in their mouths.
You see, there is a lot to love about Tina’s: the under-the-stairs play area for kids, the beautiful teacups, and the ah-mazing tomato chutney. But for my kids, all of it pales in comparison to those little brown and white lumps of sweet sweet sugary goodness. They didn’t even notice that we were able to come in without the usual 24-hour reservation that most afternoon teas require… Or that the staff was extremely kind and patient while my daughter refused to leave the play area until we’d taken her picture wearing 20 different plastic dress up rings and three princess tiaras.
What they did notice was that we went and did something a little different today. We played dress up, we pretended to be princesses and princes, we drank from special cups, and we gave them our undivided attention because God knows we were horrified that they might smash a water goblet to the floor.
Taking your kids to afternoon tea is like that. It’s like skydiving: So many things could go wrong in so many ways, but usually it’s fine and you’re left with an awesome memory. Except – unlike skydiving – the colder it is outside the more fun it is to do. So I suggest getting dressed up and heading out!
If getting dressed up is too challenging for your crew – or heading to Hamilton County too much of a trek – you can always visit one of the other places listed below or throw a tea party at home. There’s an option for every location and budget.
Here is a list of tea rooms in Indianapolis worth visiting with kids:
30 Rangeline Road, Carmel
1702 Pennsylvania Street, Columbus
229 N Madison Avenue, Greenwood
135 S Main Street, Zionsville
3rd floor of Saks Fifth Ave at the Fashion Mall
8701 Keystone Crossing, Indianapolis
3746 82nd Street, Indianapolis
140 E. 22nd Street, Indianapolis
Relocating as of August 2019. Check Facebook for updates.
The Indianapolis Propylaeum
1410 North Delaware Street, Indianapolis
This tea room is open only during the holiday season! Visit November 29, 2019 – January 5, 2020.
650 W Washington Street, Indianapolis
In late June 2007, Luis Ruvacalba removed his laundry from the dryer to find that he had rendered all of his undershirts pink and shrunk his favorite red University of Arizona sweater.
At that point – as he says: “I realized: I need a wife. I married Katie in Sept of 2007. Aside from one lousy pen left in my pants pocket and numerous dried on Conner Prairie stickers, the laundry has gone pretty well since then.” Luis has four children: Maggie- 7, Micah- 5, Millie- 2, and Merritt- 1. Each of them helps him sharpen his parenting skills in new and unique ways. “Without Maggie I’d never have learned to put on tights. Without Micah I would have the weakest MMA fighting skills on the block. Millie challenges me to improve my search and rescue abilities. Merritt gives me weekly lessons in Matrix style urine dodging. Together we are the greatest family to ever ruin your family’s nice quiet afternoon at the park.”
Follow along with Luis as he helps shows you the best places to let your family run wild.