Spring break is a much-awaited time of the year – every year – and young adults and families always hope to make the most of their brief respite from daily living.
When you live in Indianapolis, you’re almost spoiled for choices. Aside from all the local venues to explore, you also are uniquely positioned to make short road trips to spring break spots all over Kentucky, Ohio, Michigan and Illinois.
Where Should You Go for Spring Break?
Frankly, there’s no possible way to list all of the exciting places out there that attract visitors for spring break, so we’re just going to discuss a few of our favorites. Some of these are most suitable for families, while others could be better vacation destinations for carefree young adults. Our top choices include:
Hamilton County, Indiana
If your kids are small or you’re on a tight schedule, it only makes sense to stick close to home, and Hamilton County isn’t even an hour north of the city. Even if you don’t leave the state, however, you may feel like you’re transported to another world (or, at least, deeply into the past) when you visit Conner Prairie and participate in all the historical reenactments from the 1800s.
Hamilton County is also home to Strawtown Koteewi Park, where your kids can learn to shoot a real bow and arrow or go zip-lining, the K-Trails Equestrian Adventures where you can horseback riding and the indoor water park at the Monon Community Center.
Ohio’s capital city can be reached from Indiana in under three hours, which gives you plenty of time to explore the area. Aside from a thriving restaurant and bar scene, Columbus has some amazing attractions, including the COSI Center of Science and Industry – where the interactive exhibits are both mind-blowing and educational.
One of the most fascinating places to visit, while you’re there, is Otherworld, a “32,000 square foot immersive art” experience where visitors are outright encouraged to explore and interact with the mixed realities and surreal landscapes they see. No visit to the area would be complete, however, unless you also explore German Village, where you can find amazing artisan shops and fabulous food.
The largest city in Kentucky, Louisville is also home to the Urban Bourbon Experience and the Urban Bourbon Trail – both of which are perfect if you want an adult-only adventure that focuses on good fine food and great drinks. Louisville is also perfect if you’re looking for unique finds because the shopping here is incredible. The Fleur de Flea Vintage Urban Market appeals to the treasurer hunters in many, so hold onto your wallet!
If you’re looking for more family-oriented fun for the kids (or you’re just a big kid at heart), you should head to the MEGA Cavern. Constructed inside a 100-acre limestone quarry, this underground experience includes 17 miles of zip lines, aerial ropes, dirt bikes and more. Some of the other things to do in the area include visiting the Louisville Zoo and checking out the horse races at the famous Churchill Downs.
Auburn Hills, Michigan
When you have young children, the number one attraction in Auburn Hills is LEGOLAND Discovery Center. You and your entire family can spend the entire day immersed in a creative experience, and that includes taking a class with an “expert builder” and getting hands-on experience with their own Lego masterpiece. When you’re done, make sure you check out the fun at the Great Lakes Crossing Outlets, which boasts dozens of unique restaurants and entertainment centers plus outlets for notable brands like Kate Spade, Ugg and Nordstrom.
If you have another day or two to spare, you should also check out the SEA LIFE Michigan Aquarium. The aquatic wonders there include more than 250 species of sharks and a voyage into a 180-degree underwater tunnel where you can see anemones, sea turtles and all kinds of fish up close.
Chicago is known for a lot of things – not the least of which is its pizza and shopping. If you’ve ever wanted to peek into a life of urban luxury, you absolutely must explore “The Magnificent Mile” in the Michigan Avenue District. Celebrities from all over come here to dance, dine and shop.
Chicago also has a thriving comedy club and bar scene, which are both two great ways to de-stress on your break, as well as a revolving array of stage productions and curated exhibits. Right now, for example, The Harry Potter™: Magic at Play offers a hands-on adventure that allows fans to immerse themselves in the illusions around them.
And, of course, no trip to Chicago would be complete without a trip to the Chinatown district. For over a century, this historic district has been home to Asian specialty shops, the ornate architecture and the art are something you have to see in person to fully appreciate. First-time visitors are heavily encouraged to come with an empty stomach, because the dim sum, noodles and other authentic dishes are fantastic.
A Few Final Thoughts
Whether you decide to take a “staycation” here in Indy, travel somewhere familiar or go on an adventure to another state, don’t let Spring Break 2023 pass you by without some quality relaxation time. This is your chance to build lasting memories with your friends, significant other and family and (recharge your own internal batteries).