Central Indiana has so many great activities for kids. Of course, there is the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis or the Indianapolis Zoo, where you can visit new baby giraffe Makena. However, if you’re looking something different to provide your kids with fun activities, Indy is full of fun adventures in all price ranges.
Are you looking to get the family in the car for a quick day trip or overnight? Brown County is just a one-hour drive from Indianapolis. This quaint area will help you and your family slow down and enjoy the outdoors. Take a tour, enjoy outdoor guided kayak tours, go zip lining, four-wheeling, camping, fishing and much more. You can also spend time walking through the town, exploring the shops and outdoor activities.
- Website: Canalwalkindy.com
- Address: View directions and parking
- Price: Free (activities available, pricing varies)
The Indianapolis Canal Walk in downtown Indianapolis is a three-mile getaway in the heart of the city. Located in the Canal and White River State Park Cultural District, as you make your way throughout, you’ll find great outdoor art, free activities, activities you can pay for, food and more. Boat and kayak rentals are available if you’d like to be on the canal. Or, if you’d prefer to stay out of the water, they have a variety of bike rentals from single or group options. The latest addition to the canal is the Colts Canal Playspace with fun outdoor activities for the whole family.
- Website: ConnorPrairie.org
- Address: 13400 Allisonville Road, Fishers, IN 46038
- Cost: 2 and under are free; ages 2 – 12 are $13; adults are $18; ages 65+ are $17
Connor Prairie provides fun and educational experiences for kids (and adults) of all ages. This outdoor museum mixes in the history with the present day, this affiliate of the Smithsonian Institute will provide you and your child an unforgettable experience through their activities and iconic “Experiences.”
- Website: Hamiltoncounty.in.gov/facilities/facility/details/cool-creek-park-12
- Address: 2000 E. 151st Street, Carmel, Indiana 46033
- Cost: Free
Hamilton County’s Cool Creek Park has something for everyone in their 90 acres of space. Children can explore nature when taking a walk along their four miles of trails, where a variety of bird species can live or spend time. Its wetlands, prairies and greenspace are impeccable and perfect for children to explore nature. Want to pick up the pace? Bring along their bikes or rollerblades on their paved roads.
- Website: in-fishersparks.civicplus.com
- Address: 16141 E. 101st Street, Fishers, IN 46038
- Cost: Free
New to the Fishers’ community, Flat Fork Creek Park is a 60-acre space filled with bike courses, fishing ponds, tree houses (one being ADA accessible) and walking and hiking trails. The outdoors is one of the best ways to power off and get back to the basics.
- Website: Garfieldgardensconservatory.org
- Address: 2505 Conservatory Drive, Indianapolis, IN 46203
- Pricing: $2 per person (occasional special events have different pricing)
Garfield Park itself is an excellent park for families to have a free place to play. In the park though is a 10,000-square-foot conservatory with plants from all over the globe. Alongside the greenhouse is the Sunken Garden, which contains three-acres of plants, flowers and more. It’s perfect for helping get your children interested in nature and the beauty it holds.
- Website: Greatimesfunpark.com
- Address: 5341 Elmwood Ave., Indianapolis, IN 46203
- Cost: Varies per activity, ranging from $5 – $100
Greatimes Family Fun Park will give kids the fun, adrenaline-rush activities they crave. With three go-kart tracks, bumper boats and two 18-hole miniature golf courses, Greatimes will make your kids completely forget about their phones.
- Website: GoApe.com/location/indiana-indianapolis
- Address: 5855 Delong Road, Indianapolis, IN 46254
- Cost: $59 for those 16+ and $39 for youth ages 10-15 – plus the cost of park admission fees
Are your children 10-years-old or older, taller than 4’7” and love adventures? Go Ape! Adventurous in Eagle Creek Park will provide your kids an experience they’ll never forget—up in the air! You and your kids will take a two- to three-hour self-guided tour through Go Ape’s forest canopies.
- Website: hollidaypark.org
- Address: 6363 Spring Mill Road, Indianapolis, IN 46260
- Cost: Free
Holliday Park on the city’s northwest side is much more than your average park. It is rich with culture and history jam-packed into this 94-acre park. Kids can enjoy the playgrounds, but the walking trails and nature center are fabulous too. In fact, its ravines feature wetlands, natural springs, unique greenery, species of birds and wildlife. You could go every weekend this summer and find a new experience each time.
- Website: Koa.com/campgrounds/indianapolis
- Address: 5896 W. 200 North, Greenfield, IN 46140
- Costs: Pricing varies
Nothing says “screen-free” like a weekend out at a campground. KOA offers a variety of camping options from places to park an RV, pitch a tent, or rent a cabin. The Greenfield location provides a dog park, splash park, tours and more. Kids will love playing with the giant chess or checkers, GaGa ball, or many of the park’s activities on the calendar.
- Website: Facebook.com/Rusticdrivingrangeandminiaturegolf
- Address: 5955 Terrace Ave., Indianapolis, IN 46203
- Costs: Miniature golf ranges from $7 – $14+ (prices vary per activity); $5-$30 for driving range
Since 1930, families have been enjoying summers at Rustic Gardens on the city’s southeast side. You can take the kids out for miniature golf (not putt-putt!) on the 9-hole or 18-hole courses that have a variety of fun challenges and obstacles. There is also a picnic space for gatherings, or you can purchase a bucket of balls at the driving range. Kiddos can also take some time to visit with and feed the animals on the property.
- Website: Splashislandplainfield.com
- Address: 651 Vestal Road, Plainfield, IN 46168
- Cost: Adults are $11; youth is $10; preschool-age children are $8; senior citizens 55 and older are $9 (town residents have discounted pricing)
For an ultimate water park experience, travel to Plainfield’s Splash Island. This 4.3-acre park has everything from waterslides and a winding river to a lazy-river and water jets. It even has a kiddie pool, allowing your little ones to safely partake in activities, too.
- Website: Tibbsdriveintheatre.com
- Address: 480 S. Tibbs Avenue, Indianapolis, IN 46241
- Cost: Ages 4-12 are $6; 13 and older is $11
When you were growing up, you may remember your parents taking you to the drive-in movies. While they aren’t as common as they once were, Tibbs Drive-In on the city’s southwest side is still thriving and standing strong. During the summer, they show the latest films every night of the week (except closed on Tuesdays and no late shows on Sunday nights). Tibbs has four screens and delicious concession items, making for a fun and unique event.
- Website: Watermansfamilyfarm.com
- Address: 7010 E. Raymond Street, Indianapolis, IN 46239
- Cost: Varies
Introduce your children to the wonderful world of agriculture at Waterman’s Family Farm. The family has been providing produce and experiences to Indianapolis for more than 40 years. They love hosting field trips to allow youngsters the chance to experience working on the farm and private parties. Plus, when open, you can purchase all of their locally grown produce to take home that varies by season.