Spring break is coming and that means that the kids are going to be home from school for at least a week (maybe longer). It’s the perfect opportunity to do something fun with the family. Just because a trip to some exotic location isn’t in your budget or plans, that doesn’t mean the kids have to be stuck home playing video games.
There are plenty of fun things to do in and around Indianapolis this spring break with your kids. Here are some of our suggestions:
Wheel Fun Rentals
If your kids have a late-March or early-April break, there are dozens of reasons to head over to the White River State Park — not the least of which is Wheel Fun Rentals. You can rent surrey bikes that seat two or four people, tandem-style bikes, regular bikes and even kids trailers that will make it easy to explore the area. At night, Wheel Fun Rentals also offers bikes fitted with colored LED lights so that you can take in the park’s attractions after dark whether you’re on a tour or on your own.
The Rube Goldberg Exhibit
If you’ve ever seen a pointlessly elaborate mechanical contraption designed to manage the simplest of tasks through a bizarre chain reaction, you’ve probably seen a Rube Goldberg machine. Named after the prize-winning American cartoonist, these machines make appearances in movies and videos all the time because — quite frankly — they’re a whole lot of fun to watch.
Well, through May 10, the Indiana State Museum has a Rube Goldberg exhibit that allows visitors to move pieces of the machines and start the chain reactions for themselves, pose for photo ops and try their hands at cartooning. Come one, come all: Check out the fabulous contraptions for yourself and dare yourself not to laugh!
Indianapolis Art Center
Do your kids love to draw? Do you have a budding painter in your midst? Are you hoping to tap into your creative side again? Well, the Indianapolis Art Center has been helping artists thrive since the days of the Great Depression.
The center has all kinds of classes for individuals and families, including “make it and take it” events that allow everyone to take their finished creations back home. There’s even a Spring Break Art Camp for kids 6-14 years of age that will help them explore new mediums and think creatively. At the center, you can work with experienced artists, acquire a new crafty new talent or just learn a better appreciation for art and artistry in all its forms.
NCAA Hall of Champions
The National Collegiate Athletic Association Hall of Champions will obviously appeal to any basketball fans you have in your household, but it’s also a fun, interactive experience for just about everyone.
While there are plenty of exhibits to examine and videos to watch, you can also shoot hoops in a retro-style gym, jump the slopes on simulated skis or play on a trivia kiosk while you’re there.
xZOOberance Spring Festival
If you think you’re ready for winter to be over, can you imagine how the animals feel? Well, every spring, the Indianapolis Zoo holds its annual 12-day festival designed to usher winter out the door and they’d love for you and your kids to join them.
Throughout the xZOOberence Spring Festival, there will be plenty of musical acts, kite-making, animal encounters and dancing. Plus, the Cheer Garden is always there if you want to grab a snack. Just don’t leave without slipping over to see the Butterfly Kaleidoscope inside the Hilbert Conservatory. This indoor garden is home to more than 40 kinds of beautiful butterflies, and you have the opportunity to be there when they take their first flights.
Main Event Entertainment
If the outdoors in spring is way too allergy-filled for your comfort, we’ve still got you covered: Head over to Main Event. While still indoors, there are tons of ways for you to keep an active kid or two of any age quite happy.
Main Event offers buckets of delicious finger food, actual meals and a fully-stocked bar — but the real attractions are video games, laser tag, rock climbing walls, miniature golf games and bowling. Older teens and adults may be happier playing pool ball or singing the night away on a karaoke machine. The best part? They’re open until midnight, so you don’t have to worry about packing it in early.
If you’re looking for a place where your family can go to disconnect and tune out, check out the Treetop Outpost. Part of Conner Prairie in Fishers, Indiana. Conner Prairie is a living history museum, where you can peek into the life in the 19th century. It’s also home to a four-story treehouse, giant outdoor musical instruments, crafting centers where you can build something or learn knotwork along with numerous other attractions.
Aside from climbing along the rope bridges and scaling the heights of the treehouse, you can also spend some time exploring the trails along White River and just nature watching. (Tell the kids you’re looking for the Easter Bunny in his natural habitat.)
Indianapolis Public Library
Finally, if nothing else fits your schedule or your budget, consider the Indianapolis Public Library. The library hosts a number of free events for people of all ages. Every branch has different events, but some of the upcoming attractions include the Spring Break Pokemon Party and Marathon, Celebration Star Wars and movie nights.
Just remember: Whether you’re biking through the city, learning to bowl or just playing board games at home, the most important thing is that you do it together. That’s what your kids will appreciate the most.