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Family Friendly Attractions in Indianapolis

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Boasting a vast State Park in the very center of the city, Indianapolis is a urban playground built for families. Whether the kids want to make noise, create art, or swing through the trees, it’s all possible – the more active and adventurous you are, the more Indy will reward you.

 

Discovery centers

 

There is so much for children to explore in Indianapolis – most of the major museums have interactive exhibits targeted at children, and there are countless centers where they can get involved in creative play or performance arts.

 

Indianapolis Children’s Museum

 

If the word museum conjures up images of precious objects kept safely behind glass, Indy’s Children’s Museum will come as something of a revelation. The largest museum of its kind in the world, it’s completely hands-on, with playscapes, a dinosphere, and a space quest.

 

3000 N. Meridian Street, Indianapolis IN 46206. Tel: +1 317 334 4000

 

Indianapolis Children’s Museum website

 

Rhythm! Discovery Center

 

If your kids like making a racket, then the Rhythm! Discovery Centre is perfect for them. This unique percussion museum is an education in rhythm from around the world, and there are workshops where kids can make their own music in a group setting.

 

110 W. Washington Street, Indianapolis IN 46204. Tel: +1 317 275 9030

 

Rhythm! Discovery Center website

 

Outdoor activities

 

Move over, Central Park, Indy can go one better – its White River State Park is the only urban state park in the country. There’s also the Pleasant Run Trail following the White River through the south of city, which is as picturesque as it sounds.
White River State Park

 

However you plan to traverse this vast park in central Indianapolis, you can be sure that it will be a fun, safe ride. You can rent bikes to explore it on land, or hire a boat to drift along the river. There are endless, idyllic picnic spots, as well as pretty gardens and eminent museums.

 

801 W. Washington Street, Indianapolis IN 46204. Tel: +1 317 233 2434

 

White River State Park website

 

Animal encounters

 

If your kids are animal-mad, Indianapolis is the ideal destination. As well as the wild critters you can spot around White River, the state park is also home to one of the best zoos in the country. It has some superb interactive experiences, allowing the whole family to interact with the animals.

 

Indianapolis Zoo

 

Among its star inhabitants, Indianapolis Zoo has some serious acrobatic show-offs in the form of its orangutans. You can see things from their point of view by taking a ride on a cable car, as the apes swing on ropes around you. You can also interact with dolphins, splashing about in the water with them.

 

1200 W. Washington Street, Indianapolis, IN 46222. Tel: +1 317 630 2001

 

Indianapolis Zoo website

 

Family dining

 

From chain restaurants providing fail-safe burgers and pizzas, to independent restaurants serving up home-cooked favorites, Indianapolis has a whole variety of family-friendly restaurants.

 

Old Spaghetti Factory

 

As well as providing one of the most popular kids’ dishes, the Old Spaghetti Factory gives children the chance to dine in a vintage-style railroad car, adding an extra element of fun to the meal. There are more conventional dining tables too, and large families or groups are easily accommodated.

 

210 S. Meridian Street, Indianapolis IN 46225. Tel: +1 317 635 6325

 

Old Spaghetti Factory website

 

Hollyhock Hill

 

Serving up traditional Hoosiers cuisine in a family-run restaurant, this homely eatery is located in Broad Ripple Village. With crowd-pleasers such as fried chicken and battered fish, everyone will be happy, and there are small portions offered for children. Kids will go particularly wild for the make-your-own sundaes for dessert.

 

8110 N. College Avenue, Indianapolis IN 46240. Tel: +1 317 251 2294

 

Hollyhock Hill website