Indianapolis is an urban playground built for families. There’s a vast state park in the very centre of the city, where the kids can make noise, create art, or swing through the trees. The more active and adventurous you are, the more Indy will reward you. The Pleasant Run Trail follows the White River, and if your kids are animal-mad, the park is also home to one of the best zoos in the country that offers superb interactive experiences. 

    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 centres where they can get involved in creative play or performance arts. From chain restaurants providing fail-safe burgers and pizzas to independent restaurants serving up home-cooked favourites, Indianapolis also offers a large variety of family-friendly restaurants.


    Indianapolis Children’s Museum

    A massive facility for kids

    • Families
    • History

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

    Location: 3000 North Meridian Street, Indianapolis, IN 46208, USA

    Open: March–August: daily from 10 am to 5 pm, September–February: Tuesday–Sunday from 10 am to 5 pm (closed on Mondays)

    Phone: +1 317-334-4000


    photo by anjanettew (CC BY-SA 2.0) modified


    Rhythm! Discovery Centre

    Make your own music

    • Families

    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.

    Location: Claypool Court Building, 110 West Washington Street, Indianapolis, IN 46204, United States

    Open: September–April: Monday and Wednesday-Saturday from 10 am to 5 pm, Sunday from 12 pm to 5 pm (closed on Tuesdays). May–August: Monday and Thursday-Saturday from 10 am to 5 pm, Wednesday from 12 pm to 7 pm, Sunday from 12 pm to 5 pm (closed on Tuesdays)

    Phone: +1 317-275-9030


    The Old Spaghetti Factory

    Pasta with a bit of fun

    • Families
    • Food

    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.

    Location: 210 South Meridian Street, Indianapolis, IN 46225, USA

    Open: Lunch hours: Monday–Friday from 11 am to 2 pm, Saturday and Sunday from 12 pm to 4 pm. Dinner hours: Monday–Thursday from 5 pm to 9.30 pm, Friday from 5 pm to 10.30 pm, Saturday from 4 pm to 10.30 pm, Sunday from 4 pm to 9.30 pm

    Phone: +1 317-635-6325


    White River State Park

    A vast urban state park in the heart of the city

    • Families
    • Couples
    • Photo
    • Budget

    Whichever the way you plan to traverse the vast White River State 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.

    Location: 801 West Washington Street, Indianapolis, IN 46204, USA

    Open: Daily from 5 am to 11 pm

    Phone: +1 317-233-2434


    photo by Serge Melki (CC BY 2.0) modified


    Indianapolis Zoo

    An animal kingdom inside a park

    • Families
    • Couples
    • Photo

    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.

    Location: 1200 West Washington Street, Indianapolis, IN 46222, USA

    Open: Hours vary by season, usually daily from 9 am to 4 pm

    Phone: +1 317-630-2001


    Hollyhock Hill

    Delicious treats for the whole family

    • Families
    • Food

    Serving up traditional Hoosiers cuisine in a family-run restaurant, the homely Hollyhcock Hill 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.

    Location: 8110 North College Avenue, Indianapolis, IN 46240, USA

    Open: Tuesday–Saturday from 4 pm to 9 pm, Sunday from 12 pm to 7.30 pm (closed on Mondays)

    Phone: +1 317-251-2294


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