14 Things to Do in Indianapolis With Kids

Updated On October 8, 2023

Indianapolis is known for fast-paced car racing, which sounds great if you drive a race car for a living with a need for speed.

However, what happens when traveling with curious kids who need to burn off some energy?

When you have little ones along for the ride, you will want to look at what to do when traveling with children to the Crossroads of America.

Things to Do in Indianapolis With Kids

Let’s explore 14 of the best things to do with kids in Indianapolis.

Children’s Museum of Indianapolis
Children’s Museum of Indianapolis

The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis

Let your little ones explore an environment that values all people and commits to creating a Diverse, Equitable, Accessible, and Inclusive DEAI experience on all five stories.

Notice the tall dinosaur in front of the world’s largest children’s museum when you arrive.

Let your baby, toddler, or preschooler enjoy the Playscape with interactive water and sand exhibits.

Meanwhile, older kids jump into action in the Sports Legends Experience or join the racing experience.

Before you leave, stop by the museum store for imagination-sparking items for everyone to experiment and discover.

End the day with a parade with Rex on the fourth level.

Action & Atomic Duckpin Bowling
Action & Atomic Duckpin Bowling

Action & Atomic Duckpin Bowling

Introduce your little ones to a different way of bowling. Duckpin bowling is a bowling variety that uses smaller-than-average balls and pins.

Action & Atomic Duckpin Bowling in Indianapolis offers the only authentic duckpin bowling alley in the Midwest.

The place shows off a 1930s-era restoration.

Make a reservation before arriving to ensure no waiting for one of the eight lanes available.

Enjoy free parking when you arrive.

Plan on spending at least an hour here enjoying an old-fashioned sport.

Indianapolis Zoo
Indianapolis Zoo

Indianapolis Zoo

Watch animals in their natural habitat.

Grab free tickets for the dolphin show when you arrive for the day.

If you enjoy getting wet, sit in the splash zone.

Visit the International Orangutan Center to see an endangered species.

Sit back and observe eight of the only 6,500 left in the wild.

Walk through the tiger or polar bear exhibits.

Look at the sea lions, walrus, and rhinoceros.

And count the stripes on zebras before the day ends.

Add onto your ticket or purchase the Total Adventure Package TAP to enjoy the 4-D theater, carousel, Kombo coaster, Skyline gondola ride, White River Junction train, a shark touch tank, or to feed the birds and giraffes.

Conner Prairie
Conner Prairie

Conner Prairie

Travel back in time to the year 1836 when you will forget about modern technology for a while.

You might even notice your teens putting away their cell phones as they interact with live re-enactors.

The Prairietown village presents an atmosphere of the 1836 time period.

Every reenactor plays a role as if they live in a period house or work.

Watch a carpenter carve a bowl.

Don’t be surprised if they enlist your children as apprentices.

Learn how to dip a candle and cross a covered bridge.

Visit the petting farm, a Civil War area, a hot-air balloon, and an indoor hands-on area.

Parking is free.

Easily spend half a day here, and be prepared to pay extra for fee-based activities.

White River State Park
White River State Park

White River State Park

Soak up a nice weather day by taking a four-wheel surrey bike around White River State Park.

Explore Monument Circle before heading over to Canal Walk.

Discover the conveniently located park near several family-friendly attractions.

Stop into any of the seven family-friendly museums that border the park, including the Indianapolis Zoo, Indiana State Museum, Eiteljorg Museum, or Victory Field.

On a clear evening, stay to take in a concert at the park.

Old World Gondoliers
Old World Gondoliers

Old World Gondoliers

A ride down the canal in Italy may offer romance for couples, but in Indianapolis, the entire family can join in the fun.

Experience what a gondolier ride in Venice feels like without ever leaving Indiana.

Sit back and let your imagination soar.

Your gondolier will serenade you as if you were in Italy.

It may be so romantic and the Number One spot to propose marriage, but you can also enjoy the 30-minute ride as a family.

Trader’s Point Creamery
Trader’s Point Creamery

Trader’s Point Creamery

Take a self-guided walk through the farm and surrounding woods.

This 1.5-mile trail weaves through pastures and along Eagle Creek, where you will catch a glimpse of the herd and see wildlife.

Every evening but Monday, at 6:00 p.m., watch farmers and cows with up close cow milking.

Let your kids watch cheesemakers and learn where dairy foods come from.

Visit the historic barns from the 1860s, and enjoy a meal.

The short trip about 20 miles north of Indianapolis is worth it to put smiles on your kids’ faces.

Hook’s American Drugstore Museum
Hook’s American Drugstore Museum

Hook’s American Drugstore Museum

Remember, or learn about, the days of old at Hook’s American Drugstore Museum located on the Indiana State Fairgrounds.

Learn the origins of carbonated beverages and the history of pharmacies in this Victorian-age atmosphere.

Of course, the highlight of the visit is when you get treated to an old-fashioned ice cream soda.

This museum is ideal for middle elementary to high school-aged children.

During the State Fair, the museum is open daily.

Otherwise, it is by appointment only.

Tibbs Drive-In
Tibbs Drive-In

Tibbs Drive-In

Enjoy an outdoor movie in your vehicle at this drive-in theater, the only drive-in in Indianapolis.

Experience 4 screens of the movie Magic Friday through Sunday evenings starting in the spring.

A drive-in is an inexpensive way to spend quality family time and let your kids experience what children of the 50s, 60s, and 70s enjoyed regularly.

Watch current Hollywood releases with an occasional classic movie thrown in.

The outdoor big-screen theater is family owned and conveniently located in Indianapolis since 1967.

Speedway Indoor Karting
Speedway Indoor Karting

Speedway Indoor Karting

Get ready for your little one to take to the racetrack.

Young, aspiring race car drivers sign up to race at a specific time or join the SIK Junior Racing League.

Tear around the track in a high-powered kart.

Each event requires a minimum of three participants and a maximum of 10.

Join Junior League 1 for 8 to 10-year-olds or Junior League 2 for 11 to 13-year-olds.

Hidden Indy Signs
Hidden Indy Signs

Hidden Indy Signs

Enjoy a no-cost exploration throughout the city and an interactive game of hide and seek looking for hidden Indy signs.

The sculptures only contain the letters NDY.

You provide the I by standing next to the NDY letters for a photo op whenever you find one.

Find the sculptures at Highland Park, Indianapolis International Airport, Massachusetts Avenue, and Alabama Street Intersection.

Share your pictures on your favorite social media network using the hashtag #LOVEINDY.

Richard G. Lugar Plaza
Richard G. Lugar Plaza

Richard G. Lugar Plaza

Relax, play, hang out, and enjoy Indianapolis’ 2-acre downtown park.

Besides enjoying a little relaxation, the best part of this surprise hotspot is that it’s free to visit and close to Canal Walk and Georgia Street.

Downtown Indy seems to have grown around Richard G. Lugar Plaza.

It’s close to the Indianapolis Cultural Trail, the Julia Carson Transit Center, and residential developments.

Pack a picnic to enjoy on the lawn. Bring your bocce ball set to play.

Enjoy interconnected scenes in this central green space.

On a hot day, kids can play in the spray fountain, look at interpretive murals, or sit on a porch swing.

Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum
Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum

Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum

The kids may be too young to drive, but don’t let that stop you from allowing them to experience a taste of the speedway.

What’s a visit to Indy without a trip to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum?

It is an experience only Indy can offer.

Walk into a showcase of the city’s claim to fame as the racing capital.

Especially older children and pre-teens will soak in everything this museum offers to guests.

Look at magnificent race cars up close.

Learn about the history of the race.

Indianapolis Art Center
Indianapolis Art Center

Indianapolis Art Center

Step inside the 12-acre campus founded as a WPA project during the Great Depression in the 1930s and still offers free admission.

Look around inside the Michael Graves-designed building.

Walk outside to enjoy ARTSPARK, where art and nature come together in a 9.5-acre park open from dawn to dusk.

Plan and sign up for an art class for the kids to enjoy while you’re there.

Or, visit during a specific exhibition the entire family will enjoy.

Indianapolis Safety Overview

READ THE FULL REPORT: Indianapolis Safety Review

Safety Index:

Frequently Asked Questions

Are there free things to do in Indy?

There are plenty of free or inexpensive things to do in the city.

Walk around looking for hidden Indy signs, followed by a walk along the Central Canal with the family.

Visit White River State Park or Richard G. Lugar Plaza.

What can I do that’s educational with children in Indy?

Enjoy plenty of historic opportunities in Indianapolis, from the 1836 Conner Prairie to a throwback to the 50s and 60s at Tibbs Drive-In Theater.

Learn about dairy and cheesemaking at The Creamery.

Of course, uncover the history of racing.

Is there anything to do with a baby or a toddler in Indianapolis?

Babies and toddlers enjoy fun, interactive spots like Playscape inside The Children’s Museum.

They also will enjoy the Indianapolis Zoo.

Where is the best place to stay in Indianapolis with kids?

Choose a hotel close to the Children’s Museum or other attractions you want to spend most of your time visiting.

Or, camp at Jellystone Park, located in Indianapolis Indy East.

1 Comment on 14 Things to Do in Indianapolis With Kids

  1. Indianapolis is a fantastic city for families with its wide range of kid-friendly activities and attractions.

Leave a Comment

Facebook Pinterest Comment Comment