Are you here because you’re looking for things to do in Indianapolis with kids?! Perfect. Because that’s why I’m here too. As a photographer who grew up near Indianapolis and has raised her kids near the area, I’m ready to divulge all of our favorite spots. In this guide, I’ll give you all our favorite places to eat, learn, and play! I will include some spots everyone knows about and maybe just a few that you haven’t ventured to check out yet.
The Old Spaghetti Factory
This is THE place to visit if you’re out for an event at Lucas Oil Stadium, Gainbridge Fieldhouse, or shopping at Circle Center Mall! With a lineup of favorites like fettuccine alfredo, spaghetti, and macaroni and cheese- you can’t go wrong. Pro tip: Request to dine in the trolley car! You will be your kid’s favorite. At least until they bring out the dessert included with their meal.
Located on 22nd and Talbot Street, Baby’s offers smash burgers, sandwiches, salads, vegan chicken tenders, loaded mac & cheese, plenty of sides and sharables, and our favorite- MILKSHAKES! Even the pickiest of our eaters loves it here. Pro tip: If the weather is nice, eat on the patio and let the kids play while you finish eating.
The Cake Bake Shop
If you’ve ever searched for things to do in Indianapolis with kids, this local piece of pure magic has surely piqued your interest. My kids love getting all dressed up and going to eat here. The seasonal and rotating decor is unmatched in Indiana. My girls, when younger, were enamored with the glitter-dusted desserts and cakes. Our favorite location is the OG in Broad Ripple. Pro tip: don’t sleep on the chicken velvet soupe.
The Power of Children at the Indianapolis Children’s Museum
If nothing else on this page makes it to your list of things to do in Indianapolis with kids, The Indianapolis Children’s Museum certainly will. The Indianapolis Children’s Museum is loaded with experiences as well as opportunities for your kids to learn and play. Check out the historic carousel, adaptive sports equipment at Riley Children’s Health Sports Legend Experience, an 1890s Reuben Wells train, the Lily theater, Dinosphere: Now You’re in Their World, Stories from Our Community, and the Playscape for little ones under 5.
The Indianapolis Zoo
With lions, tigers, and bears- OH MY! This Indianapolis favorite also includes my kid’s favorites like sea lions, cheetahs, bottlenose dolphins, flamingos, Grant’s zebras, King penguins, Orangutans, a Pacific Walrus, Reticulated Giraffes, Smooth Dogfish Sharks, White Rhinoceros! The Indianapolis Zoo offers programs like zoo camps, in-water adventures, and behind-the-scenes animal adventures. For an extra bit of learning in a smaller group setting for just your family, take advantage of the Animal Medical Center Tour or Saturday Science!
Indiana State Museum
The galleries and exhibits change often but always cover a broad range of social issues, art, science, and history. The exhibits have always been expertly curated, engaging, and we are always able to find a hands-on experience for our little ones. Those passionate about art, science, history, and culture will love the Indiana State Museum. Check out their calendar to view upcoming events and filter by location and subject!
Holliday Park Nature Center
At the center of Holliday Park, you’ll find the Habitat Hall at the Nature Center. Learn while you play at the White River Water Table, The Music of the Wetlands, and take in the view from the observation platform in the indoor treehouse! Once there, take advantage of the feeding stations and the sound systems to view the nearby wildlife.
Smiley Indoor Playground
Have you ever wondered what to do in Indianapolis with kids when it’s raining? Enter- Smileys. The 25,000 square foot center boasts a jungle gym, the ocean’s edge rice pit playground, rock climbing walls with a soft foam pit bottom, trampoline basketball, a ball pit bottom obstacle course, a slide into the ball pit, and a partially gated toddler area.
Go Ape Zipline Indianapolis
Best for kids ages 10-15, this exciting venue offers a 40-foot-high tree-to-tree crossing, 305-foot-long zip lines, 40 exciting obstacles, and Tarzan swings during their 2-3 hour Treetop adventure. The Treetop Discovery only offers limited sessions and it’s a shortened 1-½ hour adventure. It includes a 333-foot-long zipline, 15 exciting obstacles, and platforms slightly lower at 27 feet off the ground. Adult supervision is required for both of these adventures!
Your local library
Last but not least, always check in to your local library. Our local libraries offer plenty of games and toys for younger children as well as STEAM activities, classes, storytimes, and fandom meet and greets. And for the older children, they can check out take-home kits like baking, sewing, games, ukelele, and microscopes!
I am a big fan of Indianapolis if you can’t tell. I have a lot more favorite places I haven’t yet listed out and I’m excited to continue to share more things to do in Indianapolis with kids! I’m always on the search for more fun things to do around the Indy area and my kids get excited about each new place we try. I’m happy you’re here and learning about our favorite places and I hope that they’ll become yours as well. So, come and follow along to keep up to date on all the local happenings.
I know you’ve been searching for a great Indianapolis photographer who will capture all the fun your family has together! As an inclusive photographer who loves to connect with local families who have the adventure bug, I am excited to create a curated collection of artwork and images for this stage in your family journey. Contact me HERE to learn more about me and what makes me different than other photographers.