Mom Report – Weekend in Indy

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A quick weekend trip to Indianapolis will take you above and beyond its culture and history!

I’m a runner, and whenever I can find a new marathon to concur, sign me up! It’s an added bonus when a race is located somewhere my family can find fun activities to get into! I chose to run the Indianapolis Monumental, right in the heart of Indianapolis – the perfect place for a weekend family trip. So I grabbed my family, and we headed off to Indianapolis for the weekend, ready to take in its history and culture.

Canal Walk and White River State Park

“If you walk this way, you will go straight to the canal. If you turn the other way, you will go for a nice stroll along the river in the White River State Park,” said a nice lady in the parks visitor’s center. This was such a refreshing stop after a long day of running, literally. The kids enjoyed skipping around Indy’s unique artworks throughout the park and sipping on a hot cocoa from the visitor’s center. There are spots where you can rent a bike or if it’s warm enough, rent out a pedal boat and pedal your way down the canal. For more information on the Canal Walk and more, go to visitindy.com/indianapolis-canal-walk.

Downtown Indianapolis

After running 26.2 miles around downtown Indianapolis and beyond, I saw firsthand how much art and history is throughout the city. Monuments and museums show Indy’s history at it’s best! If you’re looking to shop, Fountain Square Cultural District is loaded with vintage antique shops, restaurants, entertainment and more! We walked around and window shopped, then when the kids had enough, we stopped in for some pizza and pasta at The Old Spaghetti Factory.

The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis

We penciled in a whole day to explore the largest children’s museum in the world – The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis. I couldn’t wait to take my kids to experience this amazing museum with five stories of hands-on exhibits!

We spent hours just exploring the Dinosphere, Treasures of the Earth and Beyond Spaceship Earth exhibit on the first few floors. The kids loved digging for fossils, “flying” a spaceship and putting ancient artifacts together. We could have spend hours more at these interactive exhibits, so I had to move them along so we could see as much as we can.

We moved along just to come to a stopping point – where to next? I asked the receptionist which way to the next exhibit, and she said, “Well the third floor, there is the …” my mind went blank as she described what was on the next few floors, realizing the museum was about to close in 30 minutes. No way we could explore the whole museum in one day!

Off we went to the fifth floor so my 3 year old can ride the historical carousel, and my 7 year old can get his hands on some STEM activities. This was well worth our final half hour before closing time.

My advice – The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis is no place you want to rush through. It’s worth a second, third or even a fourth visit to make sure you see it all. For more information on The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, new exhibits hours and prices, visit childrensmuseum.org.

Amanda Hayward is editor of this publication. She is from Cincinnati, Ohio, a military wife and mom of two. If you don't see her writing for Cincinnati Family, you'll find her running, juggling kids, teaching group fitness classes and cooking up healthy recipes.

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