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Attractions in Indiana for Kids

Updated on August 20, 2012
Indiana - Crossroads of America
Indiana - Crossroads of America | Source

Looking for something interesting and fun to do with your kids? Look no further than the Hoosier State! Indiana is more than just Midwest farmland. It is home to an amazing array of sporting events, outdoor activities, museums and roadside attractions. If you haven't taken your kids to Indiana, the time has come! Here are some great ideas that your kids will love!

Outdoor Activities in Indiana

Do your kids love being outside? Then Indiana is an ideal place to visit! Because Indiana has quite a varied terrain throughout the state, there are many fun and exciting outdoor activities. With caves to explore, rivers to canoe and kayak, cliffs to view and dunes on the lake, Indiana has it all!

If your kids like to hike, bike, and explore nature, Indiana has an amazing array of state parks. Some of the most interesting ones are listed below:

  • Indiana Dunes - This park is along the coast of Lake Michigan in Northern Indiana. With rolling sand dunes and a beautiful beach, it's a sight to see!
  • Clifty Falls - Filled with waterfalls, steep cliffs and amazing views, Clifty Falls has hiking trails with sights along the way.
  • Brown County - This park is known for its stunning leaves in the fall. The park contains beautiful deciduous trees that are very picturesque in any season.
  • Fort Harrison - Located in Indianapolis near the Fort Benjamin Harrison army reserve base, this park is a beautiful oasis near all the fun of the city.

In addition to beautiful parks, Indiana is home to Amish Country in Elkhart. Enjoy the beautiful Quilt Gardens and step back in time. This is an excellent way to show kids that it is possible to have fun without electronics!

Near the Brown County State Park is the beautiful town of Nashville. One of America's original artists' colonies, the Nashville area is home to many shops and interesting restaurants. And if your kids like adventure, there are many outdoor excursions including riding a zip line!

Enjoy White River State Park
Enjoy White River State Park | Source
Indianapolis Zoo
Indianapolis Zoo | Source

Museums and Attractions

Indiana is home to a vast number of museums and attractions for kids of all ages. Indianapolis is home to one of the country's top family and tourist attraction, The Children's Museum of Indianapolis. With exploration areas for kids from toddlers to teens, this museum is a must-see for anyone visiting the state.

If history is more of your kids' style, make sure to visit Conner Prairie Interactive History Park in central Indiana. In this unique setting, you actually become a part of the historical scene. From trying foods of the 1800s to enlisting in the Civil War army, there is so much to do at this one-of-a-kind attraction!

Central Indiana is also home to the incredible White River State Park. Nestled in downtown Indianapolis, this state park is a one-stop amazing adventure for kids! The park contains the Indianapolis Zoo, the NCAA Hall of Champions, the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art. Near the park is the downtown canal, where kids can enjoy paddle boat and Segway tours of the historic area.

Fun Indiana Attractions

show route and directions
A markerSanta Claus -
Holiday World & Splashin' Safari, 452 E Christmas Blvd, Santa Claus, IN 47579, USA
get directions

B markerIndianapolis -
Indianapolis, IN, USA
get directions

C markerIndiana Dunes -
Indiana Dunes Tourism, Porter, IN 46304, USA
get directions

D markerClifty Falls State Park -
Clifty Falls, Madison, IN, USA
get directions

E markerColumbus -
Columbus, IN, USA
get directions

Indianapolis Motor Speedway
Indianapolis Motor Speedway | Source
Victory Field
Victory Field | Source

Sporting Events in Indiana

Indiana is probably best known for its sports-related attractions. If your kids like ANY sport, Indiana has plenty to do!

The Indianapolis Colts NFL team plays at Lucas Oil Stadium in beautiful downtown Indianapolis (home of the 2012 Super Bowl). Not far away is Victory Field, home of the Indianapolis Indians baseball team (and voted “Best Minor League Ballpark in America” by Sports Illustrated and Baseball America). But perhaps Indiana is best known for its basketball. From the famous Milan basketball team portrayed in the movie Hoosiers to the Indiana Pacers NBA team, there is no doubt Indiana is a great place to visit with young basketball fans!

If your kids love racing, what better place to visit than the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, home of the Indianapolis 500 and the Brickyard 400 auto races. Filled with tradition, this attraction is a must-see for any kids who enjoy auto racing.

Santa Claus, Indiana
Santa Claus, Indiana | Source

Unusual Indiana Attractions

Besides the typical attractions, Indiana boasts some really unusual roadside attractions. kids will love these crazy, one-of-a-kind places!

Huge Attractions:

There's also the world's largest superhero memorabilia collection in the Hall of Heroes Museum in Elkhart, Indiana - lots of BIG things for kids to see in Indiana!

If you're looking for an unusual kid-friendly place to visit in Indiana, you can't miss the amazing town of Santa Claus! Yes, that's a real place, and it has something for everyone in the family. From the Santa Claus Museum to the world's oldest Santa statue, Santa Claus, Indiana is full of holiday fun all year long. As a kid, I remember visiting Holiday World (then called "Santa Claus Land") and loving the popular Santa-themed amusement park.

There's so much to do in Indiana! Spend the day outdoors or at sporting events, learn about history and culture, or even step back in time. No matter what your children enjoy, there's something for them in Indiana.

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    • Amy Gillie profile image
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      Amy Gillie 4 years ago from Indiana

      Thanks for reading, habee! There is much more to do in Indiana than most people realize. If you come, let me know!

    • habee profile image

      Holle Abee 4 years ago from Georgia

      These sound great for adults, too! My BFF is from IN, and she and her hubby are trying to get us to go with them for a visit. I've never been. Maybe we can get to a couple of your suggestions. Voted up!

    • Amy Gillie profile image
      Author

      Amy Gillie 5 years ago from Indiana

      Michyoung -I hope you get the chance!

    • michyoung profile image

      michyoung 5 years ago from North Carolina, USA

      Nice....I would love to visit the place.=D

    • Amy Gillie profile image
      Author

      Amy Gillie 5 years ago from Indiana

      Marcy - let me know when you come through again! :-)

    • Amy Gillie profile image
      Author

      Amy Gillie 5 years ago from Indiana

      Glimmer Twin Fan - thanks for reading! Most people don't realize what Indiana has to offer until they end up here for some other reason. I hope you will visit!

    • Amy Gillie profile image
      Author

      Amy Gillie 5 years ago from Indiana

      Nettlemere - I was surprised at how many fun roadside attractions I found while researching these! I haven't seen half of them even though I live here. glad you enjoyed it!

    • Marcy Goodfleisch profile image

      Marcy Goodfleisch 5 years ago from Planet Earth

      I've been through Indiana often - I grew up in Ohio, and I love the neighboring state to the west of my home state! Now I know what to see when I go through there next time!

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image

      Glimmer Twin Fan 5 years ago

      Indiana has never been at the top of my travel bucket list, but these things look really fun and it's not a horribly long drive from Western PA. Interesting hub!

    • Nettlemere profile image

      Nettlemere 5 years ago from Burnley, Lancashire, UK

      That largest ball of paint is the craziest thing ever. Good to know there's such a variety of activities and things to see in Indiana, you make it sound very appealing to visit.