Kids are expensive. It’s a pure and simple fact. Every year they cost thousands of dollars to feed, clothe, send to school, as well as other things. Something that is more difficult to do, and often is more expensive, is to entertain kids, especially while trying to teach them something. Indianapolis is a great city for kids and for families with sparse dispensable income as there are many things to do for little money.
1. Indianapolis Children’s Museum
The Indianapolis Children’s Museum is known as the best children’s museum in the world. Kids of all ages love coming because everything in the museum is hands-on; you can touch everything. They have a planetarium, an actual train, an antique carousel, and many others, as well as various special exhibits that change throughout the year. Playscape is an area specially designed for babies and preschoolers. A recent addition is Dinosphere: Now You’re in their WorldÃ?Â®, which contains real dinosaur fossils in simulated environments. A dinosaur fossil dig is one of the most popular attractions.
Membership for a family for a year is $80, so for a family of 2 adults and 2 kids, 2 visits will have paid for the membership. Even better are the free days that the museum offers, on Martin Luther King day, President’s Day, and El Dia de Los Ninos (Day of the Child), and Free for Families Nights on the first Thursday of every month from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. You can’t get much better than free!
2. Indianapolis Zoo
Kids are endlessly fascinated by animals, and the Indianapolis Zoo will not disappoint. One day is effortlessly filled here, where the animals are arranged into biomes, or living habitats that most simulate their natural situations. This makes the zoo very easy to walk though, so you can see every animal and won’t have to back track. The dolphin show is a must-see, as they have newly renovated the arena. A favorite of kids is, of course, the petting zoo, where they can pet horses, cows, goats, pigs, as well as others.
Membership here for a family costs $99 for a year, so the family of 2 kids and 2 adults would almost pay for the membership with 2 trips per year. They also offer Community Tuesdays on the first Tuesdays of every month from March to December is only $6 per person, or half the usual cost of a ticket.
3. Indianapolis Museum of Art
This one is probably not for those with young children, but it provides an enjoyable excursion for older children in small doses. This museum is large and expansive, with over 50,000 pieces of art spanning the range and scope of art history. European, Native American, American, Contemporary, and many other genres are represented here. A visit here will yield examples of several artists your children might recognize — Georgia O’Keefe, Van Gogh, Seurat, Gauguin – and some others they may come the appreciate.
Admission is just $7, and kids 12 and under are free. Every Thursday is free for all, too. A quiet, thoughtful afternoon would be well spent here!
4. Garfield Park Conservatory and Sunken Gardens
The conservatory here houses 10,000 square feet of plants from all over the world. Even during the cold of winter, the conservatory is always is full bloom. The Sunken Gardens include 3 acres of European classical formal gardens. There are 3 fountains, paved walkways, and benches. It’s a great place to take a break from the busyness of hectic city life.
They offer fun educational programs for all ages that vary in cost from free up to $2. You can explore for free by yourself or go on a guided tour for $1 a person. Relax with your family and enjoy the beauty of nature for just a few dollars!
Kids are hard to entertain, let alone educate as well. Indianapolis offers several opportunities for family to have fun, spend time together, and learn something, all for reasonable prices. Next time your kids are bored and you need something fun to do, consider visiting these places.