You love spending time with your kids, but it isn’t always easy to find a family-friendly activity that meets your needs (and fits your budget), especially in the middle of winter.

Well, you’re in luck: Indianapolis has tons of places to go and things to do with the kids – and we’ve got the scoop on most of them.

Go On an Adventure

There’s nothing like a little adventure to blast the winter doldrums away, and Indy is full of kid-friendly places to visit that adults can also enjoy.

If you’re looking for a quick way to make a weekend special or you just want something new to do during the middle of the week, check out any of the following ideas:

  • The Ice at Carter Green: You know what there’s plenty of in winter? Ice! And when there’s ice, why not go ice skating? The Ice at Carter Green is open until Feb. 27, and they have a full calendar of events scheduled for family fun.
  • Dinosaur World Live: Every kid has a favorite dinosaur, right? Why not take in a live show (aimed for children three years old and up) with remarkable puppets that are designed to educate and entertain kids of all ages about these prehistoric creatures? Just make sure you get your tickets for Dinosaur World Live early!
  • Pinheads Bowling: It can be hard to find a place suitable for both pre-teens and teens, but Pinheads may be the solution to your problem. With multiple lanes, a luxury arcade, live events and food, there’s always something worth seeing and doing for the whole family.
  • Speedway Indoor Karting: If your family has always loved the Indy 500 – or you just all love high-octane adventures, you should absolutely check out Speedway Indoor Karting. Kids from eight years of age and up can experience the thrill of racing on a real track (without any real danger).
  • Books & Brews: Are your kids more cerebral than physical? Well, there’s nothing wrong with that! Books & Brews has seven locations around Indy (each with a night where kids eat free, too) and the place is packed with board games that you and the whole family can play together.

Do Some Exploring

You may not feel like hiking the Monon Trail right now, but there are plenty of other places you and your kids can explore to your hearts’ content, or even pick up a new skill or two.

Some of the top hot spots for kid-friendly explorations include:

  • PlaySpace at Garfield Park: Located inside the Burrello Family Center, this child-friendly gym is open from 10:30 AM – 12:30 PM and is perfect if your little one needs plenty of room to wiggle and run.
  • Cool Creek Nature Center: Cool Creek Park has a ton of family-friendly things to do, from its natural play area (for nice weather) to a whole calendar full of indoor events, including storytime, Daddy-Daughter dances and more.
  • Conner PrairieConner Prairie is a staple for a lot of Indiana families because it has so much to offer. They have both outdoor winter play areas and an indoor Welcome Center with a Discovery Station, a Makesmith Workshop and more. This is a particularly cool spot to head to if you have kids in several age groups, since there’s something that’s bound to interest everyone.
  • The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis: If your kids are between the ages of three and 11, they’ll love the obstacle course and the interactive exhibits scattered throughout the exhibits – and it’s a perfect educational opportunity, too. (They also have a new Dinosphere, so if you have a kid who is really into dinosaurs, you won’t want to miss it!)
  • Rhythm Discovery Center: Is there anybody out there who hasn’t wanted to just bang on a drum all day? Well, live your dreams! Even better: Bring the kids along! At Rhythm Discovery, kids from ages three to 99 are encouraged to explore percussion instruments to their hearts’ content.

Go Out to Dinner

Maybe you want a low-key way to relax and just one night where you don’t have to worry about what to make for dinner. A sit-down dinner out somewhere can help you reconnect with the family, away from the pressures at home, work or school.

Finding a restaurant that caters to families isn’t hard when you’re in Indy. Some of the top choices include:

  • Lincoln Square Pancake House: Parents can always find a bottomless cup of coffee here, while the whole family can nosh on breakfast for dinner, burgers, gyros and more.
  • The Old Spaghetti FactoryThis place has traditional Italian food and vintage decor, but it’s a very kid-friendly place (especially if your little ones love spaghetti).
  • Hollyhock Hill: This is a country-style restaurant that serves traditional Midwestern fare (think “the best fried chicken in the state”) on platters, family-style. It’s a perfect spot to encourage some conversation and sharing if you and the kids want to catch up.
  • Pizza King Station: Pizza is always a winner with kids, but Pizza King also serves up other kid-favorites, including mac n’ cheese and corn dogs. There’s an old-school model train that runs throughout the place, and a retro arcade that’s sure to amuse everyone.

Pick one of these things to do for your next family outing – or make a list and start a whole journey. Either way, you’ll build memories that you and your kids can look back on with joy for the rest of your lives!

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