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Spring Break Staycations in Indy

Plan a local getaway

March 2012

Forget the overplanned, overpriced and overly stressful traditional vacations and enjoy a staycation this spring break. Play 'hometown tourist' by taking pleasure in all the activities that Indianapolis has to offer. During your break, here are some Local destinations you should make a point to experience.

Indiana History Center

There is so much for families to do at the Indiana History Center. They have three "You Are There" experiences running right now, where guests can literally step into historic photographs and interact with people from the past. "Our historic interpreters play real people from the photos – not made-up characters – and the research that goes into their roles is extensive and ongoing," Kim Easton, communications manager at Indiana Historical Society, said.

It's Circus Day at the History Center on Saturday, March 31 – the perfect outing during a staycation! Admission is free, and game and refreshment tickets are 50 cents each. They'll have performances all day long, including acrobats and live animals, along with carnival games and activities like face painting.

IMAX Theater

Experience Indiana's largest movie screen for the most engaging movie experience ever – with 12,000 watts of digital surround sound – at the downtown Indy IMAX Theater. "You actually feel the movies, not just watch and listen," Bob Schultz, IMAX's public relations and marketing consultant, said. With free parking in the White River State Park parking garage, families can enjoy a movie or two, and then they're just a short walk from the other major attractions that make up the park, including the Indianapolis Zoo, NCAA Hall of Champions, Eitlejorg Museum and the Indiana State Museum.

IMAX theater manager Craig Mince suggests checking out the two new IMAX 3D films now playing: Rescue 3D and Tornado Alley 3D. Rescue 3D plunges audiences into the hard but inspiring work of saving lives in the face of a natural disaster. Tornado Alley 3D documents two unprecedented missions seeking to encounter one of Earth's most awe-inspiring events—the birth of a tornado. Visit the IMAX on the first Tuesday of every month for $2 off ticket prices that day, or purchase a double feature ticket for a discounted rate on the second movie any time. See Web site, www.imax.com, for showtimes.

Indianapolis Museum of Art

"The Indianapolis Museum of Art has something for families with children of all ages, and it's free," Candace Gwaltney, IMA public relations manager, said. "Families can see thousands of artworks from a variety of cultures and periods, and explore 152 acres of gardens and grounds – all in one location."

Families can visit 100 Acres: The Virginia B. Fairbanks Art & Nature Park, which includes woodlands to explore, meadows perfect for a game of Frisbee and a 35-acre lake. Also, families can pack a picnic and enjoy lunch in 100 Acres or on gardens and grounds. According to Gwaltney, it is one of the largest museum art parks in the country and features colorful, interactive contemporary artwork.

Every second and fourth Saturday of the month, the IMA offers family tours. These 30-minute guide tours offer family-friendly themes. Also, visit the IMA Star Studio classroom each Saturday noon to 4 p.m. for hands-on art-making activities for all ages.

The Children's Museum of Indianapolis

"The Children's Museum of Indianapolis is always changing so children and families can have a unique experience each and every time," Kimberly Harms, director of public and media relations with The Children's Museum, said. "The museum is the biggest in the world in terms of size and in terms of authentic artifacts. In fact, we are one of only three children's museums which collects artifacts."

With something so unique in our own backyard, why not plan a day at The Children's Museum to visit its many offerings? Check out the onsite planetarium or professional theater, or take in the live actor interpretation, which brings the stories and exhibits to life throughout the museum. Participate in the museum's family programs, which delve deeper into subject matter offered in the exhibits with hands-on activities to enhance family learning. Starting March 10, visit LEGO Travel Adventure, where kids can build the perfect means of transportation.

While you're enjoying Indy's hidden treasures, remember that you're saving money by staying in town, so you can splurge a little, just like you would on a traditional vacation. It'll be the difference-maker between a memorable staycation and just a week around the house.

Tags: In This Issue, Local, Out & About, Party and Entertainment

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Indiana Historical Society: circus day