What's not to love about summer? Longer days, loads of sunshine and an abundance of fun things to do! As the season approaches, here are some "must do" activities to include on the family calendar.
Make a splash
Mix up your pool time fun with a visit to one of Indianapolis' outdoor splash parks.
Indy Parks is an amazing resource for Local families, with 20 aquatic centers and 15 free public spray grounds conveniently located across the city. Visit www.indy.gov for a complete listing of parks, hours and amenities.
Within Indy Parks, Sahm Park is a family favorite. Its aquatic center features waterpark-worthy slides and fountains, as well as 50- and 25-meter lap lanes for older swimmers. Once you're finished swimming, there's an 18-hole disc golf course, tennis, sand volleyball and basketball courts to round out the day.
If rainy weather's gotten you down, consider taking the kids on a "staycation" to Caribbean Cove Waterpark. This indoor facility has slides, a lazy river, activity pool and spa to keep both kids and adults occupied all day long.
Festivals, festivals, festivals
Celebrate the first weekend of June at the Rosedale Strawberry Festival. Boasting Indiana's "best home-baked shortcakes," this festival offers free concerts, arts and crafts, activities for kids and car show. The event runs June 6-8 in historic Parke County.
It isn't summer without a 4-H Fair, and the Hancock County 4-H Fair is one you can't miss. The week of June 20-27, head over to the fairgrounds for the classic fair experience: livestock barns, horse and dog shows, parades and a full-scale carnival complete with a Ferris wheel.
The Indiana State Fair in August is also a quintessential part of any Hoosier summer. In addition to 4-H shows, musical performances and carnival rides, the Indiana State Fair features a special "Family Fun Park" complete with pony rides, go-karts and a petting zoo.
Have an adventure
While big summer vacations are certainly fun, sometimes they aren't feasible for families. Here's where the day trip comes in.
"Daytrips are a great way for families to create shared memories together," says Laura Hoevener, co-author of the book Adventures Around You: A Plan to Create Unforgettable Family Memories While Exploring Locally. Hoevener says Indianapolis has many fun "adventures" to choose from. "The NCAA Hall of Champions is a great place to spend a few hours in Indy. The bottom floor covers every single NCAA sport and the student athletes, and the upstairs is packed with interactive displays including virtual football and a 1930's retro basketball gym." Located in White River State Park, families can also take advantage of the canal and pedal boats, the Indiana History Center, the Indiana State Museum and the Indianapolis Zoo.
As you're planning activities this summer, be sure to include a few things off this bucket list. Indianapolis has so much to offer, there is no shortage of fun close to home!