If you’ve got plans to visit Indiana and are looking for the top things to do, then you’ve come to the right place on the Internet. Read below for some of our top recommendations of activities in the Hoosier State that is sure to delight kids and adults alike.
10. Children’s Museum of Indianapolis
If children are part of your group, then you’ve got to visit the world’s largest children’s museum – the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis. Over 120,000 artifacts and exhibit items are on display in three different collections: American, Cultural World, and Natural World. Since this is a children’s museum, most of the exhibits are geared towards hands-on learning which means your little ones can get up close and personal with many of the items on display, such as the Cretaceous dinosaur habitat, a carousel, and a steam locomotive. The museum hosts thousands of events every year, so there’s always something going on that you’ve got to check out.
9. Indiana Dunes National Park
If you’re looking for some fun in the sun during your visit to Indiana, check out Indiana Dunes National Park. This park is the newest National Park and encompasses 15 miles of the southern shore of Lake Michigan and over 15,000 acres. There’s something for everyone at the park: dunes, wetlands, prairies, rivers, and forests for you to explore. Plus, over 50 miles of trails, plenty of rare birds to observe, and shoreline activities like kite flying can provide hours of outdoor fun during your Indiana vacation.
8. RV/MH Hall of Fame Museum
If you’re exploring Indiana by RV or motorhome (or not), then you got to stop by the RV/MH Hall of Fame in Elkhart. They have a full spectrum of vehicles on display that span 100 years of living on the road. Some of the many RVs/Motorhome on display include Fleetwood Founder John Crean’s prototype for the classic 86-87 Bounder, Mae West’s 1931 Chevy Housecar, and a 1974 GMC Motorhome.
7. Indianapolis Motor Speedway & HOF Museum
Once you’ve finished go kart racing at K1 Speed and are still looking for things to do for the racing fan in your group, then a trip to Indianapolis Motor Speedway is a must. Home to the “Greatest Spectacle in Racing”, the Indianapolis 500, and is the highest-capacity sports venue in the world at 257,325 people. Built in 1909, this legendary race track is one of the oldest existing purpose-built auto racing circuits still in use. The venue hosts only five professional races a year, so if you’re unable to catch one then you’ll have to check out the Museum & Hall of Fame located inside the oval. The museum is open every day of the year with the exception of Thanksgiving and Christmas. Inside the museum is a large collection of artifacts and racing vehicles that is sure to please any racing fan.
6. Indianapolis Zoo
If you’re looking for a fun thing to do that involves animals, then stop by the Indianapolis Zoo! The zoo features over 3,800 animals and over 320 different species. Exhibits are divided into five biodomes: Plains, Deserts, Flights of Fancy, Forests, and Oceans. The zoo also features an Orangutan Center, White River Gardens, Zoo Babies, and various rides & attractions. While you’re there, don’t miss the nation’s first underwater dolphin viewing dome which takes visitors 17 feet underwater for an up-close encounter with the playful marine mammals.
5. Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art
You might be surprised to see a museum in Indianapolis devoted to the American West, and you should be. The Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art is the only one of its kind in the Midwest, but its mission is very real: “to inspire an appreciation and understanding of the art, history, and cultures of the American West and the Indigenous peoples of North America”. Art and cultural objects from the two categories are in abundance within the museum walls, including works from famous artists like Georgia O’Keeffe, Andy Warhol, Allan Houser and Kay WalkingStick.
4. Indiana State Museum
If you want to learn about the history of Indiana specifically, then the Indiana State Museum should be on your list of things to do. Interactive exhibits inform visitors about the history of Indiana before it was a state, the foundation of the state, and its impact on a global scale. The museum encourages hands-on learning, making this a popular spot for families.
3. NCAA Hall of Champions
If you’re looking for something to do for the college sports fan, then stop by the NCAA Hall of Champions. This impressive museum has two levels of interactive exhibits that’s sure to delight college sports fans of all ages. The first level features all 24 NCAA sports and includes trivia challenges, current team rankings, video highlights, and artifacts that have been donated from colleges all around the country. The second level is fully interactive, allowing you to play sports simulators and even shoot some hoops in a 1930s retro gymnasium (pictured above).
2. Indianapolis Museum of Art (within Newfields)
Looking for things to do for the art-obsessed individual in your group? Then visit the Indianapolis Museum of Art. One of the oldest and largest art museums in the country, IMA comprises over 54,000 works of art including African, American, Asian, and European pieces that span over 5,000 years. You’ll see works from world-famous artists like Rembrandt, Cezanne, Picasso, O’Keeffe, Hopper, and Lichtenstein. Once you’re done visited the enormous museum, feel free to explore the entire 152-acre campus known as Newfields which the Lilly House, The Garden, a 100 -acre “Art & Nature Park”, a beer garden, and more.
Photo: K1 Speed
1. Experience Authentic Racing at K1 Speed Indianapolis
If Indiana is home to “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing”, why not get behind the wheel of a small race car yourself? K1 Speed is located in Fishers near Indianapolis and offers the most premier indoor go karting experience in the world. All of the karts are imported from Italy and 100% electric which means they’ve got instant torque and zero emissions – a win-win situation! The junior karts are perfect for children 48” (4’) or taller and go up to a respectable 25mph. The adult karts require a minimum height of 58” (4’10”) and can approach speeds of up to 45mph! Off track, visitors are treated to museum-quality racing memorabilia – even a real IndyCar!
The immaculate karting center also houses an on-site eatery that serves food & beverages, a video game arcade, and private meeting spaces for group events. No reservation is required here, and they’re open seven days a week to get your need for speed fix fulfilled. So whether you’re completely new or racing or a pro (many of IndyCar’s greatest have visited this location), you’re going to love the authentic racing experience at K1 Speed!