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When I told people that I was going to Indianapolis, they said, “Oh, you have a conference or something?” In response, I said, “No, we’re going for vacation!” And every single person said back to me, “Why?”
Well, I’m here to say that Indianapolis is much more than a conference destination and an underappreciated Midwest getaway.
For starters, the city has the largest children’s museum in the world. That’s right, the world. My family and I went on a busy day, and we still had some exhibits all to ourselves. From full-scale dinosaurs to an innovative build-your-own Chihuly exhibit, this museum is an absolute playground for families. Make sure to check out the massive water clock in the lobby as it drains and fills on the hour. It’s truly a sight to see.
Beyond the Indianapolis Children’s Museum, we discovered the dizzying array of options available within walking distance of each other. When the weather is pleasant, travelers can walk along the canals at downtown’s White River State Park. The park is near the Indianapolis Zoo, which is popular among locals and visitors alike, as well as the NCAA Hall of Champions, Indiana State Museum and the Eiteljorg Museum, home to one of the Midwest’s largest permanent collections of Native American art.
While we wandered through the city, we couldn’t help but notice how much Indianapolis caters to its sports fans. From the Indianapolis 500 to the upstart Colts led by rookie Andrew Luck, most major sporting events are right downtown or a short drive away. We were particularly excited about Victory Field, a minor league ballpark nestled among the downtown landmarks. In summer, Victory Field offers a number of fun promotions, but we especially liked seeing all the families picnicking by the outfield. What a great way to relax and take in a game! Of course, Indianapolis stays true to its basketball roots as the Butler Bulldogs and Indiana Pacers play within the city limits as well.
Before we headed home, we stopped in the Rhythm Discovery Center, an interactive hands-on percussion museum. We let our toddler run free in there and he had a blast banging on everything from bongos to a towering gong. The video we took of him busting loose on the full-scale drum kit is priceless.
So, next time someone tells me they’re going to Indianapolis for a conference instead of a vacation, I’m going to ask them one question: “Why?”
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