Take Your Spring Break in Downtown Indianapolis
By Amanda Dorman
Indianapolis Downtown, Inc.
It’s becoming popular to take vacations close to home – and in Downtown Indianapolis, this makes perfect sense. Downtown Indy has a number of world-class attractions, vibrant Cultural Districts, big-time sports and more. Make your spring break destination a brag-worthy family furlough without breaking the bank.
Go on an adventure at White River State Park
When working up your list of day-time things to do, White River State Park’s attractions are a must. Purchase a Park Pass which gets you admission vouchers into the six attractions with more than 25 percent off the regular adult and child prices.
- At the Indianapolis Zoo, touch dogfish sharks at the nation’s largest shark touch pool, walk through the 3.3 acre White River Gardens and experience hundreds of exotic birds up close and personal. Butterfly Kaleidoscope returns to the Hilbert Conservatory starting March 21.
- The Indiana State Museum offers interactive exhibits, including Ice Age Giants: The Mystery of Mammoths and Mastodons. Race derby cars at Pinewood Derby on April 1 – 6. Watch a movie at the IMAX Theatre the biggest of big screens. Starting April 4, catch Island of Lemurs: Madagascar 3D.
- The Eiteljorg Museum recently opened the Ansel Adams exhibit which includes many of Adams’ most famous photographs.
- The NCAA Hall of Champions walks visitors through the history of all 23 NCAA sports, just in time for March Madness.
- Come back in April for an Indians game at Victory Field!
- In between museums, take a walk on the canal or try a guided Segway tour. (Discount coupon included with Park Pass.)
Visit Downtown Indy’s museums and attractions
Clown around at the Indiana Historical Society for Circus Day March 29. Enjoy the Hampel Family Circus, live animal shows from Amazing World of Animals, clowns, magicians, jugglers, face painting and more. Try your hand at carnival games to win fantastic prizes. Get silly with Radio Disney from 3 – 5 p.m. and, of course, visit the Indiana Experience.
Don’t wait until summer to experience a creative art adventure. The Indianapolis Museum of Art will host Fam-tastic Days: Spring Break, March 25–28 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Families work on projects that include coil pots and other ceramics, canvas paintings, wood sculpture and printmaking and then take their creations home to display. Studio capacity is limited. Tickets are $5.
Museum Adventure Camp, March 24–28, campers ages 9–12 can see what happens behind the scenes at the Indiana State Museum. Campers will explore exhibitions, participate in a paleontology dig and create their own exhibit at the end of the camp. Also at the Indiana State Museum, the entire family can race in the Pinewood Derby, April 1–6. The Indiana State Museum and the Boy Scouts of America Crossroads of America Council invite families to race derby cars and watch as they zip down the two-story, 125-feet of track headed for the finish line.
Spend the night at the Indianapolis Zoo during the Spring Family Overnight, March 22. Activities include crafts, games, animal stories, a special after-hours tour and a morning breakfast. Participants must be at least six years old.
Party like it’s 70 million B.C. as The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis celebrates 10 years of Dinosphere. Since opening in early March, Leonardo: The Mummified Dinosaur has fascinated visitors of all ages. Join in Dinosaur Extravaganza, March 29 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and dig for bones and participate in special dinosaur extravaganza activities. Also at The Children’s Museum, participate in Animal Secrets (various dates through May 4) and explore the hidden habitats and secret lives of forest animals.
There are plenty of FREE activities taking place at the Central Library:
- March 22: Animal Tales presented by Animalia
- March 29: Indianapolis Opera: Inn of the Seven Dwarves
- April 5: Drawing Manga 101
- April 12: Parent and Preschooler Yoga
Catch the well-loved fairytale Cinderella at Peewinkle’s Puppet Studio every Thursday, Friday and Saturday from March 13 to April 12 (see photo above). Classic music, a glittering coach and a bit of shadow puppetry will keep the youngsters spellbound.
Platinum selling recording artist Demi Lovato performs at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on March 30 – fulfilling every teenage girl’s dreams.
After you have worked up an appetite exploring an exhibit or experiencing an event Downtown, head to Georgia Street for Food Truck Fridays, every Friday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
March is on: sports action Downtown
It would be hard to spend a vacation in Downtown Indy without catching at least one game:
- The Indiana Pacers are wrapping up the regular season with games at Bankers Life Fieldhouse March 21, 26, & 31 and April 2 & 6, among other home games for the blue and gold around spring break.
- Baseball is back in full-swing and the Indians open their season April 10 at Victory Field. Get in the game for just $10 for adults and $9 for children 14 and younger.
- For the hockey fans, Downtown Indy has you covered too. Catch the end of the Ice’s season, with games March 22 and April 2 at Pan Am Pavilion and March 23 and April 4 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Tickets start as low as $11.
- Catch the IHSAA Basketball State Finals March 29 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse and the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament March 28 & 30 at Lucas Oil Stadium.
Make it a staycation in Downtown Indy
The Gardens & Galleries Package at the Indianapolis Marriott Downtown includes overnight accommodations plus tickets to the White River Gardens, Indianapolis Zoo, Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art and Indiana State Museum. Their Lights, Legends and Lions Package includes accommodations plus tickets to the IMAX Theater, Indianapolis Zoo and White River Gardens.
Book the Dolce Spring Escape offer at The Alexander any time before May 23 and save up to 50 percent on their best available rate. The offer includes breakfast in Market Table for two adults and children under 12.
The Hyatt Regency Indianapolis offers a Children’s Museum Package that includes four tickets for two adults and two children (ages 2-17) to experience one of the top children’s museums in the nation.
Stay up-to-date on spring break happenings in Downtown Indy online: www.indydt.com/springbreak.cfm. For more information, call 317-237-2222.