Getting out of the house to the grocery store or to the park with three kids under the age of three is hard, planning a day trip full of activities, impossible – right?
Once I started doing some digging I found that we are smack dab in the middle of some pretty great kid getaways. There are places right in our backyard like the National Museum of the US Air Force and places far enough away to be real getaways but close enough to do in a weekend like the Indianapolis Zoo and Children’s Museum.
These trips sounded daunting at first but really once we looked into them we found a lot of them would be easier than a walk in the park for us…literally.
This past October we took an impromptu trip (planned the night before we left) to Indianapolis. We made it an overnight trip but it easily could have been a day trip. We chose to make it an overnight trip because A) we sadly had to cancel our original vacation to Hilton Head a few days prior due to Kevin getting very sick and wanted to “get away” B) we wanted to make sure to hit Indianapolis Children’s Museum and the Indianapolis Zoo and devote full days to those activities. We made sure to stay at a hotel with a pool which to the kids was an experience in and of itself.
We hit the Zoo the first day because the next day it was supposed to rain. Zoo’s are kid friendly enough as is but this one really was easy to spend the day at. There were plenty of places to stop and feed the kids or take a break. This particular zoo was very stroller friendly as well which as a mom we three kids (two of whom can’t walk) is a life saver.
The exhibits were super kid friendly too. Noah could see the animals without having to be put on our shoulders and the twins could easily see the animals from the stroller, which was like a vacation for mom and dad’s arms!
The exhibits were amazing, we particularly loved the lion exhibit. Noah was a little scared because the lion was a little…rowdy and pretty vocal but after we were a little further away and he felt less like he was being viewed as a lion snack all he did was roar and act like a lion. Click here to see that rowdy lion in action, seriously it is worth your while I just can’t figure out how to get Instagram videos on my blog: Rowdy Lion, Roaring Lion
We loved the mix of indoor and outdoor exhibits. We visited on a perfect fall day and didn’t need relief from the heat or the cold but we made note of it because that is always a must for us with three littles plus it makes this zoo a great go to in the off season.
One of our favorite indoor exhibits was the Dolphin Cave, Noah was so excited her ran around racing the dolphins.
After spending the day at the Zoo we headed back the the hotel (right across from the Colts field which Noah and Kevin were ecstatic about) ate dinner, watched movies and swam.
The next day we woke up bright and early and made our way to The Indianapolis Children’s Museum.
This stop was a hit from the second we pulled up, I mean hello….there is a gigantic Brontosaurus (Apatosaurus for you Dino Dan buffs) scaling and going into the museum. Dinos are a big deal in this house…the boys honestly could have skipped going in and spent the entire day marveling over their long necked friend but little did they know more dinos were inside waiting to be explored.
Noah was mesmerized when we entered the museum. Giant dinos and a sky high transformer waiting to greet us…we were blowing their minds with this visit and it didn’t stop there. The kids were fully fascinated the entire trip.
The biggest hit was the kid zone. While the entire museum is geared toward kids there is an exhibit, well I say exhibit but it is really more like an entire zone dedicated to the littlest Indianapolis Children’s Museum visitors. It is called the Playplace. It is in the perfect location as the twins were over being in the stroller and it gave Noah a place to run and be free as a toddler could want to be to get his mid day grumpies out (those grumpies were no where to be seen after we stepped foot in the Playplace!).
There are areas for babies (crawler friendly) which was a huge hit for us. I could let Aiden and Evan play in their foam baby pit all the while watching Noah explore rushing rapids, make music and practice his engineering skills at a ball wall obstacle course.
This zone was a huge hit. They had private cubicles for mom’s needing to feed their littles and diaper changing zones right outside the family restrooms located IN THE PLAYPLACE I could change the twins diapers all the while watching Noah. That might not sound like a big deal but to not have to panic about getting everyone in to the family restroom, watching Noah like a hawk so that he doesn’t touch anything in the restroom and spend about 20 minutes changing and redressing and accessing everyone was a life saver.
As a mom I thought this zone was ingenious. It was obvious a lot of thought went into the planning and creating of this zone. This zone was made for little kids to feel like they could explore, play and learn at their pace, their way and not be in the way or making a mess or breaking any rules. As a mom all I had to do was keep an eye on them and enjoy watching them have fun and for me that is priceless. The twins actually played so hard in the playplace they took an extra nap!
We walked the entire museum and did the Dinosphere twice! We’ve got a little paleontologist on our hands we couldn’t resist going through twice (plus they have a wonderful food court WITH Starbucks drinks offered!! Parent power up!!)
The trip was easily planned, it was a super easy drive, relaxing, refreshing and one that we wont soon forget. Kevin and I felt like we broke our every day routine and got to “get away” to Indiana and it was our first out of town experience as a couple on our own if you can believe that.
The boys were happily exhausted by the end of the trip and slept the two hour car ride home and we left early enough they slept almost the entire way there too.
Not to mention this trip is crazy affordable and there are always great packages available through VisitIndy.com to suit your trip!
We can’t recommend this trip enough and can’t wait to do it again!
Our boys were all smiles!!
Our visits were sponsored by The Indianapolis Zoo and The Indianapolis Children’s Museum.