INDIANAPOLIS — Now that warmer weather has finally arrived,
it’s time to grab a friend or family member and hit the road.
Whether you want to fish, hike and swim, see exotic animals,
travel through the aisles of a flea market or keep your children entertained
with interactive exhibits, the Hoosier state has something for everyone.
Treat yourself by planning a daytrip or a longer vacation at
one of the following Indiana destinations.
Run State Park
Turkey Run State Park has really become to be known as a
hiking destination, said Barbara Tibbets, an interpretive naturalist who has
been with the park for 23 years. There are 11 trails ranging from easy to
“We’re about as rugged as it gets this side of the Rocky
Mountains, which is amazing from Indiana,” Tibbets said.
Visitors also can ride horses, swim in an Olympic-sized
pool, camp, picnic and canoe. Fisherman can search for smallmouth bass and
catfish in Sugar Creek.
Guests can walk along the park’s 202-feet-long suspended
bridge. When guests step down from the bridge, they are on one of the most
popular trails at the park, a rugged trail with waterfalls and little ledges to
Visitors also can visit a nature center to see turtles,
honeybee hives and attend a star show.
Tibbets describes the park as “one of the most ruggedly
beautiful parks in Indiana.”
“People won’t even believe they’re still in Indiana. It’s
almost like stepping back millions of year in to the past,” Tibbets said. “If
you want to get away for life and recover from stress, this is the place to do
Turkey Run State Park
8121 E. Park Rd., Marshall, IN 47859
The park is open from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. every day year
Generally, an in-state daily entrance fee is $5 and an
out-of-state daily entrance fee is $7.
World and Splashin’ Safari
Holiday World and Splashin’ Safari is a family-owned park
that consists of a theme park and water park for one price. The park, which has
been in Santa Claus for almost 70 years, continues to be operated by the same
family that started it four generations ago.
Visitors will find they get free parking, sunscreen, Wi-Fi
and soft drinks when they enter the Holiday World and Splashin’ Safari.
One of the reasons to visit is the various rides available,
including roller coasters, two water coasters along with other family rides and
thrill rides. Another reason is because Santa Clause is there every day, Paula
Werne, director of communications, said.
If you’re not seeking thrills from a ride, attend a live
show ranging from concerts to high dive shows, shop or play games.
New to the park this year is a giant swinging ship called
the MayFlower, and the park already is teasing expansion for 66 days at seas,
something that will be announced more July 24.
Holiday World and Splashin’ Safari
452 E. Christmas Blvd., Santa Claus, IN 47579
Holiday World is open from 9:30 a.m. to 9 p.m., and
Splashin’ Safari is open from 10:30 to 7 p.m.
Tickets are available online at $39.95 for general admission
and $34.95 for guests under 54 inches tall and seniors.
Wayne Children’s Zoo
Lions, giraffes and sharks are just some of the animals
waiting to be seen at the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo. Because the zoo is focused
on kids — which could mean an adult who is a kid at heart — or a young child,
there are many interactive exhibits to get visitors involved, said Cheryl
Piropatl, education and communications director at the zoo.
Children can go on rides, climb a rock, go in a tunnel, walk
across a bridge and participate in the interactive displays. The zoo was created
with children in mind, so windows are low and children don’t need to be picked
up from strollers to see over a railing, Piropatl said.
A highlight for a lot of visitors is feeding lettuce to a
giraffe. The self-supporting operation also has rides that guests can take part
in including a boat ride and a carousel.
“Because of our name, people think we’re a petting zoo,”
Piropatl said. “We’re much more than that.”
The zoo features orangutans, lions, giraffes, a
50,000-gallon shark tank and a 10,000-gallon reef tank.
Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo
3411 Sherman Blvd., Fort Wayne, IN 46808
The zoo is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily from April 26 to
Tickets cost $14 for adults, $9 for children ages 2 to 18
and $10.50 for seniors.
Shipshewana Flea Market and Auction
Stroll through the many aisles and more than 900 vendors at
the Shipshewana Flea Market. The 92-year-old flea market has everything from
fresh and local vegetables, Amish-made furniture, clothing, jewelry, patio and
yard décor, tools and more.
Along with the flea market is the Shipshewana Auction. There
are two kinds of auctions, including livestock/horse and antiques.
The livestock auction takes place at 9 a.m. Wednesdays, and
a horse auction is at 9 a.m. Fridays. There are pigs, cattle, sheep, goats,
bulls and horses for sale.
The antique auction is at 9 a.m. Wednesdays. There are
collectables and miscellaneous items all year long. There also is an antique
gallery with vendors.
Also part of the same site is a hotel and restaurant, said
Emily Denning, marketing director.
“Shipshewana is an experience in itself,” Denning said. “The
town in general has a farm feel, and you can always find something different. We
tell people to find their treasure.”
Shipshewana Auction and Flea Market
345 South Van Buren St., Shipshewana, IN
The auction is held from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. every Tuesday and
Wednesday from May through October. It also is open for Memorial Day, the Fourth
of July and Labor Day.
Children’s Museum of Indianapolis
The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis is interactive and
geared to get visitors involved. Each and every exhibit is hands-on and gives
information to families, as well as gives children, a way to touch, explore and
investigate to learn about each subject matter.
Currently housed at the museum are the Terra Cotta Warriors
from China. Bringing the Terra Cotta Warriors to the museum took years of
planning and preparation, and now they are finally here.
Although the display is behind glass, there is an exhibit
that allows children to make smaller versions of the statues.
An addition at the museum is “Take Me There: China,” which
will be there for the next three years. The exhibit includes a two-story slide
with a theme of “The Great Wall of China.”
“There are exhibits that really interest both adults and
young children,” said Leslie Olsen, manager of public relations.
Children’s Museum of Indianapolis
3000 N. Meridian St., Indianapolis, IN 46208
The museum is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. In the
winter, the museum is closed on Monday.
Tickets cost $19.50 for adults, $18.50 for seniors and
$14.50 for children ages 2 to 17.