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Schools out.....Now What?

School is officially out and I know some of your first thoughts are “What can I do with my kids this summer?”

My family and I typically take a trip somewhere to relax, but the rest of the summer, we are looking for fun adventures for the kids. We aren’t exactly new to the area, but we don’t get out and explore our own “backyard” as much as we would like. Did you know that up in Carmel there is a FREE fire museum? I had no idea. We lived in Carmel for 2 years and had no clue there was this hidden gem in our own “backyard”. This made me go on an online scavenger hunt to see what else might be off the beaten path and in my own backyard.

I know that COVID is still on all of our minds. What are capacities going to look like? What will the mask policies be? Do I need to make a reservation? With COVID in mind I have found a variety of different places. Some of them are outside, inside, some of them are free and some of them cost a little bit of money, but they all sound fun and you and your family will have a blast making memories.

Outdoor Adventures

*Farmers Markets are a great place to shop small and support local businesses. The Irvington Farmers Market is from 12-3pm on June 13, July 11, and August 18. It is located at Ellenberger Park 5301 St. Clair St. Cumberland Farmers Market is from 8am-noon every Saturday May-October. It is located at Cumberland Town Hall 11501 E. Washington St.

*Traders Point Creamery has a self-guided tour with a 1.5-mile hike through the pastures that are at Eagle Creek. The tour is $3 a person and free for children under the age of 4. Just make sure you check in at the Farm Store upon arrival.

*Holcomb Gardens at Butler University is 20 acres of beautiful wooded lands. Pack a lunch and explore what the grounds have to offer.

*Pack a lunch and head to Southeastway Park to for a picnic. Enjoy a hike on one of their walking trails, play on the playgrounds, or stop in at the Activity Center. This little gem is located at 5624 S Carroll Rd.

*If you are in the mood for a sweet treat drive out to Tuttle Orchard. All summer long their café, sweet shop and farm store is open. Grab some fresh local produce, donut, or apple cider slushy. Tuttle Orchard in located off of N 300 W in Greenfield.

*Indy Island @ Raymond Park is an indoor waterpark. They are operating at a limited capacity and it’s a first come first serve basis. Make sure to check their Facebook page or call ahead for operating hours.

*“Take me out to the ball game” The Indianapolis Indians have some amazing deals that they run! On Tuesdays with a valid ticket to the game, you get $1 hot dogs, popcorn, water, and chips. Firework Fridays are back! At the end of a few select Friday games, your family can enjoy an amazing firework display! Sundays kids 14 and under with a ticket to the game get a hot dog, chips and bottle of water FREE! I don’t know about anyone else, but my family has really missed nights at the ballpark!

*The Indiana State Fair is back this year. It is July 30-August 22. What are you more excited for at the fair? The food? Rides? Livestock? A funnel cake and lemon shake up are on my State Fair bucket list!

*We cannot forget about the Indianapolis Zoo. This summer their new exhibit with alligators and crocodiles opens. A reservation is still required in order to visit. Masks are still required for some areas of the zoo.

Indoor Adventures

*Kids bowl free!!! Register for your kids to bowl free all summer. Follow this link and pick the bowling alley closest to you!

* Do you have kiddos who are interested in fire trucks? Call your local firehouse and see if you are able to set up a tour.

*Visit your local library. Check your local branch to sign up for the Summer Reading program. Some locations are providing packets for children to do at home. If you are visiting a library, keep your visit brief (1 hour).

*The Indianapolis 500 happens every year and this year there will be fans in the stand! If you can’t make it to the race, you can make a trip to the IMS Museum. The hours are a little different in May, but the Museum is open from 9am-5pm. Children 5 and under are free, children ages 6-15 are $8 and Adults are $15. It’s a great way to learn all about the Motor Speedway, the 500 race and get up close and personal with an Indy car.

*Right down the street from us here at Old Bethel Preschool is the Indiana State Police Museum. Here at the museum you can look at the story of how the Indiana State Police started, what vehicles have been driven, and what uniforms have looked like over the years. Located at 8660 East 21st Street the museum is open Tuesday- Friday from 10am-3pm.

*First Thursdays are back at The Children’s Museum. The first Thursday of every month from 4-8pm admission to the Museum is $6 a person. Due to COVID they are still limiting their capacity. Facemask are required for all visitors over the age of 2. Although it’s not necessary it is highly encouraged that you buy tickets ahead of time.

At Home Adventures

*Put together a backyard campout. Break out that camping gear, make s’mores, star gaze, BBQ, and enjoy a night under the stars without having to pack up the car.

*Grab some large boxes and make cars out of them. Use these cars to have a drive in movie. What movie would your family watch? At our house, it would be a toss-up between The Greatest Showman and Rio. Don’t forget to pop some popcorn!

*Build a blanket fort. Make it a little book nook, or grab a bunch of pillows and take a nap.

*Try new recipes. Do you have a new cookie recipe you want to try? How about something new for dinner. Give everyone in the family a different job to complete the recipe.

*Set up a sprinkler and grab your favorite popsicles for some outside playtime.

*Make tie-dye shirts

*Use your sidewalk chalk and make an obstacle course, a road/community for hot wheel cars, hopscotch, tic tac toe, trace your shadow, and write encouraging messages to your neighbors.

There are many amazing adventures we can go on this summer whether we are doing them outside, inside or in our own backyard. We would love for you to share with us some the adventures you and your family go on. You can share those adventures over on our Facebook page all summer long.

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