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Help! Need a Weekend Family Vacation away from Indianapolis.

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Help! Need a Weekend Family Vacation away from Indianapolis.

My family is looking for a trip out of Indianapolis this summer. Because of work schedules we can only go from Friday to Monday. We have two boys 8y.o. and 5y.o. We have family that live in Northwest Indiana and we have done the Chicago trip and the southern Michigan trip to Warren Dunes and New Buffalo. Looking for fun attractions and some water activities. Any suggestions would be great!

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1. Re: Help! Need a Weekend Family Vacation away from Indianapolis.

Here are activities my kids have loved thru the years. My kids absolutely love French Lick resort. There is an indoor and outdoor pool, bowling,pony/hayride, gaming center and other activities. We like to play games on the veranda. We always come back recharged from there and feel like we have spent time together as a family unlike some trips where we are exhasted.

This is roughing it a bit but the 8 yo loved Rawhide Ranch in Nashville. Mini dude ranch but we fished, rode horses,interacted with the staff, hiked,did kid friendly zip lines.

Great Wolf Lodge in Cincii is close

We have done Holiday World which has a fab water park one day and Marengo Cave the next day.

If you like more nature trips Spring Mill SP is wonderful-cool creek to stomp in and historical grist mill and village to tour. Turkey Run SP has a nice lodge to stay in and low creek to tube/canoe...wonderful areas to hike/picnic

Bloomington, Indiana
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2. Re: Help! Need a Weekend Family Vacation away from Indianapolis.

Three words: south central Indiana.

Using Bloomington as a base, here's some of the stuff within a hour or two drive:

Bloomington: Wonderlab, IU, downtown, B-line & other walking trails, museums, Lake Monroe & other nearby outdoor stuff (and lots more);

Columbus: Architecture tour & more (outlet shopping in Edinburgh and/or Seymour);

Nashville, French Lick, Holiday World, Spring Mills State Park, Marengo (& other caves): (see prior posting);

Also: Pioneer Mothers (largest stand of virgin forest in Indiana), McCormicks Creek State Park, Bluesprings Cavern, Solsbury Trestle Yellowwood and/or Morgan/Monroe State Forests, Cagle Mill and/or Goose Pond (and lots more) . . . .

Pretty sure if you go to the Bloomington forum I've got a thread with more stuff (and/or a link to another forum where I listed stuff).

Hope this helps & wish I had more time,


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3. Re: Help! Need a Weekend Family Vacation away from Indianapolis.

If you are interested in MI again, we go to South Haven twice a year and love it (8 and 3yo). It is 4 hours from Indy and has everything. CIncy and Columbus are good options. Bloomington is an excellent option as well. My 8yo has been to the Wonderlab the last 2 years for school field trips and loves it. Plus you have Lake Monroe, we have stayed at Eagle Point for a weekend and rented a boat (you can rent PWC too) and love it for a weekend getaway.

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4. Re: Help! Need a Weekend Family Vacation away from Indianapolis.

All of the above are great ideas. Great Wolf Lodge outside Cincy, as noted above, would be a blast for your boys at their ages. It is right next to the Kings Island amusement park, you can actually walk to it from Great Wolf.

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5. Re: Help! Need a Weekend Family Vacation away from Indianapolis.

If you haven't done Holiday World, I suggest you check it out. We were there a couple years ago and rented a camper in the campground (Rudolph's I think its called) right next to the park. It was a lot of fun. There are a lot of rides at Holiday World for younger kids like yours and it includes a nice water park. The campground has a pool, mini-golf etc. I don't like camping, but i enjoyed that park. I know there are other things in the area, but I can't comment on anything specific.

New Paris, Indiana
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6. Re: Help! Need a Weekend Family Vacation away from Indianapolis.

We just got back from a trip that included a stop at the National Air Force Museum ib Dayton, OH. My 4 kids, ranging in age from 6-13, had a great time. There are 3 huge hangars of planes and memorabilia, an IMAX theater, a special hangar tour of Presidential planes that you ride a bus too, and a few other things. We are planning on going back as it could easily be a two day experience and the best part is it is FREE! The IMAX has a cost but everything else is free!

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7. Re: Help! Need a Weekend Family Vacation away from Indianapolis.

I would head south. Huntlawoffice had some good ideas for Bloomington. There is a lodge with small scale indoor water park inside Brown County State Park. Brown County definitely has a few things to offer. For kids your age, they could take in a hike, see some amazing views within the park, hit the water park at the lodge, and in town (Nashville) they could do the gem mining thing and grab some ice cream. In Columbus, they have Zaharakos, which is a Victorian era restaurant and ice cream parlor. They also have an older pipe organ with plays a short tune every 30mins. In addition, they have Kidscommons which is a museum for kids. This kind of trip would be perfect for four days.

Another suggestion would be to head further south. You could go down to the Louisville area and check out Falls of the Ohio State Park and the Louisville slugger museum. In this area is Starlight, Indiana which is home to Joe Huber family farm and restaurant. They have a petting zoo and other activities for kids during the summer. The food at the restaurant is good. http://www.joehubers.com/ If you go further west on I-64, there are a few caves in the area. One area for kids is Squire Boone Caverns: http://www.squireboonecaverns.com/ My parents took me here when I was a kid, which means 25 or so years ago, and it is still around, so they must be doing something right. Even further down I-64 is Holiday World. Like the previous poster, I have heard nothing but good things about Holiday World. Another state park, kinda between Bloomington and Holiday World, is Spring Mill State Park. They have a pioneer living village and some great hikes.

You could also go to far SW Indiana to the Evansville area. I know they have an LST ship docked and converted to a museum. A co-worker went to Evansville to hit up a Kentucky State Park just south of Evansville. He said that an employee of that park said that if anyone goes to Evansville, they owe it to themselves to see the Garden of the Gods area in S. Illinois. It is about an hours drive from Evansville. It is located in the Shawnee Nat'l. Forest.

Due west of Indy is Spring Mill and Shades State Park, both of which are highly rated. Not much else out that way though.

Cedarville, Michigan
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8. Re: Help! Need a Weekend Family Vacation away from Indianapolis.

St. Joseph, Michigan.

Great carousel and fountain. Great beaches. Kids museum. Lighthouse. Ice cream shops. Toy shop. 5 and dime store.

Driving up Us-31 is painful but you avoid the more painful Northwest Indiana.

9. Re: Help! Need a Weekend Family Vacation away from Indianapolis.

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