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The first stop for any family visiting Indianapolis should be The Children's Museum of Indianapolis . Claiming to be the largest children's museum in the world, the museum contains eleven major galleries spread out over 400,000 square feet and five floors. Visitors are greeted by North America's largest water clock, designed by French artist Bernard Gitton. Galleries are interactive and hands-on, intended to keep little hands busy and little minds engaged. Exhibits focus on perennial kid favorites like dinosaurs, fossils, and Egypt. A mainstay of the museum is the large, indoor carousel located on the top floor. Amenities like a large food court, gift shop, and ample bathrooms ease the stress of traveling with kids.
Another popular destination is the Indianapolis Zoo. The zoo is actually a zoo, aquarium, and botanical gardens all in one, and is the first attraction in the nation accredited as being all three by the American Zoo and Aquarium Association. Exhibits are divided among different biomes, such as the Forests Biome, Waters Biome, Plains Biome and Encounters Biome, where children are encouraged to interact with the animals. Various shows, like the Dolphin Adventure Show, are scheduled throughout the day, and children who wish to learn more can sign up for classes and camps. Visitors can also pet sharks and elephants, hand feed giraffes and get closer to the animals than at most zoos. Strollers and wheelchairs are available for rental, and numerous snack bars are located throughout the zoo.