INDIANAPOLIS—Family-friendly Indianapolis is bursting with things to do and see.
Here are 10 ways to summer fun in Indiana's state capital.1. Children's Museum of Indianapolis: The just-opened $25 million "Dinosphere: Now You're in Their World" has gotten more buzz in Indy than the cicadas. The star of the show is Bucky, a 23-foot-long, 8-foot-tall teenage Tyrannosaurus rex. The kids also can marvel over Gorgosaurus and Triceratops skeletons, a dinosaur embryo fossil and many other ancient critters.
The nation's largest children's museum, at 30th and Meridian Streets, already was well worth a trip. This exhibit is icing on the cake. There's a planetarium, theater and carousel.
The museum is open 10 a.m.-5 p.m. through Labor Day, when it closes on Mondays. Admission is $11.50 for adults, $10.50 for those 60 and older, and $6.50 for youth 2-17.
800-208-5437 (KIDS); www.childrensmuseum.org
2. White River State Park: This is the ribbon that ties together many of the downtown attractions.
If you have children, perhaps the Indianapolis Zoo is the place to start. Dolphins and sea horses are among the featured exhibits. If you're tired from visiting the lions, tigers and bears, the zoo has a small amusement park. 317-630-2001; www.indianapoliszoo.com
The park includes the Indiana State Museum, Medal of Honor Memorial and Victory Field Baseball Park, which are mentioned below. There's also:
- The scenic White River Gardens. 317-639-2001; www.whiterivergardens.com
- The NCAA Hall of Champions. 317-916-4255; www.ncaahallofchampions.com
- The Canal Walk, which starts at the park and winds through the urban landscape to other downtown locations.
3. Conner Prairie: This 1,400-acre living history museum allows you to imagine what it was like to be an American Indian in 1816, a pioneer in 1836 and a farmer in 1886. There's a re-created village with costumed staff members who take you back to the old days in Prairietown, Ind.
Conner Prairie is 25 minutes from downtown at 13400 Allisonville Road, Fishers.
The museum center and historic areas are open 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $11 for adults, $10 for those 65 and older and $7 for kids 5-12. 800-966-1836; www.connerprairie.org
4. Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art: Indiana seems a strange location for this type of museum, but maybe that's why visitors rave about it so much. The adobe-style museum, which is being expanded to double its size, is home to work by Native Americans as well as Charles Russell, Frederic Remington and Georgia O'Keeffe.
The museum, at 500 W. Washington St., is open 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday, noon-5 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $7 for adults, $6 for those 65 and older, and $4 for youth ages 5-17 and full-time students with ID. 317-636-9378; www.eiteljorg.org
5. Indiana State Museum: Learn about all things Hoosier--past, present and future. The kids can perform pioneer-day chores as well as play interactive games.
The museum, at 650 W. Washington St., is open 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Saturday, noon-5 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $7 for adults, $6.50 for those 60 and older, and $4 for children ages 3-12. 317-234-2150; www.indianamuseum.org
The museum also has an IMAX Theater. 317-233-4629; www.imaxindy.com
6. Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame Museum: The museum has about 75 cars and about one-third of the Indianapolis 500 winners. A track tour by bus is available (at additional cost) when the track is not in use.
There's also a behind-the-scenes grounds tour available on certain weekends. The 90-minute guided tour is offered four times a day this weekend and July 3-5, July 17-18 and July 24-25. It's $25 for adults and $10 for youth ages 6-15.
The track is at 4790 W. 16th St., about 5 miles northwest of downtown.
The museum is open 9 a.m.-5 p.m. every day but Christmas. Admission is $3 for adults and $1 for youth ages 6-15. 317-492-6784; www.indianapolismotorspeedway.com
7. Brickyard Crossing Golf Course: This 18-hole championship golf course is open to the public. Four of the holes are inside the Indianapolis Motor Speedway track, elevating this course from the ordinary.
Tee times must be reserved two weeks in advance at 317-484-6572. It's $90, including a cart, or $70 for guests at the 108-room Brickyard Crossing hotel. 317-241-2500; www.brickyardcrossing.com
8. Shopping: Some folks don't think it's a successful trip without a shopping excursion. There's a Nordstrom store and other upscale shopping in Circle Centre mall downtown. The Indianapolis City Market is a historic landmark. In addition, the museum stores are well stocked.
9. Memorials: You can't go very far without bumping into a war memorial. There's the Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument in the center of the city, the Congressional Medal of Honor Memorial, the War Memorial Plaza downtown and the USS Indianapolis Memorial.
10. Indianapolis Indians: Victory Field is home to the Indians, the AAA affiliate of the Milwaukee Brewers. The park is at 501 W. Maryland St., with a view of the city's skyline. Tickets range from $7-$12. 317-239-5151; www.indyindians.com