Cost: $17.95/adult; $13.70/child
Time: 3+ hours
I really like the Indianapolis Zoo, but it’s just too expensive – pricier than other awesome zoos, like Columbus Zoo (which was named #1 zoo by Parent Magazine). Buy tickets online for a discount.
The Indy Zoo is not my favorite but it does have some unique exhibits:
Dolphin Show & Pavilion You won’t find many zoos that have dolphins! They run daily dolphin shows too. The show is ok, but I think they could do so much more with it. Although, I may feel this way because I’ve seen it 100 times in the last 20 years and it seems like the show is always the same. Sit in the front and you WILL get wet!
Flights of Fancy I think my favorite place is the bird exhibits area. This is unusual for me because my husband loves birds and he typically has to drag me into the aviaries when we visit zoos because they are just not that interesting to me. It’s different at Indy Zoo. The Flights of Fancy area is new and is so beautiful! There are multiple aviaries where you can get up close and personal with the birds by feeding them. I love the budgies aviary – hundreds of colorful budgies swarm the trees and fly overhead. Love it!
International Orangutan Center Now, if you love monkeys and apes of all kinds, then visiting the orangutan center alone might be worth the $18 admission fee. It’s so awesome! These orangutans have it made – a giant indoor/outdoor habitat where they can freely move from room to room. Inside the center is and education area where they teach about the orangutan and show how they are teaching them to use technology. We watched one orangutan play a computer game. So cool! The best part is the outdoor habitat and skyline ride. Orangutans are free to climb from tower to tower and you can watch them do so from the height of the skyline ride. My boys especially loved this.
Indianapolis Speedway and Museum
Cost: $5/adult; $3/child; under 6 free. Track lap is not included in museum admission. The cost is also $5/adult; $3/child; under 6 free
Time: 1-2 hours
If you have a car lover then the Indy 500 museum is worth the visit. Note, however, that the museum is highly geared toward adults. This is not a great place to bring a toddler, although older children who love cars will enjoy it. The museum is mostly a collection of race cars throughout history. I found the museum fascinating, the twins thought the cars were awesome, but my 2 year-old got bored rather quickly.They also have an Indy car that you can sit in and pretend to drive.
I think the best part about this place is the Track Tour. Board a shuttle that takes you on a roundtrip tour of the Indy track. My boys thought it was so cool that you were allowed to drive on the real track! Pretty fun.
Note: be sure to call before you visit, especially if you do so on a weekend. They often have racing events on the weekends, and since the museum is inside the track gates, you would have to pay the gate admission price to get in ($30+/person).