Shipshewana : Indiana
There’s fun to be had for all when your family visits Shipshewana. Tour the Amish countryside in style when you take a ride with Buggy Lane Tours. When you’re done you can step off the buggy into the Blue Gate Restaurant for a home-cooked meal, served family style. If you have room for dessert visit their bakery for a sweet treat- from jams and jellies to cookies and pies, there’s bound to be something for everyone. While you digest, take in a show at the Blue Gate Theater, offering some of the best family-friendly entertainment in the midwest. After the show you can visit the nearly 150 shops, from quilts and candles to kids’ books and amazing toys. Shipshewana has enough food, fun, and entertainment to keep your family busy all day! Visit www.shipshewana.com for more information.
Pine Lake Waterpark : Berne Indiana
Jump in the car and dive into the charming swiss town of Berne, Indiana. Pine Lake is a one of a kind, outdoor water park on a lake! Lather on the sunscreen and sink your toes into the warm sand while the kids make a splash on the more than 8 attractions. The park boasts a splash pad, kiddie slides, 3 big water slides, beach volleyball, water logs, a 30 foot jumping platform, a cable ride, and much more. No matter what age your kids are, they are sure to find something adventurous at Pine Lake Waterpark. Visit www.pinelakewaterpark.com for more information.
Brown County : Nashville Indiana
Take a short drive to Nashville, Indiana and enjoy all that Brown County has to offer. Saddle up for fun at the Saddle Barn, located in the Brown County State Park. Little ones can enjoy a pony ride while children 7 and older can go on a trail ride adventure! Take a hike on one of the 12 trails located within the park. Whether you want an easy walk on a paved path or a rugged hike by the lake and on the hills, there’s something for everyone. Recreational activities include zip lines, fishing, biking, tennis, playgrounds, canoeing, and more. Downtown Nashville offers lots of specialty shops, gem mining, and amazing restaurants. If you decide that you can’t possibly pack all this fun into one day, check out the Abe Martin Lodge which offers rooms, cabins, and an amazing aquatic center for the kids! If you’re ready for adventure, you’ll find it in Brown County. Visit www.nashville-indiana.com or www.in.gov/dnr/parklake for more information.
Squire Boone Caverns : Mauckport Indiana
Travel back to the 1700’s on a trip to Squire Boone Caverns in Mauckport Indiana. Family members who are seven years old and at least 65 pounds can go on a high flying tour through forests and ravines at Zipline Adventures. Don’t worry, there’s lots of fun for smaller children at Squire Boone Village. They can mine for gold and gemstones, visit the candy shop, make a candle, and explore the nature trail. After a day of fun in the sun, cool off on an underground tour of the Squire Boone Cavern. It might be hot and muggy outside, but don’t forget to bring your sweater. The cavern is a cool 54 degrees all year round with rushing streams and waterfalls. Once you’ve worked up an appetite, stop by Boone’s Kitchen and chow down on some comfort food and an array of sweet treats! Squire Boone Caverns offers family-friendly fun for all ages. Visit www.squireboonecaverns.com for more information.
Splash House : Marion Indiana
Escape the heat when you jump into the Splash House water park. As you round the bend, your kids eyes with light up when they see the towering water slides in the distance. Relax in a lounge chair while the older kids take a wild ride on one of three large slides. If that isn’t daring enough for them, they can test out their surfing skills on the highest waves in Indiana. Younger children will have a blast in the kiddie are which features a zero-entry pool, interactive water features, playground equipment, and a splash bucket. There’s fun to be had by all in the large zero-entry wave pool. When its time to refuel, head over to the concession stand and fill up on salty snacks, hot lunch items, and sweet treats. Let your tummy settle as you float on an innertube down the winding lazy river. There’s something for everyone at the Splash House! Visit www.facebook.com/pages/Splash-House-Marion-Indiana for more information.
IKEA : West Chester Ohio
I know what you’re thinking, a day of shopping with the kids isn’t the best day trip right? When it comes to IKEA, it is worth the trip! IKEA is one of the largest home furnishing stores in the world and offers a fun filled day for all. There are family friendly parking spaces which offer spots closer to the main entrance. At the top of the escalator you will step into the brilliantly colorful world of IKEA. Each display room is decorated from top to bottom with fully functioning products that you can touch and test. Go ahead, sit on the bed, open the wardrobe, draw back the blinds, and pull a chair up to the table. You and your kids can explore room after room with thousands of products to choose from. When you enter the children’s department, their imaginations will run wild as they play with everything from wooden toys and crafts, to furniture and unique lighting. Their tummies will be rumbling by the time to enter the in-store restaurant which features hot meals, snacks, treats, and 99 cent kids meals. When you’re ready to gather your items from the downstairs warehouse you can utilize IKEA’s Smaland Play Area. This service offers an house of supervised play for children 37″ to 54″ who are fully potty trained. Take advantage of this great service any time during your shopping trip. IKEA is tons of fun for the whole family and well worth the drive to Cincinnati. Visit www.ikea.com for more information.
East Race Waterway : South Bend Indiana
Does white water rafting through a city sound like fun to you? The East Race Waterway gaurantees adults and children at least 54″ tall a wet and wild ride. This five million dollar,man-made waterway has served over 270,000 people since it opened in 1984. Prepare to get soaked as you raft or kayak down class-2 rapids that will have your adrenaline pumping. Don’t feel like getting wet? Not to worry, the East Race Waterway offers family fun for all ages. With five miles of paved walkways, multiple playgrounds, picnic facilities, and fishing, there’s something for everyone. Visit sbpark.org for more information.
Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo : Fort Wayne Indiana
Lions and tigers and bears, oh my! A world of adventure waits for you at the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo, named one of the top 10 zoos in the United States. Enjoy animals ranging from the petting zoo to the Indonesian rainforest and from the Australian outback to the plains of Africa. Climb aboard the train, take a ride on the carousel and saddle up on pony! If that isn’t fun enough, take a log ride down the river or take a high flying adventure over the African safari! Visit one of the four cafes for lunch or grab a tasty treat at any of the snack spots along the way. There are many VIP experiences as well as many more interactive attractions. Pack up the kids for a wild adventure they are sure to be talking about all summer long! Visit kidszoo.org for more information.
Bellaboo’s Play and Discovery Center : Lake Station IN
Summer in Indiana can be wet and stormy, but that doesn’t mean you have to be stuck at home. Bellaboo’s is an indoor play center that is based on cognitive play and social development. Children ages 9 and under can enjoy 23,000 square feet of hand on activities. Infants and toddlers have an area where they are free to explore with other little ones who are just their size. Kids can explore multiple occupations in the Pretend Village as well as try their hand at cooking in the do-it-yourself cooking room. They can release some energy in the soft play area and on the jungle gym. Take a break in the cafe which boasts a full menu with lots of healthy options. There’s a train room, a water room, a reading room, a block play area, and a large outdoor sand playground. Enjoy a day of stress free play with your little ones at Bellaboo’s! Visit www.mybellaboos.com for more information.
BB Riverboats : Newport Kentucky
Sail away on high seas adventure on a BB Riverboats kids cruise. Ahoy Matees, put on your patch and hoist up the mainsail when you board the Pirates of the Ohio cruise. An afternoon of treasure hunting and pirate games will create memories to last a lifetime. Your little princess will get the royal treatment on the Princess Cruise. The fairy godmother will escort you for an afternoon of dancing and royal engagements. Meet your favorite princesses, walk with Prince Charming, and enjoy some savory snacks. There are many more cruise theme that are sure to delight, including sight seeing tours, ice cream socials, and a super hero cruise. Head to Newport Kentucky to see what the Ohio River has to offer! Visit www.bbriverboats.com for more information.