Monday, April 5, 2010

Stay-Cation

As much as I would like to try and convince my husband that we need a vacation this year... my begging and pleading worked last year... but then I changed my mind and we opted to use the vacation money to buy a playset. Jeff then injured his shoulder and was unable to actually build the playset- but hopefully we can make plans for that to happen soon. Now we are approaching the summer of 2010. I'm starting to think about things we can do as a family- especially during the one week of the year that daycare(s) are closed for us and I've already asked off work. Family vacations aren't something I was able to enjoy as a child and they are something that I think can be really valuable to our family. Being realistic with money and such this year, I think it might be a good idea to stay local. Maybe limit our drives to 2-4 hours away. I do have a cool opportunity coming up at the end of April. I've been invited to attend the Indiana Tourism media Marketplace at the State Fairgrounds. This will be a gathering of various Indiana Tourism spots around the state. I am very excited about it. But you know I get an itch... and I like to start planning. And I know I will change my plan 20 times and then some. But it's still fun to imagine the things we might possibly do this summer. Here are some things I know I would like to do this summer: Visit Conner Prairie. This one will be multiple visits. It is very close to my house and we got a family membership this year. I love that my kids can run and explore and learn about Indiana's history at the same time. There is also a great indoor playspace that is great on rainy days. Visit a State Park. Closest to home is Fort Harrison. It would be a great place to go for a picnic and a hike. There is also an learning center where you can learn about the wildlife and plant life in the area. Farther away are other great choices- like Brown County and Indiana Dunes and Turkey Run. Those are trips that would be best with an overnight trip. I would love to get away for a night or 2 in a cabin somewhere. Maybe someday we will be brave enough to even try some tent camping! Go to Fort Wayne. It's a short drive to Fort Wayne from Fishers. And I hear great things about the Children's Zoo and Science Center there. Check out the Indiana Historical Society. I have a friend who works there and I've been hearing awesome things about all the ways the exhibits there are getting revamped to be more appealing to kids of ALL ages. From what I'm told, Zach is probably too young for it but Teagan is right at a great age to enjoy the new "Indiana Experience." What I'm hearing the most about is the You Are There experience- go check out the link. I've heard a lot from my friend about all the work that has gone into finding these historic photos, recreating them in a hand on way, developing the characters and making this a very real experience of a sliver of Indiana history. Things that I am checking into and considering... Southern Indiana. Holiday World- It's an amusement park and the theme is holidays. It's a family owned park. It's a very clean park. And they offer free fountain drinks and sunscreen all day long! There's also a water park. But it still might be more fun in a couple of years. Or lots of fun now and then again in a year or two! There is a giant year round Christmas store, a Christmas museum. Also close by is Abraham Lincoln's boyhood home and a living history farm. Fair Oaks Farm or Trader's Point Creamery. Both are working dairy farms and have a lot of cool opportunities for kids. Trader's Point is closer to home but I hear better reviews of the experience at Fair Oaks. Of course, I am very eager for Farmer's Market season to get started, too!! Get to know other neighborhoods in Indianapolis. Doing the Fun Run on Friday in Broad Ripple brought to my attention just how much I don't know about that area! There are lots of great shops and restaurants there. Plus, the Monon Trail is there and that offers some great walking and biking opportunities. Mass Ave is another area where I'd love to spend another afternoon. Back in July, I went down a few times for specific events and found some places I'd love to go back and visit again. See "Cats" at the Wagon Wheel Theatre in Warsaw, IN. It would be an overnight trip without kids... either by myself or with my husband. It would be in June. We'll see on that one... Well, I guess I could just go on and on... and we will see just how much time we end up having on our weekends. If you are from Indiana, what are your favorite places to visit? What about in the area where you live? If you were planning a fun weekend in your area, what would you do? Photobucket

10 comments:

blueviolet said...

I haven't been to any of those places! But I sure do love the Indianapolis Children's Museum!

MommyLovesStilettos said...

I cannot wait for summer! My favorite time of the year :)

Garret of Jim and Garret said...

Tent camping? What's that?

Nancy said...

We love Conner Prairie. Delainey is very content hanging out there for hours. It will be one of our favorite spots after church on Sundays.
We buy a state park pass each year and it is worth it. Ft Harrison has some great trails (some paved, some not) for hiking, walking, and running. There is a fun park there also, the slide is built into the ground. There are ponies to ride as well ($3 for a short walk up and down a path), and horses that you can ride as well.
I don't think I will be able to talk Jim into a vacation this year either, but I haven't given up hope yet!

Nancy C said...

I really liked the Indiana Dunes when I would visit family in Chicago area.

Mary P (Barnmaven) said...

A staycation is a great idea, its fiscally smart, it helps your local economy and its also, in many ways, environmentally friendly! Think of all the carbon emissions you're not putting into the atmosphere by not taking a long long driving trip or getting on a jet plane somewhere.

Sadly, if I had a staycation I would probably spend a week frantically working repairing stalls, irrigation and fences, when I could be taking the kids to see Grand Coulee dam, birdwatching at the McNary Wildlife preserve or hiking in the Blues.

Momza said...

Staycations Rock when you love where you live! We do!
Colorado has more stuff to do than we can do in a lifetime, I think!
Sounds like Indiana is the same!

Pouncer said...

Fair Oaks is actually a conglomerate of factory farms. Not animal-friendly. Go to Trader's Point.

Angie @ Just Like The Number said...

Sounds like you have a lot of great ideas up your sleeve!

I make the drive from Fishers up to Fort Wayne a few times a year. We love the Children's Zoo there much more than the one right here in Indy. It's great for little ones, and I don't feel like I'm being nickle and dimed for everything after I've already paid a fortune for admission.

We did Holiday World for the first time last summer and we were so impressed. I expected that it would mostly be fun for my 7 year old, but that my 2 year old wouldn't get much out of it. I was pleasantly surprised at how many things the toddler could ride. We all had a blast and felt like we got so much value for the money we spent.

This summer I hope to take the kids on a day trip up to Merrillville to tour the Albanese Candy Factory. I'll be at the Indiana Tourism Media Marketplace, too, and I can't wait to get even more ideas!

The Courteous Chihuahua said...

The Dunes are awesome. Be sure to climb Mount Baldy.

Near Bloomington, McCormick's Creek has waterfalls you can walk under and play in.

Have you ever heard of Squire Boone Caverns? It's about 45 miles from Holiday World so that would be pretty do-able. http://www.squireboonecaverns.com/ It's also not too far from Marego Cave.

Wherever you go, have fun!