Toddler travel is adventure travel of a different sort. You never know when the kiddos are going to take off sprinting or melt down in a fancy restaurant because you dare sneak broccoli on their plates. But with friendly locals, laid-back vibe, and a spectacular children’s museum, Indianapolis is a great city for a family vacation.

Enjoy a Whole Day of Play

Childrens Museum The Children’s Museum is a must for those with kids and those who just want to be a kid. Not only does it have a whole area for babies and tots, there are giant dinosaurs outside the building, a mammoth outdoor play area, an old-timey carousel, and retro toy exhibits for the parents.

Sleep in a Train Car

Train Car Crowne Plaza ConductorIf your tot is choo-choo-obsessed, they’ll love the Crowne Plaza Downtown Union Station. Though the suites in reimagined Pullman sleeper train cars aren’t super stroller accessible, and the quarters are a bit tight, a unique and memorable experience awaits. Plus, the hotel has a pristine indoor pool, and the location is ideal in downtown Indy. 

Indulge in a Sweet Treat

Cake Bake Shop SweetsA favorite of Oprah’s, Cake Bake Shop is storybook magic. Do split the slices of cake with your little ones; they’re huge. Also make sure your camera or phone is ready to go, because this place is Insta-heaven.

Hike or Trike

Bikes Monon Trail Broad RippleAfter all the sugar, when your toddlers are bouncing off the walls, let them hike or trike it out on the Monon Trail, a long scenic trail that traverses Indianapolis’ northside neighborhoods into Carmel and Westfield, both cute areas to explore.

Date Night Away

Bluebeard bar and cocktailsIf you’re lucky enough to score a sitter for a date night on the town, head to Bluebeard. An homage to author (and father of six) Kurt Vonnegut, this restaurant has an expansive patio, classic cocktails, and is steps away from lots of venues and good nightlife spots, should you have time for an after-dinner drink.

Guest Blogger: Amanda Halm

Amanda Halm is a Seattle-based content writer and freelance travel writer. She grew up in Chicago and spent many childhood days exploring the Hoosier state. When she’s not working full time or chasing after her toddler and Boston Terrier, she’s out discovering music venues, happy hour spots, and hikes with her husband.