White River State Park (and the adjacent Central Canal area), located in the heart of downtown, has something for just about everyone. Like many parks, it contains trails, greenery, and waterways, but it's also home to a number of museums and attractions , as well as an open-air concert venue and a sculpture program that showcases local artists. Bicycle rentals (tel. 317/767-5072; www.wheelfunrentals.com), Segway tours (tel. 317/569-0879; www.segwayofindiana.com), pedal boat and kayak rentals (Ohio and West sts. beneath fire station #13), and gondola rides (tel. 317/491-4835; www.4gondola.com) along the canal -- complete with Italian serenade -- are available.
The 64-acre Indianapolis Zoo (tel. 317/630-2001; www.indyzoo.com) features 2,000 animals roaming through simulated environments. Admission is $14 adults, $8.50 seniors and children 2 to 12 ($8.50 and $6.50 in the winter). The zoo generally opens at 9am and closes at 4pm on weekdays and 5 or 6pm on weekends, but hours vary considerably throughout the year; call ahead or visit the website.
The White River Botanical Gardens, located on the zoo grounds and included with your zoo ticket, is a botanical showcase, with more than 1,000 types of plants on display and special exhibits throughout the year.
Victory Field (www.indyindians.com), home of the Indianapolis Indians, was named the "Best Minor League Ballpark in America" by Baseball America and Sports Illustrated. Enjoy a game of baseball and a fantastic view of the downtown skyline.
The Eiteljorg Museum of American Indian and Western Art, 500 W. Washington St. (tel. 317 636-9378; www.eiteljorg.org), houses the country's most notable collection of Native American and Western art. The "Art of the American West" collection includes works by Frederic Remington and Georgia O'Keeffe. The Native American artifacts include clothing, beadwork, and pottery from all over North America, as well as a special section focusing on the three main tribes of Indiana. The museum is open Monday to Saturday 10am to 5pm, Sunday noon to 5pm. Admission is $8 adults, $7 seniors, and $5 students and children 5 to 17.
The Indiana State Museum, 650 W. Washington St. (tel. 317/232-1637; www.indianamuseum.org), documents the history of Indiana since the pioneer era. Admission is $7 adults, $6.50 seniors, and $4 for children 3 to 12 (IMAX films are extra). It's open Monday through Saturday 9am to 5pm and Sunday 11am to 5pm.
Sports fanatics might want to check out the NCAA Hall of Champions, 700 W. Washington St. (tel. 800/735-NCAA [735-6222]; www.ncaahallofchampions.org). Past collegiate sports highlights are displayed on video monitors, and you can listen to university school songs on a push-and-play display. A 1920s gymnasium keeps the kids busy when it's not in use for educational programs. Admission is $3 adults, $2 students (free for children 5 and under); it's open from 10am to 5pm Tuesday through Saturday, noon to 5pm Sunday.
For more information, as well as a list of concerts and scheduled events, check out www.discovercanal.com.
- © Frommer's 2013
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