---- — Summer is a great time to explore areas around Indiana. Besides the well-known attractions in Indy, what else is there to do within a short drive from Lebanon? Here are a few suggestions for day trips that are off the beaten path but are affordable and interesting for both children and adults. All of these venues are north of Lebanon (we will explore other areas in another column). Try one or two and experience new adventures!
Grissom Air Museum: 1000 Hoosier Blvd. Peru
Monday- Saturday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday 12-5 p.m.
Admission: Adult $7, military $5 ,Seniors and Students 6-21 $6
Grissom has several types of planes and helicopters that are on display, including planes that were previously flown by President G.W. Bush and astronaut Neil Armstrong.
Peru American Circus Museum: 154 N. Broadway Peru
Monday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (except during circus week, the hours are extended).
Admission: Free to the museum
Circus week is July 13-20 this year. This is a worthwhile trip to see amateurs (read as students) from the area performing all the circus acts. During the week the museum has extended hours and circus wagons will be on display outside the building. Call ahead for performance times and ticket info.
Fair Oaks Dairy: 865 N 600 E, Fair Oaks
Monday- Saturday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Admission: Adult $12, Age 3-12 $10, service providers in uniform are free
Visitors may experience the wonder of live birth in the calf birthing barn and watch how dairy products like cheese and ice cream are made. Samples are offered and there is a kids area for playing and exploring. Pigs are a new attraction this year.
Tropicanoe Cove: 1915 Scott St. Lafayette
Located in Columbian Park.
Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sunday noon to 6 p.m., and Wednesday ( Family Day) 1111 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Admission: under 48” $6, over 48” $7. Wednesday after 4 p.m. under 48” $2, over 48” $3.
This is a great place to cool off and relax. There are water slides, a lazy river and a children’s area. A snack bar is also available. Wednesday is family day and is a super value. A family of two adults and two kids can swim for four hours (4-8 p.m.) for only $10 to $12 depending on the height of the children. Top this off with a trip to the zoo (below) before the water park and you have one fun filled, inexpensive day!
Columbian Park Zoo: 1915 Scott St. Lafayette
Located in Columbian Park
Everyday 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Several animals from reptiles, mammals, amphibians and birds are on display.
Wolf Park: 4004 E. 800 N. Battleground, In.(765)567-2265
Tuesday- Sunday 1 pm-5pm
Howl Nights: Friday and Saturday, gates open at 7:30 pm
Admission: ages 6-13 $ 6 , over 14 $8
Many demonstrations and lectures about wolves, foxes and coyotes. There are also several exhibits of live animals and interactive displays. On howl nights, live demos of howling wolves give you chills. You howl and they respond! Also watch them chase prey in their natural environment.
Indiana Beach: 5224 E. Indiana Beach Rd. Monticello
Open daily; hours vary by day
Admission: $3.50 to enter
Rides only: under 48” 19.95, over 48” 25.95
Rides and water park: under 48” 29.95, over 48” 35.95
Nice amusement park for a day get away. If you don’t ride anything, it is still worth the $3.50 entrance for the free water ski shows on the lake. Rides admission now includes the rope course and rock wall. And if you only want to ride 1 ride, I recommend the Lake Schaffer Cruise on the Schaffer Queen.This ride on a steamboat era paddle wheel boat is enjoyable especially at night when everything at the park and on the lakeshores are lit up.
So pack up the car and head up north to one of these venues for an exciting new adventure!
Crystal Dardini and her husband live in Boone County. As a busy working mom of three boys and an elementary teacher, she is always looking for ways to make life a little easier. She will be contributing ideas biweekly on ways to help make your life a little less challenging and maybe even a little more fun.