Commentary by Katie Utken
Bio: Katie Utken is the marketing and communications manager for Hamilton County Tourism. A lifelong Carmel resident, she promotes the attractions, restaurants, shops and events in Hamilton County to locals and visitors.
If there was ever a year for a staycation, this is the year.
Many families will stay close to home this year for spring break. In fact, Destination Analysts reports that only 12 percent of American travelers have a spring break trip planned this year.
No beach? No problem. There are plenty of things to do with your family right here in Hamilton County. Get out of the house and take your kids on family friendly adventures at local parks and attractions to beat the winter blues.
IKEA and Topgolf
Even if you’re not redesigning your home, IKEA is a fun place to explore. You could even create your own scavenger hunt or “I Spy” challenge to keep the kids entertained. Don’t forget the iconic Swedish meatballs in the cafeteria! After all that shopping, head across the street to Topgolf, a premier entertainment venue where you can challenge each other to addictive point-scoring golf games – no experience necessary.
Spring is when the outdoor grounds at Conner Prairie in Fishers come alive. Your first stop should be the Animal Encounters barn to visit with the baby goats and sheep. Then, make your way to Treetop Outpost to explore a three-story treehouse, connect with nature and enjoy panoramic views of the White River.
Strawtown Koteewi Park
Did you know this is Hamilton County’s largest park at more than 900 acres? There’s more to explore beyond the 8 miles of trails. Try your hand at archery at Koteewi Range: Sport and Target Archery Center. Plan a return visit and book a guided horseback trail ride or pony ride with K-Trails Equestrian Adventures or a zipline experience at Edge Adventures Koteewi: Aerial Adventure Park when they open later this spring.
Parks and trails
Hamilton County has 600-plus miles of trails and dozens of parks. Get your bikes out of the garage and pedal along the Monon Trail. Must-see parks in the area for families include local favorites like Central Park, Flat Fork Creek Park, Forest Park and Cool Creek Park and Nature Center.
Spring weather in Indiana can be unpredictable. If the forecast calls for a rainy day, take your adventure inside and visit the indoor waterpark at the Monon Community Center, The Escape Room, K1 Speed, Laser Flash or Pinheads for all-day entertainment.
Make it a true staycation and take advantage of hotel deals to get a change of scenery beyond your house – and maybe some pool time for the kids.
For more, visit VisitHamiltonCounty.com/Spring-Break.
Katie Utken is the marketing and communications manager for Hamilton County Tourism. A lifelong Carmel resident, she promotes the attractions, restaurants, shops and events in Hamilton County to locals and visitors.