In order to guarantee a downtown room at a decent price, we booked our room with a check-in date of July 30. What are some recommendations to keep us busy (outside of gaming) on July 31, August 1, and August 2? It is myself, the hubby and our 12 yo son.
Minor League Baseball. The Indy Indians have home games on July 30 and 31.
They have a great zoo. There is also the children's museum.
Indy has some fun museums, including a great science museum.
Also if you like sports -the NCAA hall of champions is cool. and if you like Tanks the Ropkey Armor museum is about 30 minutes away .
another cool thing to visit is the Exotic Feline Rescue center about 1 hour west of the city . Lions,Tigers ,Panthers, Cougars , Very cool place and you can stay overnight there and hear the Big cats . It's not a zoo, they are rescued animals.
If you are interested in Motor Sports, the Indy 500 museum and track tour is pretty cool.
I was going to suggest the Indiana State Fair which usually starts in early August, but unfortunately in 2016 is doesn't start until after GenCon. :(
The Indianapolis Zoo is pretty swell, too.
Re: Baseball - I've never gone myself, but I've yet to meet anyone who has gone that hasn't been completely enthused about it. It's supposedly one heckuva great experience, and what's more, it's right there, right across the street from the convention center.
If you & your family is into frontier history, then the "living museum"/interactive history park called "Conner Prairie" is an option. There are other historical sites around the state, but unfortunately Conner Prairie is the only one I'm personally familiar with near Indianapolis.
I was about to say that, if you're into the NFL, the Indianapolis Colts may have some preseason games during that time. But I can't square the True Dungeon move to the stadium with that possibility, so I think I'm probably wrong. Plus, the training camp is an hour away (Anderson Unversity, Anderson Indiana), so that's a bit far unless one of you is a hard-core NFL fan. It is an option, though, if you are.
Broad Ripple is a bit of fun, even just to walk around in. The clubs there are likely too grown-up for a 12 year old, but there are good restaurants to choose from. Plus, the Indianapolis Art Center - which is a distinct entity from the Indianapolis Museum of Art - is right there, just a few blocks north of the main eponymous strip in Broad Ripple.
I don't know how you feel about travelling around the state, but for a variety of reasons, I'm fond of the college town south of Indianapolis: Bloomiongton, home of Indiana University. Up north is Lafayette, Indiana, home of Purdue University. While I don't think a 12 year old would be excited about a college town, I think Bloomington at least offers interesting things outside the university experience, even for pre-teens.
There's so much more... I'd say a person or group could kill an afternoon alone just wandering around Monument Circle, exploring the Soldiers and Sailors Monument itself (once upon a time you could actually climb stairs to the top of it; I don't know if that's still possible or not) as well as Circle Center Mall.
I'm sure many others will contribute. That's just a smattering.
Yeah, our group loves Monument Circle and the Circle Center Mall. There are some great stores about the Circle, including a great chocolate shop and a nice comic store (which is a great primer for Gen Con). The fourth floor of the mall is all about entertainment and features a movie theatre, an arcade and mini-golf. Our ten- and twelve-year-old loved the black light mini-golf last year.
There are two spots that weren't mentioned that I think are really cool.
The Tippacanoe Battlefield is about 45 minutes to an hour outside of Indianapolis. You can walk on the battlefield and it is pretty small so you can really tell where the battle was and what was taking place. I highly recommend it. Depending on where you live, being able to tour a battlefield is something that many people aren't able to do very often. And, it is the battle that kicked of the War of 1812 and made a president.
Similarly, Benjamin Harrion's presidential house is in Indianapolis. Again, you get to tour and see the possessions of a president of the United States. We took the tour a few years ago and it was really nice. The house is beautiful, and you will get to know one of our lesser known presidents, Benjamin Harrison. As a bonus, William Henry Harrison was the leader at Tippacanoe and become president, Benjamin is his grandson.
Thanks for all the suggestions! It is really going to help fill our time before Gen Con starts.
I wasn't aware of the Ropkey Armor Museum................Thank you so very much. I will have to check that out.
in 2010 I drove from Crystal Lake Il (suburb of Chicago) to see the Patton Museum in Radcliff Kentucky, then back North to Gencon. Shame the Patton Museum shipped it's tanks to Fort Benning Georgia.............not sure, if at all when those tanks / military vehicles will be displayed again
At the end of this month, or start of next month, a new Bar Arcade is opening up downtown called Tappers Arcade Bar. The games are free to play other then pinball where is $1 for three plays. Most of the games are Retro, and they include a full list on their face book page.
Wow, that sounds great! We are driving from California to go to GenCon, stopping to visit our son in Urbana, Illinois and then visiting some friends in Akron, Ohio. I love tips like this!
traveling with hubby and 2 of our kids, ages 6 and 8
Since it looks like you making a trip of it, swing through Omaha and check out the Henry Doorly Zoo. The top zoo in the country. And they now have elephants!
often the week of or near GenCon is the time they have the state fair going. Might check the dates for that this year.
Things that never get mentioned are the Civil War Museum in the Circle Monument- http://www.indianawarmemorials.org/museums/civilwarmuseum.html , The War Memorial Museum- Really cool for the flag room alone, http://www.in.gov/iwm/2333.htm, Escape Room Games- which is 2 blocks from the ICC https://escaperoomindy.com/ and the State fair starts on the 5th.
If you happen to be a fan of "the beautiful game" -- that's soccer to rest of you, The NASL affiliate Indy Eleven soccer team is having a "Gen Con Night" promotional night (still TBA) on Wednesday night, August 3, 2016.
Who: Indy Eleven vs. Jacksonville Armada FC
Where: IUPUI's Carroll Stadium
1001 West New York Street
Indianapolis, IN 46202
When: Wednesday night, 7:30pm
On Wed. the farmers market expands to the outdoors in the morning, with local growers.