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Visiting downtown with active preschooler boy

Mobile, Alabama
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350 posts
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Visiting downtown with active preschooler boy

we are coming in on a Sunday and leave Thursday - staying at the Homewood suites, downtown location. We are planning a day at the Children's museum and also a day at the zoo - however, the weather is looking very rainy and I won't go to the zoo in the rain - the train and the roller coaster won't be running and he will be too disappointed.... we are near the Circle Centre mall - so that is an option for an hour or two - not that he will really enjoy that. Is there a train station in downtown - I see the Union Station, but, can't find any info on that really. The Crowne hotel has train cars in it I believe so we could visit that for an hour maybe....

Any other "rain" activities for an active 4 y/o boy!

Mishawaka, Indiana
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1. Re: Visiting downtown with active preschooler boy

Circle Centre Mall does have an arcade upstairs, with a glow-in-the-dark miniature golf place also, I believe right next to the arcade but not 100% positive if its on the same level or not. As you can guess though, both are a little bit of a money pit. There is also an IMAX close by. You should google that and check out the schedule as they regularly have 30 minute movies that may be of interest (usually their short features are space or nature related). Assuming you have a car, there is a new Lego store in Castleton mall, which I don't think would be that far away from you. Just make sure to check the website as I can't remember if its open yet or has a May opening date. Also close to the Castleton Mall is a Monkey Joe's, which is an indoor bounce house. I believe there is an admission fee of $8 or $10 per child. I haven't been to this location but have visited similar establishments and my children have a blast. The one I go to in Northern Indiana has separate places that smaller children can go if the older kids are being to wild. Lastly, if your son likes water, you can get a day pass to the indoor water park at Carribean Cove and they do have a smaller kids area. I am sure there are many more things to do in Indy on a rainy day - I've just lucked out and been able to visit on nicer days. Hopefully someone else with more knowledge of the area can help, but that should give you at least a couple of ideas to research.

Mobile, Alabama
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2. Re: Visiting downtown with active preschooler boy

thanks for the great tips and advise - the IMAX is definitely an option - there is a 40 min nature 3D movie playing while we are there. I looked up the Caslteton mall - seems kinda far to travel esp. when we are staying downtown - hoping to do downtown stuff or at least INdy Stuff.... but, none the less a viable option if it we need it! I was really excited about the indoor water park until i read the reviews! YIKES - it has HORRIBLE reviews and recently the health dept has closed down it's pool and hot tubs! I am really just hoping and praying for some sunshine or at least NO RAIN!! I mean it's been raining here in the midwest for like a month now!!!

Indy
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3. Re: Visiting downtown with active preschooler boy

The Indiana State Museum (which contains the IMAX) might also be of interest. Obviously not especially geared to a four year old, but there is stuff in there that he might enjoy. You can check it out when you go to the IMAX and see if it fits the bill. You might also want to consider going to the top of the Soldier's and Sailors Monument in Monument Circle (it is a couple of bucks per person to take the elevator to the top of the 284 foot tall structure). There is a small Civil War museum in the basement of the monument.

Bloomington, Indiana
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for Bloomington
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4. Re: Visiting downtown with active preschooler boy

I actually thought about your question overnight - for some reason I had *absolutely* no ideas when I read it yesterday (that is other then the main two items you already had: Children's Museum & Zoo).

In doing so, I came up with the other downtownish ideas the others did (Indiana State Museum, IMAX, Monument Circle, etc.) and a few others.

There is also the War Memorial (a little bit north of the Circle), do check out the State Museum - while it's a Museum and might not appeal to a 4 year old in general, it often has special exhibits that might (for example they had the Lord of the Rings exhibit). Also in that general area is the NCAA Hall of Champions (if he's starting to get into sports) and the Eitlejorge (sp?) Museum which while an art museum is a western art museum.

Lastly, I had the "d'oh of course" moment. The Speedway Museum, if a 4 year old boy won't like looking at race cars . . . .

Anyway, that's an idea or two or three,

hlo

Indy
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5. Re: Visiting downtown with active preschooler boy

Ugh! Tell me about the rain...it's getting old. I have an active preschooler and live downtown, so I'd love to help!

Rainy day activities:

1. Visit Mass Ave Toy Store. It's a locally owned toy store with a lot of unique toys. It's not your typical Toys R Us store. The children can actually play with the toys. My son can spend HOURS there. Not far from the Circle, but if it's raining, you'll probably want to drive.

2. Central Library - Located a little north of the Circle, it has a wonderful Children's area with a little theater where they can act and see their pictures on a tv screen. There's activities (check out http://www.imcpl.org/index.html) and story time every day that it's open. Make sure you check the hours first before going.

3. Civil war museum inside Monument Circle. Seems like an odd addition, but it kept my 4 yr old busy for a little while, and it's free. While you're there, you can stop by the South Bend Chocolate Co on the Circle. There's candy and ice cream for a "sweet stop".

4. Take a tour of Lucas Oil Stadium. My son loved this as a 3yr old. (http://www.lucasoilstadium.com/Tour/)

5. Indiana State Museum. This is hit or miss. My son likes parts of it, but it's not really geared toward preschoolers. IMAX was a good idea. ISM on the Canal walk if there is a break from the rain. Eiltljorg, definitely not. It's more sculptures and paintings, and I fear going there with my son. Although the Eitljorg restaurant (Sky City Cafe) has a fantastic kids menu, and you don't have to pay museum entry to eat at the restaurant.

Other Non-rainy day activities (lets hope we have non-rainy days!):

I highly recommend the White River State Park/Canal walk. It's FREE and there's lots of open space for your son to run around. There's paddle boats, surry bike rentals, and ducks! So bring lots of bread.

Let us know if you have any other questions. Have fun!

Indianapolis
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6. Re: Visiting downtown with active preschooler boy

How about rock climing? We took our daughter here, and she had a lot of fun.

http://www.climbtimeindy.com/

7. Re: Visiting downtown with active preschooler boy

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