Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Indy Recap Part 1

String Bean had much fun in Indianapolis. For those of you considering a trip to the capitol of this midwest state, today and tomorow, I'll review the two big kid-friendly attractions: the zoo and children's musem.

Today I'll focus on the Indianapolis Zoo which is fantastic. I have been to the Chicago-area zoos, Brookfield Zoo and Lincoln Park Zoo, but the Indianapolis Zoo far surpasses them.

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String Bean touching an elephant in Mom's arms.
Photo by Mr. Bean

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String Bean touches a shark swimming by safe in the arms of Pop.
Photo by Mr. Bean

  • Interaction with the animals is phenomenal. String Bean was able to pet an elephant! There were also opportunities to feed giraffes and pet many animals in the children's zoo. The highlight for String Bean was petting the sharks (yes sharks!). This is a new exhibit at the zoo, but just amazing.
  • The exhibits let you get awfully close to the animals. If the giraffes had felt so inclined, they could have leaned over and kissed me. This is a great plus for kids who have a hard time finding that furry animal in the distance. You find as you walk around the park that the animals have large habitats, but the zoo is designed so you walk around several sides of the big animal habitats. It ensures you can get a close up view of your favorite animal.
  • There is a new indoor butterfly exhibit and beautiful gardens around it. I was a bit disappointed by the lack of butterflies in the exhibit, but I'm giving the zoo the benefit of the doubt that they are still establishing their butterfly family. There was a huge incubator full of cocoons (some hatching) indicating a large future population for the exhibit. The gardens (behind the exhibit) are awesome.
  • On warm days, there is a splash pad you can visit! Be sure to bring a swimsuit and a towel if you are going to enjoy this part of the park.
  • Although we didn't indulge, there is a roller coster at the zoo, but the coaster, pony rides, and carosel cost a small amount extra.
  • Child identification bands are available at the entrance to the zoo. It is a simple wrist (or ankle) band that you write your child's name and your cell phone number on. If you get separated from your child, zoo personnel have a way to contact you.

  • At $14.00 for adults, the price sure does add up and I was unable to find coupons for the Zoo anywhere on line. There are military discounts, however. Parking was an additional $5.00 per car.
  • The Dolphin show (which was free with the cost of admission) needs some work. I always love to go see the dolphins, but despite the theater seating and lighting, the show was not too great.
Tomorrow I'll share about the Children's Museum!

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