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Grandmom Finds Fun Places to Take Grandkids in Indiana

Sam Ella  Debbie April 2009By Debra Karplus

Hamilton County Indiana touts eight great towns, one destination.  Noblesville, the county seat, and Carmel and Fishers are the largest of the towns.  But you’ll also find interesting ways to enjoy the other five, Arcadia, Atlanta, Cicero, Sheridan, and Westfield.  Situated north of Indianapolis off Interstate 465, a quick twenty minute drive will get you this mecca of nature, arts, music and galleries, dining spots, farmer’s markets, crafts and antiques, golf, shopping and more.

Fishers Indiana is definitely one if the eight great towns, especially for children

The town of Fishers is considered to be a family-oriented community.  It was an old trading post and a railroad community.  The Nickel Plate Railroad has been part of its growth and development.  You definitely want to visit Fishers.

Be sure to bring your grandchildren because they’ll be enchanted with Conner Prairie Interactive History Park in Fisher located on Allisonville Road.  Open year-round except Mondays, with longer hours from April to October for outdoor events, Indiana’s only Smithsonian Institute affiliate sits on 200 beautiful wooded acres to enjoy.  It’s partnered with the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis.  Children’s admission is $10, seniors pay $14; if you plan to visit again, you may consider purchasing a membership.

You can easily spend a day at Conner’s Prairie.  Prairietown 1836 is a fictional but historically accurate town that you and your grandchildren can experience.  There are cows to milk and farm animals to pet.   Helpful volunteers are quite knowledgeable and can answer most any of your questions.  The 1859 balloon voyage allows young and old to go up in a hot air balloon, for an extra fee.  Great for photos of the larger area, this balloon ride will be a memorable event for your grandchildren of any age.

When planning your visit to Conner Prairie, you’ll want to check their web site, connerprairie.org, to learn what special events might be scheduled.  In June was the Bio Blitz where scientists swarmed the area to catalogue the biodiversity of plants and insects, gave presentations to visitors and answered questions.  Around Halloween, many haunted Headless Horseman events are scheduled.  During many summer evenings, the Marsh Symphony on the Prairie can be enjoyed.  Prairie Conner Park has places to eat and also a gift shop.

Any time of year, you and your grandchildren will enjoy Hamilton County.

Noblesville, Fishers, and Carmel all have Farmer’s Markets selling local produce, handicrafts, and more.  Don’t be surprised to be entertained with live music while sauntering through the market.  The town square of Noblesville regularly features family-oriented events.  Carmel’s City Center is defined by its Arts and Design District.  There are about a dozen galleries for browsing or purchasing local art.  The realistic-looking statues along the sidewalks of the Arts District will have you believing they are real, until you walk near them.

Carmel City Center also has a The Center for the Performing Arts, offering a wide variety of live entertainment for all ages, from Erth’s Petting Zoo and Beanstalk the Musical to Diane Ross and Arlo Guthrie.  To see what other live music, theater, dance and child-oriented programs are scheduled, see thecenterfortheperformingarts,org.

There are many places to stay in Hamilton County.

Numerous reasonably priced motels exist in the area that are ideal for grandparents travelling with grandchildren.  Possibly you have never stayed at a bed and breakfast.  You may want to try the Prairie Guest House, prairieguesthouse.com, in Fishers across from Conner Prairie.  The breakfast is delicious and there’s lots of outdoor space for the little ones to run around.

For more information about things to do in Hamilton County, check out Visithamiltoncounty.com.


Debra L Karplus 3x5

Author biography:  Debra Karplus is a licensed occupational therapist, teacher, and freelance writer specializing in travel writing for national magazines, a baby boomer, and grandmother of four. She lives in a Midwestern college town.  She writes regularly for The Dollar Stretcher and has been published in Grand Magazine in the past and is a featured columnist.  Learn more about her at https://debrakarplus.blogspot.com.


Debra L. Karplus, MS, OTR/L
registered occupational therapist
Champaign, Illinois 61820


Christine Crosby

About the author

Christine is the co-founder and editorial director for GRAND Magazine. She is the grandmother of five and great-grandmom (aka Grandmere) to one. She makes her home in St. Petersburg, Florida.

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