With school nearing an end, we here at Visit Hendricks County are gearing up for a “Sunsational Summer,” by providing some wallet-friendly summer vacation ideas in Hendricks County and nearby that families can enjoy over a long weekend or even longer. Mix and match the three suggested Central Indiana summer vacation ideas below to fit your family’s interests, add a couple of nearby attractions and stay in a Hendricks County hotel for much less than in Indianapolis, and you truly can have a one-of-a-kind, affordable experience close to home.

Family Fun

Bring the sunscreen and shades and make sure the kids are ready as we have water parks, nature parks, a trampoline park and more. 21_SplashIsland We would suggest spending a day at Splash Island Family Waterpark in Plainfield, Indiana, which boasts more than 4 acres of water fun including water slides, a lazy river, an interactive children’s play area and so much more. Then, hop on in for some more can’t-miss family entertainment at the new Sky Zone Indoor Trampoline Park. Dunk basketballs, flip into foam pits or take in a game of dodgeball like never before in this 3D play experience. Finally, for a unique family dining experience, we recommend the Mayberry Café on the Historic Courthouse Square in Danville. Get family pictures with the police cruiser out front, then enjoy endless reruns of the show on multiple televisions inside while enjoying food you swear Aunt Bee made. Click here for other Hendricks County Family Fun attractions. Just Outside Hendricks County: Because Hendricks County is just minutes from Indianapolis, we recommend extending your visit by spending a day at the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis. Tip: If you visit on the weekend, make sure to check out what children’s activities the Hendricks County Parks and Recreation has planned. They offer interactive experiences virtually every Saturday, and the best part is their programs are always FREE!

Outdoor Recreation

For the more venturesome family, Hendricks County also has you covered with horseback riding adventures, scenic hiking and biking trails and more. rsz_dsc03209 Natural Valley Ranch in Brownsburg includes 50 acres of picturesque riding trails for every member of the family. Then head to nearby Avon and practice your cowboy shooting skills at Xtreme Laser Tag, which includes 4,000 square feet of multi-level fun. Finally grab your fishing pole, hiking boots, bicycle or all of the above and head off the beaten path to McCloud Nature Park up in rural North Salem. The park boasts 232 acres of mostly untouched nature. The views are breathtaking; the sounds are soothing and the experience is priceless. While you’re in North Salem, you must make a pit stop at Perillo’s Pizzeria, a true hidden gem with amazing outdoor seating. Click here for a list of more visitor activities in Hendricks County. Just Outside Hendricks County: Extend your visit by experiencing the new Go Ape treetop adventure at nearby Eagle Creek Park.

Arts & Culture

If your family is into the arts and culture scene, then you may have stumbled upon some of the best under-the-radar talent anywhere as Hendricks County has become a burgeoning arts district. Whether it’s clay, paint, glass, confectionery or virtually any other medium, we likely have an artist that excels in it. If you are more into Indiana’s culture and history, we have that covered, too. The easiest way to find many of these attractions neatly bundled together is by visiting the Rural Routes to Main Street Cultural Trail, a self-directed, self-guided driving tour that includes more than 30 stops in Hendricks and neighboring Morgan counties. Galleries, shops, restaurants and any other business that features local Indiana artisan products are featured along this trail. Chateau Thomas Winery -  6291 Cambridge Way - Plainfield Locations include Gallery on the Square, Sheep Street Fibers, Chateau Thomas Winery, Art Sanctuary, Bread Basket Cafe and Bakery and many more. Divide the trips by county, and a two-day adventure awaits. Click here for more information. Just Outside Hendricks County: In addition to the Morgan County locations, extend your stay by visiting the Indianapolis Museum of Art. Tip: All the sites on the cultural trail are at least open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursdays-Saturdays. However, we would suggest visiting on the second Saturday of the month when eight additional locations join the trail and open their doors to the public including some of our historical offerings such as the Hendricks County Historical Museum, Pittsboro One Room School and Academy of Hoosier Heritage.