If you are looking for an affordable, fun, family-friendly fall break vacation, Hendricks County provides all of that and more. Here's how I'll be spending my fall break with my family, you're welcome to join in!
I love starting vacation with a hearty breakfast and Emmy’s Pancake House & Grill in Avon specializes in made-to-order meals, including Emmy's famous Special Recipe Crepes. A special menu for children 12 years and under has way more than your typical restaurant kids menu.
After breakfast, we plan to head to Plainfield to uPaint Pottery Studio, where the perfect weekend souvenir can be found. This place is colorful, fun and has so many pieces of pottery waiting to be decorated that your family won't know where to start. Guests can select a pottery item and paint it exactly as they like. Perhaps you can find a pumpkin, monster or other fun, fall-themed item to paint as individuals or with the family working together.
All of the supplies are provided, and the mess stays there as the amazing staff will clean up after you. Items do have to be fired in the kiln afterward, which can take up to a week before your creation is ready, but if you don't live nearby, they can ship it to you.
After a morning full of creative fun, lunch should be equally fantastic, and I have just the spot at the unforgettable Mayberry Cafe. A favorite for both locals and visitors, especially Andy Griffith Show fans, this restaurant is a true family favorite.
May I recommend Aunt Bee’s Famous Fried Chicken Dinner and Sugar Cream Pie? Children's meals include a beverage and a token that can be redeemed for an ice cream sundae or a toy. You can watch endless reruns of the show inside on multiple TVs and make sure to check out the memorabilia and get your picture taken with Sheriff Taylor’s squad car out front.
The fun continues into the afternoon during open jump time at the Sky Zone Indoor Trampoline Park. People are literally bouncing off the walls at this 3-D jump experience. They have a giant foam pit that you can flip into, basketball hoops that you can dunk on and of course, no visit would be complete without some family ultimate dodgeball. I highly recommend reserving a jump time especially during fall break.
Finish off your evening of family fun with dinner at Rock Star Pizza in Brownsburg and its fun atmosphere and variety of speciality pizzas such as their caribbean twist and tex mex just to name two. Then cap off your family's first day in Hendricks County with glow-in-the-dark, mini-golf experience at Monster Mini Golf in Avon. You will find it is a huge hit for little monsters and big monsters alike.
The best way to start day two would be an early morning trip to Hilligoss Bakery in Brownsburg where the doughnuts go fast and furious. This is a true local gem that residents probably wouldn't want me to share with visitors. Their glazed yeast doughnuts are highly sought after, but they have a huge variety of specialty doughnuts to suit every member of your family as well.
After fueling up on doughnuts, head out to Natural Valley Ranch in Brownsburg. This ranch offers 30-, 60- and 90-minute horseback rides by reservation through wooded areas, meadows and along beautiful creek-side vistas. They also have a petting zoo on site as well as a cottage, cabin and lake. There is just no better place to spend a fall morning then exploring their sprawling countryside either on foot or horseback.
Before you leave for the weekend, make sure to grab brunch or lunch at Pit Stop BBQ & Grill in Brownsburg. The kiddos will love the racing theme, and you will love the authentic, southern-style barbecue.
If you have any time left before you go, other family options include Xtreme Lazer Tag in Avon, Beasley's Orchard in Danville or checking out fall color during a fun, adventure hike in either McCloud Nature Park in North Salem or Sodalis Nature Park in Plainfield.