With Spring Break approaching, we like to provide alternatives here in Central Indiana to the more expensive and distant spring break destinations.

You can spend a long weekend or even a week here, make memories and save money and time in the process. Here's a look at how and why places like Brownsburg, Avon, Plainfield and Danville, Indiana, may provide the perfect choice for your spring break destination this year.

Hiking & Enjoying NatureMcCloud Nature Park (Photo courtesy of Dave Novak)

As the days get longer and warmer, may I suggest soaking up a little sun and nature with a visit to McCloud Nature Park near North Salem? With miles of hiking trails through prairies and along crystal-clear creeks with a 100-year-old iron truss bridge thrown in, the beauty and adventure of this hidden gem in Hendricks County just may surprise you.

McCloud also features an interactive Nature Center including a bird-watching area, interactive computers, nature programs and more. McCloud Nature Park is one of my family's favorite places to visit.

Another favorite of ours for hiking is Washington Township Park in Avon, and we also love Avon Town Hall Park. Avon Town Hall Park not only includes a disc golf course but also outdoor ping pong tables with paddles and balls right on-site, and it is all free.

Going right along with nature, you can also cater to the green thumb in your family by visiting Avon Gardens. Located in Avon, you won't find a more peaceful or tranquil place. The property boasts five acres of beautifully manicured gardens with new spring flowers and buds.

Recognized in Midwest Living magazine as one of the best garden centers in Indiana, you can gain inspiration by touring their beautiful water features and ravines, shop for plants or landscaping needs or simply visit to get away from it all to take in the beauty of this natural oasis.

Horseback Riding, Visit A Farm, OrchardYou have to check out the cute pigs and other animals at Oinking Acres in Brownsburg

You can reserve a scenic horseback ride through beautiful wooded areas and over creeks at Natural Valley Ranch in Brownsburg, where they also have a small petting zoo.

Hendricks County also boasts a couple of unique farms that visitors can tour by reservation only. Montrose Farms in Brownsburg specializes in alpacas and provides a wonderful, educational experience about these beautiful animals.

Oinking Acres Farm Rescue & Sanctuary, also in Brownsburg, specializes primarily in pot-bellied pigs but takes in a variety of animals that need help. You will find goats, chickens, ducks, a donkey and even a peacock or two. It is another great experience that any animal lover would enjoy.

Finally, our list of agritourism options wouldn't be complete without including Beasley's Orchard in Danville. Mainly an apple orchard, this great attraction is now open year round. It boasts an old Civil War-era barn that has been turned into a market among other amenities.

Family FunSky Zone in Plainfield, Indiana

If spring break for you is all about the kids, Hendricks County has a plethora of fun ideas.

You can spend an afternoon jumping at Sky Zone Indoor Trampoline Park in Plainfield, experiencing virtual reality and so many other activities for all ages at Press Play Gaming Lounge in Brownsburg or playing on another planet in the massive Kid's Planet in Brownsburg.

Have a budding artist in the family? How about a visit to uPaint Pottery Studio or The Tie Dye Lab. Each location provides all your supplies and then you get to paint and take home your very own custom piece as a memento of your trip while leaving all of the mess there.

And of course, with such close proximity to Indy, you can spend a day at the Indianapolis ZooThe Children's Museum of Indianapolis or even go ziplining at Go Ape Adventure Park at nearby Eagle Creek Park.

Murphy Aquatic Park

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FoodiesOasis Diner

A getaway is never complete without food. And Hendricks County offers so many amazing restaurants, cafes and bakeries to satisfy your palate that I can't even begin to mention them all here without leaving others out.

So I will just direct you to our restaurant page on our website and let you peruse the options at your leisure.

Yes, amazing, locally owned and one-of-a-kind restaurants make Hendricks County a worthwhile destination for any foodie or a family who wants to try something beyond the typical chains.

LodgingThe Deck on the Cabin at Natural Valley Ranch

Hendricks County has a myriad of choices when it comes to overnight accommodations. Not only do you have many affordable hotel choices especially compared to Downtown Indy, but you can also choose a quaint bed and breakfast located near the historic downtown square in Danville.

Teeming with character and charm, Marmalade Sky Bed and Breakfast would be perfect for your stay. They even offer adjoining rooms "Tabitha" and "Caitlin" which would be perfect for families, giving mom and dad some privacy while the kiddos enjoy their own space.

The Cottage At Natural Valley Ranch provides another unique choice for overnight accommodations. Located in Brownsburg, this 4 bedroom, 4.5 bathroom home situated on a family owned and operated working horse farm, offers beauty and seclusion without being too far away from all the fun.

But if you want that more traditional hotel room, we have plenty of those, too. Here is the entire list of Hendricks County lodging options. We also have compiled a list of all Hendricks County hotels with indoor pools.

I also would highly recommend checking out our hotel packages page to take advantage of a number of deals and discounts.

So why not save a little money this year and try Hendricks County for your spring break getaway. Its affordability, numerous activities and proximity to Indianapolis make it a perfect option for that relaxing vacation that is a little closer to home.