If you’re looking for something fun and educational to do with the kids around Fishers, Indiana, you’re in luck. There are many awesome educational destinations in the Fishers area, including nature preserves, living museums, and traditional museums. That’s why Crème de la Crème of Fishers put together this list of the seven best educational destinations in and around Fishers.
Conner Prairie Interactive History Park
Conner Prairie is a living history museum located in Fishers with more than 1,000 acres of historical exhibits that show what life was like in different periods of the 1800s. Now, this isn’t your typical museum. There are costumed reenacters and guides in all four of the major park sections.
Step back in time to 1836 and meet the settlers of the prairie, learn how manned flight evolved with a hot-air balloon ride circa 1859, defend Indiana’s territory from the Confederates during 1863 in the Civil War, and discover how the earliest settlers of the area, the Lenape Native Americans, lived at the Lenape Indian Camp.
Your family can also feed and pet real livestock, like cows and sheep, and learn how work on the farm is done. Explore nature at the Treetop Outpost or while on a nature walk through the wooded trails. There are many other educational activities, both indoors and outdoors, throughout the park that will fill your entire day.
Ritchey Woods Nature Preserve
“viewing migratory birds on the bay” licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Flickr by vastateparksstaff
Explore nature, look for local wildlife, and get some exercise and fresh air at Ritchey Woods Nature Preserve in Fishers. There are nine trails throughout the area, a total of 2.25 miles of terrain you can traverse. On your adventure, be on the lookout for migratory and native birds, like blue jays, doves, hawks, and owls, as well as other native animals, like rabbits and squirrels. In fact, this area is actually one of the best for birding, a fantastic hobby you and your children can take up to make getting out in nature that much more exciting.
Before you head out on your outdoor adventure, consider stopping by the Fishers Park Office to check out a Nature Exploration Backpack, which is packed with field guides, binoculars, insect nets, and many more helpful tools.
Cheeny Creek Natural Area
Cheeny Creek Natural Area in Fishers has a lot to offer families who love to hike, go birding and wildlife spotting, and just being out in nature. There are 2 miles of nature trails that wind through wooded areas and near the water, providing beautiful sights as well as peace and quiet from the usual city bustle you hear in Fishers. You can also go fishing at one of the three designated fishing spots. You might hook bluegill, largemouth bass, or channel catfish.
Bring along a Nature Exploration Backpack from the Parks Office to this nature destination, too. You’ll definitely want the binoculars and field guides to help you identify different birds and animal tracks for species like deer and squirrels.
Fishers AgriPark is an urban farm and public park located in a relatively remote area of town, away from the hustle and bustle of the city. But unlike the other two nature areas on this list, you and your children can actually get up close and personal with the animals that call this place home. Go meet the cows, ducks, sheep, and horses that live on the farm. Your children also get to pick their own produce in the garden and farm areas, which can help your children better learn where their food comes from, an eye-opening experience for some.
The park also hosts educational programs and events to teach the community about Fishers’ agricultural roots as well as the interesting and important careers in science, technology, engineering, farming, and food production.
The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis
Head into the city for a visit to the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis. This large educational facility houses dozens of permanent exhibits on everything from dinosaurs to trains to ancient history to art to pop culture. The museum hosts storytelling shows at the Lilly Theater and at the Power of Children living exhibit where youth actors portray incredible children who’ve made an impact, including Anne Frank and Malala Yousafzai. Your kids can also take advantage of the outdoor sports experiences and exhibits that are open March through November.
The animal lovers and aspiring veterinarians in your family will love visiting the Indianapolis Zoo. On a general, self-guided tour, you get to see hundreds of exotic species, including reptiles and amphibians, big cats, water-loving mammals, large plains animals, and more. Stop by different areas of the zoo for live demonstrations with animals and their caretakers, where you and your kids can ask lots of questions about the animal, its habitat, and what you can do to help protect them.
You can also pay for extra special experiences, like Animal Adventures, where you can get up close and personal with sloths, dolphins, elephants, and penguins. Some of the animals even do a little painting that your kids may get a chance to take home.
WonderLab Museum of Science, Health & Technology
The WonderLab Museum is a bit of a drive, approximately 85 miles southwest of Fishers. But the drive is well worth it for this interactive STEMM fun center.
There are multiple permanent exhibits, including the Sprouts Lab hands-on station for the littlest scientists in the family. The whole family is sure to love Bubble Flow, which teaches you all about evaporation, matter, shapes, surface tension, density, and many other scientific concepts, all with the simple action of making bubbles. Then, there’s the one-stop-shop How Things Work that explores concepts like gravity, motion, magnetic forces, the human body, and machines. Finally, the Fitzgerald Hall of Natural Sciences has you viewing live reptiles, amphibians, and insects and discovering how important the coral reefs are.
You’ll want to keep coming back again and again for the rotating and new exhibits, including the Big Piano that you play with your feet!
So there you have it, the seven best educational destinations in and around Fishers, Indiana. Did we miss your family’s favorite local museum or nature center? If so, contact us today, and we’ll be sure to add it to our list!