The traditional two-week vacation may be a thing of the past for most Americans. Between busy work schedules and tight budgets, most families are lucky to get away for a long weekend. If you’re wondering where to take the kids for a staycation near Fishers, Indiana, use our guide. From cool indoor adventures to fun in the sun, there’s a destination near home that’s perfect for everyone.

Buffalo Trace Park

Two fisherman in Fishers, IN.

Image via Flickr by my camera and me Licensed CC BY-SA 2.0

If you’re looking for a fun and affordable vacation destination that’s close to home, we recommend camping out at Buffalo Trace Park in Palmyra. There’s so much to see and do at this 147-acre public park and preserve. The campground sits near the edge of a historic bison migration trail, and it’s a lovely secluded location for a relaxing vacation. 

Buffalo Trace Park offers loads of activities for kids to burn off some energy. You can go fishing, walk the trails, play on playgrounds, visit the petting zoo, play a round of disk golf, take a dip at the beach, or challenge the kids to a basketball game or corn hole.

Parents can set up a tent in one of the primitive sites. There are heated showers and modern restrooms for your convenience. Cabins and RV rentals are also available if glamping is more your style. Each camper’s parking spot offers water and electric service, plus there’s a dump station on the grounds.

Omni Severin Hotel

You don’t need to venture far from home to have a unique experience. The Omni Severin is an upscale hotel in nearby Indianapolis. This landmark destination on the corner of West Jackson Place is the perfect launching site for your urban excursion. It’s close to attractions like Hilbert Circle Theatre, the art museum, and the motor speedway.

The Omni’s packages are the best way to discover the culture and vibrancy of the downtown district. For example, the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis experience comes with four admission tickets, a food and beverage credit for Severin Bar, and valet service.

This elegant hotel’s 424 beautifully appointed guest rooms offer family essentials like a mini-fridge and individual climate controls, plus comforts like plush robes.You’ll love the dry cleaning services, free cribs, and complimentary breakfast so you can fill up before heading out for an adventure. The kids will also love the indoor pool. Then, take a dip before visiting the onsite restaurant for dinner. 

Big Splash Adventure Waterpark

Embark on a wet and wild adventure at the Big Splash Adventure Waterpark on West State Road 56 in French Lick. That’s right. This unique, 40,000-square-foot indoor waterpark is attached to a resort. Don’t worry about the weather, either. Big Splash has your covered with its retractable roof. That means your kids can play in the water, rain or shine.

The Buccaneer Bay is a three-story structure with 50 interactive play features or splash through the Lost Treasure Lagoon. This leisure pool is perfect for whiling the day away. This 154-room hotel also offers a 20-game arcade complete with a gyroscope ride. Gamers can turn in their winning tickets for souvenirs to take home.

The hotel offers various rooms for any size family, from the Sun Splash suite with two bathrooms to the Pirate’s Paradise with a king bed and bunk beds for the kiddos. The family also gets two complimentary day passes to the water park.


Pile in the car and embark on a road trip near home. The quaint rural town of Shipshewana sits about 2 1/2 hours north of Fishers in the heart of Amish Country. The welcoming community is the perfect place to introduce your children to the past. They’ll see horses trotting around town and eat traditional Amish cuisine at restaurants like the Blue Gate Restaurant and Bakery on North Van Buren Street.

Enjoy a variety of wholesome activities for all ages. Go on a buggy ride, tour an animal farm, and explore the town’s lakes and trails. Take in a show at the 1,500-seat performing art center or visit the Shipshewana Trading Place. It’s the largest flea market in the area. There are many seasonal events, too, like a fall circus, cowboy bull riding, and an annual antique car show. 

Don’t forget about lodging. You’ll find everything you’re looking for in this little corner of Indiana. There are modern hotels, budget-friendly motels, and campgrounds. Immerse yourself in the experience and stay in a rustic, hand-built cabin with quilted comforters on the bed, or book a vacation home right on the lake. Before you head out, download Shipshewana’s free visitor’s guide.

Paoli Peaks

Our final fantastic staycation spot you should add to your family’s must-see list is Paoli Peaks. If you’re looking for a wonderland close to home, it’s the best local place for skiing and snowboarding, thanks to its 900-foot tall natural hill. While Indiana certainly isn’t the world’s destination for winter sports, it’s a blast to spend a few days tubing the 300-foot vertical drop. This incredible park offers snow enthusiasts 17 runs, chairlifts, and tow ropes.

This alpine ski resort on West County Road 25 South is less than 120 miles south of Fishers. Overnight accommodations are available through the park’s various partners, like Hill Hawk Cabin, the Best Western, and Lane Motel. You can pick from a suite with a Jacuzzi tub or book a cozy cabin with a fireplace.

Although the ski resort closes during the summer, the warm weather scene in the area is pretty cool too. Take the kids to visit Wilstem for an animal encounter and a trip down the zipline. You can also explore the local history exhibits at the West Baden Museum.

Well, there you go! Your very own guide to the area’s best places to go for a kid-friendly staycation. What do you think of our ideas? Let us know if we forgot your family’s favorite place to unwind. Send us a note so we can add your ideas to our guide.