There’s Plenty to do in Hendricks County as Spring Hits
Writer: Josh Duke
Photography provided by Visit Hendricks County
Since joining Visit Hendricks County, I have marveled at how little residents know about their own county. Here at VHC, we target visitors with our marketing dollars because our entire budget comes from a visitor pass-through tax, meaning our budget rests solely on overnight stays at Hendricks County hotels. Our goal is to encourage visitors from outside the county to come, stay and play here.
Along the way, I have found we often educate our locals as much as our visitors. I’m sure you are aware of Splash Island Family Waterpark, Lucas Oil Raceway and the Mayberry Cafe. But have you heard of Perillo’s Pizzeria? How about Kid’s Planet? The Urban Rustic Farmhouse?
I won’t be able to touch on all those attractions in this column. But if I have piqued your curiosity, check us out at VisitHendricksCounty.com.
In this issue, as the flowers and trees awake from hibernation and your kids earn a well-deserved break from school, I want to share some spring activities that are closer and much more affordable than traveling hundreds of miles away.
During the holidays, we call it Shop Local. So, I will steal that concept and call this Spring Break Local.
For those of you who already know about Splash Island Family Waterpark, did you know there is an indoor version of this popular attraction inside the Richard A. Carlucci Recreation & Aquatic Center in Plainfield?
The indoor version is smaller, but after months of being cooped up inside, your children won’t care. The facility usually has extended spring break hours for the indoor waterpark, which boasts a two-story water slide, an interactive children’s play area, a gentle winding river and a pulsating vortex.
Your admission into the indoor waterpark also gains you access to all the facility’s other amenities, including numerous basketball courts, a massive kids zone area, ping pong, foosball tables and more.
I mentioned Kid’s Planet above. Well, it arrived in Brownsburg about this time last year and has already become a popular spot for families with children. Located in a warehouse along Northfield Drive next to John Force Racing, this attraction boasts a giant, four-story play structure designed for children ages 2 to 14.
The play structure includes slides, a foam pit, tunnels, ball shooters and so much more. A special area for kids four and under allows younger children to play in a separate space next to the play structure so you don’t have to worry about your toddler getting run over by bigger kids. A large party room, concession area and arcade round out its amenities.
I have merely scratched the surface of the many indoor family fun things to do in Hendricks County. You can find Monster Mini Golf, Hot Skates Roller Skating Center and Xtreme Lazer Tag in Avon. A few other free indoor playgrounds that truly are hidden gems for families with young children can be found at the Well.Community Center in Brownsburg and at Plainfield Christian Church.
Arts & Culture
Do you have a budding artist in your family or would you just like to find a creative activity that the whole family will enjoy without ruining the walls or carpets in your home? I have three recommendations for you.
The first two — Bisque Barn Pottery Paint Studio in Avon and uPaint Pottery Studio in Plainfield — are relatively similar with just a few minor differences. Both offer endless options of unpainted pottery that you can decorate, and both provide all the supplies and clean up the mess after you’re done.
The Bisque Barn also offers do-it-yourself wood sign designs and canvas paintings. uPaint offers glass fusion. The staff at both locations are equally great, so it probably comes down to what you want to do, or which one is closer to you. Either way, you can’t go wrong.
My third recommendation is The Tie Dye Lab in Avon. Choose a T-shirt, bandana, bag, socks, hat, pillow case and more, and turn them into tie dye creations.
With experts at the ready at all three locations, anyone, regardless of age, talent or any other factor, can participate and will have a blast.
Until now, I have assumed your family would rather stay indoors for Spring Break. If your family would rather be outside, here are a few options:
McCloud Nature Park near North Salem in the northwest corner of the county would by my first choice. Surrounded by acres of prairie land and boasting a 100-year-old iron truss bridge that serves as the gateway to miles of hiking trails with beautiful views, you and your family can soak in the fresh air and commune with nature.
McCloud even hosts Maple Syrup Days, an early spring, must-experience event the first two Saturdays in March. The park also offers an indoor, interactive Nature Center that includes a bird-watching area, nature programs on Saturdays and much more.
A few other favorite parks include Hummel Park and Sodalis Park in Plainfield, Washington Township Park in Avon and Avon Town Hall Park and its 18-hole disc golf course, beautiful lake and outdoor ping pong tables.