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Old 02-13-2013, 02:55 PM   #31
lilmrsellis
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Take them to a Cincinnati Reds game!! I guess a Cleveland Indians game or a Chicago Cubs/White Sox game would work, too :P
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Old 02-13-2013, 06:25 PM   #32
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Have enjoyed reading this thread. Will be having a staycation for spring break this year and am getting some great ideas for day trips.
Where from? I can make a ton of suggestions in the Indy area for a staycation that I wouldn't necessarily suggest driving all the way from New Jersey for.
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Old 02-13-2013, 06:27 PM   #33
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OP here. Thanks to everyone for their input. There are lots of great ideas posted here. I will be checking them all out on the internet and trying to figure out which ones will work best for us. You guys were a big help.
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Old 02-14-2013, 01:14 PM   #34
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OP - I'm from Chicago, lived in northwest Indiana, moved to (and currently live and work in) Indy, and have family in Cincinnati and Toledo.

I am with others - Indy children's museum is second to none - there's something for every age, from 6 months to 100 years! When we first moved to Indy, DD was only 2, and we went to the museum every weekend for 4-6 hours for 5 weeks in a row. Neither DH or I got bored, and DD absolutely LOVED it!

Toledo, Cincinnati, and Indy all have decent zoos. The monkey/gorilla house at Brookfield Zoo in Chicago is awesome though. If you do that zoo, please be aware that it is spread out! There are also peacocks roaming the property, which is neat for the kids. The Lincoln Park zoo is a great one to hit in a day or less, and it's free :-)

If it's summer, a cool place to hit just outside of Chicago is Deep River Water Park. It is between Merrillville and Valparaiso. And if you stop to go to that (great thing to do on a hot day - they have a wave pool, lazy river, different types of slides - tube and body - kids areas...) you might also think about stopping in at Albanese Candy Factory, where you can sample the goods for free!, and Taltree Railway Garden (my company built it!). It's a scale model train garden, and everything is in miniature. My DD loves going there, but it's like a 1-2 hour stop. The candy factory is a 1 hour stop, the water park can be all day, or at least a very good chunk of a day.

Fair Oaks Farms has been mentioned as well, and I think it's a really neat place to visit. We took our DD there and took the whole tour, and I found it fascinating to find out exactly how the milk gets to my table. And if you eat there, stop in the cafe - their chocolate milk is delicious, their grilled cheese sandwiches are divine, and their ice cream is heavenly!!! So rich and creamy and it's so inexpensive for a cone! (under $2 for a kids double?)

And if you have girls, you should be sure to check out the American Girl Place in Chicago - But hold on to your wallet!!! those prices are but the quality of their products is phenomenal!
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Old 02-14-2013, 01:59 PM   #35
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Hey there! I live in Columbus, Ohio and I work in Cincinnati, Ohio (yes I make that commute daily uggggh). So everyday I travel just under half way across the state.

I can say that both the Cincinnati and Columbus zoos are awesome. They are both in the list of top zoos. Jack Hanna, the animal guy featured on television regularly got his start at and still calls the Columbus zoo home.

Columbus also has COSI (Center of Science and Industry) which is a hands on "museum" like experience that explores all avenues of science and energy. (the website is http://www.cosi.org/) and Columbus is home to a replica of the Santa Maria and the website (http://www.santamaria.org/index.php) says this: "More than 500 years later, you can tour the world's most authentic, museum-quality replica of Christopher Columbus' flagship." There's also Easton Town Center (www.eastontowncenter.com), which is a 90-acre shopping mecca with both and indoor and outdoor mall.

Cincinnati has 3 theme parks with amusement rides: Kings Island (www.visitkingsisland.com), Coney Island (www.coneyislandpark.com) which is home to the second largest wave pool in the USA (Typhoon Lagoon is No. 1), and Cincinnati has an amazing Children's Theater (www.thechildrenstheatre.com) and the award-winning MadCap Puppets, an awesome puppeteer group that puts a mondern, new age spin on an old art (www.madcappuppets.com).

Dayton, Ohio is home to the United States Airforce Museum where you can tour previous Presidential airplanes (former Air Force Ones) and explore a variety of aircraft through out the years.
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Old 02-14-2013, 02:12 PM   #36
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The Indy children's museum is great, Conner Prairie is a favorite for many as well.

Holiday World is wonderful though quite a ways off your route.
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I'd second the suggestions of Indianapolis Children's Museum and The Fort Wayne Children's Zoo. Also in Fort Wayne is Science Central- a hands on kids science learning center...it is great also.

Cedar Point is great- but it takes at least a day and depending on time when you get there you could have crowds.

Have fun!
I'm third-ing these recs! The Indy Children's Museum is awesome!!!

and Holiday World.. it's so corny and great. And much cheaper, cleaner, and has better food than Kings Island and Cedar Point.
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Old 02-14-2013, 06:49 PM   #37
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I would agree with the others on things like Cedar Point, the Lake Erie Islands, Sauder Village, The Dum Dum Tour in Bryan OH (which I've not done yet but want to) and The Toledo Zoo. I'd also recommend The Hayes Presidential Center in Fremont Ohio, especially the home tour. It's a really neat tour and the workers have replicated the house to when President Hayes lived there. If you visit the Toledo Zoo, you might want to check to see if The Mud Hens are playing. They are the farm team for The Detroit Tigers and the games are a lot of fun and the park is very family friendly. Go Hens!!

If you head to the islands area I'd recommend eating at The Jolly Roger in Port Clinton. It's a hole in the wall dive but they have the BEST Lake Erie perch and walleye!
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Old 02-15-2013, 02:40 PM   #38
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The Indianapolis Indians also play at one of the best minor league parks, Victory Field at White River State Park...

Since there are obviously several Indy people on this thread, did you all see about the "Adult Swim" night coming up at the children's museum? A friend said "It's about time someone figured out they need to serve alcohol at that place.
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Old 02-15-2013, 07:23 PM   #39
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I would suggest a stop at a Lake Michigan Beach! The Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore is near Michigan City, IN. If you wanted to head more into Michigan you could see Warren Dunes State Park which is located in Bridgman, MI.

In addition, the South Bend Chocolate Company does tours every hour and is located just minutes off the turnpike. It is a fun tour and the store carries 2nds at a great price.

And I second the tour of Notre Dame -- cool place and the Basilica is amazing.

Have fun!
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Old 03-07-2013, 10:03 AM   #40
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Quote:
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The Indianapolis Indians also play at one of the best minor league parks, Victory Field at White River State Park...

Since there are obviously several Indy people on this thread, did you all see about the "Adult Swim" night coming up at the children's museum? A friend said "It's about time someone figured out they need to serve alcohol at that place.
I haven't but how funny!!! I'm sure I missed it by now, but oh my goodness

Hey ps, I love your husker/hoosier line
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Old 03-07-2013, 08:22 PM   #41
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I haven't but how funny!!! I'm sure I missed it by now, but oh my goodness

Hey ps, I love your husker/hoosier line
Thanks.

They are doing it again next year, but it was lots of fun. Kinda funny though to see the drunk people sitting on that big round bench that spins under the Chiluly sculpture.
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Old 03-07-2013, 08:52 PM   #42
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Ceder Point while it is great. Is not family friendly. We are less then 2 hours away and we don't take our kids there. Toledo zoo is only 10 min off of the turn pike. It's a nice zoo, but it's a zoo. We just got back from Chicago, our family loved Lego land, Shedd aquarium, and Science and Industry.
Wow, I beg to differ. We find CP very family friendly and we have four kids. Love the fact that there are kids areas generally within a few minutes walk of the major rides. The only one that is a bit of a far stretch is Mavrick and one other.

My husband takes the younger two and goes to the kids area and I take the older two and go to the bigger roller coasters.

We have a blast going two times a year, regular season and Halloweekends. Even their Halloween stuff is toned down a bit when younger kids go through it.

I will admit a few rides I have issues with (Train is not family friendly unless you are doing the complete round trip) and they seem to have removed three family friendly rides (space needle; wild mouse; and disaster transport).

Kids even love the water park so much they barely make it away from the entrance with the big dump bucket or the pirate ship area.
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Old 03-07-2013, 10:21 PM   #43
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It's neat to see how many people live near me! I am not far from Toledo as well.
My DD love Cedar point, I used to, but I no longer care for thrill rides and the kiddie rides are very kiddie. Not many in between rides. I also find it dirty, but I have become a Disney snob.

Toledo has an excellent zoo. I think both Columbus and Cincinnati are way out of your way. It's a good 2 1/2 hours to Columbus alone from the turnpike.

The safari is nice. I've not done it, but I have had family that has and loves it.
The Ft. Wayne Childrens zoo is also very nice.
If you stop in Sandusky for Cedar Point or any other attractions in the area, they also a Kalahri (as well as great Wolf Lodge and Castaway bay) waterpark hotels.
I believe Indiana has some Amish country not too far off the beaten track too.
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Old 03-08-2013, 06:38 AM   #44
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Ohio:

Cedar Point - takes 2 days to see everything.

Kalahari Water Park http://www.kalahariresorts.com/ohio

African Safari Wild Life

Sauder Village http://www.saudervillage.com/home/default.asp

In downtown Cleveland right on the lake is the Rock Hall museum next door (a short 5 minute walk) is the Science Center, there is a GoodTime Cruise ship on the other side of the Rock Hall that will take you on a 2 hour narrated tour of lake Erie and the river.
Not far - just a short free trolley ride from the Rock Hall- you can catch an Indians game.

Here is a link to a vacation guide book for Ohio http://consumer.discoverohio.com/vis...materials.aspx

I have heard the aquarium is pricey and small.
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Old 03-08-2013, 01:11 PM   #45
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Of all the things in and around Ohio I suggest the Henry ford museum/greenfield village. The zoo are great in the area but they're zoos, Cedar Point is awesome but its a amusement park. If your hungry heading through Toledo get off the turnpike head north on Reynolds hang a right Heatherdowns ideal hotdog is on the left get the chilli Mac.
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