Staycation in Your Own Backyard in North-Central Indiana!

I no longer live in Indiana. We moved back to my home state of Connecticut after having spent four years where my hubby hailed from– North-Central Indiana. I really, really like it here in New England and very much enjoy all it has to offer. Still, there are parts of Indiana I really miss and I will always cherish the memories of my older children’s baby- and toddlerhood spent there.


So, one might wonder, what on earth can you actually DO out in the cornfields of Indiana? Well, my friends, there are lots of fun ways to refresh your mind, recharge your soul, and delight your little ones! Here are just a few…


Visit the zoo!

The Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo is one of my favorite I’ve ever visited. It’s the perfect size to tackle with little ones and there’s an impressive array of animals. Midwest summers can get toasty, but there are always some temperate ones thrown in the mix. We especially loved the aquarium there as a place to escape the heat and noise… the was particularly nice with babies and toddlers.


Small town fairs and carnivals!

Small town fairs abound in North Central Indiana. Greentown’s fair each summer was a huge attraction that drew crowds from all the neighboring little towns. Plenty big enough to entertain the whole family, it was significantly smaller (and more affordable!) than the Indiana State Fair. There’s something lovely about a hometown fair and all the familiar sticky faces you’ll find there. :)


Long, ambling drives…

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Perhaps it’s due to the fact that I’m prone to carsickness, but there is nowhere I’ve enjoyed long, aimless drives more than Indiana. The fields are ripe and green, the land is flat and open, the roads are straight and peaceful. Crank some music, open the windows, and drive wherever your heart leads you. The beauty of the “midwest grid” system of roadways is that it’s incredibly difficult to get lost. We loved to head out, no destination in mind, and land in some tiny town with dollar ice cream cones… talk about some cheap summer fun!


Relish the space.

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North Central Indiana is full of fields and parks– wide, open spaces. This is a beautiful place to let your children run free. Pack a picnic. Toss a frisbee. Fly a kite– Indiana is windy and there aren’t so many trees that it’s likely to get snagged. Chase fireflies. There is abundant room to move in this neck of the woods and this means you can do things that city folk cannot– enjoy it!


Sigh… it makes me miss it! I might have to plan a nice summer vacay back there one of these days. :)


What’s your favorite way to “Staycation” in your neck of the woods?

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6 comments to Staycation in Your Own Backyard in North-Central Indiana!

  • earleyml

    We live in central PA near Harrisburg, so we’ve got lots of places to visit. Now that our oldest is 3 we will be doing much more.
    1) Hershey Park is a must, however, it can be quite expensive so we won’t be going this year now that we have to pay for our 3 yr old. Also my husband use to work for a company that had a free Hershey Park day, so that use to help.
    2) Hershey Zoo – it’s small but it’s a nice way for little ones to see some zoo animal.
    3) Lake Tobias – we went for the first time when our child was about 20 months. There is a safari ride when the animals come right up to the vehicle and lick your hands. These are very tame animals like elk, deer, llamas, etc.
    4) Indian Echo Caverns – nothing like visiting some caves on a hot summer day!
    5) Knobels Amusement Parks – this is one of the few pay as you go, free admission parks left. This is great for us this year since one parent has to stay off the rides due to watching our baby. They also have a campground and water slides nearby, so you can make an entire weekend out of this!

    We love our area so much to do within an hour drive!!! Lancaster county is not far, which has lots of Amish related activities.

    • I bet those caverns are awesome! We’ve gone through some caves and tunnels on some of our hikes and it is completely astounding how much cooler they are than the outside air– feels better than air conditioning! :)

  • [...] I shared some of my favorite ways to enjoy North Central Indiana (and made myself nostalgic in the process!) But what if, like me now, that’s not where YOU [...]

  • When I was small we lived in a tiny town outside Elkhart, Indiana, so your post makes me very nostalgic! We did a lot of camping and caving. It’s too hot to go camping in the South!

    We also went to a neighbor’s farm and I was happy to talk to the chickens or chase pigs around. Oh, how times have changed. (I was probably making up stories about the chickens.)

    • I would LOVE to hear some of your chicken stories, Jessie. :) I called my IN neighbor “Farmer Joe”, but he didn’t have animals. I bet that was a really neat experience to get to visit the farm animals as a kid!

      • Some of my parents’ best friends had a farm, so we were out there a lot. And all of their kids were my sister’s age and younger, which I guess is a big deal when you’re 6. Ha!

        I don’t remember too much except the chasing the pigs back into the sty story. And being pretty scared of the rooster.

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