Indianapolis is modern and vibrant while remaining steeped in history.

It is hard to imagine a better location than Indianapolis for an institution like Riley Hospital for Children at Indiana University Health. Patients and their families come to us for brief visits, longer stays and sometimes repeated trips. Indianapolis offers many opportunities for children and families while they are here. It is important to enjoy some time away from the hospital when possible. Whether you are looking for relaxation, entertainment or enrichment, there is something for everyone in Indianapolis.

Recreation

Your family will never run out of fun opportunities in Indianapolis. The city is full of attractions and activities that children and adults alike will enjoy.

  • White River State Park. Indiana’s only urban state park offers 250 acres of green space and is less than 2 miles from Riley Hospital for Children at IU Health. Beyond its natural beauty, the park is home to numerous cultural, educational and recreational attractions, including some of the city’s best-known destinations.
  • Garfield Park Conservatory and Sunken Garden. The conservatory contains 10,000 square feet of plants from the tropics, including 3 acres of a European-style formal Sunken Garden.
  • Indiana Central Canal. The canal, sometimes known as Indianapolis’ “cultural corridor,” connects many of the city’s museums and other attractions. Take a ride on the People Mover to Fairbanks Hall to start this 3-mile loop from the upper canal to the White River State Park. The Canal Walk is a great place to exercise, relax or take a Segway tour.

Entertainment

Indianapolis offers a wide variety of amusement for you and your children, with many options combining fun with learning.

  • Indianapolis Zoo. The zoo draws more than 1 million visitors each year to see creatures ranging from the Amur tiger and the African elephant to the Atlantic bottlenose dolphin and the Pacific walrus. Visitors of all ages can enjoy a wide variety of shows, special events and interactive exhibits just miles from Riley at IU Health in the White River State Park district. White River Gardens is a 3.3-acre botanical garden that is part of the zoo and displays hundreds of plant varieties.
  • Indiana Convention Center. You never know what could be going on at this trade show and meeting venue. Located just south of the downtown center, the Indiana Convention Center is one of the largest convention centers in the United States. Auto shows, roller derby and a Lego expo have all been known to make appearances.
  • Clowes Memorial Hall. This venue on the campus of Butler University hosts a variety of musical and theatrical performances as well as lectures and community events.

Sports

Indianapolis is definitely a sports town. A trip to the city can be a chance to see professional athletes in action and enjoy some of the country’s best athletic forums.

  • Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The Indianapolis Motor Speedway is the world’s largest spectator sporting venue. Just inside the Interstate 465 loop in Speedway, Indiana, it plays host each year to the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race, the Brickyard 400 and the Red Bull Indianapolis GP.
  • Lucas Oil Stadium. This downtown facility features an iconic retractable roof and is home to the Indianapolis Colts of the National Football League.
  • Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Located in the heart of downtown, this arena serves as home court for the Indiana Pacers of the National Basketball Association and the Indiana Fever of the Women’s National Basketball Association.

Arts

The city’s appreciation for culture, history and the arts runs deep. Indianapolis features several excellent museums containing thousands of artifacts and works of art.

  • The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis. As far as children’s museums go, this is a must-see. Three miles north of Riley at IU Health, it covers nearly 473,000 square feet and draws more than 1 million visitors a year as the largest museum of its type in the world. A perennial favorite at the museum is the Dinosphere, which includes 14 full-size dinosaur skeletons and allows children to touch a real dinosaur bone.
  • Indianapolis Museum of Art. A short distance from The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, this museum includes more than 54,000 works of art. Its campus consists of an early 20th century estate, more than 150 acres of gardens and grounds and an outdoor art and nature park.
  • Indiana State Museum. This is the place to go for a true taste of Indiana in just about every respect. Located a few miles from Riley at IU Health within the White River State Park, the museum’s exhibits range from prehistoric fossils to contemporary art.

Memorials and Monuments

The Indianapolis area’s rich heritage includes a proud tradition of military and public service. Hoosier contributions to the nation’s safety and to public life are honored at numerous sites.

  • Indiana World War Memorial Plaza Historic District. This downtown plaza is 2 miles from Riley at IU Health and consists of 24 acres, meaning that Indianapolis dedicates more space than any other U.S. city, except Washington, D.C., to honoring veterans.
  • Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument. This monument honors Indiana soldiers who served in the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812, the Mexican War, the Civil War, the Frontier Wars and the Spanish-American War.  The memorial, which is nearly 285 feet high, is located within the War Memorial Plaza.
  • Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site. The 23rd U.S. president was the first—and so far only—one to be elected from Indiana. The house that President Benjamin Harrison and First Lady Caroline Scott Harrison built, starting in 1874, is now a museum located a few miles from Riley at IU Health.

Visitor Guides

In Indianapolis you will find extensive shopping, dining, transportation and lodging options. These visitor guides can help prepare you for a comfortable and enjoyable stay.

  • Visit Indy. This site provides information on where to eat, where to stay and what to do.
  • Indianapolis Downtown Inc. This guide offers extensive information on downtown Indianapolis events, activities and attractions as well as lodging, shopping and dining.