Saving Family Fun

Keeping Indy's Family Fun Free, or at least cheap.

Free Weekend Events – Jan 11-13

Lowe’s Build & Grow Clinic

 

Friday, Jan 11

Circle of Lights @ Monument Circle 

Take in the holiday display downtown until January 12, 2013

Saturday, Jan 12

Circle of Lights @ Monument Circle 

Take in the holiday display downtown until January 12, 2013

Build & Grow Clinic @ Lowes

This Saturday, stores will receive one of several classic Build and Grow kits! The project may be a mystery but it’s no surprise that your child will have fun building it at Lowe’s!!

10 am

School Age

Free – with registration

Inaugural Family Fun Day@ Dallara IndyCar Factory

As part of the Inaugural celebration of Governor-elect Mike Pence family fun activities are planned.

11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

All Ages

Free – Registration required

Science Odyssey Activities: The Human Body Puzzle @ Central Library

Join Activity Guides in the Learning Curve for a variety of brain-building activities using laptops, webcams, drawing tablets, books and more.

11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.

All Ages

Free

Sunday, Jan 13

Science Odyssey Activities: The Human Body Puzzle  @Central Library

Join Activity Guides in the Learning Curve for a variety of brain-building activities using laptops, webcams, drawing tablets, books and more.

1 p.m. & 4 p.m.

All Ages

Free

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Free Weekend Events – Jan 4-6

Mayor Ballard’s Polar Bear Pedall II

Ongoing Events

Holiday Night Lights 

The Indy Star compiled a list an map of homes with outstanding light displays.

Circle of Lights @ Monument Circle 

Take in the holiday display downtown until January 12, 2013

Christmas at Lilly House @ IMA

 Christmas at Lilly House uses the American country house setting to explore the decorative ideas of the 1930s and 1940s.  Until January 6, 2013

Friday, Jan 4

 

Saturday, Jan 5

Polar Bear Pedal II @ Indy Bike Hub

This will be the second year Mayor Ballard will lead the winter season bicycle ride and we want to make it even bigger. This year the ride will start at the Indy Bike Hub located in the east wing of the City Market and will highlight bike lanes and facilities Downtown and on the Southside.

Registration/Check-In 9 a.m. Ride Starts 10 a.m.

All Ages

Free

Barks to Books @ Pike Library

Beginning or struggling young readers are invited to read to a patient and non-judgmental therapy dog for a 15-minute session. It’s a great way to improve a child’s confidence and competence.

10:15 am – 12:00 pm

Ages 6-11

Free

Kids Workshop @ Home Depot

Free Kids Workshops to Learn, Create & Craft at The Home Depot. All kids get to keep their craft and receive a FREE Kids Workshop Apron, commemorative pin and certificate of achievement.

9 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Ages 5-12

Free

Science Odyssey Activities: The Human Body Puzzle @ Central Library

Join Activity Guides in the Learning Curve for a variety of brain-building activities using laptops, webcams, drawing tablets, books and more.

11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.

All Ages

Free

Preschool Yoga Classes @ Eagle Library

Children ages 6 and under are invited to have fun exercising and learning yoga poses from a certified instructor from the YMCA of Greater Indianapolis.

1 p.m.

Ages 6 and under

Free- Must register

Sunday, Jan 6

Science Odyssey Activities: The Human Body Puzzle @Central Library

Join Activity Guides in the Learning Curve for a variety of brain-building activities using laptops, webcams, drawing tablets, books and more.

1 p.m. & 4 p.m.

All Ages

Free

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Free Indy Events – Winter Break Edition

Christmas lights (1)

Christmas lights (1) (Photo credit: Wikipedia

Winter Break doesn’t have to be spent at home….try these FREE events for kids.

 

Ongoing Events

Holiday Night Lights 

The Indy Star compiled a list an map of homes with outstanding light displays.

Circle of Lights @ Monument Circle 

Take in the holiday display downtown

Christmas at Lilly House @ IMA

 Christmas at Lilly House uses the American country house setting to explore the decorative ideas of the 1930s and 1940s

Monday, Dec 24

Museum Special Days @ Children’s Museum of Indianapolis

Enjoy free admission on Christmas Eve.

10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

All Ages

Free

Tuesday, Dec 25

Christmas Day @ Home

Enjoy

Probably wasn’t free

Wednesday, Dec 26

Winterfest @ Indiana Historical Society

Enjoy family-friendly crafts and activities, face painting and special performances each day from jugglers, magicians, dancers and musicians.

All Ages

Free

Thursday, Dec 27

Winterfest @ Indiana Historical Society

Enjoy family-friendly crafts and activities, face painting and special performances each day from jugglers, magicians, dancers and musicians.

All Ages

Free

Friday, Dec 28

Winterfest @ Indiana Historical Society

Enjoy family-friendly crafts and activities, face painting and special performances each day from jugglers, magicians, dancers and musicians.

All Ages

Free

A Beginner’s Guide to Zombie Apocalypse Survival: Create A Zombie Caricature @ Eagle Library

Teens ages 13 – 17 are invited as artists from Art With a Heart guide them through the steps of identifying and drawing the unique features of the walking dead.

3 p.m.

Ages 13-17

Free

Saturday, Dec 29

Winterfest @ Indiana Historical Society

Enjoy family-friendly crafts and activities, face painting and special performances each day from jugglers, magicians, dancers and musicians.

All Ages

Free

Science Odyssey Activities: The Human Body Puzzle  @ Central Library

Join Activity Guides in the Learning Curve for a variety of brain-building activities using laptops, webcams, drawing tablets, books and more.

11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.

All Ages

Free

Sunday, Dec 30

Science Odyssey Activities: The Human Body Puzzle @ Central Library

Join Activity Guides in the Learning Curve for a variety of brain-building activities using laptops, webcams, drawing tablets, books and more.

1:00 pm – 4:00 pm

All Ages

Free

Monday, Dec 31

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Free Holiday Activities in Indy

All of the following Christmas and Holiday events are Free.  These could make a great start to holiday traditions.  Are there any family traditions you enjoy this time of year?

IMA Winter Solstice

Nov. 23

More than 100,000 spectators are expected for the FREE Circle of Lights® presented by the Contractors of Quality Connection and Electrical Workers of IBEW 481 ceremonial lighting and holiday kickoff on that Friday.  Live entertainment, chosen from statewide auditions and national acts, begins at 6 p.m. with the televised show running from 7 – 8 p.m.  The actual Monument light-up will occur at approximately 7:45 p.m

Nov. 24

Did you know Santa practices his route every year to make sure his reindeer are ready for the main event? It’s true. And as part of his travels around the world, he’s making a special stop at the Indianapolis International Airport on November 24 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Dec. 6

Sponsored generously by Target, the first Thursday of each month The Children’s Museum opens free of charge from 4 to 8 p.m. Learn about winter traditions from all over the world, the people who celebrate them, and the toys that help to make them special. Take a ride on the Yule Slide and visit Jolly Days.

Dec. 7-9

FREE outdoor ice skating, local artisans, holiday performances, a live nativity scene, fresh-cut Christmas trees and Santa all come to Georgia Street!

Dec. 8

Oh what fun it is to visit the Conservatory to meet Santa and see Conservatory Crossing, the holiday train and poinsettia show.  Jingle all the way to the Arts Center to make toys with Santa’s elves.  You can also dash through the snow to the Burrello Family Center where Mrs. Claus will have some tasty treats.  All activities are free.

Dec. 8

Rowdie will have art projects and crafts for kids from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m inside
Victory Field suite level.  Enjoy festive food and drinks and get a free photo with Rowdie Claus.

Dec 8.

Families are invited to PNC Bank in historic Fountain Square for carriage rides, photos with Santa, and a craft program at the Fountain Square Branch.

Dec. 8, 9, 12,15

Individuals of all ages are invited to enjoy their favorite holiday classics and carols performed by a chamber ensemble of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra.

Nov 14 – Dec 13

Little boys and girls send a letter through Santa’s Mailbox on the Circle! Each year, this holiday mailbox is placed for children of all ages to drop off their letters addressed to Santa. From the North Pole, Santa himself will personally answer each letter with a return address… faster than Rudolph the reindeer can fly! Note – it’s very important that each letter has a return address so Santa can send his reply. (A self-addressed, stamped envelope is also appreciated.)

Dec. 20

Celebrate the season with IMA’s annual Winter Solstice celebration. Step outside for an ice carving demonstration, art-making, and music. Warm up in the Lilly House with historic holiday decorations music, then finish up your shopping at the Greenhouse and Museum. Cozy up to the bonfire with hot chocolate and holiday treats available for purchase from Nourish Café. Free parking.

Dec 24

Enjoy free admission and holiday activities on this special day at the museum.

Dec 26-29

Enjoy family-friendly crafts and activities, face painting and special performances each day from jugglers, magicians, dancers and musicians.

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Free Swim Safety Classes

Pool season is here, Indy Parks and several YMCA centers are holding free public water safety classes for children…

YMCA Splash 

The YMCA of Greater Indianapolis  is offering free classes to the community for children ages 6-12.  Contact your local participating YMCA center to register for free.

Classes are June 4-7  (you can attend one day or all)

Session A: 5:15-6 p.m.
Session B: 6:15-7 p.m.

Registration is required

Make A Splash

Indy Parks & Recreation will hold classes at all Indy Parks pools.

(I can only find the information for these classes in their Summer Fun Guide.  Call your local pool for their pool hours.)

June 11-15

Water classes will take place 45 minutes before the pools open.

You can find a list of pools and their hours at the Indy Parks Aquatics website.

The classes are free and participants will be allowed to swim free for the rest of the day!

Children 6 and older.

Children under 9 must be accompanied by an adult.

* Please call ahead to confirm your YMCA or Indy Parks pool is participating.

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Indiana Free Family Fishing Weekend

No fishing license needed June 2-3, 2012.  As part of Indiana’s Free Fishing Weekend you can load up the family to fish on your own or take part in organized activities for kids at  Eagle Creek Park and Fort Harrison State Park

  • Eagle Creek Park will hold their 11th annual Kids’ Fishing Derby on June 2nd, 8am-Noon.  Activities include fishing, contests, prizes, food, and celebrities. Registration is required by May 30th. For more info contact  – 317-327-7110
  • Fort Harrison State Park will also hold a Free Family Fishing Day event at 10 am at Delaware Lake – Call  the park to register 317-591-0904
  • In addition, Fort Harrison holds a monthly free fishing lesson for the family.

The parks might still charge the normal park entry fee which is around $5 per car at gate.  Call ahead to check.

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Summer Reading Challenge Roundup

The traditional school year is coming to an end and there are many programs to help keep children reading.  Most of these programs allow your child to earn rewards for keeping up with their summer reading.

We sign up for this every summer.  Your preschooler can earn points when you read to them at home and when you attend the story times at the local library.  My two boys love to spend their points on some of the small toys available.

  • Barnes and Noble’s Summer Reading program allows you to receive a free book after reading any eight books.  You simply fill out the reading journal and take it to a participating store.
  • Chuck E. Cheese also offers 10 free tokens when you read for 2 weeks.
  • Half  Price Books is offering their Feed Your Brain program and will give a $5 Back-to-School Bucks coupon for reading just 15 minutes a day for a month.
  • Scholastic Summer Challenge needs your help to reach a world record for summer reading.  They offer chances to win prizes and lots of helpful tips and information for kids, parents, and teachers.

These programs should make it easy and fun to keep reading this summer.

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500 Festival – Free Activities for kids

The month of May is here.  In Indianapolis May equals the Indy 500 Festival.  This month long celebration ends with the running of The Indianapolis 500 Mile Race.

Even if you don’t attend the race, there are many events leading up to the big day.  Of course, I’ll be highlighting the free ones.

  • 500 Festival REV Your Engines Concert [Sat., April 28; 8pm] – This is clearly for the older kids, but it is free and teens are always looking for something to do.
  • 500 Festival Post Race Party [Sat., May 5; 7am-mid afternoon] – Even if you don’t run in the mini-marathon, festival organizers are inviting the public to celebrate with a free party. Concerts and events are planned for all ages.
  • Chase 500 Festival Kids’ Day [Sat., May 12; Noon-4pm] – This festival is located on Monument Circle and really has everything.  There are bounce houses, games, characters, mascots, giveaways, arts and crafts; really, everything.  In my experience, this event includes a large crowd, so pack your patients.  We took our 2-year-old and he had a little trouble waiting in the lines.
  • Practice/Qualifications for the Firestone Freedom 100 [Thur., May 24;Noon-6pm] – Watch a practice session at the famous Brickyard.
  • IPL 500 Festival Parade [Sat., May 26; Noon]- I’ll be honest, I’m not a parade person, but if you enjoy a parade this is one of the big ones.  The floats are elaborate and it is filled with character balloons, bands and dance teams.  (think Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade)

If you want to introduce your kids to the race, attending a practice session is cheap and you avoid the big crowds.  Opening Day is May 12 and all practice days are free for kid 12 and under, adult admission is $10-$20, depending on the day.

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April Fools’ Day

It almost got past me, Sunday is April Fools’ Day!  I’ve never really participated in this day.  Now that my boys are old enough to appreciate a joke, I think I want to get in on the fun.  The Family Fun website has these cute recipes that are not what they seem.  The meatloaf cupcake looks like something I might be able to pull off.  I hope this works.

Do you participate in April Fools’ Day?

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Easter Egg Hunts and Breakfast with the Easter Bunny 2012

egg-hunt-last-egg

(Photo credit: post406)

I can imagine that there are dozens of Easter egg hunts in Indy.  We’ve collected a short list of free egg hunts and breakfasts.

Indy Parks   more info 317-327-PARK

Breakfast with the Easter Bunny @ Riverside Park

This breakfast will include games, crafts and pictures with the Easter Bunny.

Free, Drop in

10am-12:30pm, Sat., April 7

Ages 10 years and under

Easter Egg Hunt @ Christian Park

Free

10am-12pm, Sat., April 7

Ages 1 – 12 yrs

Easter Egg Hunt @ Windsor Village Park

Free

2-4pm, Sat., April 7

Ages 1 – 12 yrs

YMCA of Greater Indianapolis

44th annual Good Friday Breakfast @ Indiana State Fairgrounds

This is a large event that serves over 1,000

Free-with registration at www.indymca.org

7:30-9am, Fri., April 6

All Ages

Indianapolis Motor Speedway

2nd annual Indianapolis Motor Speedway Easter Egg Hunt

This event includes prizes, a bounce house and a visit from the Easter Bunny

Free

10am-11:30am, Sat., April 7

10am – registration begins

10:30 –  Easter egg hunt begins

Ages 12 and younger

The Indianapolis Propylaeum

Easter Egg Hunt

This egg hunt will include a visit from the Easter Bunny

Free

11am-noon, Sat., April 7

12 and younger

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