Family Fun at Indianapolis Central Canal

Indianapolis Central Canal

Our long Labor Day weekend getaway to Indianapolis was filled with tons of adventures. We visited the world’s largest (and possibly best) children’s museum, watched an awesome dolphin show at the Indianapolis Zoo, ate amazing food, sampled loads of local beer, was amazed at the western art collection in the Eiteljorg Museum, and simply did more activities than should be squeezed into a four-day weekend.

But my favorite part of our time in Indy? It might have been a surrey ride along the Indianapolis Central Canal at White River State Park with Wheel Fun Rentals.

I can’t even begin to express how much fun we had over four days exploring Indianapolis. We were able to mix lots of family friendly activities with a few that the adults would enjoy too. From sports to shopping and food, we covered the gamut of fun in Indianapolis. But one of the more enjoyable parts of the trip came late Sunday afternoon when we rented a surrey for a one-hour pedal through the state park and next to the Canal.

Indianapolis Central Canal

Quickly catching our reflection.

I’ve never been on a surrey. If you’re like me, I actually didn’t even know what one was until we decided to take one for a ride. The ones available at Wheel Fun Rentals come in different shapes and sizes. We went with a two-person surrey with just enough room in the middle for Colby to sit and control one of the two steering wheels.

Never too young to start driving.

Never too young to start driving.

There was also a basket seat in front he could’ve sat in, but he wanted none of that. This 6-year-old boy, who just the week prior to our trip told his classmates in the first grade that he’d be driving to school by the fifth grade, wanted to drive.

So off we went, peddling over the White River and along a beautiful and quiet walkway along the backside of the Indianapolis Zoo that provides solid views of the river below and skyline on the other side.

It's very peaceful along the White River.

It’s very peaceful along the White River.

Indianapolis skyline

And with this being Labor Day weekend, what is apparently the weekend for weddings in Indianapolis, we peddled past a beautiful bride preparing to walk down the “aisle,” in this instance the bridge across the White River.

This bridge was the "aisle" for a beautiful bride.

This bridge was the “aisle” for a beautiful bride. The people gathered at the center of the bridge in the distance were being seated for the ceremony.

Many other surrey riders chose the walkway next to the Canal for their ride and we soon found our way there.

Indianapolis Canal

The Canal runs along the backside of the NCAA Hall of Champions, Indiana Museum, Eiteljorg Museum, and several hotels and offices. There were other surrey riders, loads of families out for a walk and even a few paddleboat riders on the Canal.

Indianapolis Canal

It really was an unexpected and fun journey. And priced at $20 for an hour-long ride ($30 for a Double Surrey), I think it’s a great way for a couple or family to get a little exercise in while enjoying the beauty of the White River State Park and the Historic Central Canal.


A special thanks to Visit Indy for hosting us on this visit to Indianapolis. As always, opinions expressed here are my own and were not swayed in any way by the awesome time we had.

26 thoughts on “Family Fun at Indianapolis Central Canal

  1. Great to hear that your family had a wonderful time in Indy. I’ve never been and it looks like it offers a lot for families. I’ve heard all about the largest children’s museum and can’t wait to visit one of these days. We’ve only ridden surreys along a beach boardwalk and a park but never by a canal. Glad you enjoyed it and what a lovely way to see the city.
    Mary {The World Is A Book} recently posted…5 Free Things to do in Munich with KidsMy Profile

  2. Seriously, it’s a fun city. Have family, it’s a blast. Out with your guys, hit the pubs, the breweries and watch some games; girls’ getaway, loads of shopping and great food. Indy is really a fun city. I’ll be back.

  3. That surrey ride looks like fun. Just another reason we need to go to Indy. We’ve talked about it for YEARS. “We should spend a weekend there and take the kids to the museum.” Now one kid is 24 and the other is 13. I don’t know why we never did, but I guess it’s not too late. Thanks for the reminder.
    Juliann recently posted…The Luck of the Irish!My Profile

  4. This really isn’t the type of activity I seek out when I travel, but I’m so glad we did it. It was a blast, and proved to me that I need to have an open mind to all activities when I travel. It was decent exercise too.

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