Finally Spring! It’s time to get out of hibernation and enjoy the great outdoors. With Spring Break upon us, many budget-minded families with no travel plans are looking for ways to keep the kids entertained and avoid the dreaded “I am bored” refrain.
If you live in central Indiana, you are in luck. Livability.com recently ranked Indianapolis number 5 in the top 10 Spring Break destinations, and rightfully so. Central Indiana offers several world-class attractions and Browning Day is proud to have worked on many of these iconic buildings. So, if you plan to stay put, here are some suggestions to help you stage a memorable fun-packed Indianapolis staycation.
The Indianapolis Museum of Art’s 152-acre campus is the perfect place to start your Spring Break adventure. Thanks to warmer temperatures, the plants and flowers used by Browning Day in the design of the site and landscape architecture are coming back to life, offering patrons a unique sensory experience. When you go, pack your lunch and enjoy a picnic in the Garden for Everyone, marvel at the truly spectacular Sutphin Fountain and check out the famed Robert Indiana LOVE sculpture. The Efroymson Family Entrance Pavilion is currently displaying Following Nature, an installation by Spencer Finch that radically reinterprets the site in three dimensions with changing kaleidoscopic reflections. Get ready to hear mesmerized kids go WOW! Jonathan Hess, President of Browning Day, is very proud of the work accomplished by his team on the renovation of this museum that transformed it into a tourist destination. Did I mention admission is FREE?
A trip to the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis is a must. One of the nation’s top tourist attractions for families, it is believed to be the world’s largest Children’s Museum. When you go, check out the Superheroes exhibit going on right now, and watch your kids live out their fantasies. When hunger hits, enjoy lunch in the Browning Day designed café and do not forget to buy souvenirs from the gift shop, also designed by Browning Day.
Make your way Downtown and visit the Indiana Soldiers and Sailors Monument. Only 21 feet shorter than the Statue of Liberty, this monument is impressive to experience. Walk up the steps and enjoy the art carved in Indiana Limestone, then hike to the top of the monument for a breathtaking view of Indianapolis. A renovation of the roundabout, completed by Browning Day, transformed this traffic circle into one of the favorite places for strolling and sightseeing in Indianapolis. A short walk will take you to another Browning Day project, the Circle Centre Mall. This mixed-use development connects four blocks of downtown Indianapolis incorporating 19 historic buildings and is a premier shopping, dining and entertainment destination. After lunch, take a leisurely stroll down the Indiana Central Canal. While Browning Day has completed several projects on the Canal, Barth Hendrickson, Vice President, is particularly proud of the Interpretive work completed under the St. Clair Street Bridge where sound, light and interpretive graphics connect visitors with Indiana History.
Next, head over to Victory Field, home of the Indianapolis Indians and “the best minor league ballpark in America” according to Sports Illustrated. The home opener of the Indians season is Thursday, April 4, so the timing could not be better to enjoy a ballgame and the spectacular view of the Indianapolis skyline. Browning Day provided local assistance to HOK on this project. You’ve certainly had a long day and deserve a cold drink from Captain Morgan Cove, our newest project at Victory Field.
It would not be Spring Break without a hotel stay. If you would like to experience a little luxury in the heart of Downtown, check into the Conrad Indianapolis. It was voted a “Top U.S. Hotel” by Condé Nast Traveler Magazine’s Readers’ Choice Award for the fifth year in a row. Would you rather get transported in another era and sleep in an authentic Pullman train car room? Then, head over to the Crowne Plaza Indianapolis Downtown. This hotel is housed in America’s first Union Station and is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Another choice is the Homewood Suites Downtown, the perfect place to spend the night on a budget and enjoy a complimentary breakfast in the morning. Between these three Browning Day projects, every family should find one that fits their taste and budget.
The next day, continue your downtown adventure with a trip to the Indianapolis Zoo and visit the Dolphin Exhibit featuring the Midwest’s only human dolphin interaction program and check out construction progress on the new International Orangutan Center, both Browning Day projects. To complete your downtown visit, head over to the award-winning Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art. Browning Day was the architect on the original building as well as the expansion that added 43,000 square feet of new gallery space, educational classrooms and a large interior sculpture court immediately north of the original museum building. Make sure to check out the Guitars! Roundups to Rockers exhibit. This exhibit is putting on display – together for the first and probably only time – more than 100 guitars owned by legendary American guitarists.
There you have it. A fabulous Spring Break in your own backyard. Kids are happy, you are happy because they are happy AND you did it without breaking the bank. Now, that’s a staycation worth bragging about.