Get ready for a spring break ‘staycation’ with these local activities

The ‘Gold! Riches and Ruin’ exhibit is now open at the Eiteljorg Museum downtown Indy. (Submitted photo)

The ‘Gold! Riches and Ruin’ exhibit is now open at the Eiteljorg Museum downtown Indy. (Submitted photo)

By Justin Moran

Are you looking to stay in town for spring break this year? The city offers a plethora of practical options for your best staycation ever. It all starts at White River State Park downtown, where you can find the NCAA Hall of Champions, Eiteljorg Museum, IMAX Theater, State Museum, and the Indianapolis Zoo. The Hall of Champions is showing “60 Years of the NCAA Men’s Final Four” from March 10 to May 5. Photographer Rick Clarkson’s work will be featured; he’s been following national college basketball champions since his trip there with Kansas University 59 years ago.

Come see the new Eiteljorg Museum exhibit “Gold! Riches and Ruin”. The exhibit features artifacts, stories, art, and interactive experiences for you. The IMAX Theater will be playing Pandas: The Return Home (by National Geographic) and Secret Ocean, both 3D films inviting the viewer to witness nature up close and personal. The So Costly a Sacrifice exhibit is open at the Indiana State Museum, exploring the cultural changes brought by the Civil War and Lincoln’s assassination.

On March 20, Butterfly Kaleidoscope begins at the Hilbert Conservatory at White River Gardens, with new butterflies taking their first flights every day. The Zoo’s Spring Family Overnight is also coming up on March 20-21. Families spend the night at the zoo and take on a craft, games, animal stories, and special after-hours tour, before getting their first glimpse of the butterfly exhibit in the morning. As weather continues to warm, try exploring White River State Park’s 250 acres with Segway of Indiana, or Wheel Fun Rentals can set you up to experience the miles of bike paths available.

To sweeten the deal, local hotels are chipping in with packages to help you enjoy downtown. Marriott hotels downtown offer the Gardens & Galleries Package, going beyond a hotel stay to include tickets to the White River Gardens, Indianapolis Zoo, Eiteljorg Museum and State Museum. Their Lights, Legends and Lions Package combines a stay with tickets to the IMAX Theater, Indianapolis Zoo and White River Gardens. The Hyatt Regency also has a Children’s Museum package, where you can find the just-opened exhibit Transformers: Robots in Disguise.

The “Art As Therapy” exhibit runs at the Nickel Plate Arts Campus in Noblesville until March 21. Art As Therapy explores how art can serve as therapy; featured artist Gina Baird is also a board certified therapist.

A different form of art combines with food at Indy Film Fest’s Film to Fork series, which just opened March 12. Film to Fork combines food-themed movies, cocktails, and dinner prepared by The Alexander’s Market Table chefs (where it’s held). Food Truck Fridays also just opened March 13, and continue every Friday on Georgia Street. Newcomers Caveman Truck and Wyliepalooza bring joy to ice cream eaters and gluten-free folks everywhere!

For sports, check out Indy Fuel hockey at the Indiana Farmers Coliseum on March 18, or the Pacers with two home games March 21 and 23. To exercise yourself, Holliday Park holds its trail runMarch 21 – experience the park’s beauty on a 5-mile course, rain, snow, mud or shine. Families can visit the Indianapolis Museum of Art for their Equinox celebration on March 21 with a theme on kite-flying! The free event is held from 1-4 pm.

On March 28, visit the Indiana History Center for the 14th Annual Circus Day. The Hampel Family Circus will be there, as well as live animal shows, magicians and jugglers. Face painting, balloons and much more are available from 10 am to 5 pm. Finally, indie rock band Walk The Moon will be in concert at Egyptian Room, Old National Centre. The Cincinnati band will travel here to play on March 31.

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