Best Summer Activities for Indiana Families

When the summer heat hits, we often head for the local pool or vegetate in front of the TV. Around Indiana, you can find great activities to beat the heat without baking in the sun or draining your brain.

Find great activities around our awesome state! Here are just a few:

Gold Panning

Just outside of Spencer, Indiana, you can find a small stream—the Salt Creek, which is a tributary of the East Fork White River.  Just outside of Spencer is a small town called Gatesville, and if you look hard enough, you can find the Gatesville Store, which rents gold panning equipment like boots, sieves, and instructions.

The funny thing is, you’re more likely to find geodes, fossils and fish than you are to find gold, but the adventure and experience are worth the drive.

Salt Creek is just one place where you can sieve through rocks and look for gold and treasure. The general point of panning isn’t necessarily to find gold, although this is a possibility.  The point is—most certainly—to get outside, wade in a creek, and learn something about nature!


When the weather is hot, caves are always cool. Hiking in the naturally temperature-controlled caves of Indiana is a great way to beat the heat, enjoy some amazing sights, and trek around outside.

Cave adventures spark imaginations and cool your family! Check out some of the amazing caves in Indiana for canoeing, hiking, camping, and treasure-hunting.

You can find out more about Marengo Cave, Bluespring Caverns, Indiana Caverns, and Squire Boone Caverns at

Fair Season

Many Hoosiers gear up for the Indiana State Fair every August, but county fairs begin in June. As awesome as the State Fair can be, county fairs bring a small town feel to fairs that are typically less expensive, less crowded, and easier to manage with young children. Some county festivals focus on food, livestock, history, and other things. Your family may learn about Indiana history, farms, artisan work, and much more.

Aren’t you ready for a Ferris wheel and a funnel cake? Check out a nearby local fair to prime your family for the excitement of fair season! Click here for a list of county fairs and the dates!

Indiana State Parks Turkey Run

Of course, you can never beat a trip to an Indiana State Park.  Mounds State Park, Dunes State Park, Summit Lake, Turkey Run—the list goes on.

Pack a picnic and take a hike in Shades State Park, and enjoy the beauty of an amazing forest and breathtaking waterfalls.  Don’t forget to cool off in one of the waterfall pools.

What better way to enjoy the summer in Indiana than to visit a beautiful river or forest and run around?  Click here for a list of state parks!

Beyond the trips to pan for gold, explore caves, go to fairs, and visit Indiana State Parks, you can find some other awesome ideas to keep your kids busy, active, and learning this summer.  Here are a few great blogs that suggest some creative ways to keep your kids busy and happy this summer:

100 Summer Fun Ideas for Kids and Parents

3 Chore Apps to Keep Your Kids Amused This Summer

9 Fun Ways to Stop Summer Brain Drain