School is out, the weather is warm, and you need to keep the kids busy. Hours on the couch watching TV or playing video games isn’t something that will keep their bodies healthy.
Here are some suggestions on local ideas that will keep the kiddos busy and moving:
- Hike one of Indiana’s state parks--for free! During this Bicentennial year celebration, free state park passes are available for checkout from local libraries.
- Go to Mesker Park Zoo. You can walk the hills, climb on the playground and participate in the Deaconess Animal Activity Trail. There’s plenty to learn at the zoo and annual membership passes are good value.
- Visit one of the many free playgrounds in our communities.
- Kids Kingdom in downtown Evansville on the riverfront.
- Fortress of Fun in Newburgh, on Park Drive near the Newburgh Pool
- Imagination Station in Mt. Vernon—right by the library
- Playgrounds are at numerous city and county parks, including Garvin, Wesselman and Burdette.
- The Children’s Museum of Evansville (CMOE) is filled with active and educational exhibits, including a health, nutrition and a wellness section sponsored by Deaconess. Kids can learn about healthy eating, climb, dance and take care of “patients” in a health clinic exhibit.
- Explore a trail you've never visited, such as at Angel Mounds, the USI-Burdette Trail, or one of the beautiful river view walks in Evansville, Newburgh or Henderson. Or get out the bikes and go for a ride on the Greenway or around some of our parks. (Don’t forget the helmets!) Pack a picnic lunch and make it a fun outing.·
- Go for a swim! The city pools (such as Hartke, Lorraine, Helfrich, etc.) offer great rates on admission. And city pools offer swim lessons and teams, a great opportunity to build swimming skills in a community-oriented competitive spirit. Also, Burdette Park offers an entire aquatic center, and offers a fun “family night” discount on Friday evenings.
- Visit one of our wonderful farmers markets. Some of the markets have special initiatives for kids, including:
- Historic Newburgh Farmers Market – sign your child up for the POP (Power of Produce) program, where they’ll receive a “produce passport” to help them learn more about healthy eating.
- The Franklin Street Bazaar has a kids day.
- At the Downtown Farmers Market on Friday, there is a “Back To School Day”
- A local website, www.evansville.macaronikid.com, keeps a calendar of family activities. You can sign up for an event email as well.
- For older kids, rock climbing is a great exercise, a good way to build relationships, and is a fun challenge. Vertical Excape Climbing Center is a safe environment to learn this fun skill. http://evansville.verticalexcape.com/
- The YMCA offers a great variety of programs to keep kids moving. From their daily camps, great for families where parents work during the day, to their swim lessons and sport academy, there are many ways to stay active, even without a membership. See their summer program guide for more info:https://ymcaswin.org/programs/.
- The University of Southern Indiana offers a variety of programs weekly. From cooking to math, art, and science, there is something for everyone in their Summer Camp program.
As you can see, there are lots of options to keep your kids happy, healthy and moving during this season. Have a great summer!