The Indiana Insider Blog

Mix It Up in Hamilton County for Memorial Day Weekend

Indiana Transportation Museum

Ride the rails Memorial Day weekend

Yes, I am a lifelong Hoosier, but (gasp) I am not a racing fan (double gasp) so many of the Indianapolis 500 events don’t make my May calendar. For me and my family, Memorial Day weekend is about relaxing, enjoying time with friends and having extra time to take in something fun.

If warmer temps are in the forecast, our family likes to begin the official start of summer with a dip in the pool. Our kids like The Monon Community Center Waterpark in Carmel, Indiana. The water park is fun for all ages and features a zero-depth activity pool with a tot slide, a lazy river and two water slides. They open for the season on Saturday, May 28 at 11 a.m.

Conner Prairie Interactive History Park always has something fun going on, and Memorial Day weekend is no exception. Check the daily schedule of events when you enter the park so you can plan out your day. You can try the 1859 Balloon Ride and learn to fly the balloon with one of Conner Prairie’s certified pilots.  Or if you want to keep your activities limited to those you can do on the ground, go to the farm wedding in Prairietown or visit the new “babies” in Animal Encounters. Military personnel and their immediate family members enjoy FREE admission Memorial Day Weekend as part of the Blue Star Museums program. Regular admission is $14/adults, $13/seniors 65 +, $9/youth (ages 2-12). Free for members and youth under 2.

A train ride can be a fun weekend diversion too. During Memorial Day weekend, choose from one of three different train rides at the Indiana Transportation Museum. Climb aboard the Pizza PLUS Express Train on Saturday for a relaxing ride from Forest Park in Noblesville to Tipton, Indiana, and dinner at one of four area restaurants. You need to make reservations for this train, so reserve your space online at least 72 hours in advance or call (317) 773-6000 no later than Thursday at noon.

The weekend train schedule includes the Great Towns train and the Forest Park Caboose Train. The 8 Great Towns train runs from Noblesville to Tipton with stops in Arcadia and Cicero, Indiana. With scheduled stops, you can get off the train at any stop for a bike ride, hike or a little shopping, and then catch the train when it returns a few hours later. If you prefer to stay in one city, the Sunday caboose train, which runs from Forest Park to downtown Noblesville, is a lot of fun for the kids and at only $5 per person (for ages 2 and up), it’s cheap family fun to boot.

We try to downshift on Monday so we can ease back into the shortened work week. We might pack up a picnic to enjoy at one of the parks. Cool Creek Park is a good choice because it has shelters, and you can bike, hike, play basketball, or just let the kids play on the playground– while you start to think about what’s waiting for you at work on Tuesday!

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Written by : Jennifer, who lives on the far west side of Indianapolis, is a mom of 2 and an avid tourist. She writes for the Hamilton County Convention and Visitors Bureau, exploring all the county’s 8 Great Towns have to offer. Jennifer has a degree in English from the University of Cincinnati and a master’s in Communication and Rhetoric from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. For more information about Hamilton County, follow @8GreatTowns on Twitter or visit”