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Subject: Indianapolis questions... rss

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Bryan Buchsdrucker
Canada
Calgary
AB
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Last year was my first Gencon and this year I'd like to go again (my family and I are flying in from Calgary), and I'm looking at things my wife and 3y old daughter can do in Indy while I game. My wife isn't a gamer, but she is a shopper!

So my questions are....

1. Apart from the Circle Centre, and the Premium Outlets what other good "shopping" areas/malls do you recommend? We'll have a rental car, so driving won't be an issue
2. What can you recommend for kids activities for a 3y old?
3. Last year we stayed in Plainfield, this year I'm looking at a hotel in Carmel. Is one area better than the other? (taking into account shopping and kids activities)

Thanks for your time
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Jakub Z
United States
Kirkland
Washington
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For kids I can really recommend Children's Museum and Zoo.
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Cody Jones
United States
Franklin
Indiana
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1. The Fashion Mall on the north side is great for shoppers.

2. I'll heartily second the Children's Museum and Zoo suggestions. the Rhythm Discovery Center and Conner Prairie are pretty cool for kids, too.

3. Given those two, I'd pick Carmel for location to other activities. Give yourself a little extra time coming in for the con, though - incoming traffic from the north side can be packed in the mornings.
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Bryan Buchsdrucker
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Calgary
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Thanks Jakub, and thanks Cody! I guess you can ignore the email I sent to gameoninbox.
 
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Denise Lavely
United States
Carmel
Indiana
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Hi Bryan! I live in Carmel, so I may be biased

1. Some of the area's best shopping is in or very near to Carmel - Clay Terrace, and Keystone at the Crossing. Clay Terrace is a open-air mall with a lot of upscale choices for fashion, housewares, and dining. Keystone is a more traditional mall but similar in feel, lots of upscale shops. And bonus for you - Indy's oldest game store, The Game Preserve, has a shop just across the street from this mall. Castleton Square and Glendale Mall are also not very far, but they are much older malls & not as exciting.

2. Absolutely, positively, if you are bringing a 3 year old, plan on spending at least one full afternoon at the Children's Museum. It is generally considered to be one of the top three children's museums in the world. The preschool area, Playscape, will be under construction at the time, but don't let that dissuade you - not only are pretty much ALL the exhibits at least somewhat toddler-friendly (with the exception of The Power of Children), they also have the Mr. Bear's Playhouse traveling exhibit at the time you'll be here. I am biased here - we've been members of the Children's Museum for 12 years now, and my kids are still not tired of it.

Also, if you stay in Carmel, there is Snapperz at Clay Terrace (a kids indoor playground/restaurant with all the inflatables and the kid habitrails and ball pits and what not). The Connor Prairie Living History Museum can also be a lot of fun for that age - the historical re-enactments aren't as exciting for a child that age, but the indoor play areas, the water playground, and the regular playground are pretty awesome. More of a drive is the Indianapolis Zoo, which is pretty close to Gencon, and VERY cool for littles!

3. Well, obviously I think Carmel rather than Plainfield! But Carmel is a much more expensive area, so if you are budget-minded for this vacation, you might want to take that into consideration.

Hope that helps!!

EDIT - almost forgot!! Do NOT go to the Children's Museum on a Saturday, it gets REALLY crowded and you'd spend the whole time worrying that you were going to lose your kid in the crowd. Go on Thursday or Friday. Connor Prairie is a better weekend choice - it's still busy, but it's SO BIG that it doesn't really matter as much.
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Bat Profile
United States
Sandworms USA
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if you are under 30 and stay up late drinking the bulldog in broad ripple usually has weekend bands and cheap boozehol....not as cheap as the red key but you have to be quiet in there
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kelsith
United States
Bloomington
Illinois
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Shrieking Emu wrote:
1. The Fashion Mall on the north side is great for shoppers.

My favorite mall in Indy largely because the Game Preserve (game store) is right across the street. (admittedly though if you are going to GenCon this won't be nearly as cool as there vendor area.)

Shrieking Emu wrote:

2. I'll heartily second the Children's Museum and Zoo suggestions. the Rhythm Discovery Center and Conner Prairie are pretty cool for kids, too.


Seriously check out the Children's Museum. Heck even if the 3y old wasn't with you it still is worth checking out if only for Chihuly's Fireworks of Glass



yes this is made of glass over 3,200 peices and is 43 feet tall
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John Hines
United States
Noblesville
Indiana
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I live in Carmel and have went to the last 9 GenCons. The Children's Museum is a must for your kids and is very close to Gencon. The zoo is good to and is also very close to Gencon. I suggest staying downtown Indy very close to the convention center. If you can't do that, then the Northside (Hamilton County) is where all the money and nice hotels are located. There is an outdoor mall in Carmel and the Fashion Mall is very close to Carmel. Carmel also has very nice trail system (Monon Trail) your family can safely walk. Carmel is very safe and was voted top 10 place to live in USA.
p.s. Your wife & kids could also tour Indianapolis Speedway (Indy 500)
 
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