Visit the Columbian Park Zoo (Lafayette)


Look at that wallaby! So adorable. At the Columbian Park Zoo in Lafayette, Indiana.

Photo credit Anna Goben on Flickr

WHAT: Columbian Park Zoo

WHERE: 1915 Scott Street in Lafayette, Indiana


WHEN: Open seasonally. Closed from mid-October through April. Check hours here.

My kids and I visited the Columbian Park Zoo earlier this week and had a great time. While small, the grounds are beautiful and the exhibits are well-thought-out. We especially enjoyed walking through the wallaby section, where wallabies hopped around us. The butterfly exhibit was lovely and we spotted many varieties and observed some cocoons. We heard the monkeys making a racket.

There’s also a small barn, where we saw a pig, miniature horse, chickens and got to pet some wee goats.

The zoo offers structured field trips for groups. We chose to just visit and enjoy the surroundings. Kids are welcome to play in the fountains near the entrance.

For a fee, you can do a train ride. I don’t think it’s on tracks though, so it’s one of those long train-like kinda vehicles. In case that matters.

Pack a picnic lunch or walk over to Arni’s or the Frozen Custard nearby for a bite to eat. After checking out the zoo, visit the playground at Columbian Park, or go swimming at Tropicanoe Cove (all are on the same property).

Indiana State Fair 2014 field trips

It’s time to think about the Indiana State Fair! This year, the dates are August 1-17 at the Indiana State Fairgrounds in Indianapolis.

The fair offers a variety of field trip opportunities if you’d like to do a guided tour, or you can do a self-guided visit.

Visit this page to view fair field trip opportunities and to register. Prices are typically $2/student and the price includes admission.

Programs include:

  • Seed Survivor (2nd-3rd grade)
  • My American Farm (5th-6th)
  • The Versatile Bean (7th-12th)
  • Hoosier Heritage (4th)
  • Pathway to Water Quality (5th-6th)
  • Wonder Trail (self-guided, 2nd-6th)
  • Junior Vet Camp (6th-8th)
  • Senior Vet Camp (9th-12th)

18 FREE museums with reciprocal admission within 3 hours of Indy

Save money when you use your reciprocal museum membership

Photo modified under Creative Commons via David Wilson (linked below — I can’t link within this caption)

Planning a road trip or two this summer? Maybe you’re heading out to visit family. Or maybe you’re going on vacation. Here’s how you can visit some museums or science centers for free along your way.

Whether you’re treating one of these locations as a day-trip destination, or as a chance to get out and stretch your legs for a few hours before heading on down the road, check to see which museums might be along your route.

View the full ASTC museum map and list here.

If you have a membership at one of the ASTC Travel Program reciprocal museums, you can use your membership pass to get discounted or free admission to hundreds of museums and science centers worldwide.

Here are just some of the ASTC Travel Program reciprocal museums located in Indiana:

  • Indiana State Museum and Historic Sites
  • Imagination Station (Lafayette)
  • Muncie Children’s Museum
  • Minnetrista (Muncie)
  • Science Central (Fort Wayne)
  • Terre Haute Children’s Museum
  • WonderLab (Bloomington)

The program has a few restrictions. 

  • Visitors are entitled to free general admission only. Not free admission to special exhibits or IMAX presentations
  • No museum store discounts or other relevant benefits
  • It is based on your home science center or museum’s location. Museums within 90 miles of each other are excluded from this program, unless otherwise noted.
  • You must live more than 90 miles away as the crow flies from the museum you wish to visit. You may be asked to verify your residence upon entry.
  • Don’t forget your membership card!
  • Always call ahead to verify the museum is still participating. Ask about parking rates and any other fees so you know what to expect. I cannot guarantee any info in this post, so call ahead!

I live in the Indianapolis area, so here are some museums more than 90 miles, but less than roughly 3 hours away from me that could be fun day trips for my family.

If you’re a member of, say, WonderLab in Bloomington, some eligible museums might be different for you (for example, you could go to Minnetrista in Muncie, whereas I couldn’t). Check the ASTC page for a complete list.





Do you have a membership with reciprocal privileges? Do you use it?

Photo modified under Creative Commons licence via David Wilson