If you visit: Race weekend!

Goodness. Four more school days people! I’m not sure we’ll make it in this house! Even the dog was moody this morning. We are so looking forward to the long holiday weekend!

I’m a proud Hoosier and this is a HUGE weekend for Indianapolis because of a little race called the Indy 500. :) I find many people visit Indy and are surprised with what we have to offer – it really is a fun city. When we hosted the Super Bowl a few years back I shared a few of my favorite spots. Those were mostly indoor activities and restaurants, but the trees are green, the sun is shining and if you’ll be in town with kids this weekend our zoo is a great spot to visit!

We LOVE our zoo. I’ve not been to many others so I can’t compare it much, but we think it’s pretty awesome. There are two sections to the Indy Zoo – the White River Gardens and the animal exhibits. White River Gardens is one of my favorite spots in all of Indianapolis:

white river gardens Indy

Throughout the spring and summer you can see the butterflies at the Hilbert Conservatory, along with hundreds of tropical plants.

That building itself is pretty awesome, but then you walk out to the gardens – my favorite: white river gardens Indy

white river gardens Indianapolis

It’s three acres of some of the prettiest gardens. There are fountains, shade gardens, gazebos, beautiful stonework, a lily pad pond, (yes, complete with frogs), and flowers! So many flowers!

It’s just gorgeous:

white river gardens Indianapolis

It’s a large space but they break it down into little “secret” gardens – all so beautiful. You just want to bring a book and sit on a bench all day:

white river gardens Indy

white river gardens Indianapolis

There are a ton of little statues throughout – our favorites are the spitting frogs:

spitting frogs white river gardens

I took most of these pics a couple weeks ago when things were still growing in. It’s even more stunning now. There are flowering vines throughout that grow thick and cover everything so beautifully:

white river gardens Indianapolis

We were there to catch the tail end of the tulips in bloom: white river gardens Indianapolis

white river gardens Indianapolis

At the end of the gardens is a huge lawn where weddings are held:

white river gardens Indianapolis

The pergola wraps around and is covered in vines in the summer – it’s one of my favorite areas in the gardens! I have a lot of favorite spots in there, if you can’t tell. :)

The zoo itself is full of fun stuff as well, but the big event this weekend is the opening of the new orangutan exhibit – we’ve been watching it go up and were so excited to finally get inside:

orangutan exhibit indy zoo

It opens to the public tomorrow but members got to see it a little early. I’ve never seen anything like it! The orangutans are able to go outside and climb up onto poles that go around the whole exhibit – they go across the wires right above you. There’s also a gondola ride that you can take around the whole thing – I’m sure it will offer some awesome views of the city! (And you’ll go right by the orangutans!)

This guy was going back down into the exhibit:

orangutans indy zoo

It is seriously SO cool to see them just hanging (literally) right over your heads! It’s fascinating to watch.

Inside you can get up close and personal with them:

orangutans indy zoo orangutans indy zoo orangutans indy zoo

It was so cool to get that close to them! I don’t know their temperament but from where we were standing they seemed like very calm, sweet souls.

There are so many spots outside to see them too – windows everywhere:orangutan exhibit indy zooIf you’re in our lovely city for the race this weekend or live nearby and want to do a quick trip, don’t miss the zoo! It’s fun with the family or not. :)

I’m so proud of our city – there’s so much to do in Indy! Are you visiting for the race? Have you ever been? If you are coming into town be safe and have a blast!