Skip to main content

Wisconsin Parent

Midwest Travel: Indianapolis Zoo

May 21, 2014 01:01PM ● Published by Julie Henning

The Hilbert Conservatory features a butterfly kaleidoscope that runs March 21-September 2.

Indianapolis Zoo

Located within the White River State Park in downtown Indianapolis, to me the Indianapolis Zoo feels a bit like being in Central Park. Zoos usually aren't high on my places to visit, but being a travel writer and having three elementary-age kids, I've visited a zoo or twenty in the past few years. Pleasantly surprised by the emphasis on conservation, research, and global stewardship, here's why over a million people enjoy a visit to the Indianapolis Zoo every year.

To begin, the Indianapolis Zoo is a zoo, an aquarium, and a botanical garden. General admission includes a ticket to the dolphin show and military, AAA, and AZA discounts are available. The Indianapolis Zoo does not receive any tax revenue, but depends upon admissions, donations, and corporate sponsorships to keep the gates open and the cages closed. If you're driving in from out of town, you might want to look into the Indianapolis Family Fun Adventure Getaway package, offering discounted hotel rates and four admissions to the Indianapolis Zoo and the Children's museum of Indianapolis (click here for more info).

IMG_7075

Patrons looking to have an amazing zoo experience might consider upgrading to the Total Adventure Package, which is like having all-access pass with free rides and animal feeds. Additional zoo packages include the Dolphin In-Water experience (bring your bathing suit) and Animal Art Adventure Packages (choose between the walrus and the elephant).

Zoo Coaster

IMG_7224

Walrus Painting Indianapolis Zoo

Another zoo highlight is the nation's largest shark pool located inside the Oceans building. Families with small children visiting in the summer months might want to bring appropriate clothing for kids' to enjoy both the splash park and tots treehouse and play area.

The nation's largest shark touch pool.

The International Orangutan Center

Opening Memorial Day 2014 (this weekend), the International Orangutan Center is a 4-acre, $26 million dollar addition to the Indianapolis Zoo dedicated to orangutan research and conservation. A state-of-the art exhibit, the International Orangutan  Center will bring people up close and personal with orangutans in a way they won't find anywhere else in the world.

International Orangutan Center

Home to eight rescue orangutans, scientists at the International Orangutan Center will conduct daily research on orangutan cognition and behavior that will be incorporated into published research and accredited studies. In the photo below Dr. Robert Shumaker works with orangutans on touch-screen computer monitors at the International Orangutan Center at the Indianapolis Zoo. Shumaker is the author of the book "Orangutans," which is available on Amazon.com and (I'm assuming) the zoo gift shop.

IMG_7227

In addition to watching the orangutans hard at work, visitors to the new exhibit will be able to observe the orangutans inside the indoor and outdoor viewing areas, on the 60-foot tall Myrta Pulliam Hutan Trail, and from atop the Skyline (for those people who upgraded to the Total Adventure Package). If you use Twitter, take a selfie with Rocky and post the photo with the hashtag #indyorangutans.

IMG_8874

One way to pique the interest of the orangutans is to show them items from your purse, your jewelry, or any of your tattoos. If you're moved by the work of the scientists and inspired to combat the extinction of wild orangutans in Borneo and Sumatra, look for ways to make a conservation donation from within the International Orangutan Center.

Quinn and Orangutan at Indianapolis Zoo

“The only reason I care about doing this in a public way is that it promotes the conservation of orangutans. We’re hoping to change people’s hearts and minds.” ~ Dr. Robert Shumaker

For more information on what to do in Indianapolis, read some of my suggestions in this story. Enjoy these additional photos taken during my recent trip to the Indianapolis Zoo:

[nggallery id=7]

Travel Wisconsin Parent zoo midwest travel indiana indianapolis aquarium conservatory international orangutan exhibit
  • Tour de Marsh

    10/22/2017
    07:00AM — 10:00AM

    It is time to shake the cobwebs out of the Tour de Marsh kick-off ride and make it relevant for t...


  • Community Art Project Exhibit

    10/22/2017
    01:00PM — 04:00PM

    The Community Art Project is intended to raise awareness of the visual arts by reaching out to th...


  • Tour de Marsh

    10/23/2017
    07:00AM — 10:00AM

    It is time to shake the cobwebs out of the Tour de Marsh kick-off ride and make it relevant for t...


  • Tour de Marsh

    10/24/2017
    07:00AM — 10:00AM

    It is time to shake the cobwebs out of the Tour de Marsh kick-off ride and make it relevant for t...


  • Hospitality Training 101

    10/24/2017
    07:30AM — 09:00AM

    Hospitality Training 101 Send your front line staff, receptionists, sales associates and other...


  • Mom's Unite Evening Meet Up

    10/24/2017
    06:00PM — 07:00PM

    Join us for a Mom's Group! Bring your kids or bring yourself! The choice is yours! Our Mom's g...


  • Tour de Marsh

    10/25/2017
    07:00AM — 10:00AM

    It is time to shake the cobwebs out of the Tour de Marsh kick-off ride and make it relevant for t...


  • Mom's Unite Morning Meet Up

    10/25/2017
    08:30AM — 09:30AM

    Join us for a Mom's Group! Bring your kids or bring yourself! The choice is yours! Our Mom's g...


  • Community Art Project Exhibit

    10/25/2017
    01:00PM — 04:00PM

    The Community Art Project is intended to raise awareness of the visual arts by reaching out to th...


  • Downtown Madison Family Halloween

    10/25/2017
    03:00PM — 06:00PM

    Join us for an afternoon of spooky fun at the Museum! Explore our haunted cabin, meet our hodag, ...


  • Tour de Marsh

    10/26/2017
    07:00AM — 10:00AM

    It is time to shake the cobwebs out of the Tour de Marsh kick-off ride and make it relevant for t...


  • Mom's Unite Active Play Meet Up

    10/26/2017
    10:30AM — 11:30AM

    Join us for a Mom's Group! Bring your kids or bring yourself! The choice is yours! Our Mom's g...


  • Community Art Project Exhibit

    10/26/2017
    01:00PM — 04:00PM

    The Community Art Project is intended to raise awareness of the visual arts by reaching out to th...


  • A DBDI After-Hours Social and Update will take place on Thursday October 26th from 4:30 - 6:30 at...


  • Tour de Marsh

    10/27/2017
    07:00AM — 10:00AM

    It is time to shake the cobwebs out of the Tour de Marsh kick-off ride and make it relevant for t...


  • Community Art Project Exhibit

    10/27/2017
    01:00PM — 04:00PM

    The Community Art Project is intended to raise awareness of the visual arts by reaching out to th...


  • Family Night

    10/27/2017
    06:00PM — 08:00PM

    Sponsored by Tony Pochowski with Midwest Financial, this month's Family Night will consist of a D...


  • Tour de Marsh

    10/28/2017
    07:00AM — 10:00AM

    It is time to shake the cobwebs out of the Tour de Marsh kick-off ride and make it relevant for t...


  • Grief Awareness Workshop

    10/28/2017
    08:30AM — 11:00AM

    Father Mike Erwin and Parish Nurse Ya-Fen Szczesny, of St. Katharine Drexel Paris...


  • Geocache Class & Hunt

    10/28/2017
    09:00AM — 11:00AM

    Looking for an adventure? Want to explore your community? Join us in learning all the details you...


  • Purpose Workshop

    10/28/2017
    11:00AM — 01:00PM

    Research shows that people who know their purpose and can clearly articulate it can add up to sev...


  • BDACT:Halloween Spooktacular Party

    10/28/2017
    08:00PM — 12:00AM

    Featuring an Escape Room, Music, Costume Contests, and showings of THE PIT (filmed in Beaver Dam)...


  • Tour de Marsh

    10/22/2017
    07:00AM — 10:00AM

    It is time to shake the cobwebs out of the Tour de Marsh kick-off ride and make it relevant for t...


  • Community Art Project Exhibit

    10/22/2017
    01:00PM — 04:00PM

    The Community Art Project is intended to raise awareness of the visual arts by reaching out to th...


  • Tour de Marsh

    10/23/2017
    07:00AM — 10:00AM

    It is time to shake the cobwebs out of the Tour de Marsh kick-off ride and make it relevant for t...


  • Tour de Marsh

    10/24/2017
    07:00AM — 10:00AM

    It is time to shake the cobwebs out of the Tour de Marsh kick-off ride and make it relevant for t...


  • Hospitality Training 101

    10/24/2017
    07:30AM — 09:00AM

    Hospitality Training 101 Send your front line staff, receptionists, sales associates and other...


  • Mom's Unite Evening Meet Up

    10/24/2017
    06:00PM — 07:00PM

    Join us for a Mom's Group! Bring your kids or bring yourself! The choice is yours! Our Mom's g...


  • Tour de Marsh

    10/25/2017
    07:00AM — 10:00AM

    It is time to shake the cobwebs out of the Tour de Marsh kick-off ride and make it relevant for t...


  • Mom's Unite Morning Meet Up

    10/25/2017
    08:30AM — 09:30AM

    Join us for a Mom's Group! Bring your kids or bring yourself! The choice is yours! Our Mom's g...


  • Community Art Project Exhibit

    10/25/2017
    01:00PM — 04:00PM

    The Community Art Project is intended to raise awareness of the visual arts by reaching out to th...


  • Downtown Madison Family Halloween

    10/25/2017
    03:00PM — 06:00PM

    Join us for an afternoon of spooky fun at the Museum! Explore our haunted cabin, meet our hodag, ...


  • Tour de Marsh

    10/26/2017
    07:00AM — 10:00AM

    It is time to shake the cobwebs out of the Tour de Marsh kick-off ride and make it relevant for t...


  • Mom's Unite Active Play Meet Up

    10/26/2017
    10:30AM — 11:30AM

    Join us for a Mom's Group! Bring your kids or bring yourself! The choice is yours! Our Mom's g...


  • Community Art Project Exhibit

    10/26/2017
    01:00PM — 04:00PM

    The Community Art Project is intended to raise awareness of the visual arts by reaching out to th...


  • A DBDI After-Hours Social and Update will take place on Thursday October 26th from 4:30 - 6:30 at...


  • Tour de Marsh

    10/27/2017
    07:00AM — 10:00AM

    It is time to shake the cobwebs out of the Tour de Marsh kick-off ride and make it relevant for t...


  • Community Art Project Exhibit

    10/27/2017
    01:00PM — 04:00PM

    The Community Art Project is intended to raise awareness of the visual arts by reaching out to th...


  • Family Night

    10/27/2017
    06:00PM — 08:00PM

    Sponsored by Tony Pochowski with Midwest Financial, this month's Family Night will consist of a D...


  • Tour de Marsh

    10/28/2017
    07:00AM — 10:00AM

    It is time to shake the cobwebs out of the Tour de Marsh kick-off ride and make it relevant for t...


  • Grief Awareness Workshop

    10/28/2017
    08:30AM — 11:00AM

    Father Mike Erwin and Parish Nurse Ya-Fen Szczesny, of St. Katharine Drexel Paris...


  • Geocache Class & Hunt

    10/28/2017
    09:00AM — 11:00AM

    Looking for an adventure? Want to explore your community? Join us in learning all the details you...


  • Purpose Workshop

    10/28/2017
    11:00AM — 01:00PM

    Research shows that people who know their purpose and can clearly articulate it can add up to sev...


  • BDACT:Halloween Spooktacular Party

    10/28/2017
    08:00PM — 12:00AM

    Featuring an Escape Room, Music, Costume Contests, and showings of THE PIT (filmed in Beaver Dam)...


  • Tour de Marsh

    10/29/2017
    07:00AM — 10:00AM

    It is time to shake the cobwebs out of the Tour de Marsh kick-off ride and make it relevant for t...


  • Trick or Treat in Beaver Dam

    10/29/2017
    04:00PM — 06:00PM

    The annual City of Beaver Dam "official" Trick or Treat event is always held the Sunday closest t...


  • Tour de Marsh

    10/30/2017
    07:00AM — 10:00AM

    It is time to shake the cobwebs out of the Tour de Marsh kick-off ride and make it relevant for t...


  • Tour de Marsh

    10/31/2017
    07:00AM — 10:00AM

    It is time to shake the cobwebs out of the Tour de Marsh kick-off ride and make it relevant for t...


  • Tour de Marsh

    11/01/2017
    07:00AM — 10:00AM

    It is time to shake the cobwebs out of the Tour de Marsh kick-off ride and make it relevant for t...


  • Senior Movie Matinee

    11/01/2017
    01:00PM — 03:00PM

    Introducing something new for our WISER friends (60 yrs +)! Every 1st Wednesday of every month, w...


  • Tour de Marsh

    11/02/2017
    07:00AM — 10:00AM

    It is time to shake the cobwebs out of the Tour de Marsh kick-off ride and make it relevant for t...


  • Leadership Luncheon

    11/02/2017
    12:00PM — 12:45PM

    Join us on Thursday November 2nd from Noon to 12:45 pm in the Chamber Conference Room for an educ...


  • Kids in the Kitchen & Movie Night

    11/02/2017
    05:00PM — 09:00PM

    Attention Moms and Dads! Here’s a great opportunity to have some fun with your kids and help them...


  • Books & Beer with Author Sara Dahmen

    11/02/2017
    07:00PM — 08:00PM

    Join us as we talk with author Sara Dahmen about her historical fiction series which begins with ...


  • Tour de Marsh

    11/03/2017
    07:00AM — 10:00AM

    It is time to shake the cobwebs out of the Tour de Marsh kick-off ride and make it relevant for t...


  • Scrapbooking

    11/03/2017
    06:00PM — 10:00PM

    Love to Scrapbook? Looking for some time with friends? Join us for a ladies scrapbooking evening ...


  • Songs We Love (Not Necessarily Love Songs) Featuring four part vocal harmony, the group has pick...


  • Arsenic and Old Lace

    11/03/2017
    07:30PM — 09:30PM

    Arsenic and Old Lace is a farcical black comedy by Joseph Kesselring made popular through a film ...


  • Tour de Marsh

    11/04/2017
    07:00AM — 10:00AM

    It is time to shake the cobwebs out of the Tour de Marsh kick-off ride and make it relevant for t...


  • Volunteer with Us

    11/04/2017
    09:00AM — 03:00PM

    Volunteers live longer and have greater well-being. That is why Blue Zones Project Dodge County i...


  • Story Saturday: Wisconsin Book Festival

    11/04/2017
    10:30AM — 11:30AM

    The Wisconsin Historical Museum is proud to partner with the Wisconsin Book Festival and the Madi...


  • Songs We Love (Not Necessarily Love Songs) Featuring four part vocal harmony, the group has pick...


  • Arsenic and Old Lace

    11/04/2017
    07:30PM — 09:30PM

    Arsenic and Old Lace is a farcical black comedy by Joseph Kesselring made popular through a film ...


  • Tour de Marsh

    11/05/2017
    07:00AM — 10:00AM

    It is time to shake the cobwebs out of the Tour de Marsh kick-off ride and make it relevant for t...


  • Songs We Love (Not Necessarily Love Songs) Featuring four part vocal harmony, the group has pick...


  • Tour de Marsh

    11/06/2017
    07:00AM — 10:00AM

    It is time to shake the cobwebs out of the Tour de Marsh kick-off ride and make it relevant for t...


  • Tour de Marsh

    11/07/2017
    07:00AM — 10:00AM

    It is time to shake the cobwebs out of the Tour de Marsh kick-off ride and make it relevant for t...


  • A musical retrospective of the 1960’s is presented with the acclaimed Five by Design, known for t...


  • Tour de Marsh

    11/08/2017
    07:00AM — 10:00AM

    It is time to shake the cobwebs out of the Tour de Marsh kick-off ride and make it relevant for t...


  • Tour de Marsh

    11/09/2017
    07:00AM — 10:00AM

    It is time to shake the cobwebs out of the Tour de Marsh kick-off ride and make it relevant for t...


  • Tour de Marsh

    11/10/2017
    07:00AM — 10:00AM

    It is time to shake the cobwebs out of the Tour de Marsh kick-off ride and make it relevant for t...


  • Songs We Love (Not Necessarily Love Songs) Featuring four part vocal harmony, the group has pick...


  • Tour de Marsh

    11/11/2017
    07:00AM — 10:00AM

    It is time to shake the cobwebs out of the Tour de Marsh kick-off ride and make it relevant for t...


  • Chili & Soup Supper * Silent Auction Saturday, November 11 4 pm - 8 pm Serving chili and pota...


  • Songs We Love (Not Necessarily Love Songs) Featuring four part vocal harmony, the group has pick...


  • Tour de Marsh

    11/12/2017
    07:00AM — 10:00AM

    It is time to shake the cobwebs out of the Tour de Marsh kick-off ride and make it relevant for t...



Special Thanks to These Relaunch Partners


Woodman's Markets - Employee Owned
Greater Green Bay Convention & Visitors Bureau