Thursday, September 21, 2017

Explore Indiana Caverns This Fall!

            Hey folks! Already thinking of what to do with the kids over fall break? Or maybe you're just looking for something different to do this weekend? Either way, I have just the place for you!
            Before I go on, I have one more question for you: Did you know that Indiana has caves? Believe it or not, the Hoosier state actually boasts several touring caves, including Indiana Caverns. Located outside of historic Corydon, Indiana, not only is Indiana Caverns the newest touring cave to open to the public in Indiana, it is also the longest! Here are some of the features you can enjoy on your visit:

*35' waterfall
*Lots of Ice Age bones (In fact, they boast one of the largest collections of Ice Age bones in North America!)
*A 25 minute underground boat ride
*Rare cave life
*And more!

            Indiana Caverns offers more than just one cave tour. (As if that's not cool enough, right?) If you're one of those people who are extra adventurous, be sure to look into the Deep Darkness expedition, where you can explore the subterranean river like real cavers do by wading and kayaking: complete with a helmet mounted light, kneepads, and the works!
            If you have a younger explorer with you, Indiana Caverns has something for them too. Kids can get an idea of what real spelunking is all about in the 400 foot tunnel “Cavern of the Sabertooth”. Don't forget to look for the treasure!
            For those of you looking for something more laid back, there is gem sluicing, trails on the surface of the property to enjoy, and a huge gift shop! As you can imagine, you can easily make an afternoon at Indiana Caverns, which is exactly what we did recently!

            Our experience with Indiana Caverns started out on a late Friday evening. Without stopping, it is about a 2 ½ hour drive for us, so we ended up getting to the area an hour plus later than I had hoped. That being said, we got there right as the last tour for the day was leaving and none of us like being rushed, so we decided to check all of their other stuff out and do the tour the next day.

            I made the mistake of opening my big mouth beforehand that they had a “kiddie cave” that Myka could do, so naturally that was the first thing she wanted to do. However, we were not aware that one of us would have to go in with her as it is kind of intended for older kids. Since John has bad knees, I was the obvious candidate. Long story shorter, I ended up freaking myself out (Though I'm not normally claustrophobic. I was more afraid of not being able to get out, for whatever reason.) so John did end up going in with her. Poor guy. Myka had fun, though!

            We also wandered around the gift shop that evening as well. It has tons of items, whether you're looking for something for yourself, friends and family, adults, or children. Stuffed animals, gems and geodes, t-shirts, salt lamps, and so much more!
            We had good timing the next day and got on a tour as soon as we arrived. They don't really have any set times that they start tours, by the way. They're kind of “on demand” and as soon as there are enough people wanting to go down, they start a tour!

            I have to admit, the Indiana Caverns tour was different from any other cave tour I've ever been on. (And I've seen quite a few caves in my 30 years, including Mammoth Cave!) While the tour is an hour and a half long, distance-wise it is pretty short. You stop at several different spots along the way and learn about the different geological features and creatures the Ice Age bones belong to. (There are quite a lot, as I mentioned earlier, so if history and/or archeology are your thing, you will love this place!)

            Warning: Be prepared for MANY stairs. As with any cave you visit, there are going to be stairs, of course, but once you get down to a certain level, or the “main cavern”, it levels out and you are walking “straight” for the remainder of the tour until you get to the end. With Indiana Caverns, we both felt like we were walking up and down stairs almost the entire time (besides the boat ride, of course). Admittedly, it was even more difficult for me because Ripley had pretty much no desire to walk even on the straightaways so I was carrying her the majority of the time, but you've been warned. If you're really out of shape or have young children who can walk, but are too big to be carried in a carrier on the front, you may want to reconsider.

            Although the little one was quite whiny, Myka on the other hand had a blast! It was her first time in a cave, so she was naturally fascinated by everything, including the bones. She has an obsession with boats, so that was one of the highlights for her too. I don't really care for boats, but it was a nice break in the middle of the tour. I was a little disappointed we didn't see any cave fish, but we did spot a cave crayfish before reaching the boats. Also, oddly enough, the boat tour part was the driest area of the cave we saw. The rest of the cave is very wet and drippy! Hence the 35' waterfall at the beginning!

            I was also a little disappointed our tour guide didn't talk more about the different cave formations, such as “soda straws” and “cave bacon”. (Seriously. It's a thing. Look it up.) She did touch on the differences and formation of stalactites and stalagmites briefly.

            Myka, my husband, and his parents are really into rocks and gems and the like, so naturally we had to buy a big ole bag of rocks to sluice through after our cave tour. We got some really big chunks of amethyst and several smaller pieces that John and I weren't even sure what they were. One looked like amber, which I thought was pretty neat! They do offer a pamphlet showcasing fossils and gems so you can try to figure out what you found, which is nice.
            After not sleeping well the night before (Love camping. Hate air mattresses.) and being pooped out from the cave tour, we decided to call it a day. Overall, I think we all had a good time. It's definitely a unique, family-friendly spot to spend the afternoon. So long as you're not claustrophobic, I highly recommend anyone visit a cave at least once in their life. Why not Indiana Caverns?
            You can stay up-to-date with them on Facebook and Instagram.

Mixed Bag Mama was not compensated monetarily for this post. We received cave tour tickets in return for our honest review. All opinions are my own and may differ from yours. 
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  1. Wow this looks amazing! This would really appeal to my boys (and mine and my husband's) sense of adventure! We're over in the UK so a bit of a trip to visit but if we're ever nearby it'll be on our list of places to visit! #FabFridayPost

    1. Do they have any caves over there? I've never thought to ask my friend that who lives over there. ha ha

  2. My kids never been to a cave before and this looks Amazing! She is very brave. I think my little Evelyn would freak out a bit lol! - perhaps, I will take them when they are a little older.

    Thank you so much for linkin up with us on #FabFridayPost

    1. She is pretty adventurous, that is for sure! I bet both of yours would enjoy it when they are older. :)