Childhood is a magical time – the world is larger than life, and everything you encounter has something fascinating to teach you. The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis lets visitors remember, at least for a little while, what it’s like to see the world through the eyes of a child.
Located only two hours (or perhaps a little less) west of Cincinnati in Indiana, the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis is the fourth oldest institution of its kind in the world, as well as the largest. It has earned numerous accolades, including a spot on AOL Travel online’s list of the Top Ten Museums in the U.S. for Families. The museum traces its roots back to 1925, when a visit to the Brooklyn Children’s Museum prompted a woman named Mary Stewart Carey to give the children of Indianapolis a similar experience. Carey enlisted friends and local children to help her make the project a reality, and together they installed the first incarnation of the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis in a carriage house on the old north side of the city. The museum has moved twice since then, first to the Garfield Park Shelter House, and then once more to the corner of 30th and North Meridian Streets. It has occupied the current location since 1946.
The sprawling 12.9-acre complex contains enough fuel to keep childish imaginations firing at top speed long after a visit to the museum ends. Its eleven galleries host a variety of exhibits, some permanent and some temporary, that appeal to every interest, from art to science to history. The exhibits teach children about our world and the people in it – what planet Earth was like during the time of the dinosaurs, how people lived in the past and how they live now in other countries, the importance of taking care of oneself and living a healthy lifestyle, and how you don’t have to be grown up to make a difference. These displays encourage young visitors to think, question, and dream. And the best part: the kids are having so much fun that they don’t even realize they’re learning.
The facility also contains a planetarium, as well as its own auditorium where you can take in live entertainment and introduce your children to the theater. In addition to its exhibits and shows, the museum offers special family-oriented programs throughout the year.
- Hours vary by season, please check website
- Youth (ages 2-17): $11.50
- Adult (ages 18-59): $16.50
- Senior (ages 60+): $15.50
- Location: 3000 N. Meridian St., Indianapolis, IN
- Phone: 317-334-3322
- Website: www.childrensmuseum.org/