Indianapolis Children's Museum - the Biggest and the Best!
By Meg Brunson
Indianapolis is home to the world’s largest children’s museum, and my family absolutely had to check it out!
This place was incredible! Before we even parked the car, we were blown away by the exterior of the museum buildings – with ginormous dinosaurs appearing to be crashing into the building. And when we entered the lobby we were greeted by the larger than life Bumblebee Transformer – the one actually used in filming the movie!
The museum has a variety of permanent and temporary exhibits, and each one is expertly executed. Some of our favorites included:
- Dinosphere – We saw some incredible fossils and participated in an interactive experience where we learned how scientists use fossils and what they know about animals to make educated guesses about what extinct animals looked like.
- The Waterclock – we learned that this is the largest waterclock in the Americas and got lucky because we happened to be walking by at about 12:45 – so we watched the waterclock fill for the final minutes of the 12 o’clock hour and then watched the process as it drained down to reflect 1:00 (something that only happens once per day when the museum is open!).
- Barbie: You Can Be Anything – this was such an amazing and empowering exhibit. Throughout the exhibit, children get to see women in traditionally male-dominated careers and then they got to interact with the exhibits to imagine and experience what having that career would be like. It was fun to pretend to be president, a chef, a beekeeper, a surfer, and more.
- The Power of Children – This was a powerful exhibit to experience where we got to introduce our kids to other children who were brave and changed the world. During a time when injustices are making headlines, it’s amazing to be able to show our kids that they have the potential to make a difference just like Anne Frank, Ruby Bridges, and Ryan White. The exhibits did an amazing job at making complex topics age-appropriate, and sparked some great conversations.
- American POP – comics, superheros, classic toys, and fashion are all represented in the AmericanPOP exhibit. The whole family enjoyed this experience, but I think mom & dad liked it for the nostalgia the most!
- Take Me There: Greece – At the entryway to this exhibit is a large plane. You enter on one side, take a seat, and experience a simulated plane ride from Indianapolis to Greece. The seats vibrate and you can see the surroundings change through the windows. When the plane “lands” you depart on the other side of the plane – in Greece! While exploring this exhibit the kids enjoyed a dance lesson where they learned 3 traditional Greek dances.
- Sports Experiences – The inside sports exhibits were a lot of fun – the kids loved racing TY Hilton, playing jumbo foosball, balancing on the beam, and dancing in the end zone. Outside is a whole other world – a museum in itself! The whole family is able to try their hand at basketball, football, hockey, soccer, baseball and more! Each sport exhibit has a variety of professional looking/feeling equipment to accommodate all ages and abilities.
This entire facility knocked it out of the park. In nearly every exhibit we entered, we were met by a staff person who let us know that a special event/show/experience was beginning in 5-10 minutes. We had staff approach us in the halls to let us know about special events happening throughout the day, eager to get us pre-registered if we were interested. In addition to having so many amazing things to experience on your self-directed exploration of the museum, there was such an amazing variety of curated experiences happening throughout the day.
I’ll be honest – despite our best efforts, we were not able to do all the things, there is just so much amazingness here. But, at the end of the day, everyone was tired, we had learned so much, and we have amazing memories that will last a lifetime.
If/when our travels take us back to Indianapolis, we’ll definitely visit again. And if, by chance, Indiana ever became a permanent home, this is one place where we’d need a membership!
Tips for a Terrific Visit
- Plan for a full day – if you want the best chance to see it all, you’ll need to arrive early and stay as late as possible – there is a lot to enjoy!
- Plan ahead – If spending a full day is not an option, do a little research. Check out the exhibits and make a plan for what you want to do first, and what you won’t be too sad if you miss. Then, you can enter with a game plan!
- Bringing or Buying? Plan for lunch! – There is a food court on site with a variety of dining options, or you can pack a cooler lunch and leave the museum to eat then come back in. But, in my opinion, the convenience of eating right at the museum is worth it!
- Spending Money – in addition to the cost of admission, you may want spending money for the food court, gift shop, carousel rides, locker rentals and/or stroller rentals.
- Footwear – Wear sneakers! There is a lot of walking and playing, and some attractions require closed toed shoes.
Learn more about the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis and start planning your visit at childrensmuseum.org
Read about some of the other adventures we're having on our Indefinite Road Trip!
© 2020 Meg Brunson
Thanks to the Indianapolis Children's Museum for sponsoring this review! All opinions expressed are my own. See more on Instagram!
Meg is a mommy blogger, Facebook marketer, and much more. She is a mom to four kids who live full-time in an RV exploring the US! As a former Facebook employee, Meg remains a Facebook addict and handles KidsOutAndAbout.com's Social Media Marketing in addition to providing freelance services for other small businesses on how to best leverage Facebook as a part of their marketing strategy. Meg also hosts the FamilyPreneur Podcast, a podcast for parent entrepreneurs raising entrepreneurial children. Learn more about Meg at MegBrunson.com!