Over the summer, we had the opportunity to explore the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis. The museum has received many accolades, so naturally, I’d been eager to go for quite some time. After spending an afternoon at the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, I can tell you that the accolades are much-deserved.
We stayed not far from the Children’s Museum – at the Caribbean Cove Hotel – so it was a perfect way to spend the day. There was fun and learning at the museum followed by waterslides and splashing at the Caribbean Cove Indoor Water Park. Take a look at 12 things you must do if you plan to visit the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis as a family.
1. Ride the Carousel. Who doesn’t love a relaxing ride on a carousel? Climb aboard one of 42 animals, including horses, giraffes and tigers on this historic carousel that dates back to 1917. Located on the fourth floor, rides are free for museum members. Non-members pay just $1 per ride.
2. Meet the Dinosaurs. Kids love dinosaurs and the Dinosphere is the perfect place to start your day at the Children’s Museum. Kids can dig for fossils, get up close and personal with dinosaur skeletons and put on dinosaur costumes. Look up in the domed exhibit room as the sky changes from day to night. The museum even offers off-site Family Dino Digs.
3. Learn about Healthy Lifestyles. In the Health House, kids can play games and engage in hands-on activities to learn about healthy eating and living habits, like teeth brushing, what makes a nutritious meal and simple exercise, like jumping rope. Little ones will love brushing dino teeth on Teeth Rex.
4. Go Dig in the Dirt. In the ScienceWorks area of the museum, dig in the dirt at the construction zone. My kids loved using scooping diggers and moving dirt (mulch) around in wheelbarrows. All four of my kids (ages 6-12) actually thought this was one of the most fun things to do.
5. Go Deeper into Science at SciencePort. Older kids can explore the science behind forensics, flight, plant development, even archaeology to engage their critical thinking and investigation skills. The staff-led activities are free, but you may want to arrive early to guarantee a place.
6. Try Your Hand at Calligraphy. In the Take Me There: China exhibit, children can learn all about China, from a day in the life of a Chinese boy to how to prepare Chinese food in a mock Chinese restaurant. They can even try on traditional costumes and see how they do at the ancient art of calligraphy.
7. Stay for a Planetarium Show. Take a seat and learn all about constellations and what to expect from the night sky in Indiana in the SpaceQuest Planetarium. Toddlers will love the Sesame Street-themed space show with Big Bird, while bigger kids may enjoy learning more about the Hubble Telescope.
8. Attend a Hands-On ScienceWorks Activity. Throughout the day, staff lead short interactive programs in the ScienceWorks area, like “Pond and Beyond” and “Under a Magnifying Glass.” Kids can also float boats and learn more about how water travels in this hands-on zone.
9. Learn About the Power of Children. It’s incredible what children can do and the Children’s Museum shares the stories of three young people who changed the world in the Power of Children. Be transported into their lives through short performances or learn how you can make a difference.
10. Climb the Rock Wall. Make sure to wear appropriate shoes because on select days (mostly weekends) kids can sign up to climb a 20-foot rock wall. The rock wall requires free tickets that get scooped up quickly, so if your kids are interested, make sure to get yours when you enter the museum.
11. Attend a Kid-Friendly Presentation. While at the museum, we went to “Dinosaurs Up Close, a short presentation offered three times daily. The staff member that led the discussion was very interactive with the kids who loved learning more about the dinosaurs on display.
12. Visit with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Opening later this month, you and your kids will love developing problem solving skills, just like the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Become a ninja in training and learn the “secrets of the sewer” through this exhibit, which runs Sept. 26 through April 10.