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Indianapolis Museums

First-Time Explorers!

ExplorersOur family has 4 little people who LOVE to EXPLORE! Upon moving to Indiana from Michigan, we were informed that The Children's Museum in Indianapolis was a MUST-SEE! We've only visited once but were were blown away with the exhibits, the creativity and all of the options for our entire family!

Our children could hardly contain their excitement as they marveled at the colors in the blown glass center, as they traveled through prehistoric lands discovering dinosaurs and eggs, as they dug through sand wearing goggles and brushes to discover "bones", as they wandered through the science center. Such looks of amazement, excitement and growth! They took it all in!

Their favorite experience? Traveling through Egypt! They loved hopping on the plane, looking out the windows and racing through Egypt--music, jewelry, arts! They loved it all!

Our youngest would say his favorite explorations pertain to the trains. He adores trains of any kind and could simply wander through all day!

We thoroughly enjoyed our explorations and would love another opportunity to do so! With a husband who is a public school teacher, it's awesome to be able to take the kids somewhere where they can learn and have FUN! We look forward to discovering more through explorations with our children.

Name: Melanie Cowper


We Love The Children's Museum

ExplorerWe absolutely love the Children's museum of Indianapolis. We like to go several times a year. My oldest daughter is 14 and she loves your Science lab. She literally could spend hours in it. She loves looking under the microscope and examining whatever the topic of the day is. She's enjoyed the leaf dissection and discovering the pistil and the stamen etc, she loved looking at salt crystals under the microscope and growing her bean plant. My youngest loves your museum so much that she even traveled in a wheelchair just so she could visit your Egypt exhibit  (she was recovering from pneumonia). Needless to say the museum has been a favorite for our whole family.

Name: ANGELA LEE


We just LOVE The Children's Museum of Indianapolis

ExplorerThe Hallam family just LOVE The Children's Museum of Indianapolis. It has been an anchoring point for us since moving from the UK to Indianapolis in 2009. An amazing place of discovery we can enjoy together though rain and shine, for one hour, or a full day, and a guaranteed adventure for every person that comes to visit us! We have made so many friends here, which is very important when you are the new guys. Our photo albums on facebook are filled with so many pictures of the fun we have at the museum that we are always being asked if we actually live down there. We wish!

Our most special memory has to be the visit for our daughters third birthday when she got to meet Dora and Diego!! Words cannot describe her excitement that day; she still talks about it today, such a wonderful lasting memory for us all.

Name: Seonad Hallam


The Power of Children

My children and I visit The Children's Museum of Indianapolis as often as we can.

The exhibit that stood out to them the most was the "Power of Children." It gave me an opportunity to discuss with them how evil racism and prejudice is. They also had never heard of Ryan White or Ruby Bridges. They had heard of Anne Frank, but really learned of her ordeal after we watched the play at the museum.

This exhibit allowed us to discuss that bigotry should never be tolerated and we also learned that children can be major leaders of change. I hope to see more in this series.

Name: Robbin Sally

Digging for more to explore?

ExplorerWhat’s that? Check this out. The Amos’s have been exploring together for a while. I am a fossil hunter and have taken my daughter on lots of real fossil digs in Kansas and Michigan. When the eyes go wide and the questions fly. That is when you know that this is an experience. That is what the Children's Museum of Indianapolis is all about.

When we moved back to Indianapolis, one of the first things we did was go to The Children’s Museum. We had not been there for almost eight years. Remember Cine dome? I have a picture of her playing on the water table when she was only about 10 months old. We loved the info zone. We would get books weekly and loved the atmosphere.

Now fast forward several years. We were blown away by the dinosaur exhibits. She liked the little fossil dig but it brought back memories of our digs. I have shown her fossils from my friends but it is different when it is in a museum. You have access to fossils I can only dream about. The size and scope of the collections are really impressive. One of the best things we saw was the Dino Lab. Sadly, on our fossil digs we used chain saws to move the earth. We were dirty and covered in mud. It was a stark contrast to the lab. We noticed that on that day, all the workers in there were woman. She was trying to figure out why they were using such fine instruments since we were so rough on our digs. That made a big impression on my daughter.

Science is not about just facts and numbers. Science is about wonder. Science is about asking the questions and finding out why. If schools cannot foster the correct atmosphere, it is up to parents to bring that to their kids. It is really hard to bring so many different experiences to kids. Museums are the key to getting kids excited about the world around them and getting them to explore for more.

Name: Kimberly Amos


The Indy Childrens Museum

I have not been to the Indianapolis Childrens Museum in a while but we are planning a visit again soon. My oldest son and I used to go quite often and he would always ask when we could go again ! We bring our family and friends so they can enjoy all the different adventures on each floor with us. It is a wonderful and exciting adventurous Day trip for us since we live in Huntington, Indiana. We always visit the gift shop and leave with a little something and lots of pictures to share. It brings us together as a family and we look forward to our next trip to the Indianapolis Childrens Museum !

Name: Toni Ritter

Mommy and Daddy can we go to the Children's Museum TODAY!?!?

ExplorerHello! We are the Kincheloe's and one of our favorite things to do as a family is exploring at the Children's Museum of Indianapolis!! We moved to Indianapolis from Denver, CO September 2010 and as soon as we arrived we were on a mission to find an amazing place for our 4 year old to attend preschool. I came across an add for the program at the Children's Museum and immediately called to inquire about what sounded like an amazing opportunity. We enrolled our son Gavin and that was just the beginning of many great adventures for our family.

When I was in 6th grade I traveled with my school from Kentucky for a weekend in Indianapolis. The only major memory that I can recall from that weekend was the water clock at the Children's Museum. When we went for the first time as a family it was like I was a little kid again looking up at that amazing exibit. I was able to share an awesome childhood memory with my little explorer.

Our son Gavin gets up every morning and asks us "Can we go to the Children's Museum today!?!?" He was heartbroken when preschool ended in April. Throughout his semester there, we as a family learned so much about what excites us. My husband Bruce is an Art lover so to walk in to the Children's Museum and see amazing Chihuly glass work makes his experience unlike any other. My highlight of this past year was the Amazing Costume exhibit. My favorite movie is the Wizard of Oz and seeing the Wicked Witch of the West's hat that she wore in the movie was amazing for me. Another favorite of mine is the Ryan White story. I stood there and cried at what an awesome job the Children's Museum of Indianapolis is doing to educate our children about such real and relavant subjects to us all. Above it all Bruce and I love to see our little man Gavin, explore and embrace his love of Science and learning. Science works is an exhibit that is a favorite for Gavin and we just love to sit back and watch how he interacts. You can just see the wheels turning in his head. Another favorite for Gavin is the Dinoshere. He loves to dig for Dino bones and talk to the Paleontologist about what it was like to discover such amazing fossils.

We are so excited about the opportunity to be involved in another great day at the museum. This will give us the opportunity to make even more great family memories!!

Sincerely,
Bruce, Leah and Gavin
The Kincheloe's

Name: Leah Kinchelone



Lehman 5 Adventures

Our family does not get to come to the Children's Museum of Indianapolis as much as we would love to. But, when we do plan a trip, it is well in advance and the kids are sooo excited and keep asking when the day is we get to come. It is about family time and a sense of anticipation as to what we will see or learn about during our visit. We always leave with some new and interesting facts to talk about on the way home. I told the kids about the possible scavenger hunt and they are already planning who will be in charge of the clues, who the leader will be, secret code words for our family and a team name. I told them we have not even been picked yet, but they said we can have a scavenger hunt in our own backyard instead.

Name: April Lehman

The Animals!

I am a mother of 2, and all of my life I have loved to travel. My grandad used to take me on trips with him and we would always visit unique places! We visit The Children's Museum of Indianapolis about once a year, but we love to explore. We learned many new things every time we go. We spend the whole day and still feel like it wasnt enough time!! I have to say our most memorable time was when my 10 year old step-son dressed up at the barbie runway, and all of the little girls were picking so many outfits out for him to wear!!! I love for my children to explore, see new things, learn different things. To me life is short we must live it to the fullest. I feel that if my kids dont explore and see, and learn new things then they wont have an open view on life! It teaches them not to forget about our history, creaters, and imagination! My grandad has always wanted to go to washington dc, and let me tell ya growing up with him my children and I have grown up with history and know politics and what better place could you learn so much from about our history? In a ways I guess I am saying I would love to get to take the chance to take my family to washington dc! And in a way to pay our grandad back for all of the times he took us places to explore and learn!!

Name: Tabatha Nicholson

Our Discovery

Last year we received a membership as a gift. We came to the museum expecting a good time. It started when we turned the corner and dinosaurs were coming out of the building! My girls were so excited. We entered and started learning stuff before we had even made it to the desk. We searched through the whole museum for tidbits we didn't know. There were dinosaurs, trains, submarines, and Yoda. There were carousels, science experiments, and tunnels. We meet Egyptians, Barbies, and storytellers. We laughed, we learned, we touched everything in the building but our biggest discoveries were our kids. We would have never guessed that our 2 year old would love dinosaurs. We had no idea that our 4 year old would love seeing games we played as children. Our good time at the Children's Museum of Indianapolis turned into a learning experience that we could never imagine and would never trade for a million dollars.

Name: Erin Hanson

Pirates!!

My name is Lindsey Taylor. I have 3 children. I grew up in Indiana and have visited the Childrens Museum of Indianapolis since I was a small child. I have pictures of myself as a child riding the carosel. When I had my first child we became members of the museum. We went every week for a long time. He loved it. The playscape was our home away from home. As I had more children our visits became a little less frequent but still regular.I have watched my children play in the sand, stare into mirrors, admire doll houses, pretend to be racecar drivers, and go sledding indoors. I laughed when my son got stuck in the science works cave. I was scared when I lost my other son in the dinosaurs. I cried when they listened and was sad over the Ryan white story--a story that was close to my heart since my older sister was in his class at northview. We have spent hours watching trains go in circles. I was broken hearted when the pioneer exhibit closed because I remember my mom talking to me about the indians when I was little. My husband and our boys spent hours at the batman car and my little girl and I shared precious time with the barbies.

The indianpolos childrens museum is a part of my family. One Saturday we were driving home to columbus from a day at the museum. My Boys were 3 and 5. They were talking about all the different types of people (indians, superheros, scientists) my husband looks at me and says "play along" in a whisper. He says to my boys "you know I have a secret and if I tell you you can't tell anyone." The boys stare at their dad with huge eyes and say ok.. my husband goes on to say "your mom and I used to be pirates." They were hilariously amazed. We went on with his elaborate story of our ship and our parrot and the islands we went to. But of course we never harmed anyone. We only stole coockies and brownies but we finally decided to give up our life of crime because we wanted a family. My children still believe this story. We often hear them whispering to their friends that there parents are pirates.

My family is very close and we spend all the time we can together. We would love the opportunity to scavenger hunt together. We are super competitive and love participating in things like this. Please choose the Taylor pirates!

Name: Lindsey taylor

Fry Adventures at the Children's Museum of Indianapolis

We try to visit The Children's Museum of Indianapolis at least once a month. We have two children and they both love their time at the museum. My son is 5 and loves digging for dinosaur bones. Each visit he learns something new about dinosaurs. My daughter is 8, and will be in the third grade during the next school year. Her favorite adventure in the museum in the science works.

One of the best attributes of the Children's Museum is that every visit, no matter how often we visit, is a new adventure. We love to catch the plays in the basement. We always look through the program to find out play times and plan our trip throughout the museum so that we can watch the play. We always learn something we did not know with each visit to the museum.

In the most recent visit, my daughter and I spent a lot of time in the Ryan White exhibit. It gave us an opportunity to talk about how we treat others, and how we should treat others. She was able to share stories with me about times she has felt bullied at school, and we worked on developing tools on how to handle situations of bullying while at school. She was able to talk about Ryan's experiences at school and how he was treated when the community found out he was diagnosed with AIDS and how she would feel if she were to be treated in that manner, or how others would feel if she treated them in such a manner.

ExplorersFor my 5 year old, all things are a new adventure and each area gives him the opportunity to learn something new. The best part about it all is that it is so fun, he doesn't even know he is learning. We have been going to the museum from the time my children were infants. We have moved from exploring sand and water in play scapes to rock wall climbing in Science Works.

While I treasure every moment at the Children's Museum with my children, my most memorable moment at the Children's Museum is from my own childhood. When I was in the third grade, my Mother was the Brownie leader for our Girl Scout troop. We all made pink tie dye shirts during a meeting, then she took us to the museum, the only thing was we all had to wear the shirts we had made. It was her way of keep track of all of us girls. I had not been to the museum before that visit and I remember being in complete awe of all of the wonderful exhibits that we explored. I treasure the picture of me and my Mother along with the other girls all in our pink tie dyed shirts gathered around the Indy car, and now have pictures of my husband, children and myself seated around the same car. Memories that can last a lifetime.

Name: Renea Fry


The Pirates from Australia

As an expatriate from Australia, when I moved to Indianapolis with my young family one of the first things I was told to do was visit the Children's Museum.

We've been members on and off over the years -- we've celebrated birthdays, company events, Christmas and MLK Jr Day in the company of Museum employees.

It's impossible to pick just one memory of all, but one of the most treasured moments I have was in 2001 when my daughter took her first steps in PlayScape. She saw her sister race away to play with the water and stood on her two feet for a LONG time, and finally she took her very first steps.

I screamed -- scared a few guests -- but it was a moment I'll never forget.

From that first moment of exploration of that child, to exploring this country that we now call home, we'd love to be included in the scavenger hunt.

Name: Elizabeth Cave

Fantastic Memories

My husband and I visited The Children's Museum of Indianapolis as a couple before we had children. We both had fantastic memories of our time there with our parents as children. I loved the miniature houses and developed a doll house collection of my own. My husband still wonders at the water clock and it is always a pleasure to be there right before 1 pm to watch it empty for the next hours of the day.

As parents, we attended a baby shower hosted by the museum. In fact, we hadn't told anyone we were expecting yet so it was our first official "parenting" activity. We loved that our children would have the opportunity to visit often and that it would be a part of their culture growing up.

Now my oldest son is three. He loves the trains and the dinosaur exhibit. I love that he has grown from the baby area of playscape into the sand and water table area, the "construction zone" and that he isn't too big of a boy to give Mr. Bear a high five on his way in.

My youngest son is one and he loves to get down and crawl so the Playscape as well as the dino nests are a favorite for him.

On a recent visit, we heard that the Storytelling Avenue would be closing. We wanted to make sure that we saw it as it was often overlooked by our family We love that the Children's Museum gives our children the opportunity to explore other cultures through the Egypt exhibit, and even the Ruby Bridges and Ryan White exhibits.

Because of the Museum's special exhibits, my boys have been able to meet some of their heroes like Batman, Bob the Builder, and Dora the Explorer. We recognize that this kind of experience isn't available to kids everywhere and we feel fortunate to have the Museum near our home.

Name: Katie Dixon

Building confidence

My family visits The Children's Museum of Indianapolis roughly twice a month. It is during these visits that our son has learned:
Cause and effect (via sand play, waterways, the cool balls in Science Works).
Bravery (moving from the bench to a jumper on the Carousel!).
Collecting trains can be cool!
Darth Vader is not scary when you look at the costume.
and finally, socialization - wait your turn, share, give the little, little kids a chance too.
The best part about all of this is that it is not learning to him, the Indianapolis Children's Museum just provides scads of fun!

Name: Team AIkman

Our Summer Fun List

ExplorerHi! We are the Thomas Family! Starring Dad- Justin, Mom-Rebekah and our three young stars, Emily who is 10, Ethan who is 4 and Eli who is 2!!! Our family is always full of fun and adventure. As parents, we try to promote our children's love for learning and personal development by striving to live by our family motto, "If you can dream it, you can do it!" This exact motto and idea is what has helped to create a local non-profit organization called Project Birthday Lafayette. Project Birthday was started by a simple idea from our daughter Emily who wished that no child would have to go without a Birthday gift or celebration. As a family, we created Project Birthday which collects donations from around the community and host birthday parties and provide gifts to children at local homeless shelters and other social agencies. Our children have learned to be creative and know that every idea they have is possible and can be used to create something wonderful. No idea is off limits in our home which is why we have created elaborate homemade Halloween costumes such as fire trucks, trains and helicopters out of cardboard boxes. We also make homemade Valentine's treats with candy made into race cars, iPods, cell phones and trains.

We are always exploring, learning and using our imagination to create special family memories. Every season we sit down with our kids and make a Family Fun To Do List. We just completed our Summer Fun list and The Children's Museum of Indianapolis was top of the list once again!!! We love the Children's Museum because it offers fun activities to keep all of my children happy, no matter what season it is. We try to visit the Children’s Museum once a month. When we visit we allow the kids to decide where to go and what to see, and we just do our best to keep up with them! It really is one of their favorite places to go and has helped to create a desire to learn more about science, history, art and much more. But, I have to say the number one thing I LOVE about the Children's Museum is that it offers a fun and safe place for my family to spend time together, and create many family memories that we will cherish for years to come.

Name: Rebekah Thomas


Growing up through exploration - Childrens Museum style

Our family has been regular visitors to the Childrens Museum of Indianapolis for the last 5 - 6 years. We are there typically at least once per month. Rain or shine it is a great place to spend a day. We come to explore the permanent exhibits as well as fantastic temporary exhibits. We've also been fortunate enough to attend some of the really cool members-only events these last few years. Keep it coming as we really do appreciate them. The members-only events provide that special exploration time along with great entertainment.

Prior to the addition of the Barbie exhibit our daughter without fail wanted to go to the archeological dig sight in the Dinosphere. It is a thril to see her so intently brush away to sand to discover the skeletal remains. We have recently been going to Egypt a lot. I think that it is wonderful for her to learn about other parts of the world and their culture at such a young age.

Since I'm an engineer I've been thrilled that without planning she & I visited there during National Engineering Week for a Daddy / Daughter day out these last two years. It is so critical that we get more kids interested in STEM careers so I appreciate that the museum is involved these types of programs. Both visits during Engineering week provided interesting and fun activities for her learn about science.

Finally, I could not write our exploration story without mentioning the Power of Children exhibit. We have to stop in there at least nine out of ten visits. It is phenomenal that central Indiana has such an exhibit available to help people discover and learn about the role that those three children played in critical times in modern human history.

Name: Tracy Coleman

New Discovery Each Visit

ExplorerMy son is 8 and has been going to the Children's Museum of Indianapolis since he was 2. We have been members since then and have visited well over 20 times I am guessing.

He now enjoys going to see the exhibits with his younger sister who is 3. My son makes sure that our first stop on each of our visits is the dinosaur exhibit. So, of course, his sister enjoys this stop as well. Each visit to the Dinosaur Exhibit is different. The children love to explore the hidden dome areas of the exhibit and play "hide and seek" so I can see them through the dome. I love the excitement each time they do this as well as how they run from one area to the next. And, no matter his age, my son has always loved dressing up as a dinosaur and gathering his eggs. Once we explore this area, we are good to check out the "new" exhibits.

When I asked him recently his favorite subject in school, his reply was "science". I am betting all our visits to the Children's Museum has instilled this love in him.

I am so thankful to have the ICM in our "back yard" and so thankful for the special memories I have had and will continue to have with my children at the best children's museum there is. Name: Kathleen Haberthy



The Children's Museum is an Education Tool

We home school and therefore we use The Children's Museum of Indianapolis as a tool for many of our lessons. We do get there as often as we would like but knowing that we can is wonderful. With each adventure we can become a part of history, a part of adventure! We look forward to the new Treasure Exhibit so we can explore new knowledge. When learning from a book you can imagine what it was like but when you can see and touch things that were a part of that period then you are able to be there in a since. The children's museum is an irreplaceable tool in education.

Name: Deborah Kay Knight

History is Our Guide

I feel lucky growing up in Indianapolis. I remember getting to visit the Children's Museum of Indianapolis in school. It was great exploring the Native American village, touching a real polar bear, and so much more. Then, coming back with my mom and seeing all the transformations. Seeing the Water Clock installed, the IMAX theatre, the Chihuly, the Dinosphere and now even more.

However, my favorite thing was ALWAYS riding the stationary bike up in ScienceWorks. It was my one singular mission when visiting. I was made sure I ate right and got a good stretch in then, it was on like Donkey kong. Starting with the light bulb, then like a fan, and maybe a radio, and the big deal was to get that black and white television to come to life. I could only keep it on for like 10 seconds but people would stand around and be in absolute awe. It was the most incredible experience. As soon as it was over, I'd have to be wheeled out from the massive cramping in my legs. It was so totally worth it.

Jump forward and I'm bringing my family to the TCM and they are whispering to each other from across the room, playing in Playscape, riding the Carousel, sitting in an Indy Car. Oh, and don't tell anyone about the 5 minutes I lost the kiddo in that black light maze across from the Carousel!

Name: Jamie Hastings-Smith