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Blog Ambassadors Keep It Cool

Throughout the year we'll hear from eight bloggers as they share about their family's time in the brand-new Riley Children's Health Sports Legends Experience and how it inspires them to explore these sports back at home. 

This post was written by Children's Museum Blog Ambassador Matt Todd. Follow his posts on the blog and follow him on Twitter and Instagram @mattdantodd

Growing up in Southwestern Indiana, I didn’t have much access to a local hockey scene. Don’t get me wrong, people in Evansville played hockey. I just didn’t know very many who did. So I didn’t really grow up around hockey like I did with other sports. 

I went to my first hockey game with a student group while I was in middle school. We took a trip to Indianapolis and part of that trip included going to a hockey game. I don’t remember much from that game. The crowd was big. We yelled a lot. But that’s the extent of my memory of attending the game. 

Because none of us really knew what was going on during the game and we didn’t really have access to hockey in Evansville, I didn’t really pay any more attention to hockey after going to that game in Indianapolis. 

Fast forward several decades. Our family recently vacationed in Virginia, not too far from Washington, DC. While we were there, the hockey team in Washington, DC clinched their first ever league championship and the entire region was consumed with hockey. And they had a celebration parade for the record books. The crowds were huge. The celebration was so big that it led our family to adjust our travel plans for that day.

When we returned home a few days later, there was still a buzz about the hockey team’s success. And it made our family wonder what was so special about this game that brought our nation’s capital to a halt while they celebrated their victory. We decided we wanted to know more about hockey. Of course, that meant another trip to the Riley Children’s Health Sports Legends Experience at The Children’s Museum. But who’s complaining? Definitely not us! We look for every excuse to visit the museum and this was the perfect reason.

One of the great things about the Sports Legends Experience is that you can not only practice your skills at the games you already know and love, but you can learn about sports that you don’t know much about. That was hockey for us. 

The Indy Fuel Hockey Experience is in an “ice” rink located in between the Subway Soccer Experience and the Indianapolis Colts Football Experience. It gives you the opportunity to practice your passing, shooting, and “puck” handling skills. Mihret loved it.

 

While I didn’t know much about hockey, I was familiar with the name Wayne Gretzky. Did you know that the Great One played in Indy? He scored his first professional goal right here in Indianapolis. You can hear Wayne’s story as part of the Avenue of Champions, where his story of greatness is shared on a regular basis. 

While I don’t see professional hockey in our youngest’s future, Mihret had a great time trying to score against Indy Fuel’s Nitro. And that’s the great thing about participating in the exhibits at the Sports Legends Experience. You can be a brand new player or a seasoned expert and you’ll gain something from the challenges that are set before you.

 

As you might expect a few days before the beginning of summer, it was hot outside—even on the hockey rink. After working up a sweat shooting goals, we went inside to check out some of the hockey related items in The World of Sport and the National Art Museum of Sport

After working on our teamwork at the Guard the Goal exhibit, we moseyed into the National Art Museum of Sport. There are some pretty amazing pieces of artwork on display. Plus, you get to try your hand at creating different forms of art. Mihret was partial to the modeling putty and wanted to give her model athlete some spectacular hair. I think she succeeded.

 

After we returned home, Mihret asked if she could play with more modeling clay and putty. She spent the rest of the afternoon creating works of art that were inspired by her visit to The Children’s Museum. Who knows? Maybe we have another C.W. Mundy on our hands? 

I would like to personally thank the staff at The Children’s Museum for tirelessly working to inspire children from all walks of life to pursue big dreams and live legendary stories. 

It has been an honor to be part of the Blog Ambassador team and to see just a small hint of all of the energy and effort that goes into creating such amazing, memorable, and life-changing experiences. While this is my last post as a Blog Ambassador, this is not the end! I’m sure you’ll see our family on social media and in person, sharing our love for this great opportunity we have right here in Indianapolis!

Make today legendary. 

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Categories: Blog Ambassadors, Exhibits, Family Learning
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