Meet the Blog Ambassador: Mary Graham
Throughout the year we'll hear from eight bloggers as they share about their family's time in the Riley Children's Health Sports Legends Experience and how it inspires them to explore these sports back at home.
Hey, I’m Mary! I was born and raised in Indianapolis, attending field trips to The Children’s Museum in elementary school and then later tagging along on museum field trips with my own kids. The Children’s Museum has left a lasting mark on our family, having spent hours and hours pushing strollers up and down the ramp then walking behind as my girls learned to toddle around on their own. My family is currently in the stage where running up and down the ramp as we go from level to level is our favorite mode of transportation (are you allowed to run on the ramp? Probably not. Don’t tell anyone we do that, please.).
My husband Chris and I, together with our two girls, Ellie (9) and Harper (7) are lifelong lovers of The Children’s Museum and we’ve been anticipating the Sports Legends Experience opening for years. On our visits to the Haunted House, the winter wonderland slide, or to visit the new science exhibit, we’d watch it slowly being built and imagine the fun we would have when it became a reality.
And this year it finally did!
The first time we burst through those doors to the outdoor area, my girls were vibrating with excitement. We went straight for basketball and tennis, two sports my daughters play often. After they had their fill, we wandered off to try some sports they weren’t as familiar with. Hockey, racing, and football, were all things they had seen on television, but never had the opportunity to participate in. That’s one of the great things about the sports experience—our kids get to try out new activities without the team signups, uniform fees, and hours of parents sitting on the sidelines. At The Children’s Museum, the parents can do all the activities with their kids and nothing brings out my competitive nature quicker than beating a seven year old in some baseball.Taking it easy on our kids? I don’t know what that means. I’m here to win even if my only advantage is I’m taller than you and have longer arms.
My daughter Ellie, while she enjoys basketball and softball, really has a passion for art. Did you know the Sports Legends Experience has indoor exhibits and activities too? I think it’s really easy to breeze by that part on our way to the outdoor part, but inside has lots of great stuff too. Artists who specialize in sports art, newscasters ready to call the game winning shot, and a place to practice an Indy 500 pit stop are all things my kids love to do indoors. Also, have you tried that timed pit stop yet? I can get a little carried away in beating the clock and if my family is not bringing their A-game for the tire change and gas fill up, we will keep practicing until we get it right (or until the museum closes and they kick us out).
I can’t wait to share The Children’s Museum and the Sports Legends Experience with you. My family travels a lot and we’ve been to a lot of children’s museums. Without fail, when we mention we’re from Indianapolis, the other museums rave about how great ours is. And after thorough research, I have to say, they’re absolutely right.