Dale Chihuly’s glass sculpture, Fireworks of Glass, is the centerpiece of the children’s museum.
Indianapolis has a myriad of museums to explore, but if you’re traveling with children, there is nothing better than The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis. Since 1925, Indy’s children’s museum has facilitated an active learning environment for families. At 472,900 square feet, the museum is the largest of its kind in the world, with enough to see and do on its five floors to take up a full day.
The museum offers numerous interactive permanent exhibits, including Dinosphere: Now You’re in Their World and Take Me There: Egypt. Dinosphere has one of the largest displays of real juvenile and family dinosaur fossils in the United States. The exhibit also features a functioning Paleo Lab, a simulated dinosaur dig and computer games. On the second floor, Take Me There: Egypt highlights contemporary Egyptian life. After taking a short trip aboard EgyptAir, children can visit a modern-day home, shop at a marketplace, learn about the Nile River or perform in a sebou, a traditional Egyptian celebration that welcomes a newborn into the community.
The museum celebrates history in its third floor exhibit, The Power of Children: Making a Difference. The extraordinary childhoods of Anne Frank, Ruby Bridges and Ryan White are on display here and show how children have made an impact shaping society. It also encourages children to continue making a difference in their own communities.
At the museum’s core is the largest permanent sculpture of blown glass by artist Dale Chihuly. Fireworks of Glass is 43 feet tall with more than 3,200 pieces of individually blown, brightly colored glass. The tower stretches from the first floor up to the fourth floor and has winding ramps around it so visitors can see the installation from all sides. The bottom of the tower looks like a floor, but it is actually the ceiling of the museum’s lower level. Visitors can go underneath the tower to see the additional 1,600 pieces of glass in the ceiling. Here, children and adults can learn about the glassblowing process and create colorful sculptures made out of a preformed, plastic-like material.
With more than 100,000 artifacts on site and hundreds of activities and special programs year-round, families will walk away with a greater understanding of history, science, art and music.
IF YOU GO:
The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis
3000 N. Meridian St., Indianapolis
Hours: Tu.-Su. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Also open Mondays March-Labor Day.
Admission: Adults $16.50, Seniors (60+) $15.50, Children (2-17) $10.50. Admission is free the first Thursday of every month 4-8 p.m.