One of my best friends from college used to live in Indianapolis, and she’d invited us many times for a play date at The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis.
But, something always came up. School. Sick kids. A high-risk pregnancy. A baby (now toddler) who completely hates riding in the car. And then, unfortunately, she and her family moved to Texas this past fall.
With Julian being off school for spring break, all my kids (knock on wood) healthy, and my lovely new friend excited to meet us, I made a plan to finally, finally get to Indy to see the largest children’s museum in the world. (Harvey still hates the car, but I convinced my husband to take a day off work to assist with the car rides.)
You guys — The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis is amazing! So, so, so worth the 90-minute trip. There was so much there, and we didn’t see everything (so a return trip is definitely on the docket!).
For more one-tank trips, check out Short Range Spring Break Destinations
Here were my kids’ favorite things at The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis:
As we entered the museum, we immediately saw The Chocolate Slide. It looked like something out of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, with its browns and ’70s pink, orange and green hues. The line moved quickly, and soon Julian and Mary were zooming down the 47-foot slide. My husband took Harvey down on his lap (kids under 37 inches have to ride down with a parent/caretaker), and Harvey was all smiles. This slide was like one of those cool, giant carnival slides — definitely something you have to do while at the museum!
Watch a video of my kids tackling The Chocolate Slide over on our Instagram page!
One of my husband’s proudest parenting feats is teaching our kids about Star Wars. Seriously — my kids have never seen the movies, but could recognize Han, BB-8, Darth Vader and even more obscure things like Tauntauns. So, we were all very excited about the Alien Worlds and Androids exhibit, which featured Julian’s favorite C3PO and Mary’s beloved R2D2, plus lots of other characters I had never heard of. This is a great exhibit for older kids or anyone interested in science fiction. The info plates were super interesting for me — and my kids had fun dressing up like aliens. Alien Worlds and Androids runs until May 1 — consider taking a trip over to Indy this spring to see this sci-fi-tacular exhibit!
This was so much fun — an exhibit featuring all things pirates and princesses. From kid-sized boats and thrones to dress up and interactive games, we spent a lot of time in this exhibit. Younger kids and princesses-obsessed tots would love this exhibit, which encourages kids to use their imaginations and create their own adventure! Pirates and Princesses runs until Nov. 27, making it a great idea for summer vacation!
Maybe it’s because of her name, maybe it’s because she’s obsessed with horses, maybe it’s just because merry-go-rounds are awesome, but, my girl Mary is obsessed with carousels. And she literally squealed with delight as we walked off the elevator on the fourth floor, and heard the jolly carousel music. Tickets to the Carousel were just $1 each (free for members), and it was well worth it to have three happy kids.
Afterwards, we explored the rest of the floor, which featured a tree house, playhouse and ice cream shop (or should I say “shoppe?”). There were artifacts from old and new children’s books and games throughout, and Mary was excited to recognize American Girl dolls.
We spent the rest of our time at the Playscape, which is an interactive area designed for kids 5 and under. There was a huge water area, sand area, building zone, musical instruments room and even a nature-inspired jungle gym. It was awesome, and really well laid out so I was able to see all three kids, even though they weren’t always in the same place (Harvey was OBSESSED with the water, and spent almost the entire time zipping boats and scooping cupfuls of water).
If you can’t make it to Indy, we have a fabulous children’s museum here in Cincy! Check out 7 Kid-Friendly Activities at the Cincinnati Museum Center… That Aren’t The Children’s Museum for some ideas for your next trip!
We were at the museum several hours, and only scratched the surface of what offered. If we had more time, I would have hit up: Dinosphere (a massive dinosaur display), All Aboard! (everything you ever wanted to know about trains) and Treasures of the Earth (an interactive archaeology area that features artifacts used by Harrison Ford in the Indiana Jones movies!).
Clockwise from top right: Tree House, Retro Ice Cream Parlor, Boat at the top of the Playscape climber, Playscape sand area, Darth Vader at the Alien Worlds and Androids exhibit, dress up fun at Pirates and Princesses.
The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis is located at 3000 North Meridian St., Indianapolis, IN 46208. Hours are 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. daily. The first Thursday of each month, admission is FREE from 4-8 p.m. as part of Target Free Family Night.
For more pictures and to see the Chocolate Slide in action, head to our Instagram page!