The Children's Museum of Indianapolis

#5 in Best Things To Do in Indianapolis
The Children's Museum of Indianapolis picture
Courtesy Lavengood Photography

Key Info

3000 North Meridian Street

Details

Museums Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
4.2scorecard
  • 4.5Value
  • 4.0Facilities
  • 4.5Atmosphere

If you're in Indianapolis with kids, a visit to this museum is a must. Spanning 472,900 square feet and boasting 11 major galleries, the Children's Museum of Indianapolis lives up to its title as the world's largest children's museum. Exhibits at the highly praised facility include a planetarium, the heavily hyped "Dinosphere: Now You're in Their World" (featuring an archaeological dig) and the "National Geographic Treasures of the Earth" exhibit, which showcases re-creations of three archaeological sites, including an Egyptian tomb, a pirate shipwreck and China’s Terra Cotta Warriors. Beyond these standouts, there are also several more floors of exhibits and even some Chihuly glass for decoration. Plus, the museum boasts an impressive 12,500-year-old mastodon skeleton and its own carousel. 

Recent visitors said you can't leave Indy without taking a spin through this museum. Some reviewers even said it's worth adding to your itinerary if you don't have kids in tow thanks to the museum's well-designed exhibits. Plus, parents who visited felt the museum's fun, educational environment encourages interaction not just for little ones, but for parents, too.

The museum is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (though it's closed Mondays from mid-September through the end of February). Admission for adults ages (18 to 59) costs $21.50; kids between the ages of 2 and 17 enter for $18.50, while children younger than 2 receive free admission. You'll find the museum about 3 miles south of downtown. There is free parking available in a parking garage; the garage is connected to the museum by a covered skywalk. For more information on the museum's current and rotating exhibits, or to purchase your tickets in advance, visit its website.

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Type
Time to Spend
#1 Central Canal

The Central Canal, which also goes by the name Indy Canal Walk, was born in the 1840s when the Indiana state government was trying to bring more commerce to the city. But soon after, the state found itself bankrupt and the plans for a 296-mile waterway were shelved. Today, the Central Canal is a 3-mile loop that flows by the Indiana State Museum, Victory Field, the Indianapolis Zoo and the 250-acre White River State Park, among other popular attractions. You can walk alongside the canal or book a segway tour, but you can also hire a gondolier or rent a pedal boat or kayak.

Whatever mode of transport you choose, you'll enjoy a spectacular view of the Indianapolis skyline, not to mention a 17-foot waterfall, some of the city's best contemporary architecture, and memorials to the U.S.S. Indianapolis and Congressional Medal of Honor recipients. Keep your eye out for colorful murals on the canal underpasses, too. According to recent visitors, this is the spot for quiet relaxation in Indy. Aside from the peaceful atmosphere, travelers also love how clean the area is, calling the Central Canal an "asset to Indiana." 

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Courtesy of Jason Lavengood, VisitIndy.com
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