Indianapolis has museums in spades. Among the museums found in and around the city include The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, NCAA Hall of Champions, Indianapolis Museum of Art, and others. Let’s sort through these respected institutions one at a time, to give you a real insight into what Indianapolis can offer the cultural enthusiast.
THE CHILDREN’S MUSEUM OF INDIANAPOLIS
Currently the world’s largest children’s museum, The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis is arguably one of Indy’s most prized possessions. Located on the North side of the city, between Broad Ripple and Downtown, The Children’s Museum is quite the noticeable architectural achievement. Just driving by the building on North Meridian is an experience in itself. You’ll first notice two giant prehistoric creatures, one bursting through the wall of the IMAX Theater, while the other is taking a peak through the roof of another building. So as you can imagine, this particular museum carries a large focus on dinosaurs, something the kids can’t get enough of. The Museum also houses over 120,000 artifacts and specimens, all dedicated to the idea that children deserve a fun, informative place to learn! This description truly only scratches the surface of what The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis has to offer. For all you adults out there, keep an eye out for Adult Swim. An annual adults only, nighttime party at The Children’s Museum described as “ A Night of Play for Your Inner Child”. Next Adult Swim Indy date: February 21st, 2015!
NCAA HALL OF CHAMPIONS
Located in White River Park in downtown Indy, this museum is devoted entirely to our nations’ collegiate accomplishments in sports. Replete with it’s own basketball court designed in a 1930’s retro style, the Hall of Champions is a must-see for any sports lover.
INDIANAPOLIS MUSEUM OF ART
Like all great cities of the world, Indianapolis of course has it’s own museum of art. More commonly known as the IMA, this museum houses numerous collections in relation to African Art, Fine Art, Modern Art, and even boasts it’s own beautifully designed gardens. With exhibits and events galore, the IMA is sure to have something that strikes any art lovers fancy, from films, to performances, to yoga classes inside the actual galleries! Some exhibitions include Matisse, Georgia O’Keeffe, and Robert Indiana.
Also located in downtown’s White River Park, the Eiteljorg Museum focuses on American Indians and Western Art. With works spanning both the past and the present, this museum is proud to have hosted collections from Andy Warhol to Allan Houser. As the only museum in the entirety of the Midwest that offers a look inside the works of Native Americans, it’s definitely one to check out.
INDIANA STATE MUSEUM
Yet another museum located in White River Park (you could honestly spend an entire weekend roaming around this wonderful park, visiting all the great institutions that sit within it), the Indiana State Museum had dedicated itself to showcasing the historic events, characters, and stories that make up Indiana’s history. As an added bonus, be sure to check out Indiana’s largest IMAX screen inside the museum. Current exhibitions include American Spirits: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition and Indiana native, and notorious bank robber John Dillinger’s 1933 Essex Terraplane. This was the very vehicle Dillinger was shot in. You can still see the bullet holes in the car that then struck Dilllinger’s left leg!
HALL OF FAME MUSEUM
Indy is known to many as “The Racing Capital of the World”, and rightfully so. Indy currently holds the single most popular race in the world, the Indy 500. So it’s only natural that we house the Hall of Fame Museum dedicated to showcasing all of the impressive and legendary drivers that have graced our famous oval track. Located on the grounds of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the originaly museum was built in 1958 but was soon replaced by a larger building once the directors realized there wasn’t nearly enough room to house some of the beautiful vintage cars that once sped along the track. Some 75 vehicles are only display at the museum, including the Marmom “Wasp”. This particular racecar was the winner of the inaugural Indianapilis 500 in 1911!
Other Indianapolis museums not to be missed include the Indianapolis Museum-Contemporary, the Indiana Medical History Museum, the Colonel Eli Lilly Civil War Museum, and the James Whitcomb Riley Museum Home. In conclusion, it’s safe to say that Indy has a museum for you, no matter your interests!