If you are ever in Indianapolis the Children's museum is a place that is not to be missed. While I have heard from some family members that they have gone without children, I am not sure I would say it is THAT incredible, but it is definitely one of the best Children's museums I have ever seen!
Before we even started in the actual museum we checked out their new sports museum section. For Matthew and Jacob this meant over an hour of basketball statistics, basketball shooting, and seeing some incredible basketball paraphernalia. For David and me it meant looking at the nascar and Indy 500 cars and checking out all of the other cool sports information that had been gathered and was on display in this section of the museum.
One of the best parts of this section was that they had a place where you could try your hand at being on the "pit crew" for a race car. While we had a blast taking off the tires, filling the gas and putting the tires back on, and trying to race the clock, my favorite part was truly watching dads and their preschoolers trying to do this together. The clock showed the best time of the day- under 10 seconds......however, this does not show that these tasks were done RIGHT in 10 seconds, or done WELL in 10 seconds, it just shows that they were done in 10 seconds. It was awesome to watch a group of dads get their testosterone in a bother as they tried to help their little one beat the 10 second top time of the day. (spoiler alert.....it wasn't possible!)
After our time in the sports section we were off to check out the dinosaur exhibit. This was an incredibly well done exhibit. They mixed dinosaur models with hands on dinosaur digs, and scientists who were there to meet and talk to the kids. We met a museum staff member who was from East Greenbush, NY who was cleaning an actual dinosaur bone.
After the dinosaurs, it was off to check out the second floor of the museum! I could not believe it was past 12:30 and we only had 4 hours to finish 3 more floors of the museum~!!!
One of my favorite parts of the museum was they had a section that was devoted to children who made changes in the world. The section included Anne Frank, Ruby Bridges and one of my favorite children heroes ever, Ryan White. You might remember that Ryan White was a young teenager with Hemophelia who was diagnosed with HIV in the late 80's.
His story always touched my heart and so to see his story in this museum was very powerful to me. The boys went off to check out the race car exhibit which was next door while I took a some time reading through Ryan White's story, seeing the items of his that are showcased in the museum and just going back to that time in our history when a teenager having HIV was the major news. In some ways that seems like such a powerful contrast to our teenagers today. Today, teens are so accepting of bisexual, transgendered and openly gay peers at least in the North East, and yet there are still school shootings which are occurring on an almost daily basis across the US. We have come so far, and yet we have so far to go.
We finished the museum on the 4th floor where Matthew fell in love with the exhibit on China!
David found his favorite spot also on the 4th floor, the water table. There is something simply peaceful and relaxing about playing in a humongous table of water. As you build the barrier, then open it and the water rushes down.....it was such an incredibly peaceful way to play. After a busy day at a museum, for David the water table was the perfect ending!
As the museum was closing, we headed back one more time to see the sports exhibit. I decided I had to try my hand at a basketball shoot out with the boys. I am pretty sure I made the day of one of the dad's when I beat Jacob by 6 points and hooted and hollered with excitement. (winning with grace is a skill I am still working on).
We ended our day back at the hotel once again hanging out and enjoying some pool time. Matthew decided he was "too cool for the pool" and instead hung out in the lobby. Only Matthew could make friends with a guy who lived at the hotel. He of course got the entire story of this man's life.....the man was living at the hotel for 2 years while he was working in town. Matthew has decided that this sounds like the perfect life....in all honesty, it sounds pretty ok to me too. This hotel included a hot breakfast daily, AND a free cocktail hour each night.....AND someone else cleaned the room each day. ( remind me why we came home again???????)
Jacob convinced me that we had to carry on our nightly tradition of Steak and Shake milkshakes so in the pouring rain I went out for milkshakes for the boys. It became a fabulous way to end our nights, hitting the pool, milkshakes all around and then falling asleep excited for the adventure of the next day!