The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis: Dinosaurs, Snow Globes and the Yule Slide
Today we hung out at my sister’s house in the morning, and waited for Jasmine to get done with school. I got to walk out with my sister to greet Jasmine, when her bus pulled up to drop her off at home.
The bus, pulling in to the neighborhood.
Jasmine, done with school and about to step off the bus.
After Jasmine got home, we all packed up into the car and headed over to the Indianapolis Children’s Museum.
This photo (above) was taken from the parking garage. I wish I would have gotten on the other side of the building, because it really did look like dinosaurs were crashing through the wall and escaping onto the street.
A lot about the museum has changed, since I was a kid. I remember coming here often, and loved the place – but as an adult, it’s grown by leaps and bounds. Everything is bigger, and the place is about twice as large as I remember it.
Small historical note: In the 3rd grade at Spring Mill Elementary, my teacher Mrs. McKenna gave a challenge out to the students. For anyone who could remember all the presidents and vice-presidents in order, and could recite them from memory… she offered up a special treat. I was one of the kids who did this, and I can’t remember who the other two were. I think Aaron was one of the other ones, but can’t remember for sure.
The treat Mrs. McKenna promised us ended up being a trip to the Children’s Museum on a Saturday. She came to my house, picked me up and took us out for the day. I remember her buying us ice cream at the museum, too.
I also remember a play area at the museum, where you would put on a smock and play around with a ton of water stations – each of them with boats and toys that floated. That place was the bomb. I’m sad to say that we didn’t end up exploring that far in the museum, but it’s just as well… I probably would have started pushing kids out of the way, so that I could play with the waterfalls and boats.
Another view of the museum from the parking lot. Two dinosaurs, on the outside, looking in.
The skywalk, from the garage to the museum entrance.
Inside, looking up at the dinosaurs… looking in.
Near the main entrance, bumble stands guard with a pretty large snowball.
Inside the museum, one of the biggest snowglobes I’ve seen. Near the front, a very large, candy-like button that, when pressed, triggered the snow inside the globe.
The reason we all came to the museum: the Yule Slide!
We arrived fairly late in the afternoon (around 3:30 or so), and didn’t have a lot of time before the museum closed. Since there was a bit of a line, we decided to roam around a bit and saved the slide for the last part of our visit.
Upstairs, I spotted a chess board with oversized pieces… and a man, showing some kids how to play. Awesome.
Inside the dinosphere, checking out some Triceratops and Tyrannosaurus Rex skeletons.
Shortly after we arrived, a woman appeared and started giving a quick presentation. Here, she’s showing the kids a Tyrannosaurus Rex tooth.
The group of kids, enthralled at some of the bones the presenter had with her.
Jahnu, hiding out in a small alcove behind a display. Inside, you could look through a few windows as you were literally “inside” the display.
Much like the Field Museum, the Indianapolis Children’s Museum has its own lab – the Polly H. Hix Paleoprep Lab. Here, folks work cleaning and preparing specimens found out in the field.
This is a Triceratops skull, from South Dakota.
I’m sure this guy hears it all the time from kids, but I told him: You have the coolest job.
Ok – get this. I just looked around and discovered you can go out to their site in South Dakota, and help dig for dinosaurs! Wow…
After visiting the dinosaurs, we decided it was time to get in line for the Yule Slide.
A view of the Yule Slide.
The line, though it appeared to be pretty long and ran alongside the second floor railing… ended up being pretty quick. I’d say it was maybe 10 minutes at most, to get from the back to the slide.
To help you get the full experience of what the Yule Slide was like, I ended up taking some video as I went down. The first time, I was so preoccupied with my camera that I almost immediately started to slide when I sat down. I ended up having to cling to the rails, to prevent myself from going down (giving the previous sliders enough time to get out of the way).
So it’s a bit shaky, but here’s what the slide was like:
On our way out of the museum, several staffers were throwing fabric snowballs at the kids. After one or two, Jasmine and Jahnu totally engaged the adults in a fight and a flurry of snowballs were thrown about.
The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis totally rocks. We were only there for a short while, but it looked massive. In checking out their website, there appears to be so much to do there.
The Children’s Museum was awesome in my memory, and having visited again as an adult… it’s even better than I remembered. If they ever do a “Month at the Museum” type promotion there… somebody let me know.