Indianapolis is a unique city that blends the friendliness of a Midwestern town with the amenities of a big city. One area where I-town really stands out is in the variety of museums on offer. The city has museums for art lovers, history buffs, children, science enthusiasts, car lovers, and more. If you want to explore them all, look for a hotel in the Mile Square area, since most of the attractions are easy to reach from there.
Image via Flickr by the.urbanophile
You’ll find a couple of interesting museums right inside the Mile Square area. The Indianapolis ArtsGarden is a unique space where a glass dome spans the intersection of two downtown streets, serving as a pedestrian connector and a space for performances and art displays. In addition to hosting more than 300 performances each year, the ArtsGarden is also home to a Cultural Concierge where you can pick up arts and cultural information, maps, and visitor guides. Mile Square is also home to the Rhythm! Discovery Center for kids and the Soldiers and Sailors monument.
Just a few blocks to the west near Military Park, you’ll find Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art. This is a museum where art meets history, featuring the works of such famous American artists as Georgia O’Keefe and Frederick Remington alongside displays that show what life was like for Native Americans and Western settlers. The art and artifacts of Western life are supplemented by a few hands-on exhibits as well.
Indiana State Museum
Next to the Eiteljorg, you’ll find the Indiana State Museum — a state educational site that brings Indiana history to life, beginning with prehistoric times and continuing into the present day. The State Museum also explores nature, science, and the arts, with more than 300,000 artifacts and interactive exhibits on display. The Museum is located right on the river and offers two restaurants and a gift shop to round out your experience.
Children’s Museum of Indianapolis
You’ll have to drive north of the downtown area to find the Children’s Museum, but it’s worth the effort. This is a place where kids can roam and explore to their hearts’ content, touching and experimenting and learning about all aspects of their world. Kids will find a stage for puppet shows, a life-sized tree, arts and crafts, historic toys, and much more.
Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum
If you’re coming to Indy for the race cars, you won’t want to miss this gem. You’ll get to view many of the winning cars, along with a wide variety of racing memorabilia including trophies, photos, awards, and more. You’ll learn quite a bit about the history of racing in general and of the Indy 500 specifically.
Depending on your interests, you might also want to visit the Indianapolis Museum of Art, the Indiana Medical History Museum, or one of the many other museums that dot the landscape around the city. You’re sure to find something to suit every member of your family among the offerings in Indianapolis.