My youngest son and I tripped downtown to enjoy a fun day on the town. He is my last one home before he skirts off to school all day next year, so I’m on a mission to explore and enjoy all the Indianapolis fun that I might have missed with the older three. I’ve been a long-time promoter of the “Celebration Crossing” at the Indiana State Museum, but had never been.
Well, I take that back. I have done some of it! When I was five and growing up in the 70s and 80s in Indy, we went to LS Ayers and rode the classic train. The current train is a rendition of the original, so I had to make a trip down to experience with my kids what my parents did with me. Glad I did…make sure you go!
The Indiana State Museum is part of the White River State Park collection of downtown Indy fun. We attended midweek on a Wednesday and there were hardly any crowds there that day. We used the underground parking garage and were credited our parking fees as part of our museum admission. Parking on the lower level allows us to walk right in to the museum at ground level and purchase our tickets with ease.
We chose to get the IMAX and Museum combo pass so we could see our movie and then enjoy the exhibits. For one child and one adult, this combo was $46, but check pricing before you go, as these change often.
We stopped at the concession stand and started our visit at the IMAX Theater. The show started at 10A and runs daily at that time. We saw the “Polar Express” and LOVED this movie and theater. This was my son’s first time to see a movie in 3D and it was a wonderful holiday experience. If you do nothing else this holiday season or seasons to come, make sure you put THIS movie on your line-up! What a treat!
Catching a little face in awe mid movie! Priceless!
If you’re looking to save some costs, Saturdays from late November through December, with each adult ticket purchased, the 10A showing offers free entrance for kids if they’re wearing PJs. The ticket attendant also told me that many Saturday shows sell out, so they’ve added this same promo at a 10A Sunday showing time as well. You can research ticket availability HERE!
On our next stop we hurried up to the third floor to get our boarding pass for the train.
We waited our turn and then got to climb on for our ride. After yelling, “All Aboard”, we were off! This is the rendition to the original below.
In the 1950s, this train ran at the LS Ayers building and was put on retirement in the 60s. It was so fun, it was brought back by popular demand and it continued as an Indy tradition until the 1990s, when it was donated to the Museum where it currently sits on display. It was awesome to think I rode that train as a kiddo and can still recall those memories from my childhood!
Our next stop was a visit with Santa! This is included in our admission and a photo package was available for an additional cost.
We had to hunt down Rudolph for a huge reindeer hug!
Our stomachs were growling, so it was time to eat! We could have chosen the Farmers Market Cafe on site OR the LS Ayers Tea Room, which is open for the holiday season. This, too, is a remake of the original Tea Room housed in the old LS Ayers building. It was very well decorated and there was plenty of seating for large and small groups. I observed several families and groups of people enjoying a great holiday meal!
We started with a classic iced tea and a delicious hot chocolate for the Little Man. It was so good, Mom could not stop taking “just one more sip!” Our meals came and I had a great grilled zucchini and tomato provolone sandwich on sourdough with a side salad, and he had chicken tenders and fruit. Our meal was complete with an ice cream cone man for dessert!
This was our next stop. We enjoyed all the fun, hands-on options in Santa’s Playland. From here we visited a few exhibits and then decided to head home for the day. Our entire trip there was about 5 hours long, but you could make that as short or as long as you wanted.
If you can make it down to this holiday event or any time of the year, it’s worth the visit! We can’t wait to go back!
-This website is a community service of Realtor Dan Irish with ERA Real Estate Links-
Looking to buy, sell, build, or rent homes and land in Central Indiana? Please be in touch!