Indiana State Museum
Located in the White River State Park, the Indiana State Museum is at the physical and cultural heart of Indianapolis. Spread across three floors and featuring more than half a million artifacts, you’ll find eclectic exhibits and displays ranging from the Birth of the Earth to a Pop Culture Wall.
Say hello to Fred, the skeleton of a three-ton bull mastodon that roamed the Indiana plains more than 13,000 years ago. Climb aboard a vintage train carriage in the Crossroads of America exhibit and hear stories from Indiana’s “Golden Age” (1880-1920). In the Enterprise Indiana section, wander along a 100-foot (30-meter) assembly line and marvel at beautifully designed mass-produced consumer goods that were manufactured locally from the 1920s to the 1950s. In the Global Indiana exhibit, learn about the state’s more recent famous sons and daughters, including Jane Pauley, Kurt Vonnegut and David Letterman.
Don’t miss exploring the sculpture trail outside the building. Known as the 92 County Walk, this stroll takes you past 92 different works of art.
When you need some down-time, enjoy on of the latest blockbusters in the largest IMAX Theater in Indiana. Another relaxing option is the L.S. Ayres Tea Room, a replica of one of the city’s favorite tearooms. Enjoy traditional dishes like chicken velvet soup and monte cristo sandwiches in this Indianapolis institution. For a more informal vibe, head to the Canal Café and Terrace.
The Indiana State Museum is located on the White River Wapahani Trail, a scenic and historic walking and biking path. Extend your time in this area with a visit to the neighboring Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art, or head just up the canal to the Eugene and Marilyn Glick Indiana History Center.
The Indiana State Museum is open every day except Thanksgiving and Christmas. On Community Tuesday, the first Tuesday of every month, there’s half-price entry. The city’s IndyGo bus service stops right out front. Onsite parking is available for a small fee.