We love all of the great family-friendly museums that are in and around Indianapolis, such as The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, the Indiana State Museum and Conner Prairie. Their programs, permanent and rotating exhibits, and experiences they offer are memorable for all families.
But did you know that Indianapolis is home to a variety of other museums with unique and interesting exhibits to check out? Here are just some of the more one-of-a-kind museums you can find in Indy!
Since 1969, the former center for medical education and research was transformed into a museum for all things medical. Families can learn about the history of medical research in the amphitheater, investigate in several staged laboratories and imagine themselves as scientists in the room of brains. The Indiana Medical History Museum is located at 3045 W. Vermont Street in Indianapolis.
At Hook’s, you can take a step back in time to the days of soda fountains and old-fashioned candy. Like a scene from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory or It’s a Wonderful Life, families can experience the classic drug store from the 1940s and 50s. Hook’s Historic Drug Store Museum is located at 1202 E. 38th Street in Indianapolis.
For the airplane enthusiasts, stop by and see a collection of airplane, jet and helicopter engines with large scale models of each, made by Allison and Rolls Royce. Each exhibit, from 1915 to present, comes with a touchscreen tour, explaining how each works and the history of their production. The Rolls-Royce Heritage Trust Allison Branch is located at 450 S. Meridian Street in Indianapolis.
There are very few museums in the country devoted to miniatures, but the Indianapolis area is lucky to have one of them! The Museum of Miniature Houses and Other Collections, located in Carmel’s Art & Design District, has a vast collection that contains thousands of miniatures, including miniature houses, dollhouses, and intricately made individual items. Use the provided magnifying glasses in each room to get a closer look at all of the mini displays. The Museum of Miniature Houses and Other Collections is located at 111 East Main Street in Carmel.
In one of the largest public observatories in the world, families can enjoy a full dome feature movie, “From Earth to the Universe.” Then, travel upstairs to the state-of-the-art Cassegrain telescope to find the universe at your fingertips. The Holcomb Observatory and Planetarium is located on the Butler Campus at 4600 Sunset Avenue in Indianapolis.
Learn more about the history of the Indiana State Police dating back to 1933 through today. Families can check out the death mask of John Dillinger and a variety of police cars and uniforms throughout the years. Children can experience a virtual police chase, learn more about the historical Brady Gang and more. The Indiana State Police Museum is located at 8660 E. 21st. Street in Indianapolis.
If firefighters are more your thing, stop by this small museum that houses the history of firefighting, including trucks, gear, photos and memorabilia. Located in an old firehouse, the 1850s hand pumper on display is enough to spark conversations of fighting fires in the days when fires were contained by passing buckets of water from person to person. The Indianapolis Firefighters Museum is located at 748 Massachusetts Avenue in Indianapolis
Experience percussion and learn about music at this hands-on, interactive museum for all ages. Located in the heart of downtown Indianapolis, Rhythm! Discovery Center is where visitors can learn about drum playing techniques, experiment with instruments, and enjoy musical performances from local and national artists and ensembles. Rhythm! Discovery Center is located at 110 W. Washington Street, Suite A, in Indianapolis.