Living in Indianapolis, we’re beyond blessed to merely exist on the same ground as the finest children’s museum on the planet (here’s to you Children’s Museum of Indianapolis – we love you!).
If your family is feeling road-trip ready though, we’ve discovered a number of possibly new-to-you children’s museum options for exploring. And believe us, there are plenty!
Here’s the ultimate guide to children’s museums 2 hours from Indianapolis:
KidCommons – 52 minutes
Located across the street from the popular Commons Playground, KidCommons is a fun children’s museum with 3 floors of hands-on, interactive exhibits. Visitors can investigate the science of optics and music with the Gateway Bridge Laser Harp, create masterpieces in the Kids-at-Art studio, take a trip down the world famous Kidcommons giant toilet in ExploraHouse, or play in the Lil Tots Grocery, teaching the importance of healthy diet and exercise. Open Tuesday – Saturday, 10:00am – 5:00pm and Sunday, 1:00pm – 5:00pm. Admission is $7.00/person, ages 18 months and older.
WonderLab Museum of Science and Technology – 1 hour, 10 minutes
You’ll find WonderLab in downtown Bloomington providing opportunities for children to experience hands-on science exhibits and programs. It contains 2 floors of hands-on science exhibits designed especially for kids including the Discovery Garden, an enclosed area with age-appropriate science activities for toddlers and preschoolers, live animal exhibits, displays about health, the human body and the science of sound, and more. Open Tuesday – Thursday, 9:00am – 6:00pm; Friday – Saturday, 9:00am – 5:00pm; and Sunday, 1:00 – 5:00pm. Cost is $9/person ages 1 and up. WonderLab participates in the Access Pass Program.
Muncie Children’s Museum – 1 hour, 10 minutes
Open since 1975, the Muncie Children’s Museum has the perfect, pint-sized fun from The Big Rig – a view of a truck driver’s surroundings, the Tot Spot for kids ages 5 and under, a interactive Ant Wall for kids to climb in, an Outdoor Learning Center and tons more. Open Tuesday – Saturday, 10:00am – 5:00pm and Sunday, 1:00 – 5:00pm. Cost is $6/person ages 1 and up.
Terre Haute Children’s Museum – 1 hour, 18 minutes
Terre Haute, IN
Packed with a variety of interactive exhibits on science & technology, this museum is located right in the heart of downtown Terre Haute. In addition to all the permanent exhibits, the museum also hosts multiple traveling exhibits. Take a peek at them here. Open Tuesday – Saturday, 9:00am – 5:00 and Sunday, 12:00 – 5:00pm. Admission is $8 for ages 2 and up. The Terre Haute Children’s Museum participates in the Access Pass Program.
Boonshoft Museum of Discovery – 1 hour, 48 minutes
This Dayton gem is beyond cool, and features an impressive number of permanent and rotating exhibits. Kids will especially love the Discovery Zoo, Treehouse and Explorers Crossing. Tickets are $14.50/adults, $11.50/kids 3-17 and free for kids under 3. Read more about the Boonshoft Museum over at our sister site, CincinnatiParent.com.
Duke Energy Children’s Museum – 1 hour, 46 minutes
While Union Terminal is undergoing major renovations over the next two years, the Duke Energy Children’s Museum remains open and as fun as ever! Highlights include The Woods, Little Sprouts Farm (for kids 4 and under) and brand-new Inside the Grin exhibit, which features a gigantic mouth, real dentist chair and interactive tooth-brushing and flossing fun. Read a First Timer’s Guide to the Duke Energy Children’s Museum at our sister site CincinnatiParent.com.
Kentucky Science Center – 1 hour, 52 minutes
The Kentucky Science Center is the largest hands-on science center in Kentucky, with three floors of interactive exhibits and experiences, a four-story theater, teaching laboratories, educational programs and distance learning capabilities perfect for entertaining the kiddos. Plan to visit on a Friday or Saturday night – admission is only $5/person for permanent exhibits after 5pm!
Carillon Historical Park – 1 hour, 53 minutes
While not technically a children’s museum per se – with an indoor carousel, interactive engineering exhibits and the Original Wright Flyer III, this Dayton museum is as educational as it is kid friendly! Admission is $12 for adults (ages 18-59), $8/child (ages 3 –17) and students, and free for children under 3 and Dayton History members. Read a recap of this Gem City gem at our sister site, CincinnatiParent.com.
*Honorable mention* This one might be outside the 2-hour radius, but worth investigating if your family’s not afraid of a road trip!
Koch Family Children’s Museum of Evansville – 2 hours, 54 minutes
The Koch Family Children’s Museum of Evansville is an interactive children’s museum designed to educate and inspire children about the world. Open Tuesday – Thursday, 9:00am – 4:00pm; Friday – Saturday, 9:00am – 5:00pm; and Sunday, 12:00 – 5:00pm. Cost: $8 for visitors ages 18 months and up.