Family Fun: The Indiana State Police Museum

My wife and I like to play this game in the car. It’s simple really. We ask ourselves hypothetical questions involving our kids. They go something like this: Which kid will strike it rich? Which kid will be famous? Which kid will cure cancer? And of course: Which kid will get arrested first? It’s this last question that really causes stress for me as a parent. You see, our job as parents is to raise responsible children that respect the law and won’t cause trouble for everybody else. Having been a bit of a troublemaker myself, I rely on my wife and my “village” to help me with this raising.

Indiana State Police Museum - Indy's Child

Speaking of villages, I have a neighbor named Mr. Jason. He also happens to work for Noblesville PD. When teaching my kids to respect the law, it helps to have a neighbor working as an officer a few houses down. That’s obvious, right? WRONG! Mr. Jason likes to do things to upset me. He sends my kids home from playdates at his house wearing Arizona State University clothing. He teaches them the ASU fight song and reminds them to sing it at full volume upon entering my house. As an alumni of the University of Arizona this is a cardinal sin against me and my family {think IU vs Purdue on steroids}. It makes me want to commit crimes against him. Mostly just criminal vandalism, nothing major. Luckily for my children’s future criminal records {and my current one}, the Indiana State Police Museum exists in Indy. A safe place where they can learn about the history of law enforcement in Indiana without Mr. Jason’s sabotage.

Indiana State Police Museum - Indy's Child

Just east of Indy – near 21st and Post Road – is where you’ll find the ISP Museum. It’s a place with a ton of historical and educational information about the history of Indiana State troopers. Kids can view a number of retired police cars and can even sit in one of them while they blare the sirens and blind you with the lights. This is the only time in your life you’ll enjoy seeing your little one in the back of a police car. Well technically the car has two front ends… So your child will only ever be the officer, never the perp. Which is good if your kids are like mine.

Indiana State Police Museum - Indy's Child

While they play, you can admire all the historical artifacts and stories on the wall. The kids EVENTUALLY realize there is still more to see. Vintage breathalyzer? Check. Officer uniforms? Check. Scuba gear? Check. Smoke grenade launchers!!!? Super check! That’s the sweet stuff for my boys.

Indiana State Police Museum - Indy's Child

Disclaimer: If your family is squeamish, steer clear of the first room on the left as you enter. You may know the history of John Dillinger. He didn’t have a fairy tale ending and the museum will happily remind you about that. Spoiler alert: It’s on the wall with a few other “death masks.”

After all the kids have checked for swirls, loops and whirls in their fingerprints, make sure you find one of the wonderful officers hanging about. Give them the chance to chat with your kids. It’s a perfect opportunity to let an expert introduce everyone to important topics like safety and 911. Your kids will learn that policemen are there to serve. After a quick brief, you can buy a souvenir to support the ISP and the kids will be awarded free police badges to stick on their shirts {if you read my bio you’ll remember to remove prior to laundering}.

Indiana State Police Museum - Indy's Child

Best of all, with a newfound admiration for law enforcement, your kids will be ready to go out into the world and defeat the bad guys!


MORE INFO: The Indiana State Police Museum is located at 8660 E 21st St on the east side of Indianapolis. Hours are Monday-Friday from 9am-3pm and the 3rd Saturday of the month from 12-4pm. Admission is FREE but donations are accepted. For more details, call 317-899-8293 or visit


Luis Ruvalcaba - Indy's ChildAbout Luis:

In late June, 2007 Luis Ruvacalba removed his laundry from the dryer to find that he had rendered all of his undershirts pink and shrunk his favorite red University of Arizona sweater. At that point – as he says: “I realized: I need a wife. I married Katie in Sept of 2007. Aside from one lousy pen left in my pants pocket and numerous dried on Conner Prairie stickers, the laundry has gone pretty well since then.” Luis has four children: Maggie- 7, Micah- 5, Millie- 2, and Merritt- 1. Each of them helps him sharpen his parenting skills in new and unique ways. “Without Maggie I’d never have learned to put on tights. Without Micah I would have the weakest MMA fighting skills on the block. Millie challenges me to improve my search and rescue abilities. Merritt gives me weekly lessons in Matrix style urine dodging. Together we are the greatest family to ever ruin your family’s nice quiet afternoon at the park.” Follow along with Luis as he helps shows you the best places to let your family run wild.


Related Articles



From our Sponsors