Luis Ruvalcaba">

Time to visit the Museum of Miniature Houses!

I always knew I’d be an adventurous dad. I imagined myself taking the wife and kids on huge, epic journeys to far off places. To me, taking four kids on a massive trip like an African safari or European tour of medieval castles was completely within reason. “Go big or go home!” I said, as I imagined myself re-creating the Motorcycle Diaries with my son. Now things are a little different. I’m older. I’m tired. I recently switched to Kroger’s curb-side pickup service for my groceries because by and large my kids can’t make it through the produce section without developing what could only be described as a debilitating case of gout. I’ve wised up. I prefer my adventures a little smaller these days. Bigger isn’t always better. Welcome to the world kids, the world in miniature.

MuseumOfMiniatureHouses_Indy'sChildMagazineThe Museum of Miniature Houses (and other collections) in Carmel is probably not on your radar.

The idea of it might make you start shouting we look with our eyes not with our hands! before you’ve even stepped foot inside. I can understand your concern. I texted my wife bring the Kinderpack as soon as I walked in of fear my darling 18 month old would become the proud owner of thousands of dollars worth of miniatures thanks to The Pottery Barn Rule. {Just an aside, “you break it, you bought it” is not actually a rule enforced at Pottery Barn and I bet they’d really like me to stop calling it The Pottery Barn Rule.}

So let’s start there: The truth is I let the kid down off my back within a few minutes. Not only are the scenes well protected from little hands but there is a hands on dollhouse available for little kids to play with in the event they get antsy.

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If you’re like me, the odds are good you’ve lamented the time your kids have spent in front of a screen, wishing that they had the imagination that you SWEAR you had as a child. The Museum of Miniature is perfect for fostering that type of imagination. As I walked through with my 2 year old daughter looking at the little houses I asked her “What is happening in this room?” “Where do you think the fairy went?” “Where is this princess going?” Her stories were better than anything Hans Christian Andersen ever wrote. The magic that these little houses sprinkled in her mind was incredible. Listening to the guided audio tour I realized that’s really what these little scenes were all about: Sparking the imagination and creativity of children.

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Ultimately “miniatures” is just a fancy word for dollhouses. So while this museum may at first feel like something that’s super hands off, it’s actually super imaginations-on. It may inspire you {like it did me} to encourage doll play and house building with your own kids. Or it might recall you to a simpler time when children’s toys didn’t play with themselves but needed the heart of a child to make them come to life.

So go!

Take your preschooler or even your school-aged child and let them teach you something. As a bonus, each kid gets a free toy on the way out so the imaginative play can continue on the home.

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MORE INFO: The Museum of Miniature Houses (and Other Collections) is located in downtown Carmel at 111 E. Main Street. Hours are Wednesday-Saturday 11am-4pm and Sundays 11am-5pm. $10 General, $ 8 Seniors 65+/Military, $ 5 Children aged 3-9. Groups of more than 8 are asked to call in advance for arrangements. Call {317}575-9466 or visit their website for more details.

 


Luis Ruvalcaba - Indy's ChildIn 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.

 

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