‘Member back in June when we broke the news that the Children’s Museum would launch a huge new expansion in 2018 called the Riley Children’s Sports Legends Experience? Well ground has officially been broken and we had to send IC Insider Luis to discover the details. Take it away Luis!
When you arrive in Hawaii the locals give you a lei, when you come into New York you watch out for Lady Liberty, no one stops off in Paris without a glimpse at the Eiffel Tower and I’ve yet to meet anyone who went to London and never saw Big Ben. In the same way, the minute you step foot into Indianapolis with a gob of children people immediately (and seemingly involuntarily) begin asking you, “Have you been to the Children’s Museum yet?” This Indy landmark is as fundamental to the circle city as the circle itself. No doubt if you are reading this right now, you’ve probably been at least once. So, what’s new at TCM, you ask? Oh man. I’m so glad you asked because I witnessed something exciting today!
Sports are coming! The expansion, called the Riley Children’s Sports Legends Experience broke ground today and is being constructed in the area that is currently a parking lot north of the museum. If you’ve seen my twitter page you know that I self identify as “Man. Husband. Father. Fan.” I take all of those rolls pretty seriously, especially the last one.
I am a HUGE fan of all Indy sports teams from the Colts to the Fever. So I was extra stoked to learn that the newest addition at TCM partners with the local sports teams. So, expect to shoot hoops with the Pacers, throw passes with the the Colts, keep pace with the Indy (peddle) cars, putt-putt with Peter Dye and serve an ace at the place. This expansion will be 7 acres in size and will encourage kids and adults alike to get out and get moving in all sorts of different ways.
We all say “kids these days spend so much time in front of screens.” Usually my wife says it on Facebook to her mom groups as she laments our inability to keep kids occupied outdoors on a beautiful day. This is the need that the Children’s Museum and Riley Children’s Hospital saw when they partnered up to bring this exhibit. A staggering 80% of adolescents are not getting enough aerobic exercise. I kid you not, the current estimate is that children now spend seven and a half hours a day in front of screens. And before you think to yourself, as I did, “I limit screen time to one hour!” remember that you aren’t the only person who sees your kids. Technology class, iPad learning at school, movies in science class and “hey can i borrow your phone” times add up fast. This new section of the museum is fully interactive, requiring kids (and their couch potato parents!) to participate with their whole bodies.
The exhibit will be open from April to October since these are times when the weather likes to cooperate. But, if the ground hog misses his shadow and Mother Nature is allowed to have her coffee before her children begin bothering her, the Sports Legends Experience could open as early as February and stay open as late as November. This exhibit will stay open till 8 or 9pm during those months as well. That is the real glory of the area. Not only does the exhibit encourage movement, but it stays open late enough that when your wound-up kids get off the bus in Noblesville at 4pm there is still time to get them to the exhibit. Let them run off that pent up energy so you don’t have to start drinking by 5:45.
I know you’re all very enlightened, modern parents and you are probably not thinking “oh this is mostly for boys” but just in case you are I want to take a second to talk to you about girls in sports. The statistics show that a girl who participate in sports is less likely to have breast cancer, less likely to be involved in an abusive relationship as an adult, less likely to become pregnant before she is ready, will suffer less depression and will just overall have a greater sense of self esteem. Maybe you come by your feeling that this is for boys naturally; your daughter is like mine and is more interested in knitting. That’s ok. Because this part of the museum isn’t for the kids who already super stars. It’s there to inspire a love of moving about in all kids. If you want your girl to love sports- this is a great place to start.
I don’t know about you, but up until this moment I was pretty sure the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis could not have possibly been any cooler. Man was I wrong!
MORE INFORMATION: The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis is a nonprofit institution committed to creating extraordinary family learning experiences across the arts, sciences, and humanities that have the power to transform the lives of children and families. Discover more information about their exciting announcement on their website.