A day at the Indiana State Museum
Whenever in downtown Indianapolis on Colts game day, skip the game and go to the Indiana State Museum.
I was actually extremely excited for the trip to the museum. I love history, and I thought the Indiana State museum would hold some subjects that would hit close to home. My dad was my chauffeur, and although he loves history almost as much as I do, he was not too thrilled about the game day traffic.
Leaving an hour early from our home in Greenwood, we got there 30 minutes before they opened at 11 a.m.. The museum’s entrance is right next to the canal, so my dad and I walked around for 20 minutes before the museum opened. The location of the canal is convenient. It is definitely one of downtown Indianapolis’s must-see’s; and it adds to a day of the museum.
Once the museum finally opened, my dad and I bought our tickets and started our journey through the museum. We started on the lowest floor, which was filled with planets, rocks and a bunch of other science stuff. I, tending to enjoy English and social studies class over science, was not extremely interested in the first part. However, I did find some really cool things that were eye-opening to me. There was a giant globe that with a touch button, guests could turn into a planet. There was also animated presentations that explained the ice age and other major events that shaped our world. Again, for someone who has never really understood science, the visuals were interesting and understandable.
As we walked into the next exhibit, I nearly turned around and walked out. A huge mammoth, slightly hidden, made terrifying noises as we approached. I made my dad go first. Turns out it was fake. So for anyone reading this; you are welcome. I just saved you from a terrifying experience. Along with the mammoths, there were also other extinct animals that once roamed Indiana. There was even this scale where guests could see how their weight would compare to one of the extinct animals. I weighed as much as a weird species of beaver; I am still deciding how I feel about that.
Also, there was a very fascinating exhibit dedicated to Native Americans and the first settlers of North America. This is where my dad and I made the connection that they were taking us through the exact timeline of Indiana, which I found really, really cool.
Finally, it was time to get in to the exhibits I was really excited about. We walked up a spiral stair case, but I had to wait as my dad got distracted by a giant pendulum. He kept promising me that it would hit the next time around. After about the sixth promise, it finally hit.
On the second floor, my heaven awaited. The second floor was all about highlighting the industrial revolution, World War 2, and the social revolution. I found a war reporter’s jacket and pants and spent way longer than I should have re-reading his story. I also found the uniform of a Greenwood High School graduate who helped capture the ruler of Iraq. The part that intrigued me the most was a video giving instructions on what to do if there was an atomic bomb during World War II times. It gave me shivers to imagine a classroom full of children watching that exact video with the fear that their classroom could go up in flames. I felt connected to the history throughout the museum, and I definitely felt well-rounded as I walked up to the third floor.
The third floor was filled to the rim with a random assortment of historical significance. The first display that my attention drew to was a large electric chair. In its description, it stated that that chair held 72 lives of Indiana citizens. My heart dropped into the pit of my stomach. I was standing in front of an object that 72 human beings had been murdered in.
The next room we walked into was an art gallery. As one who has to write and take photos for “art” I always appreciate paintings. Plus, they even had a place where we could draw our own pictures. I drew a lovely stick figure of my dad and I.
The Indiana State Museum is for anyone. It is for people out of Indiana, it’s for people in Indiana, and it is for people who want to expand their horizons. When in Indianapolis, put the Indiana State Museum on the top of your bucket list.