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2017 Programs and Events at the Children’s Museum @TCMIndy

January 5, 2017 Leave a comment
childrens-museum-sign-june-26-2014

Children’s Museum of Indianapolis.
AroundIndy.com staff photo, (c) 2015, all rights reserved.

By Leslie Olsen
Children’s Museum of Indianapolis

STEM Strong

The world’s largest children’s museum will be STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) strong in 2017. The museum recently invested more than $8 million in science-focused exhibits and programs including Beyond Spaceship Earth, (which includes the one-of-a-kind Schaefer Planetarium and Space Object Theater), and the reimagined Dow AgroSciences ScienceWorks.

The first exhibit launches visitors into space aboard a recreated International Space Station, allowing them to see what it’s really like to work and live in space.

The Planetarium and Space Object Theater currently features the NASA space capsule Liberty Bell 7, piloted by Indiana native and astronaut Gus Grissom in 1961 on America’s second manned space flight. It raises and lowers on a pedestal as families watch a video—making children and families feel as though they’re watching it float in space as they learn more about it.

Explore the work of real scientists like hydrologists, naturalists, and geologists in ScienceWorks. See how people like engineers, farmers, and others use science process skills to ask questions and seek answers to help us in our daily lives.

New in 2017

Chocolate Slide

Feb. 4–April 22, 2017

When it’s dark, gloomy, and cold outside, it’s fun inside the world’s largest children’s museum for families who whoosh down the 47’ chocolate slide. With the museum’s Sunburst Atrium transformed into a Willy Wonka-inspired wonderland, families are encouraged to zoom down the slide that is themed like a river of chocolate, and purchase sweet treats and good eats in the Chocolate Cafe.

Circus—Starring YOU!

Feb. 18–Nov. 26, 2017

Children and families will enter the Big Top, meet performers, “walk” a virtual reality tightrope, and step through time to learn the history of the circus. Then visitors will be invited to get into the act and become a performer themselves. Museum magic will allow families to ‘look’ like they’re being shot out of a cannon or appear to be the world’s strongest men/women flexing their muscles as they lift foam barbells. Daredevils will be able to attempt feats like the roman ladder, rolla bolla, and lyra rings on interactives designed to provide a peek into what it takes to perform under the big top!

Hot Wheels™: Race to Win™

(May 13–July 30, 2017)

Just in time for summer vacation and the Indy 500, the museum will open Hot Wheels™: Race to Win™. This exhibit will get you revved up for the Greatest Spectacle in Racing. Immersive activities for three generations of Hot Wheels® fans will help families understand the STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) concepts behind what makes cars go faster. There will be a combination of real race cars and toy cars along with the iconic orange track and a pit stop challenge. Real drivers will also visit on select dates to share their racing secrets. This exhibit is touring the country over the next few years and returning to The Children’s Museum each summer.

American POP: The Galleries for American Arts and Popular Culture

Permanent exhibit opens June 17, 2017

Reminisce about fads or pop culture events that affected your life and learn what shaped those things into becoming hot or hip. American POP: The Galleries for American Arts and Popular Culture will showcase American TV shows, movies, music, and fashion that can bring us together across generations. American POP is a new permanent exhibit that will explore how popular culture has influenced our daily lives in the past and the present, and imagine how it may shape the future.

DANCE!

June 17, 2017–April 2018

DANCE! is the first temporary exhibit to be featured in The Galleries for American Arts and Popular Culture. Visitors to this exhibit should be ready to move their feet to the beat and join the fun. This multigenerational exhibit looks at dance styles through the ages and around the world. Families who feel daring may want to put on their dancing shoes and take the stage to showcase their best dance moves.

Haunted House

Oct. 7–31, 2017

The nation’s oldest haunted house leads visitors through Wicked Woods with werewolves and witches. After 54 years of haunting, the museum’s head witches have created the perfect potion for all things haunted. From campfires to caves, creatures to creepy cabins, and terrible tales to haunted trails, there is something for people of all ages. There will be lights-on family-friendly hours and frightening hours for the brave of heart.

Santa’s Arrival, Jolly Days, & Countdown to Noon

Advance elves are on the lookout for Santa Claus the day after Thanksgiving. Once his helpers spot the Jolly Old Elf, they rappel from the roof of the building to greet him. Santa then races in onboard an Indy Racing Experience two-seater IndyCar to greet all the good girls and boys. Jolly Days: Winter Wonderland will be open Nov. 24, 2017 through early January 2017. Families can visit Santa through Dec. 24, and participate in pretend ice fishing, ice-skating, and holiday baking. There will also be a castle to climb and a magical snow globe that, with a push of a button, allows visitors to let it snow! Those who want to ring in the new year (2018) are invited to Countdown to Noon drop by drop at North America’s largest water clock.

LAST CHANCE to See Doc McStuffins: The Exhibit

Now until Jan. 22, 2017

That last day to visit Doc McStuffins: The Exhibit before it begins its museum tour across the country is January 22nd. Spotlighting Doc’s role as the health and wellness ambassador for young children, the experience brings the magical storytelling of “Doc McStuffins” to life through hands-on activities for young children and their families that impart life-lessons about health and wellness. Through imaginative play and intergenerational learning, visitors are transported to a world inspired by Doc’s backyard playhouse clinic; There, they share the joy of bringing their favorite toys to life as they learn more about sta ying healthy, caring for others, while problem solving.

For more information visit http://childrensmuseum.org/, or call 317-334-3322.

Hot Wheels Opens at The Children’s Museum May 14

childrens-museum-lobby-01-31-2015

The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis.
AroundIndy.com staff photo, (c) 2015, all rights reserved.

By Leslie Olsen
The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis

Amazing, blazing full-sized Hot Wheels® cars zoom into The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis May 14, 2016 just in time for the 100th running of the Greatest Spectacle in Racing – the Indianapolis 500.

Hot Wheels™: Race to Win™ is a family-friendly exhibit that is filled with hands-on immersive activities designed to demonstrate what makes real race cars go fast. It is all about power, safety and lots of speed. On select days, some visitors will even get to zip race cars down the iconic orange toy track with famous race car drivers from IndyCar, stock car, or the NHRA drag racing circuit.

Featuring Hot Wheels die-cast cars as well as actual race cars, Hot Wheels™: Race to Win™ invites children and families to suit up and join the Hot Wheels race team! Mom, dad, grandparents, and today’s youngest Hot Wheels fans will be invited to race each other in a timed, pit stop challenge to see who changes tires and fuels up the fastest. Families are also invited to take on the role of an engine by turning a crank to see how much more power is required to turn a large drag racing tire vs. a passenger car tire. They can also look under the hood and see pistons pumping in a cutaway engine and compare a variety of engine sounds made by different race cars. A car driven by four-time IndyCar champion Scott Dixon is literally cut in half so visitors can see what internal elements make these magnificent machines work.

“Racing, race cars and those who work in the field of racing are passions shared by multiple generations here in Indianapolis and around the world,” said Dr. Jeffrey H. Patchen, president and CEO, The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis. “We hope hands-on exploration and testing will not only encourage children and families to problem-solve together as they build tracks and test each car’s performance but will prompt parents and grandparents to share fond memories of their first toys and cars with the younger generation.”

There will be plenty of the iconic orange track and die-cast cars to test your own theories of physics and speed at the museum. And, you can take those concepts home to extend the learning with your family.

“Hot Wheels racing offers children a means of exploring scientific concepts such as gravity, velocity, and kinetic energy in an engaging and accessible way. It also encourages inquiry and real world problem-based learning through play,” said Cathy Southerland, Director Early Childhood Education, The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis.

Hot Wheels agrees that play and hands-on activities go a long way to helping children understand what would otherwise seem like difficult concepts. The Mattel Children’s Foundation and the University of Southern California’s Rossier School of Education worked together to develop Hot Wheels® Speedometry™, an education curriculum that combines Hot Wheels® fun, imagination, and action, as well as toys and track to accelerate learning. The Children’s Museum also has lesson plans for teachers and homeschoolers at www.childrensmuseum.org, click on educators to uncover more valuable learning guides.

Celebrating and inspired by the new film, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Hot Wheels has built a one-of-a-kind full-sized vehicle: Hot Wheels Batman v Superman Twin Mill. The car is recognized as one of the most popular Hot Wheels castings in generations. It brings together Superman and Batman in a way that conveys plenty of super power Hot Wheels attitude. The Hot Wheels Batman v Superman Twin Mill will also make a pit stop this summer as an extension of the exhibit.

Introduced by Mattel in 1968, the “tricked out” cars have come a long way (both in the die-cast and life-size varieties). Since 1968, more than 800 models and 11,000 variations of Hot Wheels cars have been created and more than 4 billion Hot Wheels die-cast cars have been sold. Some Hot Wheels cars can reach scale speeds of 200 mph or more and have been clocked as high as 300 mph.

Hot Wheels™: Race to Win™ is presented by Teachers Credit Union. Supporting sponsors include OneAmerica and Church Brothers Collision Repair.

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. For more information about the tourist attraction and museum, call 317-334-3322 or visit www.childrensmuseum.org, follow us on Twitter @TCMIndy,Facebook.com/childrensmuseum and YouTube.com/IndyTCM.