Travel To Year 1836 At Conner Prairie
How impressed would you be if your gadget-loving tween got excited about history? Thats exactly what happened to me.
I went into Conner Prairie thinking it was just a historical museum. A place where old buildings and artifacts were on display, waiting for me to interpret and make them interesting for my kids.
I was 50% right. Yes, there are a ton of artifacts and old places at Conner Prairie. But the museum signs I expected they werent there.
Instead, there were people in their place acting out what might have appeared on a sign in a different museum.
I found myself drawn in and learning about pioneer life right alongside my kids.
The Prairietown village is set up as if it were 1836. Every character in the town has a role to play and a house to live in or a place to work. The characters all know each other and talk about each other.
Blacksmith Shop at Conner Prairie
My three kids were captivated by the three women in the doctors house. They sat and chit-chatted with the characters for at least 15 minutes, and wouldve stayed longer if time would have allowed.
This photo below shows the carpenter telling them how to carve a bowl. He also tried to enlist my 11-year old son as an apprentice. We couldve visited my son once a year, hed get a good education, room and board, and learn a trade. Sounds like a good deal to me!
Candle-dipping and other pioneer activities are also available. Some have a fee.
The Two Popular Indy Attractions Use Variable Pricing So Here’s How To Do It On A Budget
There’s really just one simple tip to getting the cheapest prices on tickets to the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis and the Indianapolis Zoo: Buy online in advance.
OK, bye, article over!
Still here? Good, because we do have more information for you on how to save money at these popular Indy attractions.
In 2014, the zoo switched to what they call “Pick Your Day, Pick Your Price, Pick Your Package” just before it opened the Simon Skjodt International Orangutan Center. They were expecting big crowds for the new exhibit and wanted to make sure everyone didn’t smash into the zoo on the same day. So they started offering cheaper pricing during times when demand was expected to be lower think weekdays, when the weather isn’t looking great and so on and higher prices on weekends and times that were expected to be busier.
The only catch? You have to buy your tickets in advance. Prices can fluctuate every day, but as soon as you buy, you’ve locked in your price. You’ll always pay more if you buy at the gate.
Judy Palermo, senior manager of public relations, said Indy was the first zoo in the country to switch to the variable pricing system. And three years later, visitors seem to like the system. “Our guest satisfaction was way up the first two years and we had two record years,” Palermo said. “Its worked for us.”
Visit Indy Family Fun Package
Bundle and Save when you combine your choice of hotel with the Indy Attraction Pass.
Eight Top Attractions + Hotel. Indy’s unique collection of attractions offer a variety of experiences for all ages and interests. With so much to see, why limit yourself to one? The Indy Attraction Pass offers you the opportunity to maximize the experience at a budget-friendly price. Package the pass with a hotel for an all-access family getaway to Indianapolis.
Book this package in 3 easy steps:
Step 1: Choose your hotel stay datesStep 2: Select your hotel and roomStep 3: Select your quantity of 1-day or 3-day Visit Indy Attraction Passes
Indy Attraction Pass includes admission to:
The Children’s Museum of IndianapolisConner PrairieEiteljorg Museum of American Indians & Western ArtIndiana Historical Society
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Watch Dolphins & Orangutans At Indianapolis Zoo
|1200 West Washington St, Indianapolis, IN 46222317-630-2001|
Allow half a day or more for the Indianapolis Zoo there is a lot to see and do!
Housing orangutans, dolphins, elephants, baby animals and more, this zoo ranks #7 on TripAdvisors list of things to do in Indianapolis for a reason.
Make sure you get your free tickets to the dolphin show at the entrance. Since the dolphin shows have open seating, youll want to arrive early to get a prime spot. There are splash zones, too, if you feel like getting a little wet during the 15-minute show.
When youre done watching the dolphins jump, head below and get a glimpse of them in the underwater viewing area.
Another favorite here is the International Orangutan Center, especially important since orangutans are critically endangered, with only 6,500 left in the wild. The center houses eight orangutans. The exhibit is huge, with a cathedral ceiling high enough to send my heart aflutter. This Orangutan Center is considered essential in the preservation of these apes.
As you make your way through the zoo, youll encounter many more animals to delight: tigers, polar bears, sea lions, walrus, zebra, rhinoceros, and SO many more.
There are many opportunities to purchase add-ons for your Indianapolis Zoo experience. Choose from the 4-D theater, carousel, Kmbo coaster, Skyline gondola rides, White River Junction train, the worlds LARGEST shark touch tank, bird and giraffe feedings.
Kid fun in Indianapolis Zoo is everywhere!
Free Admission To The Childrens Museum Of Indianapolis
The Childrens Museum of Indianapolis is five stories of fun for kids of all ages. The 472,900 square-foot facility is host to such exhibits as Dinosphere, Fireworks of Glass, Beyond Spaceship Earth, and so much more!
Visit The Childrens Museum of Indianapolis for free:
- Presidents Day
- Fiesta Familia
- Christmas Eve
In addition to their free days, The Childrens Museum of Indianapolis also offers the following discounted passes:
- $6 First Thursday Nights Enjoy the museum for $6 from 4-8 pm on the first Thursday of every month.
- Access Pass -Families that receive Indiana state assistance may qualify for the museum Indiana Access Pass program.
- Neighborhood Club The Childrens Museum offers free museum memberships to families who live in the museums six surrounding Mid-North neighborhoodsregardless of a familys income or ability to pay.
- Under 2 Years Old Children under age 2 years old are always free at The Childrens Museum of Indianapolis and the Riley Childrens Health Sports Experience.
Explore Native America and the American West with this one-of-a-kind museum located in downtown Indianapolis. Learn about the early beginnings of North America through the art and culture of the indigenous people.
Visit The Eiteljorg for free:
- During the 2022 Juneteenth Celebration
- Smithsonian Day
- Day of the Dead Celebration
In addition to free admission days, the Eiteljorg Museum also offers the following discounted admission:
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Free Admission To Conner Prairie
Did you know that the Indianapolis area has one of the largest outdoor museums in the country? Be transported back in time at Conner Prairie, where families can experience first-hand life on the homestead. Conner Prairie also hosts many unique seasonal opportunities1859 Balloon Ride, Symphony on the Prairie, Conner Prairie By Candlelight, Headless Horseman Festival and more! Even if you cant make it to a free admission day, admission prices are very reasonable, especially when the outdoor areas are closed for the season.
Visit Conner Prairie for free:
- Presidents Day ,
- Smithsonian Day
- Sensory Friendly Day
In addition to their free days, Conner Prairie also offers the following discounted admission:
- Blue Star Museum Conner Prairie offers free admission to active duty military personnel including National Guard and Reserve and their families, Memorial Day Labor Day.
- Access Pass Families that receive Indiana state assistance may qualify for the museums Access Pass program.
- Under 2 Years Old Children under the age of 2 area admitted free.
Make Noise At Rhythm Discovery Center
Tucked away in downtown Indianapolis, near Center Circle Mall, is Rhythm Discovery Center.
Interactive is not a strong enough word for this percussion museum.
Kids are encouraged to put their hands on a huge variety of professional instruments from around the world and through the ages. Little do they know they are learning as they pound out a beat or play in a drum circle.
If your kids are musically inclined, they will take to this place instantly. If they like to knock sticks together or tap their feet, or if they like to make a lot of noise, theyll like this place, too.
I was astonished at the wide variety of percussion instruments and all of the things kids were allowed to do and all for a great price. Plan on spending 1-2 hours at this location.
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Looking For Things To Do With Kids In Indianapolis
Its easy to hit the road to Indy with kids!
And that this city is bigger than you probably imagined?
If youre looking for a new big city to explore and dont want to put too many miles on the car, head to Indianapolis with the kids.
The Indianapolis Childrens Museum
The museum opens its doors with free admission to all children and families to celebrate the life, achievements, and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. You need to get tickets to be able to visit the museum for free. Enjoy a special performance by the Griot Drum Ensemble on this day. An older review of a visit to the Indianapolis Childrens Museum is available here.
AVERAGE SAVINGS FOR A FAMILY OF FOUR: $72 to $90
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Ncaa Hall Of Champions
Guests can participate in a scavenger hunt and register for hourly raffle prizes for official NCAA merchandise. There will also be photo opportunities with replicas of the 2022 mens and womens basketball national championship trophies. Admission is free monetary donations for Gleaners Food Bank are appreciated. Parking is free. Open 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
AVERAGE SAVINGS FOR A FAMILY OF FOUR: $16
Free Admission To Museums In Indianapolis
The Childrens Museum of Indianapolis Free Admission | Conner Prairie Free Admission | Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art Free Admission | Indiana State Museum and Historical Sites Free Admission | Indiana Historical Society Free Admission | Rhythm! Discovery Center Free Admission | Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum Free Admission | Soldiers and Sailors Monument Free Admission | Fan Museum at Fanimation | Indianapolis Museum of Contemporary Art Free Admission | Indiana State Police Museum Free Admission | Indianapolis Zoo Free Admission
Local museums are a family favorite for my eclectic crew, but the admission prices can be a real deterrent. Thankfully, many of our local museums offer free and/or discounted opportunities throughout the year. Check out these budget friendly opportunities. The laundry can wait!
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Free Admission To The Indiana State Police Museum
The Indiana State Police Museum is a free museum that houses police cars and other memorabilia from different eras in Indiana State Police history. They do also offer a fingerprint station in which children can take their own fingerprints or those of a friend and learn about different fingerprint styles.
Visit the Indiana State Police Museum for free
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Visit Indy is partnering with five local not-for-profit entertainment venues to create the citys first multi-attraction package.
The Indy Attraction Passwhich can be delivered directly to mobile phoneslaunched Tuesday morning. It offers bundled access to Conner Prairie, Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art, Indiana State Museum, Indianapolis Zoo and The Childrens Museum of Indianapolis.
The single-admission passes are available in two options: a one-day pass priced at $52 for adults and $42 for children, and a three-day pass at $90 for adults and $68 for children.
The pass is expected to save visitors up to 50% on the price of admission when purchased separately. Buying separate tickets for the attractions generally costs about $70 for children and $100 for adults, although prices for some venuessuch as the Childrens Museum and the zoooperate on a dynamic pricing model that can mean higher admission prices on busier days.
Passes can be purchased directly through a portal on the Visit Indy mobile website, allowing users to save the tickets to their phones home screen for contactless entry into each venue. Each pass is valid for up to 90 days after its purchase.
Chris Gahl, vice president of Visit Indy, said the organization has tried to create a partnership with local attractions for more than a decade, but the timing was never right. The effort was reinvigorated earlier this year because of the coronavirus pandemic.
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Acres At Newfields Details
- Parking: Free parking! Noramally you can park at the Museum and follow the walking path to the 100 Acres or drive. Right now, that access is closed. Youll need to enter off of 38th Street and park in the 100 Acres lot at 1850 W 38th St, Indianapolis, IN 46228.
- Tickets: FREE admission no tickets needed.
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Hunt For Iconic Indy Signs And Downtown Adventures
Various spots around Indy have signs begging you to become the I in Indy.
Such great kid fun in Indianapolis and adult fun, too. A perfect way to capture your Indy memories!
You can find become the I in Indy sculptures at:
- Indianapolis International Airport
- Massachusetts Avenue and Alabama Street
- Washington Pedestrian Bridge at White River State Park
Free Admission To Newfields: Indianapolis Museum Of Art
Newfields, also known as the Indianapolis Museum of Art is a campus rich with art, indoor and outdoors. Family programming and other popular programming helps create a space that children and adults can come into contact with art and nature in meaningful ways.
Visit Newfields for free:
In addition to the dates above, visitors can obtain free or discounted admission:
- Marion County students, in grades K-12, receive free admission to campus if visiting for a school assignment.
- BofA Museums on Us Bank of America, Merrill or Bank of America Private Bank credit or debit cardholders must use promo code MOUDEC20 during online checkout to reserve their complimentary admission. Cardholder is required to present their ticket confirmation, active credit or debit card and photo ID upon arrival.
- Access Pass -Families that receive Indiana state assistance may qualify for the museums Access Pass program.
- Blue Star Museum Newfields offers free admission to active duty military personnel including National Guard and Reserve and their families, Memorial Day Labor Day.
- Free Parking Newfields offers free parking to visitors.
- Under 6 Years Old Children under the age of 6 are admitted free to Newfields.
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Most Of The Restaurants And Cafes Were Closed
Most of the restaurants and cafes were closed. The price was too high for what you see in the park, and there were atractions in the facility that required extra pay. There was only one show for the entire day. We were surprised about the lack of visitors. The place was almost empty, and after our experience we figured why.
Free Admission To The Soldiers & Sailors Monument
The Soldiers & Sailors Monument is a memorial to honor Hoosiers veterans, but dont miss the number of art pieces throughout the monument grounds. Or, venture up to the observation deck for a 360-view of Indianapolis.
Visit the Soldiers & Sailors Monument museum and observation deck for free when you summit the stairs. Use of the elevator has a fee.
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The Children’s Museum Of Indianapolis
They’re big. They’re back. Discover the new Dinosphere® only at The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis. Reopening March 19, stand in shadow of two gigantic Jurassic sauropods, explore creatures from ancient seas, and touch real dinosaur bones while talking to the scientists who uncovered these amazing finds. Ranked among the nation’s best places for indoor and outdoor family fun and learning in the nation, the Children’s Museum features five floors of interactive fun including 7.5 acres of outdoor sports. Run, jump, putt, and pass in 12 different sports-play experiences. Ride an antique carousel, travel to Greece, and conduct real NASA experiments! Opening February 12-May 15, Doc McStuffins The Exhibit. Free programs and shows daily. Plan your visit at childrensmuseum.org.
Childrens Museum Of Indianapolis Details
- Food: An extensive food court is available along with an area of sweet treats.
- Lockers: If you want a safe place to stash your stuff, self-serve lockers are available.
- Tickets: Prices increase as the visit date approaches. Save up to 25% by buying general admission tickets at least two weeks in advance. Tickets start at $19.
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Free Admission To The Indiana Historical Society
Experience Indianas history and immerse your budding-historians with exhibits including Destination Indiana, the Cole Porter Room, and much, much more.
Visit The Indiana Historical Society for free:
In addition to free admission days, The Indiana History Center also offers the following discounted admission:
- Blue Star Museum The Indiana History Center offers free admission to active duty military personnel including National Guard and Reserve and their families, Memorial Day Labor Day.
- Free Parking The IHS offers limited free parking to visitors.
- Under 5 Years Old Children under the age of 5 are admitted free to the Indiana Historical Society.
Ladies and Gentlemen, start your engines! Race fans of all ages will be amazed at the one-hundred years of racing memorabilia from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
The Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum admission discounts include:
- Blue Star Museum The IMS Museum offers free admission to active duty military personnel including National Guard and Reserve and their families, Memorial Day Labor Day.
- Under 6 Years Old Children under the age of 6 are admitted free to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum.