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“Little-known Hoosier History Comes to Life”

Indiana Historical Society
Ranked #31 of 177 things to do in Indianapolis
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Since 1830, the Indiana Historical Society has been Indiana’s Storyteller™, connecting people to the past by collecting, preserving, interpreting and sharing the state's history. A private, nonprofit membership organization, IHS maintains the nation's premier research library and archives on the history of Indiana and the Old Northwest and presents a unique set of visitor exhibitions called the Indiana Experience. IHS also provides support and assistance to local museums and historical groups, publishes books and periodicals; sponsors teacher workshops; and provides youth, adult and family programming.
Reviewed 12 May 2013

My second visit and my husband's first. Really enjoyed Destination Indiana and could spend hours watching each subject/clip. Fascinating info we didn't know as we aren't native Hoosiers. We really enjoyed the three "You Are There" exhibits, especially the African-American doctor and the 1913 Flood. The Polio exhibit was informative, but I was unsure what types of questions to ask. It would help if the Museum staff at the exhibit could give us some sample questions. It almost was as if we were playing 20 questions (yes, no, yes, etc.) with the actors. Otherwise, the museum is great and the gift shop has very interesting items and books for sale (including XXX Root Beer!). The cafe downstairs offers delicious sandwiches and a variety of beverages. Parking is validated for paying visitors and also if you only eat in the cafe. Nice location along the canal.

Thank Saranger
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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117 - 121 of 142 reviews

Reviewed 9 May 2013

What a gorgeous location and what a wonderful way to spend part of the day. If you want to learn more about IN or are just visiting, this is a great place to go, especially if you're in the downtown area.

Thank LR B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 February 2013 via mobile

Went there yesterday on a free day and all I can say is that I'm glad I didn't have to pay for admission. Very disappointed. It felt like everything was sponsored by Lilly and medical related.

The "You Were There" exhibits were uncomfortable. You go into a room where actors are from the era. What do you ask a factory worker packing polio vaccine?

The only interesting area was the Destination Indian section. The movie was very informative and the interactive touch screens let you explore individual counties in Indiana. The Cole Porter room had great information and the singer was very good.

Thank Mark P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 January 2013

From the commercials that are constantly extoling the virtues of being a part of historic moments, I thought this would be a cool place to visit. My daughter and I were disappointed because the exhibits were small and there were few interactive experiences.

1  Thank DTravelMama
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 January 2013

Spending the day at an Indiana history museum is not something that would usually appeal to me, however, this museum is set up very differently than most. They have some permanent exhibits with computer interactions that give you history on some interesting topics in Indiana's history. They also have rotating exhibits, where you go "back in time" with live actors representing people from that time period! The actors are incredible! They are so knowledgeable, and never break from their "role"! The "Christian Temperance" woman in the prohibition exhibit was a hoot! I only wish they had more of these live action exhibits (there were three when we went over Christmas break), and that they could change them more often. There is a restaurant in the bottom floor, which has food for a meal or for snacks, and in the warmer weather you can sit out by the canal with your food or drinks and enjoy the view. They do have some free admission days (and I could have sworn their website said the day we went was free admission, but it turned out not to be), but otherwise there is a cost for admission and if you think you might go more than twice a year, a membership is very reasonably priced and would be a worthwhile option. One important note, there is a parking lot for the museum off of New York street where you get a "ticket" when you park, if you ask at the front desk they will validate your parking and it will be free (but we had to ask, they did not offer). I think this exhibit would appeal to school age children and above in particular, however, we saw several preschoolers there who really seemed to enjoy the live action exhibits.

1  Thank AmyNewPalestine
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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