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Fabulous Festival of Trees

80 trees this year do not disappoint. Love to see the creativity and festivity - especially the... read more

Reviewed 6 days ago
Fishers, Indiana
Festival of Trees

We visited the museum particularly for the Festival of Trees, intrigued by the prospect of 80... read more

Reviewed 1 week ago
Delphi, Indiana
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Reviewed 14 October 2013

We went to this museum on free museum day through Smithsonian. Expected more exhibits , not organized to have a flow to visit. Not sure how it stays open, not enough to interest to come back. Had a section where you could work with paper, not sure how that was historical. Need to change exhibits to have more traffic. What they had could be in the Indiana State Museum in a couple of rooms. Glad I was not paying to come.

Date of experience: September 2013
1  Thank tigger4587
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 September 2013

We visited this museum as part of the Hoosier Salon exhibition for Hoosier artists. As others have already mentioned, the Cole Porter room is a delightful surprise and the singers are very talented and knowledgeable about his life. The room is set up as a lounge would have been during Porter's life, including a song menu of tunes he composed on the bar and at the tables. A modern player grand piano accompanies the singer. The three "You Are There" rooms depict a scene from a photograph that is from somewhere/sometime in Indiana that has been thoroughly researched and recreated to allow you to step back in time and interact with history. Background information is provided prior to your entry, and the museum guides give suggestions on what sort of questions would be good to ask of the reenactors to get even more detailed information about the behind the scene details. A detailed history of Indiana is on the second floor, along with specific histories of a few major cities in the state such as Lafayette and Fort Wayne. There is a research library also. A $7 min. purchase in the gift shop will get you free parking. Although it wasn't a planned, deliberate trip to visit this museum, I'm glad we had the opportunity and took advantage of it and it was enjoyed by all in my family.

Date of experience: August 2013
1  Thank Pam J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 31 July 2013

While on a weekend trip to Indianapolis, we wandered into this museum. We weren't sure what to expect, but it exceeded our expectations.

Our first surprise was walking past the Cole Porter Room. Set up like a 1920s pub, visitors may overlook it, thinking it is a museum cafe. But it's a tribute to Porter, a Peru, Indiana, native, with artifacts from his life. The room is staffed by LIVE Cole Porter singers who will program the piano to accompany them while they sing the Cole Porter song of your choice. Amazing!

Of particular interest are the "You are there" rooms -- at the time we visited, these included living history rooms in which you "walked into" photographs of a relief station from the White River Flood of 1913, a 1950s Eli Lilly packing facility for polio vaccines, and a 1930s office of the city's first African American cardiologist.

What makes this unique is each room is based on a real photograph from the time. Visitors acquaint themselves with the subject in content rooms, study the photograph, and then walk through vapor mist into a room that is set up to look like the photograph, complete with actors who portray the real people of that time.

Well worth the time!

Date of experience: July 2013
Thank Julie Ann M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 July 2013

The Historicial Society building is located next to the Indiana Government Plaza, Statehouse, and the Canal Walk. It is a beautiful, large, airy, relatively new structure filled with timeless exhibits about Indiana's history. A film runs continuously highlighting many different topics. At other individual video stations guests can zoom in on individual counties to see photographs telling the county's history. Current exhibits include the Indianapolis 1913 flood, 1955 polio epidemic and the Lily Company role in vaccine, and a black doctor in Indianapolis in the mid 1930's who pioneered the use of EKG machines and worked in City Hospital. These exhibits are first explained with artifacts and signage, then visitors move through a 'cloud' into a first person interpretation/you are there experience. Interpreters are quite good and welcome interaction. Museum staff are present and helpful, but not intrusive.

This is not a kids' museum! Although kids could enjoy and learn much with an adult with them. I don't think we saw any children the day we were there. The Indianapolis Children's Museum is the top kids' choice. IHS is geared for more thoughtful, contemplative visitors and researchers. It's not stuffy, just a more grown up musuem.

Admission is a bargain at $7 and there's a lovely gift shop area, and eatery. Parking is free on site. The Canal Walk that meanders through much of downtown, stretching from north of the Society all the way to the Zoo, is attractive, busy, safe, picturesque, and fun.

Date of experience: May 2013
Thank gsreed1445
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 July 2013

I'm not sure what else to add that others did not already do so. I purchased a Groupon for this and they were not charging for parking that day so it was really a budget visit. The kids (ages 13 and 16) were complaining before we entered the door about how they didn't want to go to another museum. They bypassed the short movie vignettes and occupied themselves with the interactive screens, esp the WWI and WWII information. In the Cole Porter room, the singer was warm and welcoming.

Then we went on to the "You are There" Exhibits at which point they really perked up.
1. Flood of 1913 - My son greatly enjoyed the current newscast as if it were actually happening. The actors (volunteer, shopkeeper, victim) were all great and lively.
2. Polio vaccine factory - The factory supervisor was quite gruff and somewhat discouraged me from asking questions. Everyone else thought it was a perfect depiction of the attitutudes of the time and that he was not rude but I felt discouraged from asking questions.
3. Cardiologist - This was the best room! The cardiologist and a nurse were extremely warm and offered additional information above what we were asking.

So overall the kids walked out of there energized and interested and both highly recommend it!

Date of experience: July 2013
Thank Busy_in_Indiana
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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