Tuesday, May 02, 2006

The Children's Museum for Adults

If visiting Indianapolis, even for a day, I would highly recommend seeing the Children's Museum - you will not be disappointed.

Depending on where you live in the city, its about a 15-20 minute drive, fairly centrally located with ample free parking garages. The elevator from the parking garage directly connects to the skyway, which also acts as an entry ramp to the museum.
Taking a membership here, is very worthwhile, especially if you live here . Being that it is a Children's museum, one would automatically assume it to be kid-friendly. Worry not, it most certainly is kid and stroller friendly for those wandering toddlers. But above all, the museum offers and caters to adults as well.
Situated right smack in the center atrium of the museum, surrounded by ramp-ways that lead up and down the different floors, is this mind-"blowing" sculpture (as seen in the picture) -the "Fireworks of Glass" . It is the largest permanent blown glass piece of art by artist - Dale Chihuly. Just the structure itself is 43 feet tall. It is made up of more than 4800 pieces of glass and it took 14 days to install. This colorful work of art magestically placed in the atrium is a visual delight attracting wonder from all ages.
One very interesting fact about this sculpture is its floating ceiling just under the tower. More than 1500 pieces of glass of various shapes, sizes and colors float on the ceiling (as shown here) . You can take in this visual brilliance by sitting on a revolving chair/platform and looking up. It is absolutely breathtaking. The colorful glass pieces shine and shimmer when the sunlight hits it at different angles.
There is a lot that the museum has to offer, to spark varied interests among the young and the not-so-young such as Mysteries in History, Passport to the World, Scienceworks, Biotech Learning - for the young teens. You also have Story Avenue, Playscape - for the tiny tots. The carousel wishes and dreams is fun place to hang out and experience a carnival like environment.But probably our most favorite of all the exhibits - is the DINOSPHERE. Even before we entered the museum, this picture(shown here) taken from the road was enough to spark our curiousity. And once we stepped into the DINO-ZONE, we were literally tranported into an era - 65 million years ago.
After spending time observing these gigantic creatures, we learnt that this was one of the largest displays of real dinosaur fossils in the United States. But what impressed us the most was the presentation leading to this magnificient display. The gigantic dome like structure hosting this spectacular, had the most advanced lazer, acoustic and light effects to create a mesmerizing life like environment (as seen here) which could be appreciated from different levels each having its own appeal. If nothing else, I would absolutely insist that you do not miss this multisensory experience. It certainly made us stop and think about the scale and proportion of these massive creatures that walked our planet millions of years ago. Thanks to such exhibits, we can atleast imagine what it must have been like.
On site within the Dinosphere is also a functioning paleontology lab with interesting activities for children to indulge in.

Although this is a Children's museum, it is every bit appealing to the adult and measures up completely to its reputation. After visiting it, I have to admit - we got more than our money's worth.
Definitely a must see!

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