I have two boys who love to run and climb and jump and play as hard as they possibly can. And most of the time we end up visiting the playground to get all those wiggles out, but that also means that I’m sitting off to the side, maybe catching up on Instagram, (don’t judge!) and letting them play on their own. Because as much as I want to fit my backside through those fun tunnels, most playgrounds are designed for kids, and adults are just there to supervise and hold juice boxes.
But sometimes it’s nice to find a way to play with your kids. Not in the backyard where all you do is notice the weeds that need to be pulled, and the loose fence post, but somewhere where no matter what size or age you are, you can’t help but jump in and start to play.
Well, look no further because the Sports Legends Experience at The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis is now open! This interactive new experience is the museum’s largest expansion in 40 years and with 12 new outdoor exhibits and 3 new indoor exhibits there really is something for every age and ability in your family.
We recently had a chance to check out The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis and wanted to share all our favorite Riley Children’s Heath Sport Legends Experience tips!
‘All-Star’ Sports Legends Experience Tips for Your Family’s Next Visit
Be Prepared to Play
Riley Children’s Heath Sports Legends Experience is meant to be…experienced! All of the exhibits are hands-on and encourage kids and grown-ups to jump right in. That means you’ll want comfy close-toed shoes (they’re required for several exhibits) and no heels on many of the surfaces. Athletic clothes are best since you’ll be kicking, jumping, and swinging your way through the exhibits.
I also highly recommend water bottles (plastic only) and sunscreen since there isn’t a lot of shade during the day.
Time Your Visit Well
As I mentioned, shade is at a bit of a premium so if you plan to visit during the warmest months, it might be helpful to time your visit to avoid some of the direct sun. The Sports Legends Experience has special extended hours during the summer to help you and your family have even more time to play. Hours for The Children’s Museum and Sports Legends are posted on their website.
To avoid some of the heat, try hitting Sports Legends first thing in the morning or waiting until evening. Take advantage of indoor exhibits in the museum during the hottest part of the day or leave the museum for a few hours for a meal or a nap. You can return as long as you have your tickets. Our family loves to hit up nearby Tarkington Park for a picnic and a run through the splash pad to cool off
Select a Meeting Place
Sports Legends Experience is a big space! If you’ve got little ones you’ll want to keep up with them closely. The good thing is that the entire area is fenced so they won’t get too far and most exhibits are somewhat self-contained so you can give your kiddos some freedom while you explore a specific sport.
If you’ve got older kids who want a bit more freedom, I suggest picking a meeting spot in case you get separated. The Tree House of Sports is the obvious landmark and can be seen anywhere in the exhibit, but you could also use the statues of Nike and Discobolus near the entrance to the museum. I also always point out staff members so my kids know who to look for if they need help. Children’s Museum employees are well marked with IDs and bright, easy-to-spot shirts.
Make a Game Plan
There’s a lot to see when you visit Sports Legends Experience so if you’ve got lots of interests in your group, you might want to take a vote ahead of time to find out what everyone’s number one exhibit is. When we visited we ran out of steam (and daylight) and didn’t get to everything, so it makes sense to have some ideas about what you want to hit first. Plus, lines might be long for a few attractions so you’ll have to make some choices about what’s worth waiting for and what isn’t.
The Children’s Museum’s website has lots of info about the individual exhibits and has even put together some great itineraries for families, little ones, and older kids so you can gets some ideas before you visit.
Save Some Money
Who doesn’t want to save some money? If you can take advantage of plan-ahead pricing, you can get some great discounts on tickets. You only have to buy ONE ticket to get into both The Children’s Museum and the Sports Legends Experience so they earlier you buy your tickets the more you save.
First Thursday Nights also has discounted admission for families (only $5 per person for either museum OR Sports Legends or $7 for both). It runs from 4-8pm on the first Thursday of each month. There’s also special evening pricing if you want to visit Sports Legends only during its extended seasonal hours.
As always, parking is free and easily available in the museum’s parking garage or one of its surface lots nearby.
Take advantage of these Children’s Museum of Indianapolis: Sports Legends Experience Tips
I can’t recommend the new Riley Children’s Health Sports Legend Experience enough. I’m not a super sporty person and usually have flashbacks to middle school gym class when a ball is kicked my way but as soon as we walked into the field, I found myself laughing and actually playing with my kids. Each exhibit is designed to encourage the whole family to participate, and I sure can’t say that about most of the playgrounds we visit.
Whether you live in town or are looking for a Midwest getaway with kids, Sports Legends is a must! So start looking at the summer calendar because The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis needs to be at the top of your to-do list!
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Visiting Indianapolis with your kids? Check out these posts for more great advice!
Tarkington Park (just a few minutes from the museum)
Have you visited the all new Sports Legends Experience yet? What sport does your family love to play together? Leave a comment below with your questions about the newest exhibit at the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis!