The Firefly Landing gallery, at The Indiana State Museum, is the ultimate free play and creative learning space for children! This gallery was created for kids ages 18 months- 6 years, and offers a plethora of hands on learning opportunities, for toddlers, and preschoolers alike. Firefly Landing is conveniently located on the second floor, which allows for quick access via the stairs or elevator. You can even get free admission to the Indiana State Museum to try this space for free on special days during the year.
Early Childhood Space
When you first walk in, you will find three main tables. They offer rotating projects and activities under the categories of Art, STEM, and Tactile learning. Some of the offerings available include painting, magnetic building tiles, building blocks, LEGO bricks, clay, coloring, and so much more.
A Cozy Reading Nook
There is also a reading nook equipped with plenty of comfortable seating for parents, and kids alike. The space not only had several reading nooks, perfect for a caregiver and child, but also provided miniature chairs and couches, perfect for those little legs. There was also a large mat available, for not only reading, but an additional play space. There was a large reading shelf for children to select their own book, as well as a puzzle station with different types of puzzles for various ages.
Engage in Sensory Play
Our favorite space was the sensory play section. During my visit there was a snow play set up with various action figures to play with and explore. There’s a light table, with different shapes and items to project colors and shadows. The lights on the table change colors every few seconds, which helps to engage and keep the attention of my two year old. We slipped on some smocks in the sensory play area so we could protect our outfits while still engaging in messy play. We left nice and clean, even after over an hour of sensory and art based play time.
If that isn’t enough fun, there is a large self serve section, where the staff can assist your child with switching out an activity to use at one of the three themed tables. There are endless materials to use and be creative with; Play-Doh, a large selection of paints, tissue paper, fine motor activities, and so much more. The museum provided lots of different paper sizes, as well as child trays to collect materials for a specific project. You’ll find had tweezers and different small items, to work on counting and fine motor tasks!
Visit the Indiana State Museum
I love that the museum provides all the small details here in this play space. For example, there is parent seating in all of the different stations throughout the Firefly Exhibit. They also have several drying racks for all of your kids’ various projects and creations. If you would rather leave all of the mess and fun at the museum when you are done, they have a Firefly Exhibit art display, where your children can proudly display all of their beautiful creations!
Our kids played their hearts out for over an hour, and could’ve kept playing! We love that the stations will rotate daily, which allows for a new play experience each time you visit the Indiana State Museum. For the month of December, they will have isolated weekend hours as part of their soft opening.
Families can even book Firefly Landing for toddler and preschool birthday parties. For all of the hours and information regarding the Firefly Landing early childhood space, check out their website here. This space is definitely one you won’t want to miss on your next visit to the Indiana State Museum. Don’t forget to share all of your adventures with us on social media, with the hashtag #PLAYindy!
We have a whole list of even more even more indoor places to play in Indy and surrounding areas.
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