The Access Pass is a collective effort in Indiana to make opportunities for family fun through art, learning, history, and play financially available to all families. The program was initially started by the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis in 2004. Museums across the state now offer the accessibility of the Access Pass. For only $2 per person per visit, approved households can visit 14 cultural locations around Indianapolis, as well as an additional 11 historical sites around the state. These locations may not have been a fiscal possibility for families without the Access Pass.
Who Can Apply for an Access Pass?
Indiana families can apply for the Access Pass. If approved, up to two adults and all of the dependent children up to age 21 who still live in the household can be included on an Access Pass.
What are the Qualifications?
Families must reside in Indiana. Households with members enrolled in Hoosier Healthwise Insurance, either Basic or Plus versions of the Healthy Indiana Plan (HIP), the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), or the Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP) are eligible for the Access Pass.
What Do I Need to Apply?
You will need your state-issued photo ID card. This can be either your Indiana Driver’s License or an Indiana State ID card, both of which can be obtained through your local BMV.
You will also need proof of enrollment for any qualifying program from which you receive benefits. For CSFP, you will need your Notice of Eligibility Determination. If you don’t have that on hand, you can request a replacement copy through your local agency. For HIP, Hoosier Healthwise Insurance, SNAP, or TANF, you will need your proof of eligibility letter issued through the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration. If you need an additional copy of this document, one can be printed through the Benefits Portal.
The name on your application, proof of enrollment, and identification card will all need to match exactly in order to be accepted for consideration.
How and Where Can You Apply?
You can apply in person at almost all locations where the Access Pass can be used, with the exception of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Indiana Repertory Theatre, or Indianapolis Ballet. Applications are also available online, through the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis’ website. Either way, you will need to fill out an application. There is no fee to submit your forms.
If you apply in person, you will receive your Access Pass immediately. If applying online, you will need to add the Access Pass option to your cart, go to check out, and upload photos of the required documents. Once you submit the online application, you will receive a confirmation email after the application has been reviewed. The application will be reviewed by museum staff within five business days.
Once approved, the Access Pass is good for one year, and you will need to renew at that time. The renewal process is the same as the original application process.
How Do I Use My Access Pass at Participating Locations?
You will only need to bring your Access Pass card and a photo ID in order to purchase tickets to any participating location. These items must be provided at every visit in order to receive your discounted rate. Once you have your card, it can be used at any of the locations listed below.
Which Cultural Sites are Eligible for the Access Pass Rate?
The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis
3000 N Meridian Street, Indianapolis
Regular admission to the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis and the Riley Children’s Health Sports Legends Experience for Access Pass holders is $2 per person. Both attractions are included in this one fee. Additional benefits include a 10% discount in the food court and free parking. Access Pass holders will also receive a discounted rate if they register to attend the Starpoint Summer Camp. The annual haunted house, as well as the carousel attraction, are not included in the Access Pass and would need to be purchased separately.
BellaBoo’s: a Children’s Play & Discovery Center
2800 Colorado Street, Lake Station
BellaBoo’s has so much for kids to do! Kids can enjoy indoor and outdoor play, including a child-sized grocery store, the Imagination Garden, art in the Create Studio, train play, water play, and more. There is room for the imagination to run wild here. General Admission is $2 per person, though special events and activities may not be included.
13400 Allisonville Road, Fishers
This living history museum recreates life along the White River in Indiana during the 19th century. Regular admission to Conner Prairie for Access Pass holders is $2 per person. The Headless Horseman festival is included for Access Pass holders for an admission fee of $2. Balloon rides are not included in the Access Pass, and would need to be purchased separately.
Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art
500 W Washington Street, Indianapolis
This downtown art museum shines a light on the art and history of native North American people. The Eiteljorg houses special temporary exhibits, permanent collections, and in-house artists. There are also several special events to participate in throughout the year. Regular admission to the Eiteljorg for Access Pass holders is $2 per person.
Indiana Historical Society
450 W Ohio Street, Indianapolis
Check out the Indiana Historical Society for some interesting exhibits on Indiana history. Visit the Cole Porter room, dedicated to the Hoosier composer, as well as an interesting and interactive exhibit on Eva Kor, a Holocaust survivor who lived much of her later life in Terre Haute. The annual Festival of Trees is included with the Access Pass’ $2 admission. Several special events may not be included in Access Pass admission. Please check the web page of specific events to guarantee they qualify.
Indiana Repertory Theatre
140 W Washington Street, Indianapolis
IRT is the first live theatre to offer Access Pass admission. To purchase tickets for a production, you will need to visit the theatre in person or call the ticket office at 317-635-5252. Exclusions to Access Pass availability are opening nights and final weekends of shows. Tickets are available to Access Pass holders one week before the performance date, as long as capacity allows.
Indiana State Museum
650 W Washington Street, Indianapolis
Regular admission to the Indiana State Museum for Access Pass holders is $2. They also offer a discounted rate for some special events, like their Fright Night and Snowflake Pajama Party. Admission to both of these special events will be $5 per person for Access Pass holders. (Regular admission is $12 for these events.) Visiting the IMAX theatre is not included with the Access Pass. Tickets to the theater will need to be purchased separately.
502 N Capitol Avenue B, Indianapolis
With several different performances throughout the year for families to enjoy, the Indianapolis Ballet is a treat for families. Performances are available for Access Pass holders at the discounted $2 admission rate, with the exception of opening nights of shows. To order tickets with your Access Pass, call the Indianapolis Ballet at 317-955-7525.
Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum
4750 W 16th Street, Indianapolis
With your Access Pass admission, you are able to check out the permanent exhibits, as well as temporary exhibits at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum. Permanent exhibits include seeing more than 25 Indy 500 winning cars on display in the Hall of Champions, a gallery of race car-inspired art, a photo opportunity car that kids can get inside, and more. Tours are not included in the Access Pass and would need to be a separate purchase.
NCAA Hall of Champions
700 W Washington Street, Indianapolis
Check out two levels of interactive exhibits, each of which gives guests the opportunity to step into the world of an NCAA student-athlete. Some events may not be included in Access Pass admission. To order tickets, call 317-916-4255 or visit the museum in person.
4000 N Michigan Road, Indianapolis
Tickets here will give you entrance to both the museum and gardens. Newfields also offers tickets to special exhibits, like LUME, and special events, such as Harvest Nights and Winterlights, for the discounted $2 Access Pass Rate. Purchase tickets in-person or create an account through the Newfields website with your Access Pass information.
Rhythm! Discovery Center
110 W Washington Street A, Indianapolis
This interactive museum of all things percussion is always a “hit” with kids, in more ways than one! Kids and adults alike find joy in testing out the musical instruments throughout the Rhythm! Discovery Center. Access Pass tickets can be purchased in person or over the phone through the Ticket Office at 317-275-9030.
Terre Haute Children’s Museum
727 Wabash Avenue, Terre Haute
The Children’s Museum of Terre Haute has interactive exhibits designed for children aged 4-12, all themed around science and technology. Some special events, such as the Healthy Halloween Spooktacular qualify for the Access Pass rate, whereas other events may not. The Ropes Challenge course is an additional fee if you would like to add that experience to your visit. Tickets can be purchased in person or by calling the ticketing office at 812-235-5548.
WonderLab Museum of Science, Health, and Technology
308 W 4th Street, Bloomington
Do you know what a vinegaroon is? Find out in the Hidden Life of Deserts exhibit at the WonderLab Museum. While you are there, do a dance number on the giant floor piano, observe a coral reef ecosystem, or play in the augmented reality sandbox. Access Pass tickets can be purchased in person or over the phone, at 812-337-1337.
Which Historical Sites are Eligible for the Access Pass Rate?
There are currently eleven historical locations around the state that are eligible for the Access Pass rate. You only need to bring your identification and pass or call ahead for ticketing. At the following locations, children 3 and under are always free, but everyone else listed on your Access Pass can get in for the discounted $2 admission. Some special events at the following locations are not included in the Access Pass rate, so be sure to check ahead.
8215 Pollack Avenue, Evansville
Visit the place where modern archeology began in Indiana, by exploring the mounds of earth left behind by Indigenous Americans over 1,000 years ago.
202 E Walnut Street, Corydon
Did you know that our state’s capitol hasn’t always been in Indianapolis? The original capitol was located in Corydon, and you can still tour the original building today. Discover the process that paved the way for Indiana to transition from a territory to a state.
914 E Main Street, New Albany
Fans of architecture, history, and art will all delight in the sights to be found at the Culbertson Mansion. Formerly the home of one of the wealthiest men in the state in the 1800s, this three-story building houses 25 rooms filled with hand-painted ceilings and floors, elaborate architectural accents, and pieces from the time period.
Gene Stratton-Porter Historic Site
1205 Pleasant Point, Rome City
During her lifetime, author Gene Stratton-Porter published several works, garnering around 50 million readers in the time since. You can check out the cabin Stratton-Porter designed herself, as well as her preserved possessions, and her inspiration in nature, found in the woods and gardens surrounding the cabin.
601 W 1st Street, Madison
If you have an interest in architecture, you need to check out this Greek Revival-style mansion, which has been renovated to its original state from the 1800s. Considered the grandest home in Madison, there are several special details to take in at the former residence of James Franklin Doughty Lanier, a favorite of which is the grand spiral staircase.
Levi & Catherine Coffin House
201 US Highway 27, Fountain City
History buffs will enjoy visiting the Coffin home, known as the “Grand Central Station of the Underground Railroad.” The entire community helped keep lookout, which is what made the Levi & Catherine Coffin House so successful in assisting freedom-seekers. Over 1,000 individuals passed through the residence, with each one making it to freedom.
601 W 1st Street, Geneva
Gene Stratton-Porter resided at this site in the Limberlost Swamp prior to moving to her home in Rome City. Gene loved to immerse herself in nature. This is evidenced here in the artifacts of her home, including her moth collection. You can tour the residence, visit Stratton-Porter’s greenhouse, and visit Loblolly Marsh, as well as one of the five nature preserves housed on the site when you visit.
New Harmony Historic Site
1239 Main Street, New Harmony
Take a tour of the town that was once the home to two different communal societies, the Harmonists and the Owenites. During the tour, you can visit a restored opera house, former printing presses, and more. A favorite activity here is walking through the labyrinth of planted hedges. At this site, children aged 5 and younger are always free.
T. C. Steele Historic Site
4220 T C Steele Road, Nashville
Art lovers will appreciate getting to visit the home and grounds of the impressionist artist and his wife, as well as three of his studios. See the Large Studio, Small Studio, and even the Mobile Studio, where Steele painted while traveling. Wildlife lovers will also love hiking through the beautiful area of seasonal streams and wildflowers called the Selma N. Steele Nature Preserve.
Vincennes Historic Site
1 W. Harrison Street, Vincennes
Here, you will find the former capitol of the territory of Indiana, prior to statehood. While touring the site, you can also visit Indiana’s first school of higher learning, Jefferson Academy. Other sites of interest include the Elihu Stout Print Shop, Fort Knox II, Sugar Loaf Mound, and the Old State Bank.
Whitewater Canal State Historic Site
19073 Main Street, Metamora
Visit the Whitewater Canal and learn how the area helped shape the state’s history by making it inclusive in trade, travel, and commerce. You will get to tour the Metamora Grist Mill and see the only existing wooden aqueduct in the nation.