Learn Through Play at These Indiana Children’s Museums

Living in Central Indiana, we have the world’s largest children’s museum right in our backyard. But throughout the state, there are several other children’s museums and science centers that create amazing, engaging learning opportunities for visitors. In all these environments, children will immerse themselves in activities that facilitate learning through play. Visit these Indiana museums for family fun and to boost your child’s learning in areas like literacy, STEAM, culture, humanities, and health.

The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis

3000 North Meridian Street, Indianapolis

The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis is a nearly 500,000-square-foot facility filled with five floors of permanent and traveling exhibits. The museum has something for everyone. Experience history and learn about archeology in the Treasures of the Earth exhibit. Delve into the sciences with exhibits like Beyond Spaceship Earth and ScienceWorks. For dinosaur lovers, Dinosphere, which was renovated and reopened in 2022, features five separate areas to explore. Don’t miss the Art Lab on the second floor!

From March through October, enjoy the Riley Children’s Health Sports Legends Experience. In this outdoor wonderland, you can learn about 16 inspirational sports figures, explore the huge tree climbing structure, and practice your athletic abilities in sports like basketball, tennis, track, hockey, and even mini golf. The sports area provides child-sized and accessible equipment.

Admission rates vary. The museum does participate in the Indiana Access Pass Program, which offers qualifying families discounted $2 admission.

The Children’s Museum of Evansville

22 S.E. Fifth Street, Evansville

With three floors filled with educational content, families can explore activities and sensory experiences throughout the museum’s different exhibits. The Live Well Gallery promotes health and wellness through play in the Rainbow Bistro, Well Clinic, and the Be Well TV Station. The museum has a water play area called the “wet deck” and you can see Moe, a 20-foot-tall duck that also serves as a play structure. This section offers dryers if your child gets too involved with the water play.

The Kids World exhibit showcases three sister cities: Tochigi-Shi, Japan; Osnabrück, Germany; and Tizimin, Mexico. This area offers visitors a chance to immerse themselves in these different cultures. Other exhibits include a designated soft play area for toddlers, an art space, the Speak Loud area complete with a play stage and instruments, and more.

The museum is closed on Mondays and on all major holidays. Please be aware when planning your visit that the museum is on Central Time. Admission for everyone 18 months and over is $12 each. The museum also participates in Museums For All, so show your EBT card at the front desk to receive $1 per person admission.

Kid City

100 Surina Way, Greenwood

Kid City is part of Greenwood’s reimagined community center which opened in 2017. Inside Kid City, you will find a two-story indoor play area that incorporates STEAM-focused concepts through different activity centers and play spaces. These areas include a grocery store, art zone, and interactive play features. The indoor space also features a Luckey Climber, a three-dimensional climbing structure. Outside, you will find the Musical Garden which allows children to explore sound, vibration, and music through an immersive play experience.

Admission for youth ages 1 to 15 is $5/person. Children under 1, as well as parents and guardians, are free.

Terre Haute Children’s Museum

727 Wabash Ave. Terre Haute

There is so much to learn and experience in the three stories of exhibits at the Terre Haute Children’s Museum. Explore health and wellness through physical activities at the Fit Gym, learn about healthy eating choices at the Fresh and Fit Market, and grow your understanding of anatomy and physiology at the Health Zone. Other science-focused play areas include a dino dig, a water play station, the Build It zone, and an agriculture exhibit where kids learn how to milk a cow and pretend to operate a combine.

Toddlers will love a section filled with age-appropriate climbing structures, toys, and a playhouse. Older kids can check out the Tree House and rock climbing wall. For an additional cost, you can also enjoy the Ropes Challenge Course.

Admission for all guests over the age of 2 is $9/person, and kids 2 and under are free. Terre Haute Children’s Museum participates in the ASTC passport program.

Imagination Station

600 N 4th St, Lafayette

Imagination Station in Lafayette encourages STEM learning through hands-on activities for children 12 years and younger. Children can engage in two floors of exhibits filled with interactive activities and educational programs. The science center also offers a toddler play space.

Imagination Station is in downtown Lafayette and offers free parking for all visitors. Admission is $7/person, and children under 2 are free. Imagination Station also participates in the ASTC passport program.

Bellaboo’s Play and Discovery Center

2800 Colorado Street, Lake Station

Bellaboo’s Play and Discovery Center was designed to encourage children’s social and cognitive development through imaginative play. This is evident in the 23,000-square-foot center that is filled with play areas and hands-on experiences where everything is meant to be explored. The Discovery Play Center is best suited for children 9 and under. Some of the themed spaces include a supermarket, construction zone, and pizza parlor. You’ll also find block play, do-it-yourself face painting, an art studio, dress-up, water tables, soft-play equipment, a children’s cooking station, and designated infant and toddler areas.

During warmer months, be sure to explore the outdoor Imagination Garden. This area has fun features including a sand dino dig, a massive pirate ship, and lots of room to slide, run, and climb. In the summer, there are also water elements including a stream and pond for splashing and some spray features.

Bellaboo’s is closed on Mondays. Admission rates are $11 for everyone over the age of 1 and those under 1 are free. Several discounts are available, including $2 admission for Access Pass members.

Children’s Museum of South Bend

2632 S. Michigan St., South Bend

The Children’s Museum of South Bend was created in memory of Finn Sebastian Golitko, who died suddenly in 2018 at the age of 5. Finn loved children’s museums and to honor his short life, a group of educators and parents have worked to create a community space for families in South Bend.

Opened in 2020, the Children’s Museum of South Bend emphasizes STEAM-based concepts through open-ended play meant to stimulate a child’s creativity and curiosity. Some hands-on experiences you can expect include musical instruments, a Lego table, a light table with magnetic tiles, a train table, a dino dig table, a gear wall, and a magnetic pipe wall where you can create a marble maze.

Dramatic play is encouraged in themed spaces that include a food truck, a campsite, a grocery store, a vet clinic, a large steam locomotive, and more. The museum offers many places for children to climb and explore as well as quiet places to relax and look at books. There is also a toddler play area.

Because the space is run completely by volunteers, hours will vary with staff availability. Admission is $5 and lap infants are free. The museum also participates in Museum for All.


308 W. 4th Street, Bloomington

The WonderLab Museum of Science, Health, and Technology is an award-winning science museum located in the arts and entertainment district of downtown Bloomington. The museum space features two floors of exhibits and an outside Wondergarden. Visit the Wonder Under the Waves Saltwater Aquarium which has a variety of fish and coral that inhabit the Indo-pacific ecosystem. The Hidden Life of Deserts exhibit showcases desert species like the blue-tongued skink, big-headed ants, and vinegaroons. Explore music by playing a giant floor piano, checking out the heartbeat drum, and experiencing a Theremin.

WonderLab features a whole host of sensory experiences including an augmented reality sandbox, a water play area, bubble activities, magnets, and different construction experiences. The museum also features a specific infant and toddler area called Science Sprouts Place and Sprouts Lab.

Admission for guests over the age of 1 is $14/person. Children under 1 are free. WonderLab participates in the Access Pass program and is a member of the ASTC passport program.


309 Washington Street, Columbus

In the center of downtown Columbus is Kidscommons, a STEAM-based museum that features multiple floors of educational and sensory experiences. Some of these exhibits include an open-ended art space, the Gateway Bridge Laser Harp with its invisible strings, and the Bubble-ology exhibit. Learn about Indiana’s wildlife and the great outdoors in the Early Childhood Garden and Camp Kidscommons, which has a fun climbing structure.

Columbus is known for its architecture and this is incorporated into the museum with an exhibit focused on design and architecture where you can create a city. You also cannot talk about Kidcommons and not mention the Explorahouse which teaches about the inner workings of a home. Kids love the world-famous giant toilet!

Kidscommons is closed on Mondays. General admission is $9 for those over 2 and kids under 2 are free. Don’t forget to visit the free Commons indoor playground across the street!

Muncie Children’s Museum

515 S High Street, Muncie

At the Muncie Children’s Museum, children engage in STEM learning through exhibits like Discovery Park, the Water Works water play area, a Pixel Pegboard, and a Ball Wall where tubes and pipes can be manipulated to make balls go from the top of the wall to the bottom. Kids also love the different climbing structures, including the Ant Wall. Little ones under five can enjoy the Tot Spot that’s just for them.

Dramatic play is encouraged throughout the museum. Learn about nutrition by shopping at the Marsh Market and preparing a healthy meal at the Nutrition Kitchen, imagine you are a teacher in the Schoolhouse, or create your own story or song at the Make Believe Theater. Weather permitting, the Outdoor Learning Center features a “Five Senses” garden and a treehouse.

Admission is $7 for everyone over 1. Check the museum’s website periodically for deals and coloring pages you can print off and bring in for a surprise at the gift shop. The museum also participates in the ASTC Passport program.

Science Central

1950 N Clinton St, Fort Wayne

Science Central’s colored smokestacks will instantly catch your eye. Once inside, you are surrounded by brightly-colored exhibits sure to capture your curiosity. This former City Light and Power plant is now a 35,000-square-foot space that encourages STEAM learning. See Science on a Sphere, a suspended 50-pound carbon-fiber sphere illuminated by 4 different projectors used to recreate images of the Earth and other stellar bodies. Learn about physics while riding a skybike 26 feet above the floor. Kids also love the augmented reality sandbox and the water play area. Young geologists can get excited about the Swap Shop where you can trade fossils and rocks from home.

Admission is free for children 2 and under. Adults and children over 3 are $12 and seniors 65 and older are $11. Save some money by purchasing in advance online. Science Central offers free admission to ASTC passport program members.

Kids Discovery Factory

110 Sycamore St, Batesville

In Southeastern Indiana, you will find Kids Discovery Factory. Currently, the center is only operating on one floor and features a light sensory room, gross motor play area, STEAM room, and a programming space with rotating art, science, and engineering experiences. In the spring, the outdoor area has sensory and gross motor play areas.

Kids Discovery Factory is in the middle of a complete renovation of its 3-story building that is expected to open before or during 2026. Guests can look forward to a kid-sized factory floor, a makerspace, and a themed play area for toddlers. Outside, there will be space for water play, a two-story interactive climbing structure, and a programming area.

Kids Discovery Factory is currently operating on reduced hours. The museum is only open on Wednesday mornings and Thursday afternoons. Admission is a flat $10 for the whole family. Kids Discovery Factory participates in the Museums for All initiative and families that have a valid WIC or SNAP EBT card receive free admission.

Mascot Hall of Fame Interactive Children’s Museum

1851 Front Street, Whiting

The most unique children’s museum on this list is the Mascot Hall of Fame Interactive Children’s Museum. Join favorite professional and college sports mascots who make learning fun at this STEAM-centered museum. Compete in a t-shirt cannon game, turn yourself into a mascot or design your own, learn about mascot costumes and how they are constructed, and practice your mascot dance moves. At the dress-up center, you can make a video in front of a green screen to email home as a souvenir.

Children can experience hockey, basketball, and football and explore the big indoor play structure at the Centier Bank Sports Court. Meet some mascots along the way and don’t forget to see the Hall of Fame inductees including the Colts’ Blue and the Pacers’ Boomer. The museum also offers a Build-a-Bear Workshop where you can make a take-home friend.

The museum is open to the public from Wednesday through Saturday. Admission is $10/person, and children under 2 are free. Veterans and active military personnel are also free, and teachers and seniors over 65 pay a discounted rate.

Curious about the ASTC passport program? Participating science museums and learning facilities grant members free or reduced admission, both in your local area and around the country. Locally, The Indiana State Museum is a participant. More information can be found here. 

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