If you have a police or history lover in your house, you can’t beat a trip to the Indiana State Police Museum. Located in Indianapolis near Post Rd. on 21st Street, this free museum houses police cars from different eras in Indiana State Police history, motorcycles, police themed toys from bygone eras, and so much more!
We recently visited with friends and had a group of boys and one girl ranging in age from eleven down to five, and each child found something to interest them. You walk in to a large room with cars on display from the 1930’s to 2000’s. While most vehicles cannot be touched, there is one car specifically for children of all ages (myself included) to explore. This special car has no back, but two fronts, so more than one child at a time can experience what it’s like to get behind the wheel of a police car. With working lights and hats to try on, this was a hit with all the kids. Our visit lasted an hour and a half, and I’m pretty sure at least an hour was spent with our kids running around and switching places in the car.
Check in at the reception desk in the main room to pick up a scavenger hunt for the kids to fill out while they’re learning. If they finish it and turn it back in, they will receive a small prize. While most of the museum is a display of artifacts and not interactive, they do also offer a fingerprint station in which children can take their own fingerprints or those of a friend and learn about different fingerprint styles.
While the younger kids really enjoyed playing Police in the car, the older kids enjoyed wandering around the two other, smaller rooms. These rooms featured display cases filled with different police artifacts from different times. Included are guns, badges, breathalyzers, there’s even an area devoted to the training of K9 officers. The signs helped put things in perspective historically and were really interesting, especially to my ten year old history buff. There is also an entire section devoted to John Dillinger, Indiana’s most famous outlaw.
After an hour and a half, the museum was closing and we had to drag our kids out. While it’s a very small museum and it doesn’t seem like there’s a lot to do, they were disappointed to leave. Inside that small space, you can find a lot of fun and interesting facts. All in all it was a great way to spend the afternoon!
The Indiana State Police Museum is located at 8660 East 21st Street in Indianapolis. They are open from 9:00 a.m. — 3:00 p.m. every weekday, plus 12:00 p.m. — 4:00 p.m. on the third Saturday of each month. Admission is free, donations are accepted.
8660 E. 21st Street,