6 Most Unusual Museums in Indiana (2023)
Museums are the best place to appreciate and understand a place’s art, culture, traditions, and history. The beautiful state of Indiana is home to a huge variety of museums, including the biggest children’s museum in the world, live historical re-enactments, exhibits upon exhibits that are full of fine art, and some of the finest military collections in the United States. This is why it is a must for all visitors to the Hoosiers state to check out these unusual museums in Indiana.
6 Most Unusual Museums in Indiana
Here are the 6 Most Unusual Museums in Indiana:
1. Indianapolis Children’s Museum
A wondrous place to visit with the entire family is the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis. This large and fascinating place is spread over 29 acres in the United Northwest neighborhood of the city. It is known as the largest children’s museum in the world, being home to many different exhibits and hands-on science displays that range from the astronauts living on the International Space Station to the time when dinosaurs roamed the planet.
This museum is a favorite with children of all ages, but at the same time, it provides an incredible learning experience for the parents as well. Out of the many collections housed here, you will find thousands of artifacts, interactive experiences, and photo opportunities. Some of the popular exhibits you can check out at this famous museum include a children’s theater, planetarium, and many outdoor exhibits, including the hugely awe-inspiring Tree of Sports playground.
Some of the other must-see exhibits here include the 43-foot tall Dale Chihuly glass sculpture, and an interactive playscape that is designed just for preschoolers, and many full-sized dinosaur skeletons, including one of the few mummified dinosaurs in the world.
Apart from offering full-day family outings, the museum also arranges numerous daily events and programs. Some of these exciting events include costume-building workshops, Astronaut Training aboard the International Space Station, and a Secrets of the Lab series where children get to indulge in many do-it-yourself science projects. Another unique feature of this children’s museum is a restored carousel that dates back to 1917, located on the fourth level of the facility.
2. The Only Living History Museum – the Conner Prairie Interactive History Park
Located in Fishers, the Conner Prairie Interactive History Park is literally a living history museum. For history buffs, this is the best way to dive into the past. Conner Prairie is a unique recreation of how local life used to be like in the 19th century. Not only is this an educational visit, but you will also find many fun and engaging activities to take part in here.
While here, you must check out the William Conner home, which is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places. There are numerous exhibits, activities, and interactive fun to be had for people of all ages here. This is the perfect attraction to visit in Indiana to take a step back in time and find out what life was like so many decades ago.
3. Fort Wayne Museum of Art
One of the many institutions operated by Arts United of Greater Fort Wayne and a cornerstone of Fort Wayne’s Cultural District, the Fort Wayne Museum of Art (FWMoA) is one of the major attractions in Fort Wayne. The museum has been home to a wide range of mediums in American art over the years.
The museum hosts a collection of over 7000 paintings, delicate glass, and sculptures. Through these exhibits, the museum draws attention to many Indiana Impressionists, artisan glass cutters, and world-famous painters. FWMoA also hosts a vast range of events, programs, and classes throughout the year. Some of the popular events include internships, art classes, and a family-friendly Dia De Los Muertos that is celebrated every October.
The museum also hosts a popular Chalk Walk along with the Three Rivers Festival that takes place every July and transforms Main Street into a bustling art corridor. The event attracts thousands of people from all over Indiana every year.
4. Grissom Air Museum
The Grissom Air Museum is a famous military aviation museum located near Peru in Indiana at the Grissom Air Reserve Base. There are over 20 aircraft on display at the museum. The museum opened its doors in 1981. It was established by seven veterans, and since then, the museum has been preserving aircraft located at the Grissom Air Reserve Vase. Today, the museum is home to nearly 32 military aircraft, with 24 being displayed.
Visitors can sit inside the planes and helicopters, including an H1-Huey Helicopter, F-4 Phantom, Bomb Loader, and many more. This museum frequently features in many lists of the best museums in Indiana. However, the museum’s fortunes began to decline in 1992, when the Air Force announced that six airplanes would be relocated to other sites.
While today the situation has improved, and there are many artifacts kept here that are related to the US Naval Training Station located at Bunker Hill, the Bunker Hill Air Force Base, and the Grissom Air Force Base.
5. Auburn Cord Duesenberg Automobile Museum
This is one of the most unique museums in Indiana. There are four car museums located in Northeast Indiana, and they attract visitors from all over the world. Two are located right next to each other, which are the Auburn Cord Duesenberg Automobile Museum and the National Automotive and Truck Museum. Then there’s the Auburn Cord Duesenberg is, one of the most unique museums in the state, and it is displays over 120 cars there are located across three floors. Nine automotive-themed galleries that allow visitors to check out the automotive history. From classic to racing cars, you will find everything displayed here.
An interesting fact is that the original Auburn Automobile Company showroom and its offices are also located inside the museum itself.
Meanwhile, the National Automotive and Truck Museum allows visitors to enjoy two floors worth of some incredible, one-of-a-kind vehicles, class cars, trucks, and prototypes. The highlight of the collection at this museum is the General Motors Futurliner #10, which the General Motors Company used to tour around the US and promote this future technology.
6. The Museums of White River State Park
Located in Indianapolis, the White River State Park is home to the famous Indiana State Museum, the NCAA Hall of Champions, and the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art.
The Indiana State Museum is home to many artifacts and exhibits about this magnificent Hoosier State, having Indiana’s complete culture and history on display throughout the museum.
The NCAA Hall of Champions is a fun place to visit as it lets visitors get a hands-on experience with 24 NCAA sports and also learn about what it takes to become an NCAA student-athlete.
The Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art meanwhile spread understanding and appreciation of the art and culture of the indigenous people of North America and the American West in general.