Visit the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis — For Free

childrens-museum-1The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis (https://www.childrensmuseum.org) is a fun place to visit any day of the year, but it’s an especially attractive option on their four free-admission days — Fiesta Familia (September 23), Christmas Eve, Martin Luther King Day and President’s Day. Additionally, on the first Thursday of the month, admission is a very affordable $5.

It’s a fun place for kids of all ages with plenty to occupy even the most active and inquisitive child. Highlights include the Dinosphere, where you can dig for dinosaur bones, check out a giant skeleton and even touch an authentic T-Rex bone. For the more artistically inclined there’s the colorful Chihuly glass tower, where kids can learn about shapes and create their own glass tower. There’s also an excellent train exhibit where visitors can operate switches and learn a little bit about rail history; and a carousel ride where everyone can enjoy a little nostalgia. And don’t miss my favorite exhibit — National Geographic’s Treasures of the Earth — where you check out the archaeology lab, explore an Egyptian tomb, decipher hieroglyphics and reconstruct a terra cotta warrior.

It’s a fun-filled — and educational — attraction for the whole family.

Best of all, the access is excellent throughout the museum. There’s plenty of accessible parking, barrier-free access at the front entrance, and plenty of room to wheel around inside. Most of the exhibits and attractions are wheelchair-accessible, including the carousel. There’s elevator access to all floors, and a gently sloping ramp that connects all five levels of the museum. Wheelchairs are available for loan at the Welcome Center, and if you can’t manage the walk from your car, golf cart transportation can be arranged.

They’ve really got everything covered access-wise, but if you have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact the accessibility department at (317) 334-4000.

So check out this fun and accessible attraction — on a free day or any day of the year. You can’t miss it — it’s the building with the dinosaur scaling the wall!

Celebrate Museum Day on September 22

There may be no such thing as a free lunch, but if you play your cards right, you could get free admission to one of your favorite museums on September 22, 2018 — on The Smithsonian’s 14th annual Museum Day. This nationwide event allows participating museums to emulate the spirit of the Smithsonian Institution’s Washington, D.C.-based facilities, and give free admission to their patrons. Continue reading

Despite the Fire, Glacier National Park is Still Open for Business!!

No crowds in Apgar Village!

No crowds in Apgar Village!

As you may have heard, there’s a large fire burning along the north shore of Lake Mc Donald that has led to the closure of some areas of Glacier National Park. That said the park is still open for business. The smoke is variable, and to be honest it depends on the wind direction. That said even though facilities are pretty limited on the west side, it’s still possible to stay there and explore the open areas of the park.  Continue reading

No Accessible Room at the Inn? Tell the DOJ!

s-l640I’ve been getting a fair share of mail from travelers who booked an accessible room at a US hotel, but then arrived to find that the room had been given to another guest. Basically the all ask me “How can we get hotels to actually save the accessible rooms for people who need them?” Continue reading

Zion National Park Gets Access Upgrades

Kolob-ViewpontAs I was cruising down Interstate 15 near Kanarraville, Utah yesterday, I notice that the Kolob Canyons exit was closed. This was a bit troubling to me, as it’s one of my favorite parts of Zion National Park — mostly because the bulk of the crowds flock to Zion Canyon and completely pass up the Kolob Canyons Scenic Byway. Continue reading

National Corvette Museum Clearly Defines “Service Animal” — Let’s Hope Other Businesses Follow Suit!

450px-Emmet_Practices_Opening_a_Power_DoorIt’s no secret that we’re seeing an increase in service animals and emotional support animals here in the US. There are many reasons for this, but the “card mills” which sell service animal certifications, leashes and vests on the internet have definitely helped increase the number of pets that now “claim” service animal status. And for what it’s worth – save your money, as no certifications are required in the US; in fact it’s illegal to ask for them. Continue reading

The Last Straw

1200px-Eight_drinking_straws_(4273846588)With so many regulations popping up across the country limiting or outright banning the use of plastic straws, I’m getting a lot of questions from folks about why this is even an issue to some disabled people. And to be honest, some of the questions are well meaning, but many folks just don’t get the point – or points – that banning the use of plastic straws in restaurants puts yet another undue burden on our disabled citizens. Maybe some people just never thought about it before, or maybe they don’t understand the technicalities behind it all. Whatever the reason, here are some of the questions I’ve fielded in the past month, along with the answers I’ve given. Feel free to pass them along. Continue reading

Traveling Cherrie is Retiring

Cherrie just kicking back and enjoying Noble View.

Cherrie just kicking back and enjoying Noble View.

I’ve been traveling on and off with Cherrie for about nine years now; although as of late is has been more “off” than “on”. Cherrie was part of the Traveling Teddies program of SATW (a professional organization that I belong to). The idea was simple –members adopt a grade-school class and then they go and talk to them about their travels, take some photos of their teddy on the road, and maybe send a postcard or two along the way. Well, I didn’t have a class – I had a blog. And since I cover accessible travel I got a bear in a wheelchair. Continue reading

Remembering Fallen Friends on this ADA Anniversary

Betsy Volk and Trooper

Betsy Volk and Trooper

Today marks 28 years since the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was signed into law. And although some folks lament that we still have access problems, I prefer to look at how far we have come on this day. Although accessible travel certainly wasn’t a priority back in the beginning, it has gained momentum over the years. And that’s not just because we don’t institutionalize folks who are disabled any more — it’s also because some hearty souls paved the way “back in the day.” And because they were my friends, I’d like to give credit where credit is due on this ADA anniversary. Continue reading