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

Have You Ever Heard of a Watermelon Roll?

Mercury watermelonAs I was touring Keepers of the Wild the other day, Linda my guide turned to me and asked, “Have you heard about our Memorial Day watermelon roll?  As visions of people rolling giant watermelons towards the finish line at a Memorial Day picnic danced through my head, I stammered, “Um, no, not really.” And that’s when she filled me in on the finer details of “Watermelon Roll Keepers of the Wild Style”.  Continue reading

Safari West Loses Accessible Bus in Wildfire

Accessible tent cabin at Safari West will reopen in 2018.

Accessible tent cabin at Safari West will reopen in 2018.

Safari West – a favorite attraction of mine – partially reopened their facilities last month after the Tubbs Fire ravaged Sonoma county. Although much of the land surrounding this wild animal preserve was parched by the fire, the good news is that no animals at Safari West were injured or killed as a result of it. Continue reading

Road Construction to Cause Delays in Arches National Park

archesThe good news is that the 26-mile stretch of road through Arches National Park is getting some major upgrades this year — an improvement which will ultimately result in a smoother traffic flow and less congestion in the park in the years to come.

The not-so-good news is that the construction will cause some major delays and closures this year. Continue reading

Access Upgrades in California Redwoods

All Access Trail at Hendy Woods State Park

All Access Trail at Hendy Woods State Park

Sometimes I just happen to stumble across cool accessible travel finds. Such was the case yesterday when Charles and I were checking out Hendy Woods. We’ve passed by this California state park many times — located off Highway 128 near Philo — but somehow we never managed to stop. Continue reading

Historic Yosemite Railroad Boasts Excellent Access

I’ve visited a wide variety of rail attractions over the past 20 years on my accessible travel beat, and I have to say that the folks at the Yosemite Mountain Sugar Pine Railroad (www.YMSPRR.com) really wowed me the other day. Continue reading

Spooktacular Halloween Program at Yosemite Cemetery

Headstone in Yosemite Cemetery

Headstone in Yosemite Cemetery

If your Halloween travels include a stop in Yosemite National Park, then don’t miss the spooktacular ranger program at Yosemite Cemetery on October 30 and 31, 2016. The hour-long walking tour includes historical – and sometimes creepy – stories about some of the people buried in the cemetery, which dates back to the 1870s. After the tour, more stories will be shared by the campfire at the Yosemite Valley Indian Cultural Museum.

The Yosemite Cemetery is located across the street from the Yosemite Valley Indian Cultural Museum. Accessible street parking is located nearby. Alternatively, the lift-equipped park shuttle stops at the Yosemite Valley Visitor Center, which is just a short level walk from the museum. The hard-packed dirt paths through the cemetery are level, and although there are a few bumps near the entrance, they are navigable for most wheelchair-users and slow walkers. There are also benches to sit and rest along the way.

Two programs are held each night – one begins at 8:00, and the other begins at 9:00. Both sessions are appropriate for children, and they begin at the campfire at the Yosemite Valley Indian Cultural Museum. Participants are reminded to dress warm and bring a flashlight. For more information, call (209) 372-1153.

Have a great Halloween at the Yosemite Cemetery!I