Visit the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis — For Free

childrens-museum-1The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis ( 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!

Soaking Up Some Wild West History in Southern Wyoming

Rock Springs Historical Museum

Rock Springs Historical Museum

Sometimes road trips don’t go exactly as planned, but that’s all part of the adventure. Lets’ just say that’s how we ended up in Rock Springs, WY. To be honest, before our visit I gave very little thought to this Southern Wyoming town. but after a “less-than-accurate” weather forecast, Rock Springs became our unexpected home for the night. Continue reading

Off the Beaten Path in Kansas

Hot and Cold Water Towers in Pratt, Kansas

One of the great things about a road trip is that you can hop off the interstate at a moment’s notice and explore the road less traveled. And that’s exactly what we did yesterday when we drove from Dodge City to Wichita. Instead of taking Interstate 50 most of the way, we planned a little detour with a stop in Pratt, Kansas. And I have to admit, it wasn’t the day we planned, but in this case, that was a very good thing. Continue reading

Chihuly in the Desert

Chihuly at Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix

I love it when I can combine two of my favorite things; and yesterday it was the Desert Botanical Garden and Chihuly glass. Located in Phoenix Arizona, the Desert Botanical Garden boasts over 55 acres of native plants, and for a limited time, 21 Dale Chihuly sculptures are also tucked into the landscape. This is the second Chihuly installation at the Desert Botanical Garden – there was also one in 2008 – but sadly I missed the first one. Continue reading

Raptor Free Flight Show Returns to Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum

Barn Owl

Those of you who know me really well, know that I have a particular fondness for raptors. So much so, that I even spent some time working with a falconer near my mountain home in my younger years. Thinking back, I would do any volunteer job I could, just to be near those beautiful birds. Which is why I was thrilled when I found out that I was visiting the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum on the opening day of their Raptor Free Flight show. And I wasn’t disappointed one bit!  Continue reading

Objects of Belief from the Vatican — Opening This Weekend

Mbulu-ngulu, (Reliquary Figure) Gabon, Kota people, (Obamba or Mindumu group) Late 19th-early 20th century Copper, brass, iron, wood, 101060. Photo © Vatican Museums

If you happen to be traveling to San Francisco between now and September 8, 2013, be sure and check out the excellent Objects of Belief from the Vatican exhibition at the de Young Museum.  Although there are only 39 objects in this well-curated collection, they each tell a unique story. And since none of the artifacts have ever been out of the Vatican Ethnological Museum, this special exhibition is even more intriguing. Continue reading

The Right Attitude in Pensacola

Julee Cottage at Historic Pensacola Village.

In the course of my travels and editorial research, I talk to a lot of folks regarding access. Some folks really get it, while others are clueless. I’m glad to report that the former was the case today at Historic Pensacola Village in Pensacola, Florida. Continue reading