L.S. Ayres Tea Room™

The L.S. Ayres Tea Room™ is only open during the winter holiday season, Nov. 29 through Jan. 5

The Tea Room is available for rent throughout the year to parties of 15+. For more details, click here.

Enjoy traditional favorites from the L.S. Ayres Tea Room™ including chicken velvet soup and chicken salad. Or, try a classically-inspired tea room experience with hot tea, tea sandwiches and pastries. View our holiday menu here.

The L.S. Ayres Tea Room™ at the Indiana State Museum is inspired by the original Tea Room located in the L.S. Ayres department store at the corner of Washington and Meridian Streets prior to its closing in 1990. Though smaller (72 seats instead of nearly 400), the Tea Room here features reproductions of originals including columns, window treatments, wallpaper, carpet and chandeliers – and even the treasure chest. Tea Room favorites are created from authentic recipes, and staff delivers the proper etiquette service offered at the original Tea Room.


Gift certificates

Give your family and friends the gift of an L.S. Ayres Tea Room™ experience. Tea Room gift certificates are offered in increments of $10, $25 and $50. When making the purchase, choose to pick up the certificate at will call (the Indiana State Museum ticket counter) or to have the certificate delivered via mail. Purchase a gift certificate >>

Please note: Gift certificates are not redeemable for cash and cannot be returned for a cash refund. Certificate cash value is 1/10 of one cent. If an order exceeds the amount of the gift certificate, the balance of the order must be paid in full at the time of service with another method of payment. We are not responsible for lost or stolen gift certificates. Gift certificates are only valid at the L.S. Ayres Tea Room. Any unused amount will be given as change in cash at time of service. Redeemable with dining experience only; Not redeemable with Tea Room rentals. Though gift certificates do not expire, they can be enjoyed during the holiday season only, due to seasonal Tea Room hours. 


Host an Event at the L.S. Ayres Tea Room

Nostalgic elegance and delicious food make the Tea Room a lovely venue for a range of events from luncheons to reunions, showers to holiday gatherings.

For groups of 15 or more, the Tea Room is available for private dining throughout the year. A special group menu applies, and at least two weeks’ notice is required. Please call us at 317.232.1637 or email EventPlanning@indianamuseum.org for more information. 

History of the L.S. Ayres Tea Room

The original Tea Room opened in 1905 on the 5th floor of the L.S. Ayres department store at the corner of Washington and Meridian Streets. It was so popular that in 1929 it was moved to the 8th floor and was expanded in size. For 85 years, it was the place to take children (dressed in their best, including hats and gloves) to learn proper manners, for families to gather in celebration of special events, and for women to see the current fashions as shown in “That Ayres Look” style shows. It became very dear to the community, but at a low point in the vitality of downtown, the May Company closed it in 1990. After several years of sold-out crowds at special holiday-only Tea Room lunches in the Indiana State Museum’s old building, public interest caused the museum to add a recreation of the Tea Room to its plans for its new building – in our current location on Washington Street. It opened with the rest of the new building in May of 2002, and is a popular location especially during the holiday season.