Released June 21, 2024

Discover Nature After Dark at Good Night Forest

INDIANAPOLIS (June 3, 2024) — As the full moon shines through the darkening sky, a coyote’s cry echoes in the distance and sends startled rabbits scampering under the bushes.

Families will feel like they are stepping inside a beloved children’s storybook as they encounter whimsical scenes and interactive experiences at Good Night Forest, open June 8-Oct. 31 at the Indiana State Museum. This new exhibit is presented by Ball Brothers Foundation and the George and Frances Ball Foundation, in collaboration with Minnetrista Museum & Gardens.

Produced especially for the youngest visitors by the museum’s experience team, Good Night Forest will help children build confidence and cultivate scientific curiosity as they discover nature and learn about the animals that emerge in their neighborhoods and local forests after the sun goes down.

“This exhibit is a magical place in Indiana where the world is transitioning from daytime to darkness,” said Brian Mancuso, the museum’s chief officer of engagement. “It may be a little scary at first, but the museum is a safe space to explore, develop courage and bravery, and have a good night.”

Inside the south gallery on the third floor, visitors will be surrounded by colorful critters hand-drawn by local artist Penelope Dullaghan along with fascinating specimens from the museum’s biological collection, including a coyote, fox, snake, small mammals, owls, insects, amphibians and more. It all comes together to create an intriguing and playful atmosphere that’s made for exploration.

Families can gather a knapsack and supplies before heading out from the fire-lit campsite for their nighttime adventure. Visitors follow the twilight trail as far as they dare into the depths of the night-drenched forest to see — and hear — what animals they can find with their flashlights. Plus, children can light up the darkness as they dance through Firefly Meadow, which is supported by Turning Pointe Academy of Dance. Families with little ones can also enjoy a cozy, early-childhood area filled with soft surfaces, quiet sounds and engaging sensory activities.

Good Night Forest is free for members and included with museum admission, which is $20 for adults, $14 for youth (ages 3-17) and $18 for seniors. Visitors can go to to learn more and save on admission by purchasing tickets in advance.

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About the Indiana State Museum and Historic Sites
The Indiana State Museum and Historic Sites is a museum system with 12 locations across the state, offering visitors a chance to engage with Indiana’s past and present and see how their actions help shape the future. At each location, visitors are invited to explore big questions and create lasting experiences that will resonate long after each visit ends. Whether interested in art or architecture, history or science, there’s something for everyone and every interest. The Indianapolis museum is located in White River State Park in the heart of downtown Indianapolis. The historic sites are located across the state, stretching from Rome City in northeastern Indiana to Evansville in the southwest. Learn more at