Released January 15, 2019

Summer camps at the Indiana State Museum in 2019

INDIANAPOLIS (Jan. 15, 2019) – This summer, families will find brand new camps for their kids to experience at the Indiana State Museum – along with some returning favorites.

New this year, several camp topics are offered on a day-by-day basis, where parents can sign up for as many days and topics as they’d like at the beginning and end of summer, versus an entire week in June. Pre-k and kindergarten camps will still be offered on a weekly basis, and many camps for older kids will be offered on a weekly basis, too.

Registration for summer camp is now live, and can be made here:

FOR MEDIA: To cover any camps or learn more, contact Hannah Kiefer at [email protected] or (317) 234-8146. 

Photos of previous camps can be found here:


All summer day camps are for youth entering first through sixth grades. Camps take place from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Cost per day of camp is $45/members, $50/non-members, with $5 discount for siblings enrolled in the same camp. Before care (8 to 9 a.m.) is available for an additional $6/day, and aftercare (4 to 5:30 p.m.) is available for an additional $9/day.

Registration for each day camp is required by 5 p.m. the day before the camp start date.

Topics for camps are as follows:

May 28 – Fiber Arts: Stitch by Stitch
Do you enjoy creating with your hands? Join us for a day full of needle crafting, hand stitching, weaving and cross stitch. Our day camp will offer a fun and creative introduction to many traditional fiber arts.

May 29 – Flying into Space
Do you have what it takes to become an astronaut? Explore space, rockets and all that is needed to live in space for a day, a month or even a year!

May 30 – Lights, Science, Color!
All the colors of the rainbow create our light. Bend light, twist colors and use mirrors and reflection to create colorful experiments.

May 31 – Prehistoric Pottery
What can prehistoric pottery tell us about the first people to live in Indiana? Solve a pottery puzzle to determine the shape and use of an ancient object, shape and mold your own pottery based on different methods used before the invention of the pottery wheel, and experiment with ancient technology used to decorate pottery.

July 29 – Art Exploration & Experiments
Calling all artists! Join us for a day of delving into the artistic process of artist Felrath Hines. Create original artworks, explore a variety of media and conduct colorful experiments.

July 30 – Saber-tooth Sleuths
Did you know that saber-toothed cats once roamed Indiana? Create a smilodon tooth and toothpaste while looking at real fossils. Uncover what makes this cat so cool and different from today’s cats.

July 31 – Mastodon Escape 
The museum has a missing mastodon! Can you find the clues, figure out the puzzles and solve the mystery before time runs out?

August 1 – Cold as Ice
It might be blazing hot outside, but it’s going to be cold as ice in this camp! Make ice cube magic, freeze liquid in an instant, explore glacier science and create art with ice. Plus, enjoy a tasty frozen treat to end the day.

August 2 – Pioneer Makers
Pioneers couldn’t go to a store to buy their toys – they had to make them. Learn how to use woodworking tools to create a simple toy and carve soap to create something extraordinary.

CAMP INFORMATION: Pre-k and kindergarten weekly camps

The following camps are for children ages 4 to 6 years old and are offered on a weekly basis. Camps are from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m., and cost is $105/members, $117/non-members per week of camp, with $5 discount for siblings enrolled in the same camp.

Children can bring a lunch and stay for an additional hour (until 1 p.m.) for an additional $35/week, as well as experience free-choice play during this time. Before care is available from 8 to 9 a.m. for an additional cost of $30/week per child.

June 3-7 – Becoming a Scientist with PBS’ Sid the Science Kid
Throughout the week, curious campers will explore the world around them by conducting experiments, investigating mysteries and solving problems. These little scientists will be encouraged to think, talk and work like scientists by building curiosity, growing vocabulary and learning about the scientific process. Registration required by May 20. 

July 15-19 – Exploring the World Around You with PBS’ Nature Cat
Join Fred the house cat on an adventure as he turns into PBS’s Nature Cat! Campers will become nature experts as they explore the museum galleries and outdoor spaces. Throughout the week, nature campers will investigate the natural world using their senses to investigate and observe, collect natural materials for art making and experimenting and use real science equipment. Registration required by July 1. 

July 29-Aug. 2 – Artful Play Camp
Does your 4- to 6-year-old love to create and explore art? In this camp, they’ll investigate various mediums of art, from painting to sculpting and everything in between. Throughout the week, little artists will be inspired by the museum collection and exhibits, design and create their own works of art and work with fellow campers on a collaborative art piece. Registration required by July 15. 

Want your child to have a full day camp experience? Sign them up for a week of afternoon camp at Peewinkle’s Puppet Studio, too. 

July 15-19 OR July 29-Aug. 2 (ages 4-6): Puppet Play at Peewinkle’s
Cost: $110/members who sign up for a morning session camp; $125/on its own
For families that want a full-day camp experience, sign up for Peewinkle’s Puppet Studio’s afternoon camp program! Camps begin with a show by Peewinkle’s puppeteers and conclude with a camper show for parents and siblings. Campers will construct a variety of puppets, try out some professional puppets and perform. Campers should bring an afternoon snack, and registration is required two weeks prior to each camp’s start date.

CAMP INFORMATION: Full-week summer camps

Full-week camps are available for youth entering first through eighth grades on a variety of topics, and these camps take place from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Cost for full-week camp is $210/members, $235/non-members. Before care (8 to 9 a.m.) is available for an additional cost of $30/week, aftercare (4 to 5:30 p.m.) is available for an additional cost of $45/week, and there’s a $5 discount on siblings enrolled in the same camp.

June 3-7 (entering grades 1-3) – Be the Agent with PBS’ Odd Squad 
Become an Odd Squad agent and get ready to put your STEM skills to the test! Olive and Otto need your help to make sense of odd happenings, restore order and put things right before it’s too late. Registration required by May 20. 

June 3-7 (entering grades 4-8) – Tech Exploration
Low tech, high tech – experiment with both in this creative camp. Start off with some essentials like LEDs, batteries and glue guns. Then, level up to some basic coding to create a simple game. Finally, advance to create unique movie projects using 3D drawing and movie-making apps from Microsoft. Registration required by May 20. 

June 10-14 (entering grades 1-3) – Fashion by Design
Do you have the intuition of an interior designer? Do you dream of designing your own room? Join us in creating furnishings designed and created by YOU! Use a sewing machine to make a personalized pillowcase, design a pinup board to hold photos and mementos, stitch together a light-up stuffed animal or monster and participate in design challenges. Registration required by May 27.

June 10-14 (entering grades 4-6) – Culinary: Home Grown
Do you have what it takes to make your lunch from the ground up? Plant herbs to take home and enjoy all year long. Use fresh produce that you can grow at home to create your favorite foods. Learn new cooking techniques and how to create a garden to grow ingredients. Registration required by May 27.

June 17-21 (entering grades 1-3) – Little Robin’s Nature Camp
Have you ever wondered how a bee makes its hive? How does a bird build its nest? How do animals and plants adapt to call downtown Indianapolis home? Explore and discover more about the curious critters that live in Indiana. Registration required by June 3. 

June 17-21 (entering grades 4-6) – Urban Ecology
Become active and caring citizens of our planet in this week-long exploration of the environment right in our backyard. Join the museum and the White River Alliance to investigate water quality, identify pollinators, hike an urban wilderness trail and learn how to protect natural resources for the future. Registration required by June 3. 

June 17-21 (entering grades 4-8): Self-Empowerment Theatre 
Join Young Actors Theatre (YAT) directors to create a one-of-a-kind performance experience about facing peer pressure. Visit the museum’s experiences, gain theatrical training, and create and perform a play about issues students face today. Registration required by June 3.

June 24-28 (entering grades 1-3) – Science of Toys
Have you ever wondered what was inside your favorite toy? What makes it move? How does it make sound? Can you make it do something else? We’ll provide the toys and tools, and campers provide the imagination to take apart the toys and create something new! Registration required by June 10. 

June 24-28 (entering grades 4-6) – Engineering Explorers
Calling all future engineers! Each day we’ll solve a different engineering challenge using civil, mechanical, structural and chemical engineering. How much weight will your bridge hold? How many loops and hills can you build in a roller coaster? Can you design a vehicle that doesn’t spill water? Registration required by June 10. 

July 8-12 (entering grades 1-3) – Culinary: Tiny Bites
Tiny bites with big taste! Learn how to create yummy snacks, appetizers and other quick bites to share with friends. Using items you can find in your kitchen, explore different ways to add tasty treats to your week. Registration required by June 24. 

July 8-12 (entering grades 4-8) – Refashion: Vintage to Couture 
Do you have the eye of a fashion designer? Repurpose and redesign your wardrobe into something that better fits your own personal style! Get a front row viewing of our Color of Style exhibit, experiment with fabric dying, turn an ordinary object into an eye-catching accessory and upcycle clothes of the past into high fashion. Registration required by June 24.

July 15-19 (entering grades 1-3) – Sensational Science with PBS’ Ruffman
Put your mad STEM skills to the test and engage in the science inquiry and engineering design process alongside Ruff and his friends. Explore force and motion, engineering, chemistry and material science as you play, build, explore and learn together. Registration required by July 1. 

July 15-19 (entering grades 4-6) – Wizard Academy
Potions, charms, invisibility…oh my! Create your own wand and see if you can make things disappear. Is it magic? Or science? You decide as you make potions, design and build your own dragon, and try to win the Mastodon Cup. What will you uncover at the Wizard’s Academy? Registration required by July 1. 

July 22-26 (entering grades 1-3) – Movin’ and Groovin’
Celebrate the end of summer with challenges that get you movin’ and groovin’. How many balloons can you stomp in a minute? Can you melt a glacier? Join us for a week of games, fun and adventure. Registration required by July 8. 

July 22-26 (entering grades 4-6) – Extreme Challenge
Celebrate the end of summer with extreme challenges designed to exercise your brains and bodies. Challenges are created to promote teamwork, enhance problem-solving skills and test your endurance, willpower and bravery. Are you up for the challenge? Registration required by July 8.

Scholarship Information 

Scholarships are available for families that reside in Marion County and currently receive public assistance in the form of SNAP, WIC, TANF, or free or reduced-price school meals. Scholarships are applicable for any summer day camp or weeklong camp. Scholarship applications are due by March 1, 2019, and recipients will be announced by mid-April.

To apply, complete the scholarship application found here. Your application cannot be processed without proof of assistance. You may register for one camp per student per summer session. Payments will be due one week after notification of scholarship.

Scholarship prices are $7/day for summer day camps, $15/week for pre-k through kindergarten camps, and $25/week for weeklong camps for grades 1-8.

Scholarship camp prices include camp, before and aftercare, lunch and a snack.

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The Indiana State Museum and Historic Sites is located in White River State Park in the heart of downtown Indianapolis. It is Indiana’s museum for science, art and culture, offering a place where you can celebrate, investigate, remember, learn and take pride in Indiana’s story in the context of the broader world. Even the building is a showcase of the best Indiana has to offer in architecture, materials and sculpture. Easy and convenient parking is available in the attached underground garage.