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The Indiana State Museum and Historic Sites give people thousands of ways to explore Indiana.  At all 12 locations, visitors will find stories about the people, places and things that shape Indiana.  The ISMHS welcomes everyone, whether they're a Hoosier by birth or a Hoosier at Heart.

Media Contacts:

Megan Simpson, Director of Public Relations 

Paige Southerland, Community Marketing Coordinator
Historic Sites media

Christine Johnson, Vice President of Marketing

Media Tip Sheet – Q1 2017

Media Tip Sheet – Q1 2017

Upcoming major events and exhibitions at the Indiana State Museum and Historic Sites through 2017

SECTION A: Indiana State Museum

Welcome to 2017 – “The Year of Science”
Exhibitions presented by Eli Lilly and Company  

PROGRAMMuseum INvasion
Ongoing dates

1:30 p.m., or by appointment [Sat.]

Admission: $10 for members; $20 for non-members [price includes museum admission]

Don’t just visit the museum, invade it. Wear practical shoes—they’re the only practical thing on the tour. From the odd to the shocking to the just plain eye-opening, a Museum INvasion tour turns the traditional museum experience on its head. Museum INvasion tours are intended for adults, but suitable for children ages 10 and up. 

To reserve your spot on this INvasion tour, please call 317.232.1637. Walk-ins are welcome when space is available. 

Scheduled group tours are also available. Tours are $150 with a maximum of 10 people per group. To book a group tour, contact 317.232.1637. 

HOLIDAY DININGTea with Raggedy Ann
January 1, 2017

2 p.m. [Sun.] 
Admission: L.S. Ayres Team RoomTM prices apply  

Bring your favorite doll and have tea in the historic L. S. Ayres Tea RoomTM with famous “Hoosier” doll Raggedy Ann. Holiday characters such as Rudolph the Reindeer and others will be in attendance. Museum admission is not included. 

PROGRAM – Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
January 16, 2017
10 a.m. to 5 p.m. [Mon.]
Admission: FREE and open to the public with the exchange of a nonperishable food item

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day at the museum celebrates the legacy of equal rights in America. The museum in its entirety is open to the public, free of charge, and engages visitors in unique and meaningful ways that reflect the vision of MLK, Jr. This event draws nearly 5,000 guests.

PROGRAM – Family Night Out: Art & Play
January 27, 2017
6 to 8 p.m. [Fri.]
Admission: FREE and open to the public

Discover what you can see, make and do at Indiana State Museum’s Family Night Out! Make “action paintings” from movement, create kinetic sculptures and challenge yourself to a game of eye spy! Come join us and spark your family’s creativity.

PROGRAM – 14th Annual Indiana Art Fair
February 11 and 12, 2017

10 a.m. to 5 p.m. [Sat.] [exclusive Member lounge 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.]
11 a.m. to 5 p.m. [Sun.]
Admission: Included with museum admission

The Indiana Art Fair at the Indiana State Museum returns to celebrate its 14th year of showcasing art made right here in the Hoosier state. Enjoy an array of fine art and crafts by more than 60 artists, all without leaving the warmth of the museum. Whether you like contemporary or traditional, art that is wearable and functional, or pieces for display in your home, these amazing artists have what you are looking for. Not only will you be supporting talented local and statewide artists, but also the Indiana State Museum, as proceeds help fund both public and school programs.
This program is supported by the Arts Council of Indianapolis and the City of Indianapolis. This program is presented by Old National Bank.

[NEW] EXHIBITION – Ice Age Graveyards
February 25 through September 4, 2017

10 a.m. to 5 p.m. [Mon., Tues., Wed., Thurs., Fri., Sat.]
11 a.m. to 5 p.m. [Sun.]
Admission: Included with museum admission

During the last Ice Age, ancient elephants roamed Indiana. Come discover the mastodons and mammoths that were Indiana’s last native giants. See how the remains of these pre-historic beasts are uncovered, and visit Fred, the museum’s iconic mastodon skeleton. Ice Age Graveyards is an exciting look at Indiana’s chilly past, presented in a cool new way. Perfect for children of all ages.

PROGRAM – GeoFest: The 15th Annual Indiana State Museum Fossil, Gem and Mineral Show
February 17 through 19, 2017

10 a.m. to 5 p.m. [Fri., Sat.]
11 a.m. to 4 p.m. [Sun.]
Admission: Included with museum admission

GeoFest “rocks” the Indiana State Museum as experts and vendors from all over the country come to the museum with fossils, rocks, minerals, jewelry and more! Shop for your own unique geo-treasure and meet experts from throughout Indiana. Explore the museum's natural history galleries, enjoy hands-on geology activities and win geo-prizes.
This program is supported by IMI, Inc.

PROGRAMRemarkable Women of Indiana: Women in Science March 4, 2017
11 a.m. to 4 p.m. [Sat.]
Admission: Included with museum admission

Join the Indiana State Museum and Historic Sites for the third annual Remarkable Women of Indiana as women in science are celebrated. Remember the women who shaped Indiana and be inspired during the museum’s celebration of National Women in History Month.

EXHIBITION – Nature Unleashed: Inside Natural Disasters
March 11 through May 29, 2017

10 a.m. to 5 p.m. [Mon., Tues., Wed., Thurs., Fri., Sat.]
11 a.m. to 5 p.m. [Sun.]
Admission: Call 317.232.1637 for information

Earthquakes. Tornadoes. Hurricanes. Volcanic eruptions. Tsunamis. These immense forces of geology and weather have shaped our planet and our world. How do they affect us and how do we respond? Can we prevent them? Should we even try? Explore these questions and more in this immersive and interactive exhibition from The Field Museum.
This exhibition is contributed by Rolls-Royce.

PROGRAMPinewood Derby®
March 28 through April 2, 2017

10 a.m. to 5 p.m. [Tues., Wed., Thurs., Fri.]
9 a.m. to 5 p.m. [Sat.]
11 a.m. to 5 p.m. [Sun.]
Admission: Included with museum admission with special price for Scouts of $4 per person for all scouts and their families.

On your mark, get set… for the second greatest spectacle in racing! The Indiana State Museum and Crossroads of America Council, BSA invites everyone to race Pinewood Derby® cars down the two-story, 125-foot race track and watch them speed across the finish line! The track will be open to the public all week with the official race on Saturday, April 1. All participating cars must be registered by 1 p.m. on race day. Ages 5 to 16 must register as youth and ages 17 and older must register as an adult. Enter a derby car by 2 p.m. for the ‘Best of Show’ competition. Cars will be awarded based on visual design. The track will continue to be open for Fun Runs on Sunday. Visit indianamuseum.org to view the Saturday competition rules and ‘Best of Show’ categories.
In collaboration with Crossroads of America Council.

EXHIBITIONSymphony in Color
April 1 through May 7, 2017

10 a.m. to 5 p.m. [Mon., Tues., Wed., Thurs., Fri., Sat.]
11 a.m. to 5 p.m. [Sun.]
Admission: Included with museum admission

Symphony in Color is an enrichment program of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra Association offering a unique blending of symphonic music and visual arts. Involving more than 30,000 Indiana school children each year, it culminates in a juried exhibition at the Hilbert Circle Theatre and Indiana State Museum.

Each year, five musical selections are chosen from the current Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra concert season. One hundred finalists and 36 blue ribbon winners are selected from the thousands of pieces of art entered and one entry will receive the Renato Pacini Award and placed on display in the Hilbert Circle Theatre for an entire year. A maestro award is given to the teacher with the most finalists. 

PROGRAM Eco Science Fair
April 21, 2017

10 a.m. to 2 p.m. [Fri.]
Admission: Included with museum admission

The Indiana State Museum provides a platform that showcases how individuals and companies tackle environmental issues at the annual Eco Science Fair. This year’s event will showcase eco-friendly products and services, local environmental leaders and lifestyle activities.
This program is presented by Subaru of Indiana Automotive, Inc. and supported by Dow AgroSciences.

PROGRAM – Tribute
April 25, 2017
[Time TBD] [Tues.]
Admission: Call 317.232.1637 for information

The Heritage Keeper Award is the highest honor bestowed by the Indiana State Museum and Historic Sites. This award recognizes Indiana’s greatest ambassadors for their embodiment of the Hoosier Spirit in their achievements, leadership and service to the State of Indiana. This year, John and Sarah Lechleiter will be honored for their service to Indiana. 

PROGRAM – Homeschool Day: Nature Unleashed
May 16, 2017

9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. [Tues.]
Admission: Call 317.232.1637 for information

Calling all Homeschool families and co-ops! Explore the museum, experience a workshop and check out several gallery activities all themed around the Nature Unleashed exhibition. For more information, please call 317.232.1637.

PROGRAM – Museum Summer Camp (SUMMER BREAK)
May 30 through July 28, 2017

9 a.m. to 3 p.m. [Mon., Tues., Wed., Thurs., Fri.]
Admission: Call 317.232.1637 for information

Crime-solving mysteries, exploring the environment and making your own clothes can all be yours in a summer camp at the Indiana State Museum! Camps begin in June and each week will deliver new adventures based on the museum’s outstanding exhibits and collections. Campers will be in a safe and educational environment while engaged in topics such as forensic science, archaeology, fashion, nature, and history.

EXHIBITIONNikon Small World
[October date TBD]

10 a.m. to 5 p.m. [Mon., Tues., Wed., Thurs., Fri., Sat.]
11 a.m. to 5 p.m. [Sun.]
Admission: Included with museum admission

Discover the beauty and complexity of life as seen through the light of a microscope. The world’s best photo-micrographers have captured dynamic images that showcase a wide variety of advanced scientific disciplines.

EXHIBITION The Power of Poison
October 20, 2017

Exhibition opening reception
[Time TBD] [Fri.]                

October 21, 2017 through February 11, 2018
10 a.m. to 5 p.m. [Mon., Tues., Wed., Thurs., Fri., Sat.]
11 a.m. to 5 p.m. [Sun.]
Admission: Call 317.232.1637 for information

Poison may bring to mind thoughts of crime, but for many animals and plants, it’s just a part of life. This exhibition from the American Museum of Natural History shows how widespread poisons, venoms and toxins are in nature. Discover the complex interactions between poisonous animals, the ways humans have used natural poisons and ancient myths and legends. Find out how poison is detected, solve mysterious poisonings and learn about medical breakthroughs that poisons have made possible.

PROGRAMDay of the Dead
October 28, 2017

11 a.m. to 4 p.m. [Sat.]
Admission: Included with museum admission

El Dìa de los Muertos – The Day of the Dead - is a traditional Mexican holiday with ancient ties to the Aztecs.  Its subject matter may be considered morbid by some cultures, but its celebrants approach The Day of the Dead joyfully.  It is viewed as a time when souls of those who have died rejoin their families to rejoice together.  Unlike Halloween, this celebration honors the lives of the deceased and celebrates the continuation of life with a belief that death is not the end, but rather the beginning of a new stage in existence.  The museum gives visitors a chance to learn about the traditions and history behind El Dìas de los Muertos and to participate in the celebration.  Visitors can join in hands-on activities, learn about altar (ofrenda) building while viewing our ofrenda exhibition, and enjoy lively performances.

EXHIBITION – Heroes from the Heartland
November 1 through 11, 2017
[tentative dates]
10 a.m. to 5 p.m. [Mon., Tues., Wed., Thurs., Fri., Sat.]
11 a.m. to 5 p.m. [Sun.]
Admission: Included with museum admission.

The Indiana State Museum seeks to explore the contributions of Hoosier veterans, highlight the state's military history and patriotic pride, and explore resources available to veterans returning home.  Residents of Indiana are encouraged to participate by electronically contributing photos and by visiting the museum to attend live performances and demonstrations.  In addition, the museum will run a canned food drive for HVAF (Hoosier Veterans Assistance Foundation).

EXHIBITION - Celebration Crossing
November 24, 2017 through January 1, 2018
[tentative dates]
10 a.m. to 5 p.m. [Mon., Tues., Wed., Thurs., Fri., Sat.]
11 a.m. to 5 p.m. [Sun.]
Admission: Included with museum admission

Opening Day Program
November
24
Enjoy the Indianapolis Children's Choir at 11 a.m. then gather on the museum's front lawn to witness Santa’s arrival by helicopter at noon.  Once safely on the ground, he will greet the crowd and move to his home in
Celebration Crossing.  The day's festivities include the unveiling of the 92 County ornament tree.  Children of all ages can ride the Santa Claus Express train, pose for a picture with Santa and give him their holiday wish list before he leaves again on Dec. 24.

This year’s Celebration Crossing comes alive with holiday merriment from the sounds of bands, bell and vocal choirs and of course Santa and Mrs. Claus, who will entertain visitors in their cozy home through Dec. 24. Early risers may join Mrs. Claus, Raggedy Ann and Santa’s Elves for breakfast and late sleepers may join Santa for brunch or supper.

Children of all ages may ride on the Santa Claus Express, make crafts to take home, take advantage of a playscape for pre-school and primary elementary aged children in Santa’s Playground. Take a trip back in time by gazing into the recreated L.S. Ayres store windows rekindling Christmases past. Special event dates and times will post to indianamuseum.org.

PROGRAMHoliday Sounds
December 1 through December 15, 2017

Admission: Free and open to the public

School and community choirs, bands, ensembles and soloists perform holiday music in the museum's Governor Frank and Judy O'Bannon Great Hall each day. Enjoy the sounds of the season in a spectacular holiday atmosphere.

HOLIDAY DININGSanta’s Holiday Breakfast
[Dates TBD]

Saturday seating times: 8, 8:30 and 9 a.m.
Sunday seating times: 9, 9:30 and 10 a.m.
Admission: Call 317.232.1637 for information

During select weekends in December, guests will get to start their mornings off with delicious holiday breakfast as several holiday characters entertain the young ones before they visit Santa Claus and ride the Santa Claus Express. Reservations required.

PROGRAMStatehood Day
December 8, 2017

10 a.m. to 1 p.m. [Program 11 to 11:30 a.m.] [Fri.]
Admission: Included with museum admission

On December 11, 1816, Indiana became the 19th state to join the Union. On December 8, 2017, the Statehouse will host Indiana Statehood Day to celebrate Indiana's 201st birthday. The Birthday Party will include interactive activities throughout the statehouse. There will be presentations by many state agencies and offices targeting 4th graders. You may schedule your group for the simultaneous programs at the Indiana State Museum, Indiana Historical Society or the Indiana State Library. Please call the Capitol Tour Office to make reservations for Statehouse activities (317.233.5293) or email jhodge@idoa.in.gov. You may also enjoy fun hands-on activities to help bring Statehood Day alive at the Indiana State Museum. Please call the museum at 317.232.8293.

HOLIDAY DINING Supper with Santa
[Date TBD]

[Time TBD]
Admission: Call 317.232.1637 for information

Join Santa, Mrs. Claus, and all their friends at the family-friendly buffet supper, a Celebration Crossing event just for members. Price includes dinner and admission to the museum, including the Santa Claus Express train gallery, Santa’s Playground and, of course, a visit with Santa.

HOLIDAY DININGTea with Dolly
[Date TBD]

[Time TBD]
Admission: Call 317.232.1637 for information

Bring your dolls (old and new) for a special tea in the L.S. Ayers Tea Room where experts will identify and talk about your dolls. Mrs. Claus will be there, too!

PROGRAM – Family New Year’s Eve
December 31, 2017

6 to 9 p.m. [Sat]  
Admission: Call 317.232.1637 for information
Reservations are recommended. Please call 317.232.1637 to reserve your spot.

End the year with a bang with a family-friendly, alcohol-free celebration in the Governor Frank and Judy O'Bannon Great Hall.  Face painting, stilt walkers, clowns and music will highlight the evening. A balloon drop at 8 p.m. allows the little ones to celebrate the New Year in style.

SECTION B: State Historic Sites

PROGRAM – Cabin Overnight
Dates determined by participants [ongoing]

Gene Stratton-Porter State Historic Site
Times determined by participant [ongoing]
Admission: $1,000 per group; Limited to groups of up to 10 people; Guests under 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian; Reservations required 14 days prior

Here’s a chance to explore all “behind the scenes” areas of the historic cabin. Guests may go anywhere they wish in the cabin from the basement to the attic for insights into one of Indiana’s most famous authors. Highlights include in-depth conversations with the site manager and rarely seen artifacts. You may sleep anywhere in the cabin you’d like and one lucky guest will win the right to spend the night in Gene’s bedroom. Guests will enjoy snacks throughout the night as well as a wonderful catered breakfast in the morning.

PROGRAM – Benevolence Ball                                 
February 4, 2017

Culbertson Mansion State Historic Site
7 to 10 p.m. [Sat.]
Admission: $40 per adult, $75 per couple

Celebrate one of New Albany’s most influential citizens as we honor William Culbertson’s legacy of philanthropy with an evening of highbrow entertainment. Featuring a salon style musical performance and elegant hospitality, guests will witness the presentation of the Benevolence Award, given each year to a citizen of New Albany in recognition of service to the community.

PROGRAM – Feasting on History
March 18, 2017
Corydon Capitol State Historic Site
6 p.m. [Fri.]
Admission: $25 per person

Guests will enjoy a dinner setting at the First State Office Building. Food and time period recipes will be served based on a theme and a program with information on the theme will be presented. Topic and guest speaker TBD.  

PROGRAM – Spring Farm Fest                  
March 11 and 12, 2017

Angel Mounds State Historic Site
10 a.m. to 5 p.m. [Sat., Sun.]
Admission: $5 per person

Come experience what farm life was like at Angel Mounds over the last 150 years with hands-on activities, animals and antique equipment.

PROGRAM – A Garden Affair                    
April 1, 2017

Lanier Mansion State Historic Site
12 to 2 p.m. [Sat.]
Admission: $30 per person; Reservations required  

Get in the mood for spring with the social event of the season. Enjoy an auction and a fabulous luncheon of spring treats with your friends. Please call 812.273.0556 for reservations.

PROGRAM – Heritage Artisans Days                      
April 19 through 21, 2017

New Harmony State Historic Site
8 a.m. to 3 p.m. [Wed., Thurs., Fri.]
Admission: $5 per student, $10 per chaperone, school personnel free

For 32 years, Historic New Harmony has welcomed thousands of local school and homeschool groups to experience what life was like in the 1800s. Artisans who specialize in paper marbling, woodcarving, beekeeping, silversmithing, tailoring, bookbinding, weaving and a variety of other activities will demonstrate their crafts. One of the most popular demonstrations among the students is the 19th century doctor, who presents an interactive show on various medical practices of that time. For more information on Heritage Artisans Days, please visit https://www.usi.edu/outreach/historic-new-harmony/programs/heritage-artisans-days.

PROGRAM – Homeschool Day  
April 26, 2017

Corydon Capitol State Historic Site
10 a.m. to 3 p.m. [Wed.]
Admission: $8 per student

Homeschooled students and their families are invited to the site for a day of programming and tours. Groups of students with their parents will rotate to different hands-on stations.

PROGRAM – Wildflower Foray                
April 28 through 30, 2017

T.C. Steele State Historic Site
[Times TBD] [Fri., Sat., Sun.]
Admission: Hiking is free, optional dinner is $12 per person

The Wildflower Foray is a cooperative event headquartered at T.C. Steele State Historic Site. Between 20 and 25 hikes and programs take place over a three-day period. The focus of the event is on the natural history of Brown County. Included are wildflower and bird walks, wetlands hikes, a boat trip on Lake Monroe, nature photography and other programs guided by knowledgeable leaders. In addition, hikers will assist in conducting a spring wildflower census. Hikes and programs are held on T.C. Steele grounds on established trails and on other nearby natural areas including Department of Natural Resources properties, Hoosier National Forest, Indiana University, Sycamore Land Trust and Nature Conservancy lands. Times and locations of hikes and programs varies. Some DNR properties may charge a gate fee.

PROGRAM – Guided Tour of Rainbow Bottom, Limberlost State Historic Site and Rainbow Bend Park   
April 29, 2017

Limberlost State Historic Site
9 a.m. to 12 p.m. [Sat.]
Admission: $3 per person

Limberlost naturalist will lead a nature hike through Rainbow Bend Park to learn about the history and ecology of this area, how Gene Stratton-Porter used it as a setting for two of her novels and to observe local wildlife and see a heron rookery. Meet at the Limberlost Visitor Center.

PROGRAM – Festival of Flowers PaintOut                          
May 20, 2017

T.C Steele State Historic Site
7 a.m. to 4 p.m. [Sat.]
Admission: $3 - Park free for general public; Registration fee for participating artists varies between $5 and $15 depending on age and membership status

This year’s juried competition will take place in conjunction with an afternoon outdoor concert. Artists will create works as T.C. Steele did, outdoors in the open air, inspired by the same surroundings that inspired Steele more than 100 years ago. Visitors will have the opportunity to observe artists’ processes of creation outdoors. All work submitted for judging must be created the day of the contest. Food will be available for purchase at the event.

PROGRAM – Loblolly Wildflower Safari                               
June 3, 2017

Limberlost State Historic Site
10 a.m. to 12 p.m. [Sat.]
Admission: $3 per person

Join a Limberlost naturalist for a stroll along the Loblolly Marsh trails focusing on the beautiful and varied spring wildflowers – what they are and how man and animal use them.

PROGRAM – Music at the Mansion        
June 10, 2017

Lanier Mansion State Historic Site
7 p.m. [Sat.]
Admission: Free; Donations encouraged

Hear light classical and popular music on the mansion’s north lawn--one of the most beautiful settings in Madison. Bring lawn chairs and blankets. Picnic baskets are welcome.
This event is sponsored by the Indiana Arts Commission.

PROGRAM – History Camp         
June 19 through 23, 2017

Vincennes State Historic Site
8 a.m. to 12 p.m. [Mon., Tues., Wed., Thurs., Fri.]
Admission: $50 per child 

Join our annual History Summer Day Camp for 3rd and 4th grade students. Every year, we fill the week with presentations, crafts and activities that help make local history topics and history come alive. This year, we will focus on roads and buildings. We will explore the development from trails to roads and how buildings changed from simple structures to big mansions like Grouseland and beyond. Design, building, archaeology, preservation and architecture will be included topics.

PROGRAM – Independence Day Celebration
July 4, 2017

New Harmony State Historic Site
10 a.m. [Mon.]
Admission: Free

The town of New Harmony will commemorate the event with patriotic music and a reading of the Declaration of Independence by New Harmony resident Curt Schmitt. The festivities begin at 10 a.m. at the Athenaeum/Visitors Center located 401 N. Arthur St. This event is free and open to the public. The decorated golf cart parade will begin at 11 a.m. from the grounds of the Athenaeum/Visitors Center and the celebratory activities will move to Maclure Park where the community picnic will take place. Music will be provided by Bob Minnette and the Dixieland Society. In the tradition of New Harmony's founders, free root beer will be served.​

PROGRAM – Territorial Tea Party            
July 8, 2017

Vincennes State Historic Site
11 a.m. to 1 p.m. [Fri.]
Admission: $15 per adult, $10 per child

Join us as we shed the American Girl title and focus on a tea party connected with the Territorial period in Vincennes. We will have crafts, games, songs and refreshments related to life in Vincennes in the early 1800s. What would a tea party be like in the Harrison home in the early 1800s? What if another prominent family in town put on a tea party during the Territorial period? We will recreate this at our tea party program.

PROGRAM – Stargazing and Night Hike
July 22, 2017

Gene Stratton-Porter State Historic Site
9 to 10:30 p.m. [Fri.]
Admission: $4 per person; Guests under 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian

The site’s naturalist will lead guests through Sower’s Woods to introduce them to the creatures of the night. Bats, owls, moths and other critters may make an appearance. Depending upon the clarity of the sky, stargazing will be available to identify major constellations, satellites and other celestial bodies by telescope thanks to Fort Wayne Astronomical Society. Bring binoculars for a closer view of the stars.

PROGRAM – Angel Mounds Corn Maze
October 1 through 30, 2017

Angel Mounds State Historic Site
5 to 8 p.m. [Thurs., Fri.]
12 to 9 p.m. [Sat.]
1 to 5 p.m. [Sun.]
Admission: $3 per person

Concessions and games are available.

#     #     #

The Indiana State Museum 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.

Posted by Paige Southerland at 6:00 AM