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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. We welcome everyone, whether you're a Hoosier by birth or a Hoosier at heart.

Media Contact:

Hannah Kiefer, Director of Communication 
hkiefer@indianamuseum.org, 317.234.8146 (office); 317.431.5448 (cell)

Summer & Fall 2018 at ISMHS - Media tip sheet

Below are the upcoming events for the Indiana State Museum and Historic Sites through November 2018. 

Summer – June through August 

ISM Program: Canal Nights

  • When: 6 to 8 p.m., June 6, 13, 27; July 4, 11, 18, 25 
  • Price: Free 
  • What: Canal Nights at the Indiana State Museum are nights of free, family-friendly fun along the canal just outside the museum entrance. Enjoy games, engineering activities, science challenges and more. Themes include STEAM Night, Water Science, Build It! and other themes. A full list of themes by date can be found at www.indianamuseum.org/family-and-camps. 

ISM Experience: Hoosier Salon 

  • When: Aug. 3 – Oct. 14 
  • Price: Included with admission. 
  • What: Now in its 94th year, the annual Hoosier Salon returns to the Indiana State Museum this summer and fall. The juried exhibition of recent art by Indiana’s best artists will be on display from Aug. 3 to Oct. 14, and the art will be available for purchase. The Hoosier Salon is a statewide nonprofit artist-service organization based in Indianapolis, with galleries in Carmel and New Harmony. 

NEW ISM Program: Small Wonders

  • When: 10 to 11 a.m., June 13, 16; July 18, 21; Aug. 15, 18 
  • Price: $9/members, $12/non-members 
  • What: Small Wonders invites parents, grandparents and caregivers to bring their 3- to 5-year-olds to learn, play and discover in the museum.  Our monthly program will build your child’s sense of wonder and playfulness as they engage in storytelling, hands-on activities, music, movement, art and gallery exploration. This class is for 3- to 5-year-olds and an adult. 

NEW ISM Program: Young Explorers

  • When: 1 to 2:30 p.m., June 16; July 21; Aug. 18 
  • Price: $10/members, $13/non-members 
  • What: Be a big kid and join us for these 90 minute drop-off classes that encourage creativity, exploration, and independence in an environment that fosters curiosity and imagination. Themes include “Sensing the World Around Me,” “Bees & Bugs,” and “Backyard Animals.” This class is for 4- to 6-year-olds. 

NEW ISM Program: Exploring Abstraction with art therapist Lauren King

  • When: 1 to 3 p.m., July 15 
  • Price: $20/member, $25/non-member 
  • What: Explore the artwork of Lois Main Templeton, how it relates to your own lives and how it can be used as a method of self-expression. Participants will engage with the artwork on display visually, verbally, and through their own art responses. The first portion of the workshop will be in the gallery space examining artwork, followed by artmaking and discussion led by an art therapist. Each participant will create their own art response using line, shape and color to express emotion.  

NEW ISM Event: Building Indiana

  • When: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., July 14 
  • Price: Free for members, included with admission 
  • What: This family-friendly event encourages a child’s passion for construction, a fascination with building things and taking things apart, and an interest in structures, big and tall. Budding architects, builders and engineers will test their hand at design and engineering challenges, learn from local experts and hear how they turned their hobbies and passion into a career, and even investigate construction trucks up close. More info to follow. 

Corydon Capitol State Historic Site: Murder Mystery Dinner

  • When: 6 to 9 p.m., Aug. 18 
  • Price: $25/person, includes dinner; for those ages 15+ 
  • What: Join us for a killer time at our popular murder mystery. Each guest is given a character involved in the mystery. This is an interactive mystery but there are no speeches to give or lines to memorize. Dinner is a full-course meal following this year's theme, Ancient Rome. Reservations are required and sell out quickly. To make reservations, call 812-738-4890. 

Culbertson Mansion State Historic Site: Clue Party 

  • When: July 28, in the evening 
  • Price: $30/person, reservations required by calling 812-944-9600 
  • What: Was it Colonel Mustard in the library? Or Mr. Culbertson in the Blue Room? Can you figure out the real-life game of Clue? Make your way through the Culbertson Mansion and find the hidden clues to reveal who-done-it, where, and why. Costumes are HIGHLY encouraged. This costume party hosts light hors d'oeuvres and batch cocktails associated with the film, which will also play during the event. Prizes will be given for solving the mystery and for best costume. 

Gene Stratton-Porter State Historic Site: An Evening in Gene’s Gardens 

  • When: 8 to 10 p.m., June 9 
  • Price: $35, for adults 21+ 
  • What: Enjoy an elegant evening in Gene’s “Tame” garden with luminaries providing atmosphere under the light of a full moon. The “Tame” garden is home to hundreds of species of plants - many planted by Gene herself! Live music, wine tasting and white chocolate-dipped strawberries will add to the romance of the evening. 

Lanier Mansion State Historic Site: Music at the Mansion 

  • When: 7 to 9 p.m., June 9; July 14; Aug. 11; and 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., Sept. 8. 
  • Price: Free 
  • What: Enjoy free summer nights of music outside of the beautiful Lanier Mansion. Bring a blanket or chairs and pack a picnic to enjoy while taking in the sounds of different bands in a gorgeous location. Bands will include the Sycamore Community Band, Juggernaut Jug Band, Lick Creek Band, and Small Time Napoleon. 

Levi and Catharine Coffin State Historic Site: Inside the Levi & Catharine Coffin House: A Poetry Workshop

  • When: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., August 25 
  • Price: $10/adult, $8/senior (site admission); reservations are required and can be made by calling 765-847-1691. 
  • What: Join Indiana poet Shari Wagner for a special one day poetry workshop at the Levi & Catharine Coffin State Historic Site. This workshop for adults allows participants to express their reactions to the Coffin story through poetry. Learn about poetry prompts and models, along with gaining tools for collaborative and individual writing exercises. As part of the workshop, participants will tour both the Coffin Interpretive Center and the 1839 Coffin home. This event is supported by the Indiana Arts Commission. 

Levi and Catharine Coffin State Historic Site: Meet the Author Talk and Tour with Randall Wisehart

  • When: 10 a.m. and 3 p.m., July 21 
  • Price: $12/adults; $10/seniors; $7/youth 
  • What: Join Richmond, Indiana, author Randall Wisehart for a special guided tour of the Levi & Catharine Coffin house in Fountain City. The site is celebrating the re-release of his young adult novel Luke’s Summer Secret. While on a guided tour of the Coffin house, Wisehart will talk about how the house and the Coffin story are used in his novel. Tour participants will also learn how the Coffin home was used as a safe place for freedom seekers, or runaway slaves, on their journey through Indiana. 

Limberlost State Historic Site: Independence Day “Birds of Prey” Program 

  • When: 2 to 3 p.m., July 4 
  • Price: Free (donations encouraged) 
  • What: Come to the Limberlost State Historic Site to celebrate America’s birthday with a bird of prey program. The presentation will include a live bald eagle, hawk and owl. A PowerPoint presentation about the bald eagle will be offered in the visitor center classroom. 

New Harmony State Historic Site: Say’s Firefly Party

  • When: Evening (specific time TBD), July 2   
  • Price: Free 
  • What: Join a party to celebrate the designation of Say’s Firefly as Indiana’s official state insect. New Harmony scientist Thomas Say first discovered and described this type of firefly in the 1820s. The party will take place in the evening so visitors can watch the beautiful flickering of the fireflies. 

Vincennes State Historic Sites: Indiana Frontier Day

  • When: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Aug. 18 
  • Price: $5/adult, $2/youth under 12 
  • What: Experience life during the time of the Indiana Frontier. This interactive program at the site of Fort Knox II will give visitors the chance to learn about different aspects of life, work, and play during the early 1800s. Special events throughout the day – including a Tecumseh-Harrison debate, a kids militia, weapons demonstrations, a duel, and a dance – will take place throughout the day as well. 


Fall – September through October

NEW ISM Experience: The Art of the Brick® 

  • When: Sept. 29 – Jan. 6 
  • Price: Included with admission 
  • What: Children and adults alike will marvel at the incredible art made from millions of LEGO bricks in this traveling exhibit from artist Nathan Sawaya. The Art of the Brick® has traveled around the world to locations such as Australia, Taiwan, Singapore and China, and it will be coming to the Indiana State Museum beginning September 29. Visitors will see more than 70 creations from Sawaya, then be able to build their own LEGO creations in a special LEGO play area. The exhibit is the first-ever art exhibition to focus exclusively on LEGO bricks as an art medium.  More info to follow. 

NEW ISM Experience: Cardboard Engineering

  • When: Sept. 29 – May 27 
  • Price: Included with admission 
  • What: Imaginations will run wild in the Indiana State Museum’s Cardboard Engineering experience opening Sept. 29, where visitors will find a room filled with the raw materials to turn fantastic ideas into incredible cardboard creations. Whether building a house or a spaceship, a school bus or sculpture, visitors will be inspired to dream up whatever they’d like to build in this area of free creation. More info to follow. 

ISM Event: Family Night Out: Spooky Science

  • When: 6 to 8 p.m., Oct. 5 
  • Price: $8/member, $15/non-member 
  • What: Dress in your Halloween best for a night of Spooky Science at the Indiana State Museum. See a shocking demonstration on static electricity, make things bubble, glow and ooze, create your own eerie decorations and meet a mad scientist. Strut your stuff in a costume contest, and enter to win prizes in categories like "spookiest costume," "best science costume," "best homemade costume," and "best Indiana connection costume." 

Angel Mounds State Historic Site: Halloween Hullabaloo

  • When: 6 to 9 p.m., Oct. 20 and 27 
  • Price: $5/person, free for children under 3 
  • What: Visitors are invited to evenings of spooky fun at Angel Mounds State Historic Site this October. Test your bravery in the Haunted Maze and escape the Mummy’s Curse in “The Tomb.” For those less brave, spend time working on games and crafts, get lost in the corn maze and take a tour of our property on our haunted hayride. Don’t forget to stop by the concession stand to warm up with a mug of hot chocolate. Visitors are invited to bring their trick-or-treat bags to collect candy throughout the night. 

Corydon Capitol State Historic Site: The Capitol Ball 

  • When: 7 p.m. to 10 p.m., Sept. 8 
  • Price: $15/individual, $25/couple 
  • What: Guests at the ball will learn dances that could have been danced during Indiana’s first capital period (1816-1825). Dances will be called, so no prior experience is needed. Live music will be provided by Keltricity. Prior to the ball, free practice sessions will be offered for those who would like some practice beforehand. Attendees are encouraged to dress in period costume, and light refreshments will be served. This event will be held at the Harrison County YMCA. Reservations are preferred and can be made by calling 812-738-4890

Culbertson Mansion State Historic Site: Literally, A Haunted House 

  • When: Opens at 7 p.m. each night, Sept. 28, 29; Oct. 5, 6, 12, 13, 19, 20, 26, 27 
  • Price: TBD
  • What: Scaring since 1985, the Culbertson Mansion’s annual haunted house has all of the thrills and chills you would expect of a haunted house! This haunting takes place in the Carriage House of the Culbertson Mansion. Originally, the carriage house sheltered the family’s horse, buggy and the male servants to the household. After the Mansion was auctioned off, the carriage house fell into disuse…but dark legends abound concerning tragic fires, spiritual activity and even demonic possessions. Are you brave enough to traverse the haunted carriage house of the Culbertson Mansion? Come, if you dare! 

Gene Stratton-Porter State Historic Site: Sip and Create

  • When: 6 p.m. to about 8 p.m., Sept. 8 and Nov. 10 
  • Price: $25.00, for adults 21+ 
  • What: Join this program to design and create take-home pieces inspired by Gene Stratton-Porter and her love of nature. Staff and volunteers will guide you as you create pieces using natural elements that Gene showcased at her home in Wildflower Woods. September will feature milkweed pods to create unique ornaments, and November will feature family photographs in the creation of a beautiful holiday wreath. Each session includes supplies, snacks and Indiana-made wine. 

Lanier Mansion State Historic Site: Ghost Walks

  • When: 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.; Sept. 15, 22, 29; Oct. 13, 20, 26, 27 
  • Price: $15 for adults, $7 for youth ages 12 to 17, not recommended for those under 12 years of age 
  • What: Is Lanier Mansion haunted? Visitors can find out for themselves during a ghost walk on select nights in September and October. Visitors will go inside the mansion and enjoy a nighttime, behind-the-scenes tour of the home, hearing spooky stories related to the house and its former inhabitants. After the tour, visitors can journey on to three other locations to hear stories about those sites as well, with the final stop at the Broadway Tavern – where participants age 21 and older can enjoy an additional “spirit” if they wish. 

Levi and Catharine Coffin State Historic Site: At the Underground Railroad’s Grand Central Station: A Poetry Workshop for Kids

  • When: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., Sept. 22 and Oct. 27 
  • Price: $5 for youth in grades 1 through 8; reservations required by calling 765-847-1691. 
  • What: Youth are invited to spend a day with Indiana poet Shari Wagner for a poetry workshop at the Levi & Catharine Coffin State Historic Site. At the workshop, they will get familiar with the story of Levi & Catharine Coffin, Quakers whose 1839 home was at one time known at the “Grand Central Station of the Underground Railroad.” Children will enjoy a guided tour of the Coffin home and then work one-on-one with Wagner, where they will acquire insight into how they can express their reactions to the Coffin story and the history of the Underground Railroad. This program is supported by the Indiana Arts Commission. 

Limberlost State Historic Site: Twilight Adventure

  • When: 7 to 9 p.m., Sept. 22 
  • Price: $4/adult, $3/youth ages 3-17, free for those under 3 years of age 
  • What: Explore the Loblolly Marsh as the sun goes down! Take a twilight hike, enjoy an animal presentation with skulls, furs and nests, and roast marshmallows around a campfire to cap off the evening. This event starts at the Loblolly Marsh Pavilion. 

New Harmony State Historic Sites: Paranormal Investigations

  • When: 6:30 to 11 p.m., Sept. 28; Oct. 5, 12, 19, 26; Nov. 2 
  • Price: $50/person. Tickets can be purchased at www.hauntednewharmony.com. 
  • What: Explore the historic buildings of New Harmony after hours alongside a host of paranormal investigators. This hands-on experience will allow you to communicate with the souls who may inhabit the space using a variety of real paranormal equipment. 

T.C. Steele State Historic Site: 30th Annual Great Outdoor Art Contest

  • When: 7 a.m. to 4 p.m., Sept. 8 
  • Price/Registration: Early bird registration (Aug. 1-31) is $10 for adults, $5 for children and teens under age 17. Regular admission (Sept. 1-8) is $15/adult, $10 for children and teens under age 17. Registration materials available beginning Aug. 1 at www.tcsteele.org/programs. Day-of registration allowed. 
  • What: The oldest plein air painting competition in Indiana celebrates its 30th year in 2018! Gates open at 7 a.m. for artists to bring their blank pages and canvases to be stamped in the site classroom, then it’s off to work. Artwork is judged at 2 p.m. beside the Formal Garden, and awards for child and adult categories are announced starting at 3:15 p.m. First place and People’s Choice winners will be displayed at the Brown County Art Guild following the competition. Brozinni Pizzeria will sell pizza by the slice and salads for lunch. The Great Outdoor Art Contest is part of Brown County Art Colony Weekend, Sept. 7-9. 

T.C. Steele State Historic Site: Opening of new Visitors Center and Studio Wagon 

  • When: Opening dates TBD 
  • What: This fall, visitors to the T.C. Steele State Historic Site will enjoy a brand new Visitors Center as well as an interactive studio wagon experience based on Steele’s own studio wagon that he used to paint in various locations. More info to follow. 

Vincennes State Historic Sites: Fort Fright

  • When: 6 to 7:30 p.m. (no-scare hours) and 7:30 to 11 p.m. (haunted trail), Oct. 18-20 
  • Price: $8/adult, $5/child under the age of 12 
  • What: Have a “spooktacular” time at the haunted trail around Fort Knox II and experience scare scenes based on local lore and legend. During the “no-scare hours,” little ones can enjoy games, a hay ride and more. During the “haunted trail hours,” families can test their courage with spooky experiences at dramatic stations around Fort Knox II. 

Whitewater Canal State Historic Site: Spooky Halloween Cruises

  • When: 7:30, 8 and 8:30 p.m., Oct. 13 and 20 
  • Price: $5/person 
  • What: The Ben Franklin III canal boat will be hauntingly decorated for night cruises and staff will be dressed in costumes for the occasion. A professional storyteller will be on board to tell family-friendly spooky stories. Held in conjunction with the Haunted Village of Metamora.  

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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.

Posted by Kelsey Kotnik at 10:00 AM