#ThursdayDoors — Train Thangs

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On our recent trip to the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, I took many photos, some of which were door shots, and most of which were fun and/or silly.

We all have our favorite parts of the museum, and this trip was unfortunately lacking much of that for all of us. There’s less hands-on play in the children’s museum now, and none of us are happy about it. Sassy wanted her diggers even though she’s crazy tall for them, Moo wanted to sit on the crocodile and build a dam where she was finally tall enough to play at the water table with the big kids.

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There were no diggers. There was no crocodile. There was a pre-built dam. It was fairly devastating. Also, no old cars, no old submarine, no longer an entire wing dedicated to science.

We were sorely disappointed. The Mister and I worse than the others, although we didn’t share that with them at the time, you know, being positive and enthusiastic and all that.

I don’t want to give you the impression that the museum is awful or anything. It’s not. We merely had expectations, which we all know to be dangerous.
The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis is actually ranked the best children’s museum in the world, several times over. It is an amazing place to visit for anyone of any age. I still highly recommend you visit.

If you’re reading this post with fond memories, I hate to be the bearer of bad news. No pioneer exhibit, substantially smaller Egyptian section, no faux caves to walk through, the international section is now only one country at a time, currently China.

I’m sorry.

If you’ve been going there all your life… you earn the right to be critical about losing your favorite bits.

For instance, the trains.
I don’t know what floor it is, but it’s the floor my parents always took me to last, and therefore the floor I took all the kids to last. The toy level. It was full of trains, dollhouses, and had a carousel. Now, not so much. The carousel is still there, but the trains are few in comparison to what we grew up with. What’s left of the dollhouses has beenย shoved into relocated to a corner in another area.

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Real conversation:
“There aren’t as many trains, are there?”
“No.”
“Where are all the trains?”
“Oh no, do you think they got rid of the trains you can walk through?”
“I dunno, Baby Girl, I hope not.”

Only one car to walk through now. The tool car.

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Great exhibit, but it had been so much more. Literally MORE.

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When we were kids, when our older two were kids, it took a good, long time to follow the trains (plural) through the towns. They did all kinds of things, like switch tracks, change levels, stop and whistle, pass one another — ย it really was somethin. Now, it takes less than a minute to watch the train make the course, and it’s on an audio loop.

I’ve considered the attention span of children and the increase in technology over kinetic play and I am not a fan. People of all ages should be going to the children’s museum to PLAY and IMAGINE and CREATE, to be AWED, to INTERACT, and this was so… observational in comparison to previous visits. What a way to break some traditionalist hearts.

But I did get some doors.

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#ThursdayDoors is part of an inspired post series run by Norm Frampton. To see other doors of interest, or to share your own, click the link and find the frog.

About joey

Neurotic Bitch, Mother, Wife, Writer, Word Whore, Foodie and General Go-To-Girl
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63 Responses to #ThursdayDoors — Train Thangs

  1. Benson says:

    Nice door; but no trains??! That was always my favorite. Such a shame.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. orbthefirst says:

    Milwaukees museum had a kids section way back when, and I remember when it was new, and full of stuff to mess with. I recall it being all kinds of fun & interactive. Sadly, I went to see it before we moved (7 years ago) and it seemed to have all but disappeared. Gone in similar fashion to your museum there. Kids dont know what theyre missing these days.

    Liked by 1 person

    • joey says:

      That’s sad.
      I think “Kids don’t know what they’re missing” strikes me as the perfect phrase. I wish I’d written it. They come, they think it’s awesome, but it usta be BETTER.
      It usta be more playscape, less museum-y.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Awww, still looks cool though. I’m not a kid, but I’d enjoy it. I want one of those exterior dinosaurs at my house.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. ghostmmnc says:

    Love the big dinos! Too bad they changed things up, so there’s not so much to actually do. We have what is called the Science Spectrum here, with lots of interactive things, but once you’ve seen it a few times, it’s the same all the time. They do have traveling exhibits though. We went to see King Tut’s artifacts, one time. That was cool. They have the Omnimax theater, too, but that place makes me dizzy…haha! ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Liked by 1 person

    • joey says:

      I had presumed some of the exhibits are on loan to other places, but there was just too much missing for us.
      I know just what you mean about the Omnimax, our IMAX makes me spin, too! ๐Ÿ˜›

      Liked by 1 person

  5. eschudel says:

    Are those dinosaurs climbing a building in your first picture? That’s pretty cool. But I would miss the trains too…

    Liked by 1 person

  6. marianallen says:

    That’s a great door, though! I feel your pain about the museum. I’ve never been there, but there used to be a Natural History Museum in Louisville, Kentucky, that Mom took me to when I was little. I have strong memories of the stuffed polar bear, the whale’s skull, and the mermaid (actually some kind of fake-up made to sell to tourists in like the 1800s somewhere). Then a new building was built and the museum moved, and those things were there PLUS so many fabulous exhibits!!!! Then it became the Museum of Natural History and Science, and it was EVEN BETTER. It had a whole section for kids to do hands-on play and projects. But then the polar bear, the whale skull, and the mermaid disappeared. Then the cool exhibits started to go and being replaced by traveling exhibitions and floor space for overnight camp-ins. Now it’s the Science Museum and blah.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Dan Antion says:

    Ugh, I hate when the things you are counting on have been moved, removed, altered or,worst of all, placed off-limits to little hands. I would be all “who’s responsible???”

    Nice doors, and, if you’re only going to keep one car, keep the tool car. But it’s lame to only have one. And no diggers? ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿ™

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Ally Bean says:

    I loved the trains, in any museum, when I was a kid. And no Eygpt? That’s just wrong. Nothing better than a mummy to stir the imagination. Why did this museum get rid of the old stand-bys… which by definition belong in a museum because they’re old? Also, nice doors.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. rvpackard says:

    How sad.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Luanne says:

    What in the world is going on? What happened to all of it and why? Maybe it should be put back the way it was and let kids get locked in there at night (like From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler) and let them have no technology (but a nurse with a phone on site haha) only plenty of imagination.

    Liked by 1 person

    • joey says:

      I really have no idea. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ
      We were pulled aside and asked survey questions about Greece, which I assume will be one of the upcoming countries in what was the international area, and at the end I asked why it’s only one country at a time, but the survey people were interns who apologized and claimed ignorance.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. It is annoying when they change things so drastically for no reason. I would have thought that the trains would have been very popular! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Sadly these kids today really don’t know what “fun” is. How awful that the museum is shrinking with less interactive things to do. That is the “fun” part of it. *sigh* So much for technology and progress. Progress IMO it’s not. ๐Ÿ˜ฌ

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Sad to have lost that train activity. It seems kids can barely relate to trains these days, except for those in urban areas…where they are a way of life. I live near Reading, Pa, famous for the Monopoly train. They are setting up tourist train cars with excursions to the Pocono Mountain area, using old industrial tracks. They are sold out, months in advance, mostly to seniors who have those memories. It’s a start.

    Liked by 1 person

    • joey says:

      It is a start. I suppose we are a train-loving people. I’m not going to say Indiana is more train-oriented than Pennsylvania, but we are the crossroads of America, and I find this piddly display unacceptable.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. bikerchick57 says:

    I chuckled at the “Tool Car,” instantly thinking of Mr. “I-Love-Tools-and-Trains” Antion. It’s too bad that the museum isn’t what it used to be. I’m sorry that your expectations weren’t met during this visit. It’s like going to the grocery store and finding out they no longer carry your favorite flavor of Oreos. On the other hand, I’m sure there are little ones visiting the museum today that believe it to be the coolest place in the world and will carry their own set of expectations into adulthood.

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Jewels says:

    Fun photos! I LOVE the Children’s Science Museum we have here, I can’t wait until Noelle is old enough to go there so she can explore all the thingses! Sorry they changed yours. :/

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Unmet expectations are the pits, especially when it’s something you used to have. On the other hand, your first photo really made me laugh, so thanks for that. ๐Ÿ™‚

    janet

    Liked by 1 person

  17. It’s so disappointing when they change a museum that you loved and had fond memories of… and not for the better. When my boys were little, we went to the little zoo in Naples. I would pack a lunch and take it over this little bridge to an island where we’d spread out a blanket and eat lunch while watching the wild monkeys on the islands across they way. I was so sad when they did away with access to that island.

    We had annual passes to children’s museums when mine were little. I would always stop at the ones included along the way during our trips from Florida to Virginia. We liked the hands-on things too! I hope they aren’t doing away with those things in all museums.

    Liked by 1 person

    • joey says:

      I love that little zoo in Naples, too, Amy. I didn’t know there had been a bridge to a picnic area, and wonder if my mother knows this? I only remember boat rides to see the monkey island.

      I really hope this isn’t a trend with children’s museums. :/

      Liked by 1 person

      • I think they incorporated the little island into monkey island in the early 2000’s, but they change it continually so I’m not sure. I have photos of me being there when I was three and riding on a tram through the park and those were gone by the time my kids came along.
        I hope it isn’t a trend with children’s museums either!

        Liked by 1 person

  18. loisajay says:

    That is so crummy to go into something with expectations…..only to have them dashed. Yes, we must be adults and not show our disappointment to the kids. But, truly, this stinks, kids. Let’s go and get some ice cream.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Victo Dolore says:

    Oh, man. I love that dinosaur!

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Joanne Sisco says:

    HUGE disappointment!!
    It seems like everything is getting downsized, dumbed-down, and shrunk.
    As Amy said, this is not progress ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Humph! What museum takes away the best parts? What did they replace all of the good stuff with? Anything worthwhile at all?

    Liked by 1 person

    • joey says:

      Well I don’t know. A somber section on Ruby Bridges, Anne Frank, and Ryan White — good, but maybe not the right tone for small people… There was a great presentation on Project Mercury, but that wasn’t a replacement. I dunno, it was a bummer for the natives though.

      Liked by 1 person

  22. Ah, man how disappointing! Perhaps all the bits they took out, and changed were a huge part of what made them the #1 Children’s Museum in the country!
    I would have been sorely disappointed losing the dollhouses and that wonderful live train track display! It all sounds wonderful.

    I’m glad you made the most of it, and found a cool door too!

    Liked by 1 person

    • joey says:

      I do wonder. You’d think they’d run panels on these things, I don’t know. So few dollhouses now. These are famous historical home dollhouses, like miniature landmark recreations, they’re not just any ol dollhouse.
      The train thing bout killed me, but I’m glad they still had some. And yeah, I got lotsa doors, for other days as well.

      Liked by 1 person

  23. Norm 2.0 says:

    Love that last door in particular. It’s always tough when we get attached to a museum being set up a certain way and then they go and ruin our memories by changing it ๐Ÿ˜ฆ
    I try to defer to the “design experts” on this who are supposed to be trained and apparently know what they’re doing, but sometimes I can’t help but wonder….

    Liked by 1 person

    • joey says:

      Same. I’d think there are panels and surveys and other marketing tools involved with these choices, but man, what a let down.
      The doors were good ๐Ÿ™‚ Glad you liked em.

      Liked by 1 person

  24. JT Twissel says:

    Sorry about the let down – but you did get some fun shots.

    Like

  25. larva225 says:

    Wow!! Even with the new “improvements,” that sounds like a rad place.

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Joey, I don’t blame you for being disappointed. Loss of trains and shoved-aside dolls houses. I’d be the same, places like that should be getting more interesting not less, as time goes by. Oh well, at least it’s still open.

    Like

  27. JoAnna says:

    I went to this museum a few years ago while in Indiana visiting my grand kids and loved it. Maybe because I had no idea what to expect, big city, and they had an Avatar exhibit and Dale Chihuly glass on the ceiling under giant ottomans they had to pry me off of.

    Liked by 1 person

  28. I don’t live anywhere near you and have never been there but I was so disappointed as I was reading through your post. I hate change! Is there an explanation for why they got rid of so many exhibits? Are museums going away like pay phones and video stores?

    Liked by 1 person

  29. reocochran says:

    I will have to go to COSI sometime with Hendrix and the younger ones. We always like the Great Lakes Science Museum. I hope they have not removed some of their fantastic hands on exhibits.
    Our Columbus Art Museum expanded and has hands-on art for kids and is totally free every Sunday! Art for All!! Yay, I do run over to the clear tube of donations and throw in dollars. . .
    I saw the Chihuly glass which reminds me of flowers and umbrellas. It is alot like the one post I shared last year from the Franklin Park Conservatory. It’s like an arch or stone tunnel and the M & M girls are under it. ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐ŸŒธ๐Ÿ’ฎ๐ŸŒน

    Liked by 1 person

    • joey says:

      I don’t get over to the IMA like I used to. They started charging admission (I don’t know) and I should probably buy a membership… But I’m the only one who really likes to go, so I tend only to go when I have another art lover to enjoy it with.
      I’m glad y’all have Sunday Fun and Free day over there — that’s super ๐Ÿ™‚
      I still love the Chihuly and remember your post well.

      Like

  30. reocochran says:

    Oh, I liked the doors and commiserate with loss of exhibits and such. They do need to perform surveys and “listen to the people!” The trains and the dollhouse loss are so sad, Joey.

    Liked by 1 person

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