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We’ve talked before – it makes no sense (and it’s a good way to lose / waste points) to get a lot of points without spending them.  Points are a “deflationary” currency, meaning that by definition they lose value over time.  Just this past week, Wyndham Rewards, with no warning whatsoever, decreased the amount of points you could get by transferring points.  Hyatt and United are 2 other major rewards programs that recently went through devaluations.  That’s why our motto is and should always be – “Earn em and Burn em!”

So with all that in mind, this weekend we took a small family trip to Indianapolis and Dayton.  Several years we have had memberships to Cincinnati’s Museum Center, which has a Children’s Museum, Natural History Museum and a Cincinnati History Museum, all under one roof in the historic Union Terminal building.  They are fun, and for a little more than $100, I think that a yearlong family membership there is a pretty good value.

We let our pass expire in 2014, and we were looking for other things to do.  I had always heard good things about Indianapolis’s Children’s Museum, so we decided to check it out.  In the complete opposite of a coincidence, this Thursday was also the first Thursday of the month, and at the Indianapolis Children’s Museum, Target sponsors Free Family Thursday, from 4-8pm on the first Thursday of each month.  So instead of $111.50 for 7 tickets (under 2 is free), we got in for $0.  Plus they have a free parking garage across the street! (UPDATE: 8/11/17 – The Indianapolis Children’s Museum no longer offers Free First Thursdays but instead offers $5 First Thursdays as well as other discounted days.  Check the museum’s website for the most up-to-date prices)

We were slightly delayed due to Little Caesars failing on the “Ready” part of Hot-N-Ready, but still got there about 4:30 p.m.  As we drove down from our hotel, we were first greeted by a dinosaur crashing through the walls of the building!


After stowing our coats and such in lockers, we made our way through the lobby and into the museum.  Having never been there before, we weren’t quite sure what to do so we explored a few different areas.  There were a lot of things there that were similar to other children’s museums that we’ve been to (water area with “locks”, a little kid’s area, etc. – I guess everyone needs one of those 😀 )

Here are a few of the highlights.


Glass works sculpture that goes up the whole center of the museum



The kids really loved this Rude Goldberg machine – made me want to build one myself 😀



One thing I enjoyed about the Indy Children’s Museum is that this arch is actually buildable by one adult. At the Cincinnati Children’s Museum they also have one of these, but it goes up to 11 and really requires 2 adults to build. One of our favorite past-times is watching one adult try to build it. You get to about 9 or 10 and then you need 3 hands to simultaneously hold up the 2 sides and put the keystone in place. Good times…



They had a rock wall that you could climb (for free). Pro tip for next time – there is a booth out in the hallway on the 4th floor where you get tickets to climb. We sat by the rock wall for a long time thinking we were “in line” only to find out about this. We ended up getting the last 2 tickets of the day.



At the summit of Mount Pittman!

It was a great adventure and by the time we stumbled back to our car as the museum closed at 8 p.m., everyone was worn out and ready to head back to the hotel for bed.

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