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Family Fun in Indy

History in the Making

New Experiences Bring History to You at Eugene and Marilyn Glick Indiana History Center

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Let's face it, sometimes getting kids to share our appreciation of history can be a bit like persuading them to eat their vegetables—we know each veggie is unique, good for you and can be pretty tasty. It's just getting through the first response of, "Eeewwwwwwwwww!"

Indiana Historical Society has created new experiences that are much more hands-on and should go a long way in terms of changing that boring perception of history and taking your youngster on a fun time travel journey.

The Indiana Experience at the Eugene and Marilyn Glick Indiana History Center is filled with brand new ways to look at our past. For example, visitors will be able to step back in time through experiences they're calling "You Are There." These three-dimensional historic photographs are projected on a mist wall of sorts. You get there by walking through the misty picture into an area that was historically recreated to look just like a certain place would have looked in history. And to further help you understand, there will be trained first-person interpreters who interact and try to get visitors to share their personal connections to the past.

What kid doesn't love techie stuff? Now they can enjoy tech travel history. "Destination Indiana" is an interactive chance for parents and young adults to look at historic images and documents and then use touch screens to explore those settings that are depicted in the picture and understand the story of Indiana as a place.

Scrapbookers can absorb a ton of information during a tour of The W. Brooks and Wanda Y. Fortune History Lab. This hands-on demonstration lab allows visitors to learn and participate in conservation and preservation of photos and documents. You can get some great tips for your family's pictures, love letters and marriage or birth certificates. They have special INvestigation Stations for visitors to try their hand at analyzing historic documents, research family trees, search for clues in historic photographs and explore careers in history.

If you have been to the History Center before, you are probably familiar The Cole Porter Room. It is dedicated to Cole Porter's life and work. There is always a costumed interpreter in the space that will interact with guests as well as perform Cole Porter tunes alongside a Yamaha digital player piano. And periodically, Eli Lilly Hall will be transformed into a 1940s era nightclub for Anything Goes, a cabaret-style show that allows guests to enjoy the work of Cole Porter.

If you really want to dig in and chat with some experts, there are opportunities to do so at the Indiana Town Hall Series with knowledgeable panelists who explore all kinds of topics about history, preservation and looking to the future. Make sure you check ahead for dates and times of Anything Goes as well as the Indiana Town Hall Series.

The History Center has offered free admission in the past and you should know there is now a charge for admission to help pay for all the additions. Visitors will now pay $7 per adult; $6.50 per senior (60+); $5 children (ages 5-17); children younger than 5 are free. Historical members are still free (basic membership is affordable at $50-65 with discounts available for students and seniors). So a couple of visits easily pay for membership.

KIMBERLY HARMS has four children (ages 5 – 24) along with a grandchild and is the associate director of media relations at the Indianapolis Convention & Visitors Association. www.visitindy.com

Tags: Party and Entertainment

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