The ever-growing Children’s Museum of Indianapolis is slated to unveil a brand new addition to the already massive estate. Coming in the Spring of next year, the Sports Legends Experience will pay homage to, you guessed it, the sports legends of Indiana. This seven-and-a-half-acre indoor-outdoor complex will be built in the parking lot to the north of the museum and will feature all the activities that have made Indianapolis one of the sports capitals of the world.
This $35-million initiative is being made possible in collaboration with several fantastic Hoosier institutions: Riley Children’s Health, the Indianapolis Colts, the Indiana Pacers, the Indiana Fever and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Through these groups and other donations, the museum has raised the vast majority of the money needed to kick this project off right. With some design assistance from Colts Quarterback Andrew Luck (who studied architecture at Stanford University), the Sports Legends Experience will be a massive interactive utopia with the dual goals of promoting Indianapolis sports and exposing local kids to fitness and health practices. Nationally, only one in three kids is physically active on a daily basis, and the average child spends about seven hours per day spent in front of screens. With fourteen different sections devoted to various activities, the Sports Legends Experience will allow kids and adults alike the chance to combat common health risks head on. Below you’ll find a list of the activities set to be included in the Sports Legends Experience.
Joe and Steve Marmon Running Experience
This half-mile track will be built with shock-absorbent materials which will make it perfect for children to practice sprints, jogging or skipping without the risk of injury. This track will encircle almost the entire outdoor activity section.
Cory SerVaas Fitness Path
Following a similar path will be the Cory SerVaas Fitness Path. This walkable path will run alongside the Running Experience and is set to feature numerous fitness exercise stations for kids and adults to try along the way.
Old National Bank Sports Legends Avenue of Champions
In sticking with walkways, this winding path will feature a series of life-sized sculptures of sports legends. Here, guests can not only experience what it’s like to stand beside (or beneath) a life-sized athlete, but they can also pose for a picture. Don’t forget the hashtag #sportslegendsexperience!
The Children’s Museum Guild’s Fantasy Tree House of Sports Climbing Experience
As one of the more unique aspects of this expansion, the Fantasy Tree House will be a large artificial tree house in the shape of various sports symbols like a basketball, football, baseball, helmet, tennis shoe, baseball cap and golf tee. Kids will have the chance to climb, slide and explore this giant exhibit.
Indianapolis Motor Speedway Pedal Car Racetrack Experience
Kids will no doubt enjoy this part most of all. The Pedal Car Racetrack Experience will provide little ones the chance to hop in a pedal-powered replica Indy Car, NASCAR or Hot Wheels car and race the oval just like the real IMS.
Pedal Car Drag Racing Experience
Similar to the IMS Pedal Car Racetrack, the Drag Racing Experience is a timed, human-powered drag race. Replica cars will include Top Fuel, Funny Car and Pro Stock dragsters.
Efroymson Family Fund Pavilion and Plaza
This indoor plaza sponsored by the Efroymson Family will be the only area open year-round and is more in line with what fans of the existing children’s museum already know and love. Here you’ll find ever-changing sports exhibits showcasing, that’s right, Indiana legends including coaches, players and owners as well as sports milestones and game history.
Indiana Pacers and Indiana Fever Basketball Experience
Throughout this series of basketball courts, fans of all ages can shoot, dribble and pass on goals which start at a lower level for toddlers moving all the way up to regulation sized for bigger kids and adults. Passing games and shot-clock buzzer beater activities will be in tow as well.
Pete and Alice Dye Gold Experience presented by Henry and Christine Camferdom
Famed golf architect and native Hoosier Alice Dye and her husband, golf course designer Pete Dye, have designed their very first miniature golf course. This 18-hole experience will feature replicas of some of the couple’s most famous holes from around the world. Kids and adults are encouraged to putt, chip and drive with specially designed SNAG (Start New At Golf) equipment made specifically for beginners.
Indianapolis Colts Football Experience
This miniature football field will resemble the actual home field at Lucas Oil Stadium. Families can run offensive and defensive plays with life-sized Colts cut-outs which bounce back upon tackling. A pass-and-kick challenge will be here as well.
USTA Family Tennis Experience
The United States Tennis Association helped design shorter courts and specialized equipment for children to learn the fundamentals of this cherished British sport. Guests will be able to learn the basics of serving and rallying in a real tennis setting.
Wiese Field donated by Elizabeth Bracken Wiese and J. Frederic Wiese, Jr.
This small baseball diamond sits amongst a mock stadium setup to give kids the perfect baseball experience. Wiffle bats and balls are used here as guests can not only play a game but also learn the history of local and state baseball.
The soccer experience will give fans the freedom to kick and dribble their way into the back of the net, all the while learning the basic rules and fundamentals of professional soccer.
Indy Fuel Hockey Experience
As one of the more unique concepts at SLE, children who may never have had the chance to actually skate with a hockey stick and puck can now do so, and in the sunshine no less. The Indy Fuel have put together an artificial ice rink for visitors to learn about Indy’s newest sport.
During the core, warmer months of the year (April-October), the outdoor portions will be open from morning until night, as stadium style lights will be installed to keep guests playing after dark. The indoor sections however will be open year-round.
So there you have it! Indy has already made history with the Children’s Museum’s highly acclaimed exhibits, and now the city will be officially solidified as the sports capital of the country with the help of the Sports Legends Experience.