During our time in southern Indiana we spent a couple of days perusing museums. It was a great time of fun and learning that we will not forget. You have to check out these 6 must visit museums in southern Indiana. Our family visit was part of a familiarization tour with GoSoIn. All opinions are my own.
I loved the Vintage Fire Museum! I really had no idea what I would be seeing when we made plans to visit. If you are a lover of antiques, you will be fascinated. My kids were blown away. They were able to go back in time and think about a time when you couldn’t dial 911 in an emergency!
You will find beautifully restored fire engines of all kinds including hand pumpers, chemical engines, horse-drawn steamers, and early motorized engines. Other early fire fighting equipment dates back to 1756!
It was interesting to see how far we have come in our technology, but we also left with inspiring stories of how people worked together, took care of each other, and found ingenuous ways to fight fires.
What? A candy museum? How fun is that right? My precious crew were so excited to visit Schimpff’s! They thought for sure there would be…samples! And they were right. As we walked in, the tantalizing cinnamon aroma greeted us, but not only did the kids get to try some cinnamon candy, they got to watch it being made, and THEN try it. So fun!
Inside Schimpff’s is one of the few candy museums in the United States. Thousands of pieces of American candy memorabilia are displayed. The Schimpff family has been making candy since the late 1800s! Read more here>>> Schimpff Family History.
I grew up shopping at antique malls with my parents and loved hearing the stories of various pieces, and how my parents used them when they were little. I have seen many of these candy jars through the years, but never such an extensive collection! I wish candy still came packaged like this!
This Salesman’s hard candy sample bag from the early 1900s still full of candy amazed me! Isn’t is neat? I can just imagine a man coming around and peddling his candy. I would have been waiting on the step for him to come by! You will find these and so many more treasures at Schimpff’s. Stay for a bite to eat and old fashioned soda while you’re at it!
During our time in southern Indiana we took the opportunity to drive across the state line into Louisville, Kentucky. It’s literally just across the bridge. We stopped at the Frazier History Museum. There is so much to explore here. Arriving with five kids that were already tired, we didn’t even scratch the surface of what is available.
We spent a couple of hours letting the kids play and explore in the Lewis and Clark Experience. It was so much fun! We felt like we walked through the expedition learning all along the way. The kids played and experienced while the adults read all about the expedition out loud. It is such a neat way to delve deeper into this part of our history.
Fishing, dressing up, cooking and more my boys lived it up.
Don’t miss the talks when you go! Stories told from history using artifacts, gallery talks, and live daily interpretations by costumed actors known as teaching artists. These kinds of stories bring history alive for me!
If you like fossils, you have to visit the Falls of the Ohio State Park! We were blown away!
The Interpretive Center explains the layers of history at the Falls of the Ohio. The Center features 3,000 square feet of immersive exhibits, an auditorium, rotunda, classroom, wildlife and river viewing rooms, and gift shop. The exhibits focus how the Ohio river crossroads shaped America into how we know it today. It is very hands on and kid friendly!
With an impressive view of the fossil beds and Ohio River, the park features the largest exposed Devonian fossil bed in the world! As you walk out on the bluff (behind the Interpretive Center) overlooking the Ohio River, make sure to look down. You will be walking on fossils!
If you sprinkle a little water on the stone, a hidden world of fossils reveals itself! It is incredible! Literature is available to help decipher what the fossils are you will be looking at. We wished we could have spent a whole day here.
Though I am so thankful for modern conveniences, I have always enjoyed dreaming of the 1800 and what life would have been like. There was a time I was fascinated with the Victorian era of beautiful things. The Culbertson Mansion is being restored to its original beauty, and it is breathtaking!
Hand-painted ceilings, carved staircase, marble fireplaces and elaborate walls, the Culbertson Mansion brings to life what would have been the affluence of William S. Culbertson once thought to be the wealthiest man in Indiana.
This three story mansion is more than 20,000 square feet and has 25 rooms.
I found myself looking up as I walked into each room. I think I took more photos of ceilings than anything else.
The history of the family was captivating. My girls especially loved learning about how people lived during this time. The Culbertson Mansion offers many special events throughout the year. See their website for details.
The Carnegie Center of Art and History is located in the beautiful, historic 1902 Carnegie Library in New Albany, Indiana.
This museum dedicates itself to the people of New Albany to preserve their town, region’s past, educate children, and to celebrate the arts. Displayed in the entrance were winners of a local youth art contest.
We spent most of our time in Ordinary People, Extraordinary Courage: Men and Women of the Underground Railroad exhibit.
Get to know the experiences of people, both free and enslaved, who courageously helped fugitive slaves find hope and freedom. True stories of real people always bring me deeper understanding of our history, and I was so glad I had the opportunity to take my children through a part of our history in this unique way.
There you have it! We loved these six unique and fun museums. Exploring museums is a great way to further your education while you travel, and we found these especially valuable.