36 W. Rampart
Shelbyville, IN 46176
Phone: (317) 398-8044
Fax: (317) 398-8442
Arts & Museums
Formerly the residence of the Hoosier poet of the same name, the James Whitcomb Riley Museum Home is a bastion of historic preservation. This museum is filled with the historical artifacts, furniture and belongings of Indiana's most beloved poet. The home itself is a great example of late-Victorian architecture, and takes one back in time to the early days of James's life.
McFee showcases vibrant works by a number of artists in a welcoming space on Mass Ave. Look for traditional pieces like paintings and sculptures right alongside more out-there stuff such as found assemblages. Regardless of the medium, art here surely embodies something about the unique spirit of Downtown Indianapolis, and perhaps even Indiana in general. See website for artist roster and more.
The Rhythm! Discovery Center is one of the world's best percussion museums. A series of exhibits explore the history and evolution of the drum into the modern drum kit we know today. You can eve look at the drum kits played by famous drummers like John Bonham and Neil Peart. There are also interactive displays, where you can make music and rhythms with the drums available.
The Dean Johnson Gallery is known for its innovative works. The gallery gives us a look at the graphics and fine art works done by local and nationally known artists. They aim at advancing art in the community and supporting the talent of the Indianapolis arts community so that it can be enjoyed and appreciated by the masses.
Kidscommons offers exciting opportunities for fun and learning with three-floors of interactive exhibits. Some of the exhibits include a 17-foot climbing wall, bubble room, ExploraHouse, Childhood Garden, healthy lifestyles, and much more. The museum also offers plenty of outreach programs.
Colonel Eli Lilly Civil War Museum is located in the State Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument. The monument was designed by architect Bruno Schmitz of Germany. The tower includes an observation deck.
Make your own music and learn about percussion while exploring the innovative programs, informative exhibits, and performances at this center.
Built in the year 1864, the Morris-Butler House was owned by the Morris family, who resided here during the colonial era. Eventually, the family moved out, leaving this spectacular piece of architecture to the city. The Morris-Butler House is now considered the epitome of the Victorian era, and a tour around the place shows you why. The house is dotted with delicate, ornate pieces, including the chinaware in which they used to serve tea. Visiting the Morris-Butler House may make you feel like you are walking through a dream.
The globe trotting and knowledge seeking tourist will not want to miss this splendid museum. One of the few museums that strives to preserve all of the arts of the American West, it houses a large collection of both Western and Native American art. This makes it a great place to learn about indigenous people in the context of American history. The museum arranges events and programs to encourage community in the city. Private parties like weddings and business conferences can also be held within its beautiful environs. For further information on current exhibitions, log on to their website.
The Indiana Historical Center is offering a unique way to explore the history of Indiana. There are the "You Are There" exhibits, where actors play historical figures that you can interact with to learn about a specific period. There's the "Destination Indiana" area, where innovative touch screens let you explore different areas of the state over time. There's even a whole room dedicated to Cole Porter, with an actor belting out some of his classics. With all of these interactive displays, a trip to the Historical Center is like a trip back in time.
The Indiana State Museum is located along the canal in White River State Park. The museum has three floors of galleries that tell the story of the great state of Indiana. Visitors are inspired to learn more about the state (and its glittering capital city) by exploring its art, science and culture. Some galleries on the top floor are often devoted to much sought-after traveling exhibitions as well. The building itself is a sight to behold, especially after noting that it is constructed exclusively of Hoosier materials: limestone, steel, brick, sandstone and glass. It is truly a work of art. On site is a two-story gift shop and some casual dining options.
Commemorating the athletic achievements of college athletes, the NCAA Hall of Champions features a variety of interactive exhibits, including displays of all 23 NCAA sports, a media room, a retro basketball gym from the 1930s, and much more. By reserving ahead of time, you can organize a guided tour for your children's class, which includes a catered lunch. Rental space for events is also available.