Hundreds of thousands of children and families flocked to The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis in 2011 setting a new all-time attendance record that exceeded 1.27 million. That number is 9.4 percent higher than the previous record of more than 1.16 million set in 2010.
Related: Another Record Setting Year for The Children’s Museum Guild’s Haunted House/ 10th anniversary of free admission to national museums/ The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis: Creating Extraordinary Family Learning Experiences
Museum membership also reached an all-time high of more than 34, 000 membership households, compared with 32, 000 in 2010. The Museum Store set a new sales record as well exceeding $2, 380, 000 in 2011; that is up 5 percent from 2010. USA Today also listed it as one of 10 great places to find fine gifts at a museum.
“We are extremely appreciative of the support we receive from our members and visitors during these challenging economic times, ” said Jeffrey H. Patchen, president and CEO of The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis. “We are dedicated to providing extraordinary experiences in which children and families continue to learn and grow while spending quality time together.”
The Children’s Museum Guild set another 20-year attendance record, welcoming more than 65, 034 visitors to the annual Haunted House: Vampire Vacation!
The museum ranked in the top 10 according to several prestigious outlets including Trekaroo, AOL Travel News, Parents Magazine and WomansDay.com and was voted “Best Museum” on the WRTV A-List and NUVO. And Forbes showcased it in an article about The 10 Best Cities for Weekend Vacations. The Children’s Museum was also honored with new awards including the Governor’s Arts Award, the 2011 Accessibility Award from the Mayor of the city of Indianapolis and the ARTI Award presented by the Arts Council of Indianapolis recognizing local businesses, corporations and individuals for their extraordinary commitment to the arts.
“The museum emphasizes using real science, history and artifacts to encourage family learning and offers innovative hands-on activities, which by all accounts, works beautifully, ” said Eileen Ogintz in her Taking the Kids column for Tribune Media Services.
The museum’s commitment to providing outstanding visitor experiences, excellent amenities, and extraordinary value in membership are contributing factors to record attendance and these prestigious honors.
Exciting offerings for children and families such as the opening of the new permanent exhibit National Geographic Treasures of the Earth, as well as the ongoing popularity of permanent exhibits such as Dinosphere: Now You’re in Their World also played significant roles in making The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis an extraordinary place for families to spend quality time.
The growth in membership indicates that more visitors are taking to heart the museum’s theme of “join now, visit often.” For a one-time fee, an entire family can visit The Children’s Museum throughout the year and take advantage of a variety of educational opportunities museum has to offer. Benefits include invitations to exhibit preview days, members-only special events, early admission on First Saturday Member Mornings, community connections that provide special offers to local, family-friendly attractions and discounts in The Children’s Museum Store.
In response to families in need, the museum will continue to offer free and reduced admission programs through the Access Pass program, the Foster Family membership program and monthly Target Free Family Nights.
Coming in 2012: Visitors will experience CSI: Flight Adventures (launches Feb. 25, 2012) and temporary exhibits consisting of The Adventures of MR. POTATO HEAD® (Jan. 28–May 6, 2012), LEGO® Travel Adventure (March 10–July 22, 2012) and more.
About The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis
The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis is a nonprofit institution committed to creating extraordinary learning experiences across the arts, sciences, and humanities that have the power to transform the lives of children and families. For more information about The Children’s Museum, visit www.childrensmuseum.org