Go BIG or Go Home
What Happens When A Small-Town Family Visits The "World's Largest"... Whatever!

World’s Largest Children’s Museum, Indianapolis, IN

I have never been to Indiana. This month’s guest post, combined with our oh-so-popular guest post on the world’s largest toilet, has me seriously intrigued.   There’s a lot going on in the “Crossroads of America!”

Since we wrote about another children’s museum last week, I thought it would be fun to continue the theme today. The world’s largest children’s museum is in Indianapolis. This place is a Go BIG trifecta! Not only is the facility itself the world’s largest, within it are the world’s largest permanent sculpture by Dale Chihuly, and North America’s largest water clock!

Children's museum

And, as a quick search reveals, the city is also now home to the world’s largest JW Marriott property.

Our valued contributor is Nicole Wiltrout, a stay-at-home Indianian (yes, it’s a word) who rarely stays home! I can tell she is an enthusiastic family traveler; she awarded the museum a “10” on our sliding scale, where 1 = “snoozefest,” and 10 = “add to your bucket list.” So now we definitely have to get to Indiana. Here’s hoping Nicole has enough room in her house to host the four of us…

Nicole writes about adventures with her husband and 2-year-old son at Arrows Sent Forth.


This is where my son would have FREAKED.

Where we went, and who was coerced into going:

We went to the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, the world’s largest children’s museum. Our group featured three generations exploring the museum: myself, my mom and my 20-month-old son.

WHY did you go there, exactly?

I’ve lived in Indianapolis for the past 20 years, and the Children’s Museum is a cultural landmark in the city. Needless to say, I’ve been at least a dozen times. But I had never taken my son until this trip.

Okay, what was so cool about it?

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World’s Largest Kid, EdVenture, Columbia, SC

EdVentureI’m feeling a bit guilty about the low rating awarded to the attraction featured in our last post. It was warranted, but like all “Go BIG” reviews, entirely subjective. It’s just that, with my background in PR, “positive spin” is my comfort zone. I’m also addicted to exclamation points, and have been accused of abusing the “Like” button on Facebook.

So, to infuse my spirit with some rainbows and unicorns, I’m posting this today!

Where we went, and who was coerced into going:

On our adventure-filled holiday road trip, we detoured through Columbia, SC in order to see the world’s largest kid, EDDIE®, who lives at the EdVenture children’s museum. I was really looking forward to this stop, because I knew the kids would enjoy it, and it would be a welcome break from car travel.

Unexpectedly, the northern winter weather we were racing from caught up with us. The city experienced its very first Christmas snowfall! There were only a couple of inches, but it was a big deal there, and the museum opened later than normal. We were fortunate that it was a holiday week and therefore open on a Monday, because it’s normally closed on Mondays from Labor Day to Memorial Day.

world's largest kidWHY did you go there, exactly?

We’re glad we waited for it to open, because EdVenture is a fantastic facility — modern, bright, and clean. It’s the largest children’s museum in the south, featuring nine exhibit galleries with over 350 hands-on activities designed to let children explore and discover the world around them.

As soon as you enter the museum, you’re greeted by EDDIE, the world’s largest child!

Okay, what was so cool about it?

Weighing 17 tons, EDDIE towers 40-feet high, and he’s in the seated position! You can scale his vertebrae, investigate his brain, play in his stomach, and slide out his intestines.

You have to access his innards from entrance points in his backside, on a few different levels connected by stairs. The higher we climbed, the less inclined The Girl was to enter, but The Boy was game for a look at EDDIE ‘S brain.

If your kids are adventurous, and love to climb through the tunnel play structures at Chuck E. Cheese, then they will like exploring this exhibit. If they get frightened at climbing up platforms and across rope bridges, then they won’t be hip to EDDIE.

What almost any kid will like, however, is sliding down EDDIE ‘S bottom half (along the gastrointestinal tract, if you get my drift). When they slide out, a noise is emitted which will get a giggle out of any goofball kid; mine included!

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Go BIG or Go Home Road Trip; Day Two

December 27, 2010

It was a historic day in the city of Columbia, SC. The first Christmas snowfall. We drove into town and scratched our jaded New Yorker heads. It was merely a dusting; certainly not enough to stop everything in its tracks. But it did. The EdVenture Children’s Museum, our morning destination, had delayed its opening until noon, which put our road trip schedule behind.

We’re nothing if not flexible (snicker), so we took it in stride. We had to give up our plans to take I-75 through GA, however, and so I didn’t get to see the world’s largest peanut. It would have tacked on another 90 minutes to our travel time to Tampa, and that’s like asking…”Please, may I have two cranky kids in the back seat? Thank you!”

Next week, I’ll post a more complete description of “Eddie,” the world’s largest kid, who sits in the middle of the completely engaging and entertaining EdVenture Children’s Museum. This attraction was well worth adding to our itinerary; the kids loved every minute.

Childrens museum

"Eddie," the world's largest kid!

As it turned out, we should have taken I-75, because we got caught in a horrific traffic jam on I-95 through SC. We got back every penny we paid for “Nuvi,” our GPS unit, who found an alternate route along the kind of back roads which instantly bring to mind banjo melodies.

No matter how many times I’ve driven into the state of Florida, it always takes me by surprise when I realize I still have hours to go after crossing the state border. It’s such a LOOOOOONG state! I also half-expected the weather to turn instantly balmy, but no such luck. Temps were still in the 30’s. We arrived in Tampa three hours behind our anticipated time, exhausted but safe.

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