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Central Indiana attractions offering free admission for MLK Day

Some of the museums require a reservation while others are using staggered entry.
Credit: The Children's Museum of Indianapolis
The Children's Museum of Indianapolis is the largest children's museum in the world with a 481,000 square-foot facility situated on 30 acres.

INDIANAPOLIS — A number of central Indiana attractions are offering free admission to visitors on Monday, Jan. 18 for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

Conner Prairie

Conner Prairie at 13400 Allisonville Road in Fishers will offer free admission on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Tickets can be reserved for specific time windows. 

For those who prefer to stay home Monday, a number of free online activities and exhibits are available to access virtually.

The Children's Museum of Indianapolis

UPDATE: The Children's Museum has reached capacity for free admission on MLK Jr. Day and will not be able to accommodate additional visitors.

The Children's Museum of Indianapolis will once again offer free admission for visitors on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

This year, visitors will need to reserve a spot in advance to account for COVID-19 restrictions.

The museum will be open from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. There will be special performances and activities throughout the museum to celebrate Dr. King's life and legacy.

Here are some of the exhibits and performances that will honor King:

  • Griot Drum Ensemble Performances: Enjoy energetic and engaging percussion music as the Griot Drum Ensemble performs authentic traditional West African and Diaspora drumming.
  • Figures of the Civil Rights Movement: Join storyteller Portia Jackson as she tells tales of courageous children from the Civil Rights Movement.
  • Visiting Artist: Visiting Artist Israel Solomon demonstrates how he uses color, shape, and creativity to tell stories. Practice your own skills alongside him.
  • NCAA Final Four Fan Jam: See the 2021 NCAA Men's Basketball National Championship Trophy and receive free tournament swag while supplies last.
  • Up Close and Personal: Learn about women changing the world in Barbie™ You Can Be Anything™: The Experience. Join us to get up close and personal with some extremely inspirational female role models.
  • WAVES of positive change: Discover how courageous youths used the power of Words, Actions, Voices, and Education in "The Power of Children" exhibit.
  • Ruby Sound and Light Show: Witness how Ruby Bridges faced the unimaginable in a five-minute film that showcases aspects of her story in The Power of Children exhibit area.

White River State Park

Several attractions at White River State Park are offering free admission and parking on Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

The following White River State Park attractions are offering free admission: 

White River State Park typically requires a donation of canned goods or non-perishable items for free admission on this day, but the COVID-19 pandemic has changed that. 

Instead of canned goods or non-perishable items, White River State Park is asking for monetary donations of any amount to Gleaners Food Bank of Indiana.

Click here to donate online. DipJars will also be at each White River State Park attraction, which is a contactless way to donate on-site with a debit or credit card.

Due COVID-19, specific admissions information, timed ticketing and visitor protocols can be found at each attraction’s website.

Indiana State Museum and historic sites

The Indiana State Museum and other historic sites will open with free admission on Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

All locations will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. except: Gene Stratton-Porter, New Harmony and Whitewater Canal State Historic Sites.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, state museum admission will occur in shifts, with visitors admitted from 10 a.m. to noon, 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. and 3 to 5 p.m. The 30 minutes in between shifts will allow for cleaning of common spaces in the museum.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Park and Landmark for Peace Memorial

Visit the park in Indianapolis dedicated to Dr. King’s legacy. See the historic statue celebrating the contributions of MLK and Robert F. Kennedy. Indianapolis Parks & Recreation will also host a number of other special events for the day. The park is located at 1702 Broadway St. in Indianapolis.

IndyParks activities at other parks

Marvelous MLK Mural at Broad Ripple Park

MLK Day Self-Guided Hike at Eagle Creek Park 

MLK Day Virtual Craft and Play Kit (available for $3 at Broad Ripple Park)