Kids Creative Chaos: Things to do in Indianapolis Indiana: Downtown Central Library for Kids

Things to do in Indianapolis Indiana: Downtown Central Library for Kids

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Central Library's Learning Curve in Downtown Indianapolis, Indiana has Free Things to do that are Fun for Kids

Recently, we took a trip to the downtown Indianapolis Central Library. I've been meaning to do this for sometime, but after several years of summer day camp and kid's misplacing books or videos, we have quite a hefty library fine. I plan to chip away at it slowly. If you also have a library fine and are under 18, keep reading. We found out the library has a program where you can "pay off" your fines with good behavior! More info about that later. In the summer, we are always looking for FREE, FUN, and EDUCATIONAL things to do in Indianapolis or other parts of Indiana. This futuristic architecture, in the form of a public library, fits the bill perfectly.

Things to do in Indianapolis Indiana: Downtown Central Library for Kids
Central Library Funnel in Reading Nook. It plays a little movie.
This year, my goal is to treat each week like summer camp with my own kids - Less the getting up at 5:30 a.m., the toting 12 other kids everywhere we go, the need for epipens, a change of underwear (and a bag for the previous soiled pair), the waivers, the checklist, and the stress! We are on a mission of discovery. Anything within 2 hrs. of our home is up for an impromptu field trip
In this Futuristic Library, you can lounge and read, listen to a story, or watch one.
In this Futuristic Library, you can lounge and read, listen to a story, or watch one.
The Central Library is very cool. If you are looking for a futuristic library, you've come to the right place. You enter the library through an old, historic building with an incredible view of the American Legion Mall which is really just a large, green space with war memorials. Be sure to turn and enjoy the view as you enter. Then, you enter a breezeway where you'll find the info desk and a small, reasonably priced cafe. Keep going, and you'll be whisked into the children's area, better known as The Learning Curve. 


The Learning Curve: A Children's Area at the Central Library, Downtown Indy.
The Learning Curve: A Children's Area at the Central Library, Downtown Indy.
The Learning Curve is housed in the modern, glass, curved building directly behind the main entrance. Don't be intimidated, just keep walking. The librarian help desks are mobile carts that float throughout the large children's area. Don't be shy. They are happy to help. Don't have a library card, (or have one you can't use) but you want to use the computers? Ask the librarian for a guest pass. No pressure, they don't try to upsell to a library card :) The passes are good for 1 hr. from the time you log in, but you can get another passcode as long as computers are available. This is a safe internet zone. The kids can play and share games with other kids within the library.

Study Pods, Think Tank, Kid's Activity Wall for Preschoolers, Pacer's Rent a Bike Program, and See-a-story spinning seats at The Learning Curve, Downtown Indianapolis, Indiana in the Central Library.
Study Pods, Think Tank, Kid's Activity Wall for Preschoolers, Pacer's Rent a Bike Program, and See-a-story spinning seats at The Learning Curve, Downtown Indianapolis, Indiana in the Central Library.
We went to see a FREE DISNEY MOVIE in Clowes Auditorium, Tinkerbell's, "The Pirate Fairy". It was awesome. During summer camps, we visited our local branch of the library and watched the movies in a large room while sitting on the floor with a bunch of sweaty kids and little or no air conditioning. At the downtown Indianapolis, Central Library, we sat in comfy, purple seats in an acoustically correct, air-conditioned theatre.You can rent the 300 seat Clowes Auditorium space for special events too.

After that, we headed to the children's theatre. When they aren't having puppet shows or reader's theatre, the kids can jump up on the stage and enjoy some creative play in front of a large green screen. While bouncing around, they can watch themselves on one of the video screens. They might walk on the moon or climb a mountain!

On the opposite end of the Learning Curve, you'll find the Think Tank.This is an enclosed space (it's stuffy in there) with whiteboard walls and a table full of dry-erase markers. Brainstorm an idea, solve a math problem, or just draw a cartoon. You can be noisy, because it is somewhat soundproof. 

There is also a tinkerlab, a preschool activity area, a techlab, a wall to learn braille, study pods, futuristic, spinning chairs where you can listen to a story, and (my favorite), a super comfy reading lounge with a central animated funnel. I sat down and did not want to get up. Next time, I'll work in this area while the kids enjoy the library. They couldn't sign up for the summer reading program or check out books because of those nasty aforementioned library fines. The library now offers an amnesty program. I need this too, dear Indy Library. 

So, what is the take away? Don't stress, get cool, stay out of inclement weather... Wait, there's more. The library has a parking garage- find the rates here. We parked in the street at the fancy, modern parking meters that accept credit cards (now there's a learning curve) and walked. At the front entrance of the library, you can rent yellow, Pacer's bicycles- but they are all adult size, no kid seats, or tandem bikes... hint hint.

There are so many fun things to do in Indianapolis! We hope you'll join us (virtually, of course) as we discover the wonderful things downtown Indianapolis has to offer. We will feature some of our favorite things soon:

Mass Ave. 
Toy Store, Flying Cupcake, Hot Dog Cafe, Fair Trade Market

The Circle
Ride or climb to the top of the Monument, Candy Store, Chocolate Cafe

Thanks for stopping by :)

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