Friday, July 18, 2014

China comes to Indy: Our Trip to the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis

“I figured on Tuesday we could head down to Indy to the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis.  There is a Terra Cotta Warrior exhibit we think you would enjoy.”  While I was so excited to see my beautiful niece and in-laws, this outing was not on the top of my to do during my three week home trip list.  I had traveled 14 ½ hours in a plane and wanted to enjoy the States, not relive my trip to Xi’an.  However, I wanted to spend every possible minute with my niece so three days later we made the 2 ½ hour drive from Chicago to Indy to see the terra cotta warriors.  I am happy to say the experience exceeded my expectations.
Chris poses with a warrior replica.  The exhibit was a little more interactive than our trip to Xi'An.

Many of the soldiers looked exactly like those that we saw in Xi'an.  However these soldiers looked much cleaner than most of their mates back in China.
Belle enjoyed the chariot replica. 
This is the real chariot in Xi'an.

Belle helps some new friends assemble a foam rubber warrior. 
Belle was terrified of the warrior heads so I tried to make her a little more comfortable by pretending to smooch the statue.
When Belle and her mom, Crystal, created their own terra cotta figurines, it reminded me of the time when I visited the figurine factory in Xi'an.
A worker creates similar figurines in Xi'an.
Belle strikes a Chinese drum.
Belle and I ham it up for the characters.

For the second time, I got to transform myself into a warrior! 
Here is my first attempt at being a warrior in Xi'an.
In addition to the Terra Cotta Warrior exhibit, the museum had a pretty realistic Take Me There: China exhibit.  

The exhibit had a darling artist in residence from Guanzhou who let me take a stab at water calligraphy.  I finally got to practice what I have witnessed in many Shanghainese parks.
A water calligrapher practices his craft in Fuxing Park in Shanghai.
Kids went "shopping" at a play food wet market that was a little cleaner and much less cluttered from the wet marked down the street from our old apartment.
This is the wet market that was down the street from our old place.
When I saw Belle in a Sichuan Opera costume, it reminded me of our post warriors Sichuan Opera experience. 
This is a shot from our Sichuan Opera dumpling dinner experience.
Technology let me become an opera player too!!
The calligraphy station reminded me of the calligraphy room at Daning.
The museum even had a Great Wall of China slide that resembled the toboggan track at Mutianyu.
After checking out everyday life in China, we had a lovely time playing in the museum.

After lunch we played with dinosaurs.
Then we took a ride on a vintage carousel. 
Chris and Belle were parched, so they held a tea party with a few bear friends.
Belle then had a large time splashing in the water table.
At the end of the day, I was exhausted so I took a snooze on a couch potato.

Long story short, the visit to the museum was well worth the trip. The exhibits gave patrons who would normally not make the trip to China a clean taste of Chinese life.  For more information about the exhibit click here.