Pre-Conference Tours

Wednesday, July 26

There are three types of registration for this year’s conference – Virtual Only, Virtual + Single Day, and Virtual + In-Person. No matter which one you selected, you may purchase tickets for add-ons like pre-conference tours, pre-conference workshops, and evening events.

Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site

View of the exterior of Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site

Historic Site Tour

Time: 2:00 – 4:00 p.m.

Ticket: $10

Capacity: 14

Experience a one-of-a-kind Presidential Home in the heart of Indianapolis at the Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site! Boasting over 10,000 artifacts in its collection and considered one of the best preserved sites of its kind in the nation, the home of Indiana’s only President is a must-see for anyone interested in history, culture, and the arts. This guided tour takes you through all three floors of the President’s home and puts you next to some of the most important artifacts in the state! With the construction of the Sarah Evans Barker Citizenship Plaza at the Johnson-Floyd Presidential Commons, we host a calendar full of activities, making the Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site one of the top attractions in the city. The pre-conference tour will allow you to see all of these new additions as well as our gift shop and welcome center exhibit. A wonderful experience for history and Presidential enthusiasts alike!

Capacity is limited. Pre-registration required. Please arrive between 1:45-2:00 p.m. The Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site is an 8-10-minute drive from the Crowne Plaza. Parking is available along Delaware Street and in the small lot off Talbot Street. This site is fully accessible.

The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis

View of The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis natural history collection

Dinosphere Accessibility and Behind the Scenes Collections Tour

Time: 3:00 – 5:00 p.m.

Ticket: $10

Capacity: 20 **SOLD OUT**

The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis welcomes museum colleagues to visit the museum for a guided tour of the new Dinosphere®. Now You’re in Their World exhibition which opened Spring 2022.  Stand in awe of enormous long-necked, four-legged creatures in Giants of the Jurassic™, see your old dino friends in Creatures of the Cretaceous™, explore the ancient aquatic world in Monsters of the Mesozoic Seas™, and spark your creativity in Dinosphere Art Lab—all in the new Dinosphere®!  Besides seeing this DINOmite exhibit, you will learn how accessibility was top-of-mind during development and design.

In addition to touring this immersive environment, Participants will receive a special behind-the-scenes look at the operational paleontology prep labs and learn about the museum’s dinosaur dig site in Wyoming. The tour will conclude with a walk through natural science and arts & humanities collections storage areas which include toys and dolls, fine arts, pop culture, world culture, and clothing and textiles materials.

Capacity is limited. Pre-registration required. The Children’s Museum is a 10-12-minute drive from the Crowne Plaza. Please arrive between 2:45-3:00 p.m. and meet in the museum’s Welcome Center. Free parking garage is available, accessed from the left side of Illinois St. just north of 30th St.  Garage is connected to the museum by a Skywalk.  All visitors are encouraged to use the Skywalk to cross Illinois Street to avoid traffic on the busy street.  Click here to view accessibility information.

Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum

A child poses with the starting line brick on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway track

Behind the Scenes Collections and Restoration Shop Tour

Time: 3:00 – 5:00 p.m.

Ticket: $10

Capacity: 30

Discover the one-of-a-kind racing and automotive artifacts and vehicles in the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum’s collection. Join members of the Collections and Restoration staff on an in-depth tour of the collection storage and restoration shop. During your tour, hear about the history of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the Museum and its collection. Learn what it takes to care for such a diverse collection and how we preserve and restore our vehicle collection. 

Capacity is limited. Pre-registration required. The Museum is located inside the world-famous Indianapolis Motor Speedway oval between Turns 1 and 2. Enter the grounds via Gate 2, the four-lane tunnel 1/4 -mile east of the 16th Street and Crawfordsville Rd. roundabout. Enter this address in your GPS: 4750 W 16th St., Speedway, IN 46224. Parking at the Museum is free. 

Indiana State Museum

A staff member holds articles of clothing from the Indiana State Museum collection

Behind-the-Scenes Collections and Gallery One Exhibition Tour

Time: 3:00 – 5:00 p.m.

Ticket: $10

Capacity: 20

The Indiana State Museum and Historic Sites is a statewide museum system with 12 locations, offering visitors a chance to engage with Indiana’s past and present and see how their actions help shape the future. Located in the heart of downtown Indianapolis, the Indiana State Museum invites you on a behind-the-scenes tour to see the extraordinary collection followed by a guided tour of the museum’s newest space – Gallery One. Here you’ll discover unique opportunities to interact with objects in provocative, and even playful ways—finding inspiration in the most unexpected spaces.

Capacity is limited. Pre-registration required. The Indiana State Museum is a 5-minute ride and 20-minute walk from the Crowne Plaza. There is a small fee for parking in the underground garage.

Happy Little Day Trip to Minnetrista

View of the entrance to Minnetrista’s main building with a large outdoor metal and glass sculpture called Catalyst.

Special Exhibition Tours and Lunch with Staff

Time: 9:30 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Ticket: $20

Capacity: 10 **SOLD OUT**

Take a quick day trip to Minnetrista Museum & Gardens, in Muncie, Indiana (about an hour from Indianapolis)! Participants will visit The Bob Ross Experience in the historic LL Ball home on Minnetrista’s campus, featuring artifacts and stories related to Bob Ross’s popular television show The Joy of Painting in the house where Bob Ross filmed his show about painting happy little trees (and many other things) for years! Then, experience Girlhood: It’s Complicated in Minnetrista’s main building. Explore the diversity of girls’ experiences and how they’ve been on the front lines of change throughout American history in this groundbreaking exhibit. Girlhood was created by the National Museum of American History and the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service. Minnetrista is the world premiere venue for this exhibition’s national tour, its first stop outside Washington D.C.


  • 9:30 a.m. – Depart Crowne Plaza Indianapolis Downtown
  • 10:45 a.m. – Arrive at Minnetrista
  • 10:45 – 11:45 a.m. – Visit The Bob Ross Experience
  • 11:45 a.m. – 12:45 p.m. – Visit Girlhood: It’s Complicated
  • 12:45 – 1:15 p.m. – Lunch (provided by Minnetrista)
  • 1:20 p.m. – Depart Minnetrista
  • 2:30-3:00 p.m. – Arrival Crowne Plaza Indianapolis Downtown

Capacity is limited. Pre-registration required. A shuttle will be provided. Participants who wish to drive themselves can meet at the main entrance to Minnetrista at 10:45 a.m.

Shuttle transportation generously provided by Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES)

Photo courtesy of Newfields.

Newfields (two NEW options!)

The Garden Tour

Time: 1:00 – 2:00 p.m.

Ticket: $10

Capacity: 30

Join Chad Franer (The Tom and Nora Hiatt Director of Horticulture) and Jaime Frye (Assistant Curator of Living Collections) on an afternoon stroll through The Garden at Newfields. Participants will explore a lush public garden to learn about its history from farmland and private estate to the creative, living museum of today that hosts over half a million guests a year.

Indianapolis Museum of Art Collections Highlights Tour

Time: 2:00 – 4:00 p.m.

Ticket: $10

Capacity: 15

Join Newfields staff to explore thematic and immersive gallery installations, digital art, and new approaches to community engagement.