Indianapolis is bursting with family-friendly activities and attractions that draw visitors from all over the world. During our recent visit, we stumbled upon a truly hidden gem that I debated on sharing or keeping all to myself. The Rhythm Discovery Center is a unique and exceptionally kid-friendly museum located in the heart of Indianapolis. Founded in 2009, it is the world’s first drum and percussion museum that offers guests opportunities to explore the world of percussion through hands-on experience.
Curiosity is rewarded as visitors young and old delight in discovering their own rhythm by exploring a multitude of percussion instruments. The interactive exhibits spark the imagination and bring out the inner musician in us all. This is one attraction in Indianapolis that you don’t want to miss.
Know Before You Go
General admission to the museum is $12.00 per adult and $6 for children ages six to sixteen. Children 5 and under are free. Student admission is $9 ages 17-25 and seniors 60 and up are $8.
The museum is closed most Tuesdays and Sundays. They are open from 10-5pm Mon, Wed-Sat. During the summer they have extended hours on Wed from 10-7pm. Be sure to check their website to ensure that their hours have not changed before heading to the museum.
The recommended parking garage is the Circle Centre Mall Parking Garage. Take the elevator to level 2 of the mall and walk through the ArtsGarden towards Claypool Court. From there take an escalator or elevator to the lowest level where you will find Rhythm! There are other parking garages in the area as well.
About The Rhythm Discovery Center
A Few Fun Historic Facts
- The idea for the Rhythm Museum started in 1971.
- The first donation to the PAS (Percussive Arts Society) was Roy Knapp’s drum set in 1981.
- The museum originally called the PAS museum, opened as part of the PAS headquarters located in Lawton, OK in 1992.
- The PAS headquarters decides to move to Indy in 2007 and begins construction of Rhythm!
- Rhythm opens its door in November of 2009.
The beauty of this museum is that it not only teaches guests about the world of percussion but also how it has been incorporated in cultures around the world for centuries. Historic artifacts tell the story of how percussion has been used as signals, for musical purposes, and ceremonial events. Each piece on display has its own unique tale which brings it to life.
Evolving Sounds demonstrates how the world of percussion has changed throughout time. By showcasing a variety of different techniques and historic instruments visitors can see just how far percussion has come and maybe get a glance as to where it is going. Be sure to take a walk through an impressive collection of drum sets from famous drummers like Neil Peart of Rush, Gene Krupa, and Buddy Rich.
What truly makes Rhythm so remarkable is how interactive and educational it is. By offering hands-on experiences in each exhibit encourages everyone to become a percussionist. Whether it is sounding the eight-foot drum gong, playing a tam-tam or stepping foot into a sound isolating room to unleash the drummer within. It seems that there is a new percussion instrument just waiting to be played around every corner of the Rhythm Discovery Center.
One of my favorite areas is the Groove Space. This exhibit allows guests to try out a multitude of percussion instruments down to the kitchen sink. Literally. Pillows are available to sit on to make your jam session more comfortable. My daughter spent the majority of her time here going from instrument to instrument. She couldn’t get enough and a meltdown may have ensued during leaving. Needless to say, we will be back.
Older guests will appreciate learning the basic drumming techniques then having the opportunity to try them out on drum pads in their Rudimentary Exhibit. These are just a few of many instruments guests get to experience.
Behind the Glass Tour
Plan ahead and book a private tour to see hundreds of rare and unique percussion instruments that are back in storage. Many of these are not available for public viewing and is quite a treat to see.
Family-Friendly Saturday Programs
Every Saturday the museum hosts two interactive family-friendly programs. From community drum circles, educational lessons on percussion instruments to live performances there is something for everyone to participate in. All programs are included with the cost of admission. Check the calendar for more details.
A Few Tips For Visiting Rhythm Discovery Center
- Food and drink are not allowed in the museum. Make sure kids have had their snacks before arriving. There is no designated area for eating or drinking once inside. Unless you wish to have a snack in the bathroom.
- There are parts of the museum that little ones are not allowed to touch. They are roped off with a sign but are still so tempting to little hands.
- There is a changing table located in the ladies bathroom.
- Check out the gift shop. There are tons of great souvenirs to take home.
There are tons of fun places to go in Indianapolis but ensure the Rhythm Discovery Center is on your list. Here are a few more things to add to your Indy itinerary.
I would like to thank the Rhythm Discovery Museum providing us with complimentary admission so we could write this post. As always opinions are my own.