Ticketing Tut

June 24, 2009
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The Children's Museum of Indianapolis is hoping to make a big splash with its about-to-open King Tut exhibition. (For details, click here.)

But are artifacts from the boy king a big enough draw to get you to part with $25 for adult tickets on weekdays, up to $30 on weekends? And, if you go, will the kids, ticketed at $15 each, be left home with a sitter?

Keep in mind, we are talking about some of the great treasures of history. And that $50 dropped for you and a date at Tut would barely cover one of the cheapest seats at a Colts game.

So, is the price right?
  • $25 per person is a steal to see an exhibition of this calibur! Try seeing something like this in nearby Chicago and you couldn't at this price!
  • I saw a Tut exhibit a couple years ago in Chicago at the Field Museum. That cost us gas and 6 hours driving time. I think the tickets were in the $20 range. It was a really good exhibit. I plan to see the one at the Children's Museum - not sure if it's the same one or not -either way it's worth it. Aside from traveling to Egypt how else can you see these magnificent artifacts?
  • I think up to $90 for a family of four or $120 for six to see this exhibit is quite steep, given the recession. You'd think after two huge earmarks in the federal budget in the last few years for the Children's Museum to do capitol improvements, the Museum would give the taxpayers who had no say in funding their construction a break. That $90 or $120 also doesn't include the cost of gasoline, concessions, and gift shop purchases. This trip could end up costing a family $150 at least. I understand these special exhibits bring in the crowds and are cash cows, obviously, and that they bring in needed revenue but come on. Museums also imply the exhibits are similar to their day-to-day exhibits, which they are not (kind of like the DVDs WFYI shows during their numerous marathon pledge drives annually).
  • To be fair about it, the $90 cost for a family of four is $52 more than regular museum admission. I think the CM is overpriced as it is, and while this might be a bargain compared to Chicago, I dont think we'll be spending $90 to see 50 King Tut items.

    I'm betting there will be 'deals' along the way (I think Travelzoo is offering some) and other group purchases.

    I'm glad the CM has this great thing and hope they do well. If the public buys tickets (and evidently they have) and it sells out all the time, then they probably priced it too low! If not, look for those discounts.
  • Unfortunately this ticket price is a bit too steep for my family of 6 (adult fare for our teens!). We would all love to see it but $25 per is just too much to part with out of the household budget. Disappointed.
  • Membership prices are lower, $15 for adults, $8 for kids. I'd pay that to see this exhibit.
  • Travelzoo is offering 30% discounts through ticketmaster. I paid $17.50 per ticket for a Monday ticket (+ ticketmaster's $3.50 convenience fee). Would have gladly paid full price, though - can't wait!
  • Thanks for the Travelzoo info. Does anyone know if there are senior citizen discounts? We want to take my retired parents. No, $25 is not out of line for this sort of exhibit. Compared to other cities, everything in Indiana is inexpensive to me.
  • I'm not sure I understand the discussion. Is this exhibit worth the cost? Of course it is. Does the cost prohibit individuals, much less families, from attending the exhibit? Of course it does. Does that matter? Absolutely. I do not understand why people must be able to afford exposure to art, culture and history. Unfortunate.
  • I agree with Chuck and Moli.

    Most families of multiple children would find this a steep cost. Perhaps a compromise in a couple of 'members only' nights where your membership is the cost of admission?

    Certainly could help increase the number of memberships.
  • Let's get real!

    This same exhibit is more expensive in it's other location in San Francisco. This is a VERY limited tour - and I believe it will only have 3 or 4 stops in North America. I imagine the Children's Museum will see visitors from everywhere east of the Mississippi just because of this limited opportunity.

    We should be proud to have a museum that has been able to draw this attraction. And I'm guessing there several foundations that helped get it here and are underwriting its cost so we all aren't paying more.

    Besides, I couldn't hardly take a family of 4 to dinner and to see a movie for $90.

    I'm making this once in a lifetime opportunity a priority, and will skip a few meals out and movie nights to go. Gladly.
  • Send these stolen national treasures back to the country from which they were illegally removed instead of charging money to see them. If another country had come to the US and ransacked a leader's grave, we would never hear the end of it and rightfully so. Shame on the exhibitors and shame on the Children's Museum for greedily playing into the hysteria for selfish checkbook padding.
  • Back to Lou's question: so is the price right? It is very unfortunate that to experience art and culture in this manner it takes money...a certain level of income that includes discretionary income. We have a great population, even in Indianapolis, that just does not have this option. Their income barely meets their living costs. So unless they can take advantage of the public library or school field trips to museums, they don't get to view first hand some of the most important art and cultural items of mankind. Seeing these items first hand is important; it is far beyond the experience of reading a book with pictures. I don't know the answer to this dilemma but it is worth the discussion. I would like to feed all the hungry in Indianapolis too. (I am greatful that it is here and some people, even many, do get the opportunity to see it.)
  • Jim is so right in many instances. But I was under the belief that these items do reside in Egypt. It is also worth the discussion.
  • Jim:

    I do believe this is all with the blessing of Egypt, and it goes back there.

    For goodness sakes, better get off the high moral ground. These Egytptian treasures were gotten off the blood, sweat, and tears of slave laborers. I guess this really belongs to Israel?!

    Back to the question, this exhibit made select stops many years ago, including Chicago. Then, they said it was the last such trip. But here they are, with three North American stops, Indy, Atlanta, and one in Canada. By the sound of the calibre of the exhibition and the select cities, I'd say $30 (and that's the highest price,) is more than reasonable.

    It's a big get for Indy. I have friends coming from Cleveland to see this, the town, and spend money. It's a big deal.
  • This isn't the same tour and items that went through Chicago.

    I think there are some foundations that sponsored the cost for school groups and those with little disposable income the opportunity to see the exhibit.

    If you can't afford it and want to see it, its probably worth a call to the museum to find out if they have any programs to help.
  • Actually, Jim is so WRONG in most of his comments, color me free. This exhibit is sanctioned by the First Lady of Egypt. This was a thank you to The Children's Museum for assisting with the design of her own museum for children there in Egypt. Please check into THE FACTS before running off at the mouth. If you had, you would discover that the museum itself is getting very little from hosting this exhibit, other than being able to say that they were the only museum in the midwest to host it.

    The new construction also came out of grants that the late Julia Carson worked so hard to get. Facts, people....facts.

    Heated discussion - love it. ;o)
  • Oh - this exhibit is also totally different than the previous one in Chicago a few years ago. That one featured objects from many other Egyptian kings and queens and just a smattering of Tut objects. The sarcophagus of Tut is included this time and has not been on tour since 1977 from what I have been told.
  • Truly - this may be a once in a lifetime opportunity for people to see these fabulous items. I know the cost can be prohibitive for families, but it's so worth them seeing this. Like the poster above said - you can hardly take a family of four to dinner and a movie for that cost.
  • My impression is that this is the same exhibit that was in Chicago several years ago. My family went to see it and we paid about the same price. Is it worth it? Yes. Can everybody afford it? No. Can everyone afford a Pacer game or a Colts game? No. But I don't hear the masses crying what a travesity it is. I know of many common middle class families that will spend $200 or more to go to ONE Pacers/Colts game. Do they come away with something to add to their lives? I don't know. I wouldn't go out of my way to spend that much for a athletic game but I'd spend the money to see this. We can spend our money as we want.
    Another thought- perhaps some of the companies that have helped the Pacers or the Colts in the past with giving away tickets to fill the seats so we wouldn't have TV blackouts (sellout game) could buy tickets to this exhibit or more art related exhibits like this and give them to students that wouldn't otherwise have a chance to do so.
  • Unfortunately, everything has a cost. And life isn't fair. Not everything can be free. I pick and choose my battles. This is a rare opportunity and it's taking millions of dollars just to get the exhibit here. It will attract people from all over the country. A community should expect to pay for quality arts & culture. The sad fact is, people will get left out. There are also people with lots of money who could create a special charitable foundation to help pay for families who cannot normally afford things like this.
  • The actual sarcophogus that held Tut's body is not on display in this exhibit, but rather a smaller one that held his stomach.
  • I can't help but offer a correction. The federal money referenced are not grants the late Julia Carson helped secure -- they are earmarks. The one I am most familiar with came via the federal transportation funding program - SAFETEA-LU. The Indianapolis Star failed to mention that earmark when they printed the front page ad on the exhibit and beautiful new entrance to the Children's Museum. I am an enourmous supporter of the arts, but I have a little trouble understanding the rationale behind a mulit-million dollar earmark from federal transportation funding to improve the entrance of a museum. Was there a transportation connection? Yes. It was the small bus stop improvements, but that was a very small piece of the project.
  • It was more than bus stop improvements - it was multi-modal.

    They did change the bus stop, but they completed the pedestrian access from the garage into the new welcome center. They added a bike parking area, added a new drop off lane from Illinois, rearranged the loading area for deliveries and exhibit drop off, not including a host of things designed to make visitors safer from the traffic of Illinois street. It also included a better way for school groups to drop off and visit the museum.

    It is a Safety and Transportation grant. Open your eyes. It makes sense.
  • Speaking from a parent's POV... and having been involved in several discussions on MomsLikeMe... There is confusion about why this exhibit is at the Children's Museum. Families are already strapped, even with a membership, the cost of admission to the exhibit is high from the average family perspective.

    I understand the art and culture and all that. I really do. And if I didn't have kids and the expenses that come with trying to preserve a secure family, I would be interested in seeing the exhibit.

    I think the exhibit is more of an adult opportunity- so the confusion comes from why it is hosted by the Children's Museum. I read the comment about where that come from. I'd not heard that before.

    And for the record- We've been members of the Museum for 3 years. We did let the membership lapse last month. Want to let potential crowds for Tut even out a bit before we renew it. Our kids are too young to appreciate it so we won't be partaking.
  • http://www.ibj.com/html/detail_page_Full.asp?content=40490

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