Children’s Museum of Indianapolis lures near-record attendance

The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis experienced its second-highest yearly attendance mark in 2016 as membership rose to record levels, the museum announced Tuesday.

Nearly 1.27 million people visited the 91-year-old museum in 2016, the museum said. The only year with higher attendance was in 2009, when the special exhibit of “Tutankhamun: The Golden King and the Great Pharaohs” helped lure more than 1.31 million visitors through the museum doors.

The museum ended the year with a record number of household memberships—35,700. Gift membership purchases reached a record-high of more than 3,200, topping 2015 numbers by 2 percent.

The museum also reached an all-time highs with 112 member schools and member-school attendance of more than 102,000 students.

The museum added two permanent exhibits in 2016: “Beyond Spaceship Earth” and “Dow AgroSciences ScienceWorks.”

It also launched “Doc McStuffins: The Exhibit,” through its first-ever partnership with Disney. The Doc McStuffins exhibit will spend the next three years traveling to various museums throughout the United States.

The museum presented nine other temporary exhibits or experiences in 2016: “National Geographic Sacred Journeys,” “Nickelodeon Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Secrets of the Sewer,” the “Chocolate Slide,” “Pirates & Princesses: Storybook Adventures,” “Alien Worlds and Androids,” “Fables Across Time,: Kalila and Dimna,” “Hot Wheels: Race to Win,” “Beyond Spaceship Earth,” “Haunted House (Cursed Castle)” and “Jolly Days: Winter Wonderland.”

In addition, the museum began offering opportunities to meet with scientists-in-residence David Wolf, Phil Manning and Victoria Egerton.

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