Indiana State Museum - Indianapolis, Indiana, USA
The Lord of the Rings Motion Picture Trilogy – The Exhibition
The Indiana stop is officially the LAST STOP of the LOTR Traveling Exhibit. Many other exhibits have sold out, so get your tickets early.
LOTR Costume Events that we are planned around the exhibit
Please sign up on the Indianapolis Gather Data Base on the costume gather board if you are interested in attending.
Note: costumes are welcome but NO weapons, either real or prop. This includes swords (real or plastic), bows, wizard staffs, even if it's the kid toy version. Nothing that has the silhouette of a weapon.
Check out our Gathering discussion group for the latest info. Here's our tentative schedule:
Other Planned Events
Taste of New Zealand
The museum is planning more local activities, but no information yet; I will put things up on the gather board as soon as I get notice (I am museum member, so I get the advance emails).
Museum details: http://www.in.gov/ism/MuseumExhibits/lotr_prog.asp
Attend the exhibit, have lunch or dinner at the LS Ayres Tea Room (inside the Museum), and attend an LOTR showing at the IMAX theatre.
Spend the Night with The One Ring
Attend Fan Fair and the midnight opening on October 6.
Costumes to be worn as much as possible!
I am posting the absolute latest information from the Museum as on the
There will be an LOTR costume contest for the Indy Exhibit opening on Oct. 5/6. There will be two categories, children and adult. Awards will be given for Judge's choice in the children's category and Judge's Choice and Most Creative in the adult category. The prize will be four Souvenir Tickets; each child participant will receive a prize (not yet specified what it is). Contestants may register in the O'Bannon Great Hall of the Museum starting at 11:30 pm. The contest will be informal; the judges will walk around the hall and inspect costumes and may ask questions about your costume. Winners will be announced at 12:55 am. Judges are Kathleen Hanover from the Ohio LOTR Costume Group, David McDaniel from the museum staff and myself.
Indiana State Museum has posted the schedule for the LOTR film showings at the Imax. They are offering a special package which includes admission to all three films and the opening at midnight, cost is $37.25 for public and $27.25 for members.
Time for these is not yet set, just in the evening. Admission to individual films is $8.75 adult, $7.50 Senior Citizen and $6.00 children.
Note that these are the theatrical versions NOT the extended versions and are in standard 35mm format.
Note: we don't know yet if Te Papa is going to back down on their paranoid policy and allow regular folks to sketch and take notes. It may just be press that's allowed to take photos.
We welcome all research done.
Items in the exhibit:
Anyone want to contribute these???? We're going to have lots of out of towners.
Tips for planning your trip and extra costume and fabric sites
General Indianapolis info:
Downtown Indy is actually easy to access. Interstate 465 is the expressway that loops all the way around Indianapolis. Also you can take Interstate 65 and Interstate 70 and get off right downtown (both connect with 465).
Indy tips: Do not try to drive at rush hour thinking it cannot possibly be as bad in Indianapolis as it is in other big cities like Boston and Chicago. It is.
You will not find a parking space in downtown Indy during business hours. Ditto in the evening if there is an Indianapolis Colts football game on. It is very similar to Chicago; you will need to find a parking garage but there are lots of them. White River State Park, where the museum is located, has its own parking garage; have the museum validate your ticket at the front desk and the charge will only be $3.00 for the day.
Parking Map of Indianapolis Downtown here:
IMHO, the biggest pain about driving in downtown Indy is that a lot of the streets are one way only – so watch the street signs carefully.
Budget Hotels in INDY
Note that these are APPROXIMATE rates based on occupancy by two adults and they ARE budget (you probably won’t get free breakfast or a copy of USA Today). There is one that is downtown (as usual downtown is more expensive); the rest are on the north side but where it is easy to get downtown (I would say about 20 - 30 minute drive). As I live here, I haven’t stayed at any of these, but I know they are in good neighborhoods with lots of restaurants nearby:
If you belong to the American Automobile Club, don’t forget to check out the AAA discounts – a lot of hotels here offer them.
Days Inn Downtown 401 E. Washington: Best bet if you want to be close to the museum. Rates about $70.19 - $77.99 for two adults and has a parking facility. Now here, you COULD get into a bad neighborhood if you stray too far, but if you stay around the museum, CONSECO, Monument Circle, you will be fine. Lots of restaurants (from McD’s on up) and shopping at Circle City Mall.
(North side of Indianapolis, big shopping and restaurant area)
Signature Inn Castleton, 8380 Kelly Lane
Around $79.00. This is one I can say something about – I used to work near there and our visitors stayed there and said they liked it.
Comfort Inn N, 9090 Wesleyan Road – also Castleton area, rates about $64.56 – $67.90
Red Roof Inn Speedway #7074 – Speedway is on west side, a little more residential and I am less familiar with it. Rates about $44.99 - $48.99. I know people who have stayed at these inns and they said they were fine.
Days Inn Airport - West side near Indianapolis International rates about $71.99 to $76.99
(have not researched them too much, but hotels near airport seem to run more expensive)
Michigan Road Area
(north west side; I also used to work in area, tons of restaurants and shops). You can take Michigan Road almost straight down to Meridian St. and downtown).
Microtel Inn and Suites: 9140 N. Michigan Road rates about $50.95 to $62.95
Red Roof Inn, 9520 Valparaiso Court – I pass by this one every day; it is very motel like with only two stories. I know people who have stayed at these inns and they said they were fine.
Incidentally, Indy has one of the best downtowns (I really am trying to be unprejudiced); it has been completely renovated over the past two decades (including the part where the museum is). My favorite is Meridian Street South which is lined with sidewalk cafes and flowerbeds, well I digress) Also don’t miss a walk around Monument Circle and the Canal (scene of an annual event where tons of rubber duckies are floated away)
Restaurants, budget and otherwise
Indianapolis has literally thousands of restaurants. A lot are modestly priced, compared to other large cities (most Indianapolis natives will start complaining if a meal goes over $20). And we like BIG portions here.
Here again, I have listed a lot on the north side. I have included ones I have eaten at, ones recommended by friends, and ones that have a good reputation
Shapiro’s Deli, 808 S. Meridian Street. Sandwiches and desserts. For a chocolate overdose, get the Hoosier Mud Pie.
Buca di Beppo, 35 N. Illinois Street. Rated as one of the best Italian restaurants in Indianapolis.
Yats, 5363 N. College Avenue – Cajun and Creole (but toned down on the spices). Highly rated and cheap.
The Old Spaghetti Factory, 210 S. Merdian – Not authentic Italian, but cheap and good.
A little further out:
Mississippi Belle, 2170 E. 54th Street: Southern Cooking. They serve you family style; you get an individual plate for your main course, and the sides are heaped up in bowls to serve yourself. And the fried chicken and mashed potatoes are VERY good.
My two favorite restaurants (located in Indy’s Little India)
The Udupi Café, 4225 Lafayette Road: the best vegetarian (even if you aren’t) restaurant in Indy. All you can eat buffet for $6.99 at lunch.
India Palace (next door to the Udupi): Not vegetarian – try the Tandoori chicken and goat curry. And do not miss the gulebis for dessert (the things that look like sweet pretzels) they are to die for. Again all you can eat buffet for $6.99 at lunch.
North Side, Castleton
Don Pablo’s Mexican Kitchen, 3824 E. 82nd Street. Reasonably priced Americanized Mexican food. It is popular with families and can get noisy.
Joe’s Crab Shack, 8250 Dean Road: A bit more $$$, but good seafood. This place can get noisy in the evenings as well.
BD’s Mongolian BBQ, 3838 E. 82nd Street: On the pricey side but fun. You select your raw ingredients from a bar and give it to the chefs who preside over a large circular grill in the middle of the restaurant; they banter with the customers while they cook. (Just keep track of which bowl is yours, I once ate somebody else’s dinner here).
Bravo Italian Kitchen, 8651 Castle Creek Parkway, East Drive: Well rated, recommended by friends.
A bit further west:
The Cheesecake Factory, 8702 Keystone at the Crossing (in the mall): Not budget, but you can eat for a reasonable sum if you get a sandwich platter. Try the Navajo. Their jambalaya with linguine is scrumptious. Avoid the strawberry lemonade. Do not leave without trying the cheesecake (doggie boxes available – get the white chocolate raspberry swirl). Do not even try to eat here on the weekends; it’s too crowded.
Thai House, 8431 Michigan Road – completely unimpressive building and some of the best Thai food in Indy.
Kabul, 7959 Austrian Drive – Afghan food, highly recommended by friends; however only open in the evening.
Heera Indian Cuisine, 3516 West 86th Nice little Indian restaurant with great lassi drink and meatballs. They used to have an all you can eat lunch buffet.
Tejano Joe’s, 5501 West 86th Street – Americanized Mexican, inexpensive and pretty good.
On the northeast, my favorite Chinese place:
The Golden Wok, 8350 East 96 Street: A hole in wall place, with very reasonably priced Chinese food (get the hot and sour soup). They do a lot of carry out (you can stand and watch the chefs cooking it and yelling at each other in Chinese) but you can dine in as well.
Good chain restaurants (locations all over Indy):
Le Peep: Chicken and egg dishes; reasonable and good.
O’Charley’s: Try the spinach and artichoke dip.
The Italian Garden
Panera Bread (don’t miss the sweet bagels for breakfast); they do a lot of bakery stuff but also sandwiches.
And if you are really on a budget, Indianapolis is fast food heaven. There are McDonald’s, Arby’s, Burger Kings et alia all over the place, including downtown
Alas, Indy is not a good place for fabric shopping. We have basically the chains (JoAnn’s, Hancock’s and Hobby Lobby). The smaller, non chain shops are for quilting or home décor. If you need a fix, JoAnn’s Etc (a favorite Janice hang-out) is at 1315 W. 86th Street in Castleton.
Out further but worth the trip:
All this information compiled by Janice. Thanks!!!!!
This page was last updated 04/22/08