The City Museum in downtown St. Louis is basically one big playground
made of recycled items, including two old airplanes.
It's a little farther from Indy than your average day trip, but a weekend in Saint Louis is time well spent.
Almost every item inside and out is recycled and repurposed -- right down to the building itself.
Once inside the former International Shoe Company building, my senses were overloaded with unusual displays, exotic marine animals and TUBES -- lots of them. You wouldn't be alone in feeling like a gerbil while crawling through the museum's enormous maze of tubes.
Within the City Museum is the World Aquarium, which you can visit for an additional fee. It's totally worth it. The World Aquarium features sea turtles, sharks, stingrays and many other exotic creatures, and the unusual habitats make it easy for you to interact (safely) with all of them. My trip to the World Aquarium also included tortoise racing...complete with $1 bets on the winner.
Although you can certainly learn a thing or two at the City Museum, it's clearly designed first and foremost to be a whimsical, fun work of art that's meant to be explored.
To visit the City Museum:
P.S. A word of advice for ladies: unless you want to put on a peep show, dresses are not appropriate attire for the City Museum because of all the tubes and see-through walkways.