Sports Utopia Provides Health and Fitness for Families with Help of Sports Legends

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Riley Children's Health Sports Legends Experience will be an immersive family health, fitness, and sports experience that will inspire families to create healthy habits that will last a lifetime.

The world's largest children's museum is about to get bigger!

This sports utopia is everything a kid could ever want! -Andrew Luck, Colts Quarterback

Childhood and adult obesity is rising at an alarming rate. As a result, parents are searching for fun experiences that help inspire their entire family to become healthier. The Children's Museum of Indianapolis is responding in a big way. It is creating a new national model for fitness called the Riley Children's Health Sports Legends Experience at The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis. As the name implies, sports legends will be involved, but its impact will be much more.

“The goal is to create an immersive outdoor and indoor family health, fitness, and sports experience that will inspire visitors to be active together in a non-competitive way while creating healthy habits that will stay with entire families for a lifetime,” said Dr. Jeffrey H. Patchen, President & CEO, The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis.

The 7.5-acre Riley Children’s Health Sports Legends Experience aims to provide positive physical experiences in an effort to encourage families to integrate physical activity into daily life so it becomes routine. Key components include:

  •     Indiana Pacers and Indiana Fever Basketball Experience
  •     Old National Bank Sports Legends Avenue of Champions
  •     Indianapolis Colts Football Experience
  •     The Sports Legends Pavilion and Plaza presented by the Efroymson Family Fund
  •     Pete & Alice Dye-designed Golf Experience presented by Henry and Christine Camferdam
  •     The Children’s Museum Guild Fantasy Tree House of Sports Climbing Experience
  •     Wiese Field donated by Elizabeth Bracken Wiese and J. Frederic Wiese, Jr.
  •     Jane and Steve Marmon Running Experience
  •     USTA Family Tennis Experience
  •     Soccer Experience
  •     Indy Fuel Hockey Experience
  •     Indianapolis Motor Speedway Pedal Car Racetrack Experience
  •     Pedal Car Drag Racing Experience
  •     Family Fitness Path

The world’s largest children’s museum sought an expert partner with a national reputation that could help inspire people of all ages to get started on healthy habits in a fun and immersive way. That partner is Riley Children’s at Indiana University Health, which is nationally ranked as a top children’s hospital by U.S. News & World Report and is the only nationally ranked children’s hospital in Indiana.

“The goal of Riley Children's Health is to provide the highest level of pediatric care to children who may or may not ever step foot inside the hospital walls. That is why we seek out like-minded partners, such as The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, to create the Riley Children’s Health Sports Legends Experience,” said Matt Cook, President of Riley Children’s Health. “We share the same core value for this project—a desire to help keep all Hoosier kids and families healthy. We know that can be done by showing the impact physical activity can have on health and wellbeing through an interactive experience that gets families moving.”

“Physical activity is a crucial component to the wellbeing of all Hoosier families,” said Dr. Paul Haut, Chief Medical Officer of Riley Children’s Health. “Through the Riley Children’s Health Sports Legends Experience, we are offering families the opportunity to connect, learn and play together while continuing our commitment to family-centric care. Our hope is that families will learn the importance of physical activity and make it a practice in their daily lives—because if we are keeping kids healthy and out of the hospital, then that is something to celebrate.”

Colts quarterback Andrew Luck is joining the team to help tell the story of sports and fitness. He credits his parents with keeping his family active athletically and academically. “For me, as a youngster, sports and fitness was all about having fun, being active, and learning how to be part of a team,” said Luck. “I think there are so many skills to learn from playing sports—understanding teamwork, accountability, trust, and preparation and pushing yourself to get better. The Riley Children’s Health Sports Legends Experience will be a tremendous venue for sports-minded folks of all ages. There is something for everyone.”

At the core of the Riley Children’s Health Sports Legends Experience is a strategic group of world-class sports teams and leaders dedicated to sports participation for healthier lives who are also interested in celebrating the achievements and legacies of extraordinary athletes and teams. In addition to partners listed earlier, the museum also consulted with key sports influencers including the Center for Sport and Policy at the University of Michigan, USTA, the Pete Dye Golf Trail, USA Football, USA Gymnastics, Jump IN for Healthy Kids, sports journalists, professional teams, athletes, and other experts, to provide content ideas.

The cost of the Riley Children’s Health Sports Legends Experience is $35 million. The Children’s Museum has engaged Ratio Architects, Shiel Sexton, and the museum’s own world-class exhibit development team to provide the concept and plans. The economic impact of the Sports Legends Experience on Central Indiana is expected to be more than $130 million over five years according to Dr. Mark S. Rosentraub, Bruce and Joan Bickner Endowed Professor of Sport Management, University of Michigan.

The indoor portion of the Riley Children’s Health Sports Legends Experience will be open year round. The outdoor portion will operate during seven core months each year from April through October with the potential to open in March or remain open until November depending on weather. The outdoor portion will be lit at night during core months so visitors can extend their experience.

Riley Children’s Health Sports Legends Experience is made possible through lead gift support from Riley Children’s at Indiana University Health, Herbert Simon Family Foundation, Old National Bank, Lilly Endowment Inc., Efroymson Family Fund, Henry and Christine Camferdam, The Children’s Museum Guild, Elizabeth Bracken Wiese and J. Frederic Wiese, Jr., The Indianapolis Colts, Indy Fuel, and Jane and Steve Marmon.

The addition of this new health and fitness sports experience is yet another way The Children’s Museum takes pride in investing in the Mid-North Neighborhood. The opportunity to support the community while creating transformative learning experiences for the whole family is part of the overall vision.

High resolution photos and video are available upon request.

About The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis
The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis is a nonprofit institution committed to creating extraordinary family learning experiences across the arts, sciences, and humanities that have the power to transform the lives of children and families. For more information about the tourist attraction and museum, please follow the museum on Twitter @TCMIndy, Instagram @childrensmuseum, and

About Riley Children’s at Indiana University Health
Riley Children’s Health is Indiana’s only full service statewide pediatric health system. Riley Children’s Health offers complete, comprehensive pediatric care ranging from routine primary care checkups to the most complex acute care needs from highly skilled pediatric specialists. The system connects patients with 200 primary care and 400 specialty care physicians in 19 communities across the state of Indiana. Riley Physicians treat patients in their home communities, bringing top-notch care close to home. This statewide network is an extension of Riley Hospital for Children at Indiana University Health, one of the nation’s leading children’s hospitals. To learn more, follow us on Facebook (@RileyChildrensHealth), Twitter (@RileyChildrens), and YouTube.

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Kimberly Harms
The Children's Museum of Indianapolis
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