Hot Wheels for Real
August 4, 2012
Hot Wheels for Real
When I was a kid, I collected hot wheels miniature toy cars, I also had some Matchbox cars, but Hot Wheels were by far the cooler option. I had hundreds and hundreds of them and I still have a few stowed away in storage. They were awesome from the miniature versions of actual cars, to the inventive sleek and sometimes fantastic creations that were based on mere flights of fancy.
With names like the Red Baron, the Hot Heap, the Python, the Splittin Image,the Evil Weevel and the Twinmill, the little cars with the red lines around their tires were awesome, so when I learned that the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis was hosting an exhibit called Hot Wheels for Real, I knew that I would have to pay a nostalgic visit the next time I traveled to my home town.
Well, the first weekend in August had me heading to Indianapolis to attend my 30th High School reunion and as I arrived a couple of days early, I had the opportunity to visit the Children’s Museum as well as the Indianapolis Zoo on a beautiful sunny, summer afternoon the first day I arrived.
Consistently rated one of the top Children’s Museums in the world and one of the top tourist destinations for children in the US, the museum has grown significantly since I used to go there often as a child. It is truly a spectacular place and while designed for kids there is plenty there to capture the interest of adults as well. From the spectacular five story Chihuly sculpture that graces the atrium to the large collection of Egyptian artifacts to the special exhibits such as the current Hot Wheels exhibit.
The Hot Wheels exhibit featured actual working cars based on the concept designs from some of the more popular models and is pretty freaking cool. The cars are all fantastic and all actually are street legal. There is also a large display of the original hot wheels cars and memorabilia dating back to the first ones that were released in 1968, just in time to have a huge impact on my childhood.
After visiting the museum, I drove over to White River park, to check out another cool Indianapolis area attraction, The Indianapolis Zoo. I mostly wanted to go there to check out two new additions, a newborn baby dolphin and a recently born baby elephant. Sadly the dolphin was not on public display, but the baby elephant was out frolicking with its parents and was absolutely adorable. It was worth the trip to the zoo on its own.
I had time to check out other animals as well including a playful Kodiak brown bear that was out enjoying the toys and water feature of its compound. It played right in front of the glass for an hour before dragging its wet self out of the water and heading over to take a nap. A pretty cool thing to watch. I enjoy watching animals immensely – even if it is the sometimes sad confines of a zoo. The Indianapolis zoo, at least has large enclosures and natural terrain for their animals.
After a hot afternoon at the zoo, I headed to check out a couple of watering holes in my old Broad Ripple neighborhood. Visiting first the newly opened Kilroy’s pub on Broad Ripple avenue, where I picked up shirts for Kathy and some family and friends then over to my favorite gastropub; Brugge Brasserie, where I hung out with my buddy Ted as he brewed up the latest batch of their award winning microbrew. Not a bad first day in Indianapolis as all.