Review "Secrets of the Sewers" at the Children's Museum of Indianapolis

Going into the Secrets of the SewersThis past Saturday Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles took over at the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis. That was the day that the “Secrets of the Sewers” Exhibit opened up to the public.  This is a large Exhibit full of games, props, and group activities.  Made to help families and friends learn to work together as a team while enjoying our fab four Turtles!  Here is my review of the “Secrets of the Sewers” Exhibit.

When arriving to the Children’s  Museum of Indianapolis there was a large banner for the Secrets of the Sewers across the crosswalk from the Parking Garage to the Museum.  We parked and headed into the building, and got lead to the “Secrets of the Sewers” Exhibit, on our way I saw Turtle cut outs where you can get your photo with your head there instead of theirs.  Then we went up to the second floor, it was easy to see where “The Secrets of the Sewers” exhibit was as a huge wall was done up with the Turtles, Shredder, Bebop, Rocksteady, Splinter and April with a sewer entrance. 

Inside you’re greeted by some history on the Ninja Turtles.  Showing a few cool items from the past with facts from the comics, toys, and cartoon.  There’s even a Raphael costume on display.  This Raphael costume looks like it was one of the ones that went around at Planet Hollywood.  It says it’s Matt Hill’s costume from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III, though if it’s a stunt costume it would’ve been Ho-Sung Pak’s suite.  It looks like this costume has been repaired and mixed up so much that sadly some parts seem to have been replaced.  One thing I really noticed was that the shell did not even have the correct shape up near the top around the arms.  They did say that the costume has been reconditioned a few times, including recently.  Check it out for yourself and see your thoughts on this neat costume to look at.

Once pass the entrance hall, there’s the big statues of the Nickelodeon Turtles.  These statues were first seen at Nickelodeon Universe, they were also on display for the Nickelodeon booth at San Diego Comic Con International.  These are great statues, with some really good details.  Good to see them getting around for fans to see.  They got spots near each of the Turtles, that says “Stand here to have your picture with”.  It also has a bit of a light show that happens when the Nickelodeon Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles theme song starts playing loudly near the statues.

After getting around the statues it’s time to step out of the old and into the new.  This is where amazing things happened in a building for Ninja Turtle fans to enjoy.  It’s hard to choose where to go first as directly to your left is Splinter’s Dojo, but to the far right is the Lair Living room.  If you look straight ahead you have games between yourself and Donatello’s lab.  So many things to do, all based on Ninja Turtles.  There is always something of interest in sight for fans of all ages.

Splinter’s Dojo has a case with Ninja weapons, to learn about the different weapons.  It also has a box with a gi for each Turtle fan, these are black with the color belt for each Turtle.  The belts are connected to the gi, which does make it hard to tie it correctly.  It was fun seeing people dress up in the gi and doing Karate poses for photos in the dojo.  Going through the door of the dojo is one of my favorite things, the Cheese Phone!  The fun thing with the Cheese Phone is it talks to you when you answer it.  With a few different phrases it says from the TV show, most of which in Splinter’s voice.  Though there is one that is not Splinter, which I call the fun one.

Next to this section there’s a few challenges from Splinter.  A balance challenge and the cheese maze.  Which leads to the back corner of the room, that is usually set up with some tables that has challenges on it, though a few times a day it gets roped off for some of the fun Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Team work challenges.  The schedule is kept up all day, for anyone interested in taking these challenges it’s good to line up 10 to 15 minutes early, for a ticket. 

I will review each challenge in their own stories as there’s a lot to share on them.  The first one is the Inventor Workshop with Donnie.  Where you work with your “family/team” to build something to help the Turtles with a Kraang problem.  Next is the Team-Building Challenge Course.  For that you are put with another family/team to work together at four different challenges to find a secret code from Splinter to which ever Turtle’s team you’re on.  And the last one is the Ninja Academy, where you learn a bit about stealth.  Each of these are very interactive with stuff that children and adults can enjoy.

Next to the challenge corner, is Donatello’s lab.  Where there’s a few challenges there that people can try.  Including unlocking Donatello’s computer.  On the corner on the other side is two sewer playsets that kids can be on and in, one with steps going to the top to look  out over some of the other stuff.  While the other one is pipes to crawl through.

Along the next wall from the sewer pipes is a fun thing for Turtle fans.  It’s the Pizza Thrower, not as large as the one that was at San Diego Comic Con International, but looked a lot like the original Playmates Toy, and big enough for fans to shoot at targets.  They had Shredder, the Foot, Bebop and Rocksteady all as targets.  Originally they were shooting these foam discs with pizza stickers on them, that looked very much like the art from the old stickers on the original pizzas that came with the Pizza Thrower.  Though sadly, children were peeling them off, so now there’s just these blue discs out there.  They do have plans to try and do something else to make those look like pizza, we will see if it all works out.  The pizza thrower is a lot of fun and a good challenge for young and old fans.

On the same building with the targets, along the side is a display case with some toys of the Turtles with the Shell Raiser fighting Baxter Stockman and some mousers.  On a shelf below that display was a cloth book about some of the bad guys the Turtles fight.  One of the characters that doesn’t belong in that book is Leatherhead, though it looks like Donatello’s notes and he does mention that Michelangelo says he’s not bad.  It could make sense if these notes are from season 1, since Leatherhead did keep grabbing Donatello’s face.  I found these little details fun to flip through and a nice touch.

Going pass the Pizza thrower, is an alleyway done up as a rope maze.  The goal is to go through the maze without touching any ropes.  They have a side that people in wheelchairs can do, and a side where others can test their skills.  I love their attention to detail on making sure no one is really left out here.  It is a hard challenge, if you have long or bagging clothes, or just long hair find a way to tuck it in.  Those ropes move very easy.  There’s many different ways to get through the ropes, find the way that works best for you!

Next to that is Michelangelo’s skateboards.  These are a test of balance, that fans can get up and try to balance themselves on, for a good photo op with Michelangelo behind them.  They almost always had a line of people wanting to get up and try these boards out.  There’s two of them so more than one person can try at a time.  

Next to him was the arcade set up so you can test yourself to see which Turtle you are.  They have some different questions which are fun, one of which being “What car would you drive?”  and there’s choices.  I was pleased with myself when I got Michelangelo on my first try.  The game directly next to that became one of the things I played the most, it’s the pizza topping game.

For the pizza topping game it’s like whack a mole.   When the light comes on, you hit the button.  The goal is to see how many you can hit in 30 seconds.  Fugitoid did the most, with a lot of training, from what I saw with 90.  My top score is one that I am really pleased with, 84.  A great number as it’s the year TMNT came out as a comic.  It’s a fun game! 

The corner next to the Pizza topping game is the living room set with Leonardo.  The TV in this set is a trivia contest on TMNT.  They have questions from the original cartoon, the original movies, comics, and even the Next Mutation.  12 questions in total.  I was very impressed with how many kids were getting some of the harder questions right.  And I love the questions chosen for this trivia.  My favorite thing here is the seat though, it’s like the seats in the Nickelodeon lair, just not sunken into the floor.  And the Leonardo they have there is great to have a photo taken with.  That is one of my favorite pictures through the weekend!

The next thing over brings us back near the beginning with the Statue display again.  That brings us around the main stuff on the walls.  If you go down the center of the room there’s more games and challenges from Pizza Slice which is a cool version of Fruit Ninja, I want this on my phone!  I want to take this game home with me!  It’s big and they got two areas for people to play it at.  I highly recommend giving it a try if you make it to the exhibit!   Next is connecting the pipes, harder than it sounds.  And there’s the four player game where each person can be a Turtle to drive the Shell Raiser back to the lair.

To think this is just ONE room in this museum.  All of it filled with toy displays, graffiti artwork, TMNT character cut outs, challenges for families to work together on, and inspirational designs to help bring out creativity in young and old fans.  I have never seen a setup like this for Turtle fans to enjoy.

A big thank you to the lady behind this Extraordinary Exhibit, Charity.  “Secrets of the Sewers” is her dream, become reality.  As she’s been working for a few years to get Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles into the “Children’s Museum of Indianapolis”.  Not only is it now a huge display that will be there till April 10th, this exhibit is going to travel.  On the road for five years, to other museums across the United States.  Locations will be released in the near future.  If you can’t make it to the Turtles, they may be coming to a town near you! 

I personally love “Secrets of the Sewers”, and plan to visit it as much as I can before April 10th.  In hopes to cover any future TMNT events held at the “Children’s Museum of Indianapolis”.  I will also like to cover some of the other exhibits there, a personal favorite from this one weekend is “The Power of Children”.   I highly recommend any fan who can travel and see “The Secrets of the Sewers” in it’s original home at the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, please do so.  It is worth the trip! 

Have you gone to see “The Secrets of the Sewers” at the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis?  If so, please share your stories!  All reviews, comments and questions welcomed below

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