Celebrate Presidents Day with special events, free admission

Presidents Day is Monday, and for many Johnson County residents, that means a long weekend.

To help families and individuals take advantage of the national holiday, a number of museums and cultural attractions are offering special programs, free admission and more on Feb. 19.

Here is a rundown of what to expect, and how to best take advantage of it:

The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis

As part of their Presidents Day celebration, the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis will host a free admission day to the public on Monday, providing all day programming for children and adults to learn about the history of presidential elections, the right to vote and advocating for topics that are important to them.

Schedule of events

10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Sunburst Atrium

Take it to the Polls: Learn about voting, and how one single vote matters.

Can You Vote?: What are voting rights? Understand the history of voting, and how voting rights became crucial to the foundation of the United States.

Political Pinbacks: Analyze campaign pins from history and develop a campaign pin that relates to an important modern-day topic.

Community Resource Fair: Hear about the resources made available to the community by The Indiana Citizen, The Center for Leadership Development, League of Women Voters of Indianapolis, and the Mosaic Center, IU Health.

11 a.m. and 1 p.m., Gathering Room A

Visit with President Abraham Lincoln: Meet with a reenactor who will share Lincoln’s life story beginning with his time growing up in Indiana all the way to presidency.

12:30 and 2:30 p.m., Level 3, The Power of Children

Changemakers: Become an everyday superhero and use your powers to make a difference.

1:30 p.m.

“Voices of Hope: Live Theatre Performances”: Discover how one inspirational child served as an example of overcoming discrimination and intolerance that made a positive difference in the world today.

Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site

Celebrate Presidents Day at the home of Indiana’s only U.S. President. From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday, the presidential site is hosting “Live! Presidents’ Day,” where live enactors engage with guests as if it were 1891 and the Harrisons are home from the White House for a brief trip.

Guests will tour through the 23rd President’s beautiful 1874 Italianate Victorian home furnished with an array of gilded age finery while engaging with reenactors.

Visit the President in his library, say hello to the butler in the back parlor, see what the cooks are making in the kitchen and speak with Mrs. Harrison in the dining room.

Tickets are included in the price of admission, which is $16 for adults, $15 for active military and veterans, and $11 for children 5 to 17 and college students with ID. Kids under 5 are free.

Indiana State Museum and Historic Sites

Free admission is available at the Indiana State Museum and its historic sites around the state on Monday.

Although the museum system is typically closed to the public on Mondays, these historic sites will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. as a way to celebrate the holiday with the community.

At the Indiana State Museum, families can discover what it takes to become a U.S. president, engage with community partners and cast their vote in a special election that includes several of the museum’s most iconic characters vying to become the prehistoric president of the museum. The galleries will also be open for attendees to explore, including the Towers of Tomorrow with LEGO Bricks exhibit on the third floor.

Indianapolis Zoo

Though normally closed on Monday, the Indianapolis Zoo is opening up for a special Presidents Day celebration. Visitors can take part in wild encounters with animal ambassadors from 10 a.m. to noon at the Global Center for Species Survival and 1 to 3 p.m. in the Deserts Dome. People can also take part in animal chats and presentations, including the orangutan chat at noon; dolphin presentation at 12:30 and 2:30 p.m., and and sea lion chat at 3:15 p.m.

When you get hungry, stop by the Crossing Café for food specials including the All-Star Patty Melt and a $6 hot dog deal.