football exhibit

First & Goal is located within the indoor area of Riley Children’s Health Sports Legends Experience at the museum. It was created to get families fit and active together while having fun.

On Sept. 7, The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis kicked off First & Goal — a new, highly interactive exhibit that celebrates football in America.

The Indianapolis Colts are prominently featured, along with Indiana college and high school teams, youth football leagues, fans and more. Children and families will experience the frenzy of football while also learning secrets about the history of the game, the rules, equipment and training. It’s all part of Riley Children’s Health Sports Legends Experience.

The exhibit features many interactives.

Fans may kick a ball through virtual field goal uprights, using easy, medium and difficult distances. The 10-yard dash has visitors run at their top speeds and compare times with featured Colts players.

Colts tight end and Indianapolis native Jack Doyle becomes a virtual coach of drills used at the NFL Combine. Children and families perform their best touchdown dance in the end zone with the Colts mascot Blue making an appearance.

Take a quiz on NFL referee signals. Fans can take their own photo and decorate it with drag-and-drop face paint in favorite team colors. Youngsters can play dress-up in football and cheerleading gear.

Memorabilia includes a 2006 Colts Super Bowl XLI championship ring made of 14 karat white gold and 57 diamonds, a Super Bowl XLI Vince Lombardi Trophy replica, a game-used football from the game, a helmet worn by quarterback Peyton Manning for his last game as a Colt (Jan. 8, 2011), and football equipment showing changes and improvements through the years.

“Football games provide family fun and are a great source of community pride,” said Dr. Jeffrey H. Patchen, president and CEO of the museum. “We are partnering with the Colts to help families celebrate the excitement of being a fan, what it’s like to play the game and how sports teach life-long lessons of teamwork, setting goals, and perseverance along with health and fitness.”

“Every day, the Colts strive to entertain, inspire and unite our fans, and we can think of no better partner to help advance this mission than the world’s biggest and best children’s museum,” said Kalen (Irsay) Jackson, Colts vice-chair/owner and a museum member. “We’re excited that children and families from across Indiana – and from around the country and the world – will have the chance to experience Colts football and learn about the great athletes and sports traditions Hoosiers have produced over the past century.”

For information, visit

Recommended for you