Athletic-themed Halls of Fame are a great attraction for families. If you are looking for a fun, interactive Hall of Fame tailor made for kids, the new Mascot Hall of Fame in Whiting, Indiana (just outside Chicago on Lake Michigan) is a perfect place to explore!
Thanks to the Mascot Hall of Fame and the South Shore Convention & Visitor Authority for sponsoring our visit. All opinions are our own.
Below is some background on the organization, according to the museum’s website:
The Mascot Hall of Fame is a hall of fame for United States sports mascots. It was founded by David Raymond, who was the original Phillie Phanatic from 1978 to 1993. It was founded as an online-only hall, with an induction ceremony taking place each year in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. In September 2014, the hall began planning its move to the City of Whiting, Indiana, to develop a permanent Mascot Hall of Fame on the south shore of Lake Michigan.
The new permanent facility just opened in April 2019.
A new class of mascots are inducted into the Hall of Fame annually. To be eligible for the Mascot Hall of Fame, a mascot must have existed for a minimum of 5 years. They must also impact both their sport and community, inspire their fans, and consistently give memorable and groundbreaking performance.
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All details on location, prices and events can be found on the Mascot Hall of Fame website. The museum is located just outside charming downtown Whiting, which I definitely recommend you also check out while in the area. The museum’s building absolutely cannot be mistaken for anything other than a monument to the talented mascots who have made college and professional sporting events a truly special event.
I wanted to note that both the concessions and the souvenir shop were extremely affordable. That is not something I usually comment on, as most places generally inflate prices on food and souvenirs. The affordability of both in this facility was notable and a welcome surprise.
The Interactive Exhibits
This is a real Hall of Fame that provides history and inspiration about their inductees. But make no mistake. This is not a stodgy exhibition. This place is all about fun.
I have to admit, I was a little worried that my teen and tween would be eye-rolling their way through this place. But honestly, the interactive areas were such a kick that they forgot to be cool for awhile and just let loose to play and interact.
Exhibits are colorful, interactive, and a little self-deprecating. They challenged visitors to try to pick things up with awkward mitts covering your hands and dance with weight strapped to you (both of which mascots must do). They offered opportunities to get your pictures in front of green screens and to play (foam-padded versions of) your favorite sports. It was charming and fun!
We thought the Mascot Hall of Fame was an entertaining place to spend time. It was full of fun, and it made us chuckle on many occasions. It was a perfect place to honor those zany yet hard-working mascots that help make sports a family tradition.
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