If you are a fan of the iconic British Sci-Fi TV show, Doctor Who, then I have wonderful news for you about a hidden gem that exists in Central Indiana.
Who North America in Camby, Indiana, has quickly became a bucket-list destination for any Whovian (what fans of the show call themselves).
Visitors, near and far, come to check out the museum and purchase Doctor Who related merchandise. When I stopped in last week, a first-time visitor from out of state came in to check the space out as well as a local visitor who said he had stopped in multiple times and was looking for a new item.
Who North America's Origin Story
Who North America began in 1998 when owners Keith and Jany Bradbury started to research companies who were manufacturing Doctor Who products. The goal was to make Doctor Who products more easily available to the North American markets.
Eventually Keith's personal collection started growing then turned into what is now the museum portion of the building.
A hobby that turned into a passion eventually became a business. Who North America, the only location specifically dedicated to the show on this side of the pond, celebrates its 25th anniversary this year!
Right when you enter the building, you're greeted by two of the most iconic objects from the show -- the Dalek and TARDIS.
The TARDIS, which stands for Time and Relative Dimension in Space, is disguised in the show as an old English Police Box and used for traveling in time and space in the Doctor Who series. Well, this particular replica that also doubles as a merchandise display on one side, has become one of the most Instagram-worthy locations in Hendricks County for any fan of the series.
So before you leave Who North America, make sure you snap your photo with the TARDIS. And if you share that picture on Instagram, make sure to tag HendricksCounty and use the hashtag #inHendricks so we see it.
Doctor Who Museum
There are so many items to look at on the museum side of the building. There are figurines from every era of the series, a Dalek cookie jar, actual items that were in an episode of the show and so much more.
Keith and Jany are willing to answer any question and point out the most interesting and rare pieces in their museum. Spend anytime at the store with the Bradburys, and their passion for the series becomes evident.
That can be so helpful for both diehard fans and even casual watchers like me since I've only seen a few of the Doctor Who episodes.
Even as a Doctor Who novice, it was incredible to see so many items dedicated to the series and to hear and witness Keith and Jany's knowledge.
You can shop online but shopping in store is the real experience!
Literally thousands of items can be found on the retail side of Who North America. Action figures, masks, games, clothing, books and virtually any other item you can imagine.
If it is Doctor Who related, it is probably there somewhere.
Even if you're not a huge fan of Doctor Who, Keith and Jany have stocked the shelves with popular British items as well. They have mugs and other trinkets. And they also have small inexpensive toys like wind-up robots.
You can even find popular UK sweets -- Jelly Babies and Jammie Dodgers -- at the store!
Game & Viewing Room
Between the museum and retail space near the checkout area, there is a viewing room that used to be an old bank vault. The viewing room has chairs and dimmed lights, perfect for watching Doctor Who movies and shows they run continuously.
Jany said they do have plans to make that viewing room and the experience in there even better in the future.
Across the hallway, they also have created a small game room.
You can stop in the game room and play the Doctor Who full-size pinball machine and Voyager arcade game for two players. Both are free to play.
Doctoberfest is Who North America's biggest and most popular annual event held every October, and for the past couple of years has mainly be held off site after the event outgrew the Who North America space.
This year, most of Doctoberfest will be held at the Courtyard by Marriott in Plainfield. Sophie Aldred will be a special guest at the event. Fans who purchase badges can meet her, get autographs and even participate in a brunch or dinner with her!
This year marks Doctor Who’s 60th anniversary and Who North America’s 25th anniversary of being in business, so it should be a great a lot of fun celebrating two milestones!