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Trail Etiquette

Mar 26, 2015 by Robert Annis


Family on Monon

As everyone emerges from their winter hibernation, trails like the Midland Trace are likely to be packed with users. It can be a little frustrating playing a real-life game of Frogger on the trail, but having a little patience and knowing the proper trail etiquette can go along way to making everyone's experience enjoyable.

1. Walkers have priority on the trails, followed by folks on skates, and lastly, cyclists. (Think wheels yield to heels.) If you want to pass a slower trail user, wait until the coast is clear in front ofTrail Etiquette Robert you, then announce your presence with a ding of a bell or a simple "On your left!" Pass cautiously, as some walkers can get spooked and get their directions a little messed up.

2. If you're traveling with children, keep them close at all times. Little ones are easily distracted and have been known to run into the opposite trail lane where danger may be around the corner. I can bunny-hop a curb OK, but your three-year-old toddler?

3. If you're traveling with a dog - or your prized pet pig, you never know - keep it on a fixed leash and away from the opposing lane of traffic. And if it poops, please clean it up. I can speak from experience that it sucks to pull over to change a flat tire, only to step in a pile of Fido's droppings.

4. Cyclists should ride at an appropriate level of speed for the trail. If there are plenty of people on the path, slow down. I personally love showing off how fast I am on the bike, but on busy days, I take advantage of the opportunity to exercise my core and lung capacity by sucking in my gut and trying to look better in my tight lycra cycling kit. Robert Monon Trail Union Brewing

(Oh, and there's never an excuse to wear a time-trial helmet on a bike path. Never.)

5. When you get to an intersection, stop. Only cross if it's safe. There are a few spots on the Monon Greenway, among others, where it can be difficult to see vehicle traffic until you're practically at the intersection.

6. By all means, have a snack, but throw the wrapper (and any other trash) in an appropriate receptacle. If I see you littering on the trail, I will chase you down.

A Getaway is Closer Than You Think – March 26

Mar 25, 2015 by Hamilton County CVB

Looks like everyone has a case of spring fever! Thankfully, it is fully treatable with a trip to Hamilton County. Learn about a selection of upcoming happenings here on our blog and find even more things to do in Hamilton County on our online calendar. Conner Prairie CP Blurb

Opening Weekend at Conner Prairie
March 26-29

Fishers, Indiana
The birds are chirping, the breeze is warmer and the baby animals are romping about. This means its time for Conner Prairie Interactive History Park to open its outdoor grounds for the season! Explore Prairietown, the Nature Walk, the Civil War Journey, the new Balloon Voyage and much more. The indoor exhibits will remain open as well for science and craft corner lovers.

Springtime in IN5th Springtime in Indiana Art, Craft & Gift Showcase
March 28

Noblesville, Indiana
Head to the Noblesville 4-H Fairgrounds this weekend to explore booth upon booth of arts, crafts and gifts. Find the perfect piece to spruce up your home for spring or pick up a gift for an upcoming birthday or event. There's a little bit of something for everyone! (Enter to win tickets below!)

West park CarmelSpring Fever
March 28

Carmel, Indiana
Carmel Clay Parks is hosting an event at West Park to celebrate all things spring. Little ones can enjoy an egg hunt, kite flying, crafts, music and more. Admission for adult companions is free! Don't forget to bring your Easter basket for egg collecting. Can't make it on Saturday? Enjoy an indoor concert for kiddos on Monday instead.

Parade a BullParade A Bull
March 28

Carmel, Indiana
Love pups? This event at the Monon Community Center is just for you. It's a celebration of all things "bully breed." Despite the name, all well-behaved dogs on leashes are welcome to attend with their owners. There will be a parade, vendors, food (the human and puppy kind) and much more.

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Best Bike Shops in Hamilton County

Mar 24, 2015 by Robert Annis

With so many great places to ride, it's no wonder there are so many bike shops popping up all over Hamilton County.

I was a member of the Nebo Ridge Bicycles cycling team for a couple of years when I was first getting into road racing. The staff, led by owner Tim Cassady, is very knowledgeable about both road and mountain riding. If you're looking for a ride, the shop hosts Tuesday and Thursday rides for all ranges of ability levels.

The Bike Line CarmelThe Bike Line is another great shop. Like Nebo, the shop's located in Carmel, has a top-notch staff and hosts Tuesday and Thursday group rides (although not quite as big). If you're looking for a super-fast Trek road or mountain bike, this is the place.

Motion Cycling and Fitness has been around a while in Fishers. It caters to all levels of riders, from the casual family rider to the more serious enthusiast. The same goes for Carmel Cyclery Bicycle Shop just off the Monon Trail in Carmel.

Midwest Bicycle Company carries new and used bikes for nearly every budget. Keep an eye out on their Facebook page for frequent giveaways and discounts. Motion Cycling

Any of these shops should be able to take good care of you. But if you want to be a little more prepared when you walk into the shop, here are four things to consider when buying a road or mountain bike.

1. Test ride multiple bikes from different manufacturers to find the perfect fit.
A Giant is going to feel different than a Trek, which is going to ride different than a Specialized, and so on. Buying a bike that actually fits you is the most important thing -- your knees should be only slightly bent at the bottom of your pedal stroke and you should be able to comfortably reach your handlebars without being in a prone, Superman-like position. The shop will be able to make some adjustments, but if the frame doesn't fit properly, you've wasted your money.

2. Ask a lot of questions.
Don't be afraid to ask questions, particularly if you're not very experienced with bikes. The sales person won't think less of you if you don't know what a bottom bracket is or the difference between a Tiagra and an Ultegra drivetrain. (If those are all new terms for you, I've just given you a conversation starter at the bike shop.)

3. Look into last year's models.
If you're looking to save some scratch, ask about last year's closeouts. You'll actually have a better chance of finding a leftover bike if you're really tall or fairly tiny.

4. Don't forget accessories.
When making your budget, factor in the accessories you'll need as well. A helmet is a must, as are spare tubes and a pump. If you're new to the sport, you don't have to start out wearing lycra shorts and cycling-specific shoes, but, believe me, padded shorts on a long ride will literally save your behind.




As seen on TV

Mar 19, 2015 by Shanna Mooney

Depending on your age, the phrase, "as seen on TV" might bring back memories of knives that can cut through aluminum cans, a hair-cutting contraption that attaches to your vacuum cleaner, or various "painless" methods of hair removal. But when that phrase is used in conjunction with Hamilton County, entirely different thoughts are conjured. In particular, I'm thinking of two restaurants that have been featured on Food Network: Noblesville's The Ville and Bub's Burgers and Ice Cream in Carmel.

The Ville: credit Eldon Lindsay/Angies ListThe Ville

Chef Keith Brooks appeared on the Food Network's "Buy This Restaurant" in order to find the perfect location for his self-described American and New Orleans Cuisine Restaurant. The result is the complete transformation of a 100-year-old space at 101 N 10th Street in Noblesville.

Brooks may have been inspired by the undertaking, as many of his menu items also are classics into which fresh life and ingredients have been unfussed to make healthier, updated versions.

Take, for instance, the recent dinner special and southern classic dish of shrimp and grits. Being a semi-vegetarian, I am also impressed by the array of fresh salads--including another classic, the Caesar prepared tableside. And the spinach salad is delightfully prepared using crisp TURKEY bacon, which I will eat on occasion (this being one). Bravo!

But, carnivores, don't despair. The menu also features steak, pork, veal, and lamb chops, among other things.

Being a mother, a children's menu featuring items other than hot dogs also is important. And I wasn't disappointed. Macaroni and Cheese, grilled cheese and CORN dogs are among the offerings, along with applesauce, carrots, and broccoli in addition to the omnipresent fries.

The Ville is open for lunch and dinner Tuesday-Saturday, and brunch on Sundays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Reservations are available by booking online or calling 317-774-5301. Private dining seating up to 50 and off-site catering also are available.

Bub'sBub's Burgers and Ice Cream

Bub's Burgers and Ice Cream is a Carmel Classic. It's always busy, always awesome. And it has been featured on the Travel Channel's "Man vs. Food."
That should give you a clue about portion size. Even if you aren't trying to get your photo on the wall for downing a whole pound ofBub's Mahi Mahi ground meat that is the Big Ugly, you will leave well fed. If not from beef or elk burgers, then giant hot dogs, baskets of onion rings or fries, milk shakes, and the like are bound to do the trick.

Heck, there's even something for me there (aside from those amazing onion rings): the Mahi mahi sandwich didn't earn me a photo or a woman versus food bragging rights, but at 8 ounces, it was a hefty meal.

Again, the children's menu here doesn't disappoint. Choices include grilled cheese, a mini-Bub burger, and PB & J. Aside from the standard fried sides, you also can choose cottage cheese, mixed veggies, or applesauce. The best thing, however, is the inclusion of a busy bag for the kiddos to keep them content until the main course arrives.

Bub's is located at 210 W. Main St., Carmel, and is open seven days a week, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Large-order delivery and catering is available by calling 317-417-9871.

Northside Nights 2015

Northside Nights

While it hasn't been covered by a television show (yet), Northside Nights Restaurant Week is certainly an event that should get you up and away from the TV March 9-22. That's because more than 30 restaurants are offering value-priced 3-course menus during that time.

It's the perfect opportunity to sample something or somewhere new.
Participating Hamilton County restaurants include:

divvy, 71 W. City Center Drive, Carmel

Hino Oishi Hibachi and Japanese Cuisine. 10491 Walnut Creek Dr., Carmel

J. Razzo's Italian Restaurant & Wine Bar
12501 N. Meridian St., Carmel or 3150 Indiana 32 and Westfield

MacKenzie River Pizza, 11596 Westfield Blvd, Carmel

Matt the Miller's Tavern, 11 West Clay Center Dr.

Peterson's, 7690 E. 96th St., Fishers

Pizzology, 13190 Hazel Dell Pkwy., Carmel

Prime 47, 14300 Clay Terrace Blvd., Carmel

Stone Creek Dining Company, 13901 Town Center Blvd., Noblesville

Ville Restaurant
, 101 N 10th Street, Noblesville

Woodys Library Restaurant, 40 E. Main St., Carmel

Your March 19-25 Getaway is Closer Than you Think!

Mar 18, 2015 by Hamilton County CVB

Art abounds in Hamilton County this week! See fine art, a cabaret show and even a Russian ballet. Pair any of them with dinner or drinks for a fabulous evening out. Learn about a selection of happenings here on our blog and find even more things to do in Hamilton County on our online calendar. Matteo's Table

Northside Nights Restaurant Week
March 9-22

Throughout Hamilton County
There are still a few days left to take advantage of the amazing menus being offered for Northside Nights Restaurant Week! Try special menus at participating eateries that feature 3 courses for $30 or 2 meals for $30. Several Hamilton County favorites are participating and it's the perfect time to try them, so get your appetite ready! Reservations are recommended at most restaurants.

HCAA Exhibit: High School Art Scholarship Show
March 19-20

Noblesville, Indiana
It's the last weekend to catch the High School Art Scholarship Show at the Hamilton County Artists' Association gallery. See the works of local high school seniors who hope to pursue a formal fine arts education. Scholarship awards are given to two worthy participants and all entries will be on display through Saturday.

Carmel Community Players present: May the Schwartz Be With You: A Stephen Schwartz Cabaret
March 20-22

Carmel, Indiana
Never heard of Stephen Schwartz? You've definitely heard his tunes before. He's the mastermind behind hit musicals like Wicked and Godspell and Disney classics like Pocahontas and Price of Egypt. This special cabaret will be a taste of some of Schwartz's most famed musical legacies. Don't miss it! Russian Ballet Sleeping Beauty

The Center Presents: Russian National Ballet Theatre
March 20-22

Carmel, Indiana
Talented ballet dancers all the way from one of Moscow's finest ballet companies are coming to The Tarkington this weekend! See them perform Sleeping Beauty, one of legendary choreographer Marius Petipa's best shows. This classic tale of good versus evil is set to Tchaikovsky's magnificent score and is sure to entertain.

The Center Presents: Peanut Butter & Jam: Celtica
March 21

Carmel, Indiana
For miniature music enthusiasts, the Peanut Butter & Jam series at The Palladium will be a delight. Just in time for St. Patrick's Day, the Irish band Celtica will perform with traditional instruments. Attendees will also have time to explore the instruments used by the band and ask questions too. Museum of Minis 4- Deals blog

Celebrations of Creativity and Craftsmanship
March 25

Carmel, Indiana
The Museum of Miniature Houses is proud to host this new program series for people of all ages. Free programs each Wednesday feature musicians, storytellers, oral historians, singers and songwriters. This week's installment features Rosaleen Crowley who will share paintings, poems and a miniature Irish farmhouse as she celebrates Irish culture and heritage.

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The Weekend of March 12-15, 2015 is Closer Than you Think!

Mar 12, 2015 by Hamilton County CVB

This is a weekend of artsy cultural fun in Hamilton County! Enjoy it with a trip to Downtown Noblesville, the Carmel Arts & Design District or even a ghost walk. Discover select weekend happenings here on our blog and find even more Hamilton County happenings on our online calendar, including upcoming St. Patrick's Day celebrations.

Downtown Noblesville Diva Night
March 12

Noblesville, Indiana
Calling all shopping-loving divas! Head to Downtown Noblesville this Thursday for some shopping and fun. Participating shops will be offering sales, specials and refreshments along the way. Get a card to collect stamps from each participating shop too for a chance at prizes during the after party. The party will be at The Ville where there will be prizes for the stamp cards, best dressed and more.
Project Party

Project Parties
March 12 & 14

Noblesville, Indiana
Think Pinterest, but with a talented teacher to guide the way and you have this fun program at Nickel Plate Arts. Sign up with friends or family for the party on either Thursday or Saturday and show up to complete a fun and artsy project. Supplies, snacks and guidance will be provided.

Great American Songbook Film SeriesGhostTour Group at tree
March 13

Carmel, Indiana
It's the last chance to catch a classic movie on the big screen at The Palladium. Enjoy The Wizard of Oz as a part of the series put on by The Great American Songbook Foundation and Heartland Film. Tickets are just 10 bucks, so treat yourself to coffee or a cocktail at the Carmel City Center after the show.

Nefarious Noblesville Ghost Walk
March 13

Noblesville, Indiana
Get spooked at a chilling ghost walk in the heart of Noblesville this Friday. UnseenPress will lead ghost enthusiasts on a trip around the city to see some of the most haunted spots. Historic stories will be peppered throughout the tour as well. Be sure to bring a camera to snap photos of spirits.
Carmel Arts Design Gallery Walk

Carmel Arts & Design Second Saturday Gallery Walk
March 14

Carmel, Indiana
It's the second Saturday of March, which means it's time for more artsy fun in the Carmel Arts & Design District. Stop into the galleries and shops for special exhibits and deals. Begin or end your evening with dinner or drinks at a local spot, click here for ideas.

Winter Farmers Market
March 14

Carmel, Indiana
It's the last Winter Market of the season in Carmel! Head to Founders Park to discover over 30 vendors with offerings from tea to eggs. Pick up fresh ingredients to make your own creation or enjoy already prepared foods and baked goods. This is the last chance to stock up on your favorites before the Carmel Farmers Market returns in May.

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Conner Prairie: Inside & Out!

Mar 10, 2015 by Sarah Buckner

Chris in Create.Connect CPIn a few short weeks, Conner Prairie Interactive History Park will have their annual Opening Weekend celebration. While the weekend of March 27-29 at Conner Prairie will be an action packed three-day event - my kids just could not wait to get back to their favorite place to play. So, to get a jump-start on the fun, I took Christopher, 6, and Emmy, 4, to spend Sunday at the museum. Last year, we spent a full day exploring outside, but I let them know that the snow and chill in the air this year would keep us indoors. The fun thing about Conner Prairie is there is still so much to do inside.

We began the day in the science area. The kids spent time building ramps for balls, exploring wind, and creating, then launching, paper airplanes. After a little while in the science area, my kids made their way over to the Discovery Station, which is a giant room of PLAY. The kids happily ran around the space, slowing down to play with old-fashioned toys, do a craft project, read a book, or playing pretend. The Discovery Station is closed, but the room is open, so I was able to comfortably sit in one spot and watch the kids work together and have a great time. Emmy Creat.Connect CP

As we left, they begged me to bring them back soon. This year, WFYI's Sid The Science Kid will be in attendance for opening weekend - and both of my kids are BIG fans of Sid. Sid the Science Kid will help kick off the outdoor season, so bring the kids to meet Sid and discover the science behind the balloon and flight with a variety of fun, hands-on activities designed with preschoolers in mind.   CP Crafts

If you are out of the age range to visit with Sid the Science Kid, stop in to see the newly updated 1859 Balloon Voyage outdoor exhibit and balloon! After flying 350 feet into the air, get up close with the baby animals, explore a new location in Prairietown, take a nature walk, visit the 1863 Civil War Journey, and much more. 

The outdoor area officially reopens on Thursday, March 26. For more information on hours, activities, and costs visit   Discovery Station Emmy CP

The Weekend of March 5-8, 2015 is Closer Than you Think!

Mar 05, 2015 by Hamilton County CVB

NPA exhibit insideTherapy in an unexpected way, techie gadget fun, ballet and a a lot of tasty eats- add them all together and you have this weekend's happenings! Hamilton County, Indiana, always has unique things going on and this weekend is no exception. Read on for weekend ideas and find even more getaway fun on our online calendar.

Art As Therapy - an Exhibition
March 6- 21
Noblesville, Indiana
Enjoy the latest Nickel Plate Arts exhibit beginning with a First Friday open house this weekend. Learn about art's healing powers with art therapist Gina Baird and chat with artists about art therapy. The exhibit will be open through March 21.

Youth America Grand Prix


Youth America Grand Prix
March 6-8

Carmel, Indiana
Dancers will take over The Center for the Performing Arts this weekend for the prestigious Youth American Grand Prix scholarship competition. Dancers age 9-18 will compete in order to move on to the national level. Some performances will be open so the public can see the dance stars of tomorrow!

Passport to Hi-Tech
March 7

Fishers, Indiana
Have a girl who's curious about science, technology, engineering or Matteo's Tablemath? Time for a trip to Passport to Hi-Tech at Conner Prairie! Guests will be able to partake in hands-on science fun, talk with science professionals and universities and more. Who knows, their curiosity could turn into something more!

Northside Nights Restaurant Week
March 9-22

Throughout Hamilton County
Give your taste buds a sample of something new during Northside Nights Restaurant Week. Several participating eateries will feature special 3 course offerings for just $30 and some even offer menus where 2 diners can enjoy a meal for just $30. Savor some of the famous flavors from each location or take advantage of this time to try something new and daring! See the menus of participating restaurants at

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It’s STILL Cold Out? Burn Off That Energy Indoors!

Mar 03, 2015 by Emma Diebold

HIndoor Monon Center Poolearty Midwesterners we may be, but winter is taking its toll on our spirits and our outdoor fun time. Turn that frown upside down with some indoor fun! There are plenty of places in Hamilton County, Indiana to get your indoor fun on. Exercise, recreation, even swimming can all be taken on in the great indoors until spring decides to grace us with its presence.

The Monon Community Center is a one-stop shop for indoor exercise and indoor pool time. There's an indoor track, lots of exercise equipment and even group classes. For those wishing to splash around, the indoor pool, complete with water slides, will do the trick until the outdoor water park's lazy river has thawed. Don't worry if you're just visiting, day passes are available for just $6-10. Sky Zone foam

Soar up, up and away! No, there's no Conner Prairie Balloon Voyage involved quite yet, I'm talking trampolines and bounce houses. Head to Sky Zone in Fishers to take to the trampolines to jump, flip and maybe even land in a pit filled with foam cubes. Or try Jump N Play in Noblesville to try out every bounce house there that your heart desires.

Nothing beats an evening of old-fashioned competitive fun with family or friends. Cue the arcades and bowling alleys! Go for a turkey (that's 3 strikes in a row for you novice bowlers) at the newly renovated Pinheads Entertainment Center or Cooper's Stardust Bowl. For a classic arcade experience visit Ben & Ari's where mounds of tickets will magically turn into coveted prizes. To mix it up try a game or two of laser tag at Laser Flash. If you're thinking that laser tag is just for kids, think again. The staff here at HCT tried it out and, well, let's just say we all discovered our competitive sides! Racing enthusiasts will enjoy a trip to K1 Speed in Fishers for laps of high-speed go-kart racing that will get your heart racing too. Staff Laser Flash

And last but not least, get some indoor exercise for your brain. Check out one of the many museums in Hamilton County that offer year-round learning and fun. History buffs will enjoy the Carmel Monon Depot Museum and Hamilton County Museum of History and Old Sheriff's Residence and Jail. Love music? Check out the latest exhibit at the Great American Songbook Foundation inside The Palladium. If kiddos are in tow, the indoor exhibits and play areas at Conner Prairie are perfect for fighting off winter boredom.

When spring finally arrives and the concert venues are not snow-covered, the pools are free from icebergs and the parks throughout the county trade in bare trees for leaves, we'll be ready. Until then, energy can be burned and fun can be had in Hamilton County's great indoors!


If you have $250, you have a winter getaway!

Feb 26, 2015 by Kara Baber

Monon Community Center indoor PoolGrey skies and frigid temps have brought the on the wintery blues. With cabin fever setting in, it's time to make plans for a little getaway! Planning an escape to Hamilton County, Indiana is made easy with the trip planner and won't empty your wallet. Families will enjoy warming up indoor adventures including bowling, laser tag or swimming. Or take a grown-up getaway with your special someone or a group of friends. Fill your days with a visit to the indoor experiences at Conner Prairie Interactive History Park, shopping, seemingly endless attractions and dining at locally-owned restaurants. See the sample itineraries below for great ideas that you can mix and match to create a memorable trip.

Create.Connect at Conner PrairieFamily of Four Adventure for less than $250
-Overnight accommodations including breakfast ($100)

-A tasty meal at a Bub's Burgers & Ice Cream, home of the one-pound Big Ugly burger, or Big Hoffa's Smokehouse Bar-B-Que known for tasty pulled pork sandwiches and smoked ribs that fall right off the bone ($40)

-Pick one of the following: a game of mini pin bowling and arcade games at Ben and Ari's OR a game of tag at Laser Flash, plus tokens for arcade games ($32 or $25)

-Pick one of the following: experience the indoor exhibits at Conner Prairie Interactive History Park OR splash around the indoor pool and waterslides and the Monon Center ($54 or $50)

-Delight in the world of dollhouses and miniatures at The Museum of Miniature Houses and Other Collections ($16)

Couples or Friends Getaway for around $250
-Overnight accommodations including breakfast ($100)

Love Lust Poetry couple Nickel Plate Arts -Stroll the Historic Noblesville Square and stop for lunch at Courtney's Kitchen OR shop for treasured finds at A Corner Cottage and stop for a sweet treat at Rosie's Place ($30)

-Meet artists in their studios and take in the gallery exhibit at Nickel Plate Arts Campus ($0)

- Select from a menu of adventurous dining choices at the farm to table restaurant The Local Eatery and Pub OR enjoy an authentic Italian meal at Matteo's Ristorante Italiano ($75 or $100)

-If weather permits, hike the trails at Strawtown Koteewi Park and stop in the Taylor Center of Natural History to learn about archeological activity in the park ($0)

Inspired? Now get started planning your perfect getaway. Get started by checking out the hotels in the area. Use the trip planner at to build your own itinerary for your winter getaway. Before you leave for your trip download our free apps available in the App Store and Google Play. The nearby feature will allow you to find what restaurants and attractions around you when you are here.

Safe travels and happy planning!


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