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May 16, 2013 by Hamilton County CVB
Hunt for history, nibble on local produce, or splash in the pool this weekend here in Hamilton County! Read on for great activity ideas that are perfect for a little weekend getaway. As always, below is just a selection of the many events happening this weekend. For a full list, check out our online calendar of events.
1. Gather at the new Nickel Plate District Amphitheater in Fishers for a free movie on Friday night. Depending upon weather of course (follow @FishersIN on Twitter for weather updates), the movie Brave will begin at dusk. Bring blankets, chairs, and snacks for a family night out on the cheap!
2. Ride the rails to the annual Arcadia May Fesival in downtown Arcadia on Saturday and Sunday. First, head to the Indiana Transportation Museum in Noblesville to board the Mayfest Train. Then enjoy a train ride through Hamilton County before arriving in Arcadia to partake in the Mayfest! There will be arts and craft booths, a flea market, food, entertainment, and a car show too. Then simply hop back on the train to return to Noblesville.
3. It's finally Farmers Market time! Enjoy the fresh local goodies of the season here in Hamilton County. The Carmel Farmers Market begins Saturday at 8 a.m. and goes until 11:30 a.m. at the Center Green in front of the Palladium. The Noblesville Farmers Market is also on Saturdays and goes from 8 a.m.- 12:30 p.m. Both offer a wide variety of produce, baked goods, and prepared foods to tame your hunger while you shop.
4. Be immersed in history at Conner Prairie's Civil War Days this Saturday and Sunday! Visit with Union and Confederate soldiers, see reenacted battles, shoot a Civil-war era reproduction rifle and much more. On Saturday only you'll also be able to end your day of Civil War history with the patriotic sounds of the 38th Infantry National Guard Band at 4 p.m.
5. Head to the pool. Yes, the pool! Forest Park pool in Noblesville is opening to the public this Saturday at noon. Splash in the Olympic-size swimming pool or kiddie pools and enjoy the spray park too. With only a 30% chance of rain, there's a good chance you'll still be able to enjoy a first swim of the season!
6. It is the month of May here in Indiana, and we just can't get enough cars. Matteo's Ristorante Italiano is celebrating the Italian way with their annual Ferrari Festival this Sunday! Enjoy a buffet lunch of delicious Italian food and then stroll around Matteo's on the Noblesville Square where Ferraris and other classic cars will be on display for gawkers and car lovers.
7. Get back into the swing of golf (pun intended). Our blogger Alan recently did a little digging into our Stay & Play program in his latest post. He determined that not only are they a great value, but participants get to experience some of the best-designed courses in the state! This Sunday avid golfers can also participate in Fox Prairie Golf Course's Free Golf Demo Day where there will be contests, custom club fitting and great sales on golf equipment too.
8. Explore Hamilton County history in unconventional way this weekend. Trains were a major part of shaping Hamilton County's transportation and industrial history. Today you can hop aboard the Blue Arrow (formerly the Pizza Plus Express) for a train trip that will drop you right at a dinner spot with three restaurant choices. Trains depart from the Indiana Transportation Museum and reservations are recommended. Discover facts about Hamilton County's involvement in the Underground Railroad during a ghost walk in Westfield. Maybe even catch a glimpse of a ghost too!
May 15, 2013 by Shanna Mooney
You win some, you lose some. Or, perhaps more accurately when it comes to geocaching, you win some and you simply never find some. Still, if you're in search of a hike with a cherry on top, geocaching is the perfect activity--and there a ton of them hidden throughout Hamilton County.
If you aren't familiar with geocaching, visit Geocaching.com for all the details, but basically, it's a worldwide treasure hunt, with items (caches) hidden in parks, and even some surprisingly urban areas that you look for via GPS coordinates. Back in the olden days (actually, like 2 years ago), you had to use a GPS made for hiking or otherwise able to be removed from your car's dashboard. Today, as with everything else, there's an app for that. And that makes it a vastly more accessible activity and enables families to turn a vacation rest stop into a spontaneous and fun way to do more than simply stretch your legs.
Some caches are tiny and you simply search for them for the thrill of the hunt, others are filled with tiny toys that thrill the younger members of your family and give them a reason to be excited about a walk in the woods. And it gives parents a method of repurposing those Happy Meal toys that may otherwise clutter the backseat. That's because if you take a treasure, you leave one for the next person.
As a family, we started doing this to entice our toddlers to enjoy hiking more because we needed a fun and free hobby. But it's become so much more! Through geocaching we have learned how rich Hamilton County is in, among other things, parks, trails and people who actually use and enjoy them! Sure, we've gotten a few nervous glances from "Muggles" (people unfamiliar with Geocaching-a term delightfully borrowed from Harry Potter) as we step off the Monon and dig around tree stumps and such. But we've met just as many people who joyfully say, "We love geocaching too!" as they pass by or stop to chat about memorable finds.
For a list of caches located in Hamilton County, simply search Geocaching.com with "Hamilton County Indiana". As you can see from the map below, there are quite a few to choose from! And Hamilton County has so many unique areas to enjoy while also partaking in Geocaching: refill your water bottles from the artesian well at Flowing Well Park; see round barns, a surprising number of which are scattered about our county; go back in time at Connor Prairie; grab an ice cream or lunch in downtown Carmel or Noblesville; meander the Monon Trail; or cool your toes along the banks of our rivers, creeks and lakes. You will be delighted at the many wonders-as well as treasures-you can find here while following that shifty little arrow on your GPS.
May 14, 2013 by Alan Hinds
Hamilton County has a love affair with golf. You cannot drive across this golf enthusiastic county without seeing a flag stick somewhere along the way. And our local golfers are willing to share the tee box! It is easily done with 14 public access and seven private courses that distinguish our county. Midwesterners from all over take advantage of our area's golfing hospitality. The Hamilton County Visitors Bureau describes it well. It is called Stay and Play...and so many golfers do.
Special rates for lodging and golf are provided to visitors and your tee times are automatically set up by area hotels. Warm accommodations, variety of area restaurants, noteworthy courses, and collegial pro shops all make for or wonderful golf get-a-way. Courses like Noblesville's Purgatory Golf Club, ranked among America's top courses for women; Carmel's upscale Prairie View Golf Club and Plum Creek Golf Club; Westfield's Wood Wind Golf Club; Cicero's Bear Slide Golf Club; and River Glen Country Club in Fishers are often packed together for a golfing destination. Nearby Indy courses such as the Fort Golf Resort and Brickyard Crossing can also be added in the packages. You have as many choices as the clubs in your bag. Check our golf directory at IndianasPremierGolf.com.
Our terrific courses did not just happen. It was by design! Architects such as Robert Trent Jones Jr., Pete Dye, William Diddle, Jack Nicklaus, Dean Refram, Arthur Hills, Gary and Ron Kern, William Newcomb and the legendary Tom Bendalow have all put their signatures on county layouts. You will find our courses highly rated in such publications as Golf Magazine, Golf Digest, Great Lakes Golf, and Golfweek. It is no surprise our county has become a destination point for golfers everywhere. In Hamilton County, when you can combine golf with just about any other attraction in our eight great towns, you see why our golf Stay and Play is also called the Perfect Parley.
You're more than welcome to join us on the first tee.
May 09, 2013 by Caroline Mosey
Hamilton County is bursting with spring flavors, and what better place to taste test than Westfield's The Local Eatery and Pub? Chef/owner Craig Baker opened this ultra-local bar and restaurant with a vision for serving the area delicious dishes made with ingredients from nearby farmers and artisans. The result? Fresh, fantastic, and highly seasonal fare that satisfies even the most diligent of locavores.
The menu contains a mouth-watering lineup of salads (try the Caesar with housemade pickled onions), burgers (there's a version using freshly ground meat from nearby Viking Lamb with tzatziki and feta!), and an alternating entrée list showcasing local beef, chicken and vegetable dishes prepared in a dizzying variety of ways.
For the perfect al fresco lunch, one of The Local's must-try creations is a veggie burger. "We always have one on the menu," says Baker. "We find that not everyone wants meat all the time. This burger offers a lighter option, and yet it's still high in nutritional value." (Hint-swap out the house bun for a gluten-free bun to make it a gluten-free meal). Below, Baker shares the recipe for his current veggie burger.
The Local Vegetable Burger
1 cup dry quinoa
2 cups water
2 jalapenos, roughly chopped
2 carrots, roughly chopped
1/2 C Cilantro
1/2 a red onion chopped
3 stalks celery, roughly chopped
3 (15 ounce) cans black beans, rinsed and drained
2 cups oats (you can also use gluten-free oats)
2 tablespoons paprika
2 tablespoons garlic powder or minced garlic
2 tablespoons flax
What you do:
1. To begin, add quinoa to pot with water, and bring to boil. Cover and simmer until done, about 15 minutes. Put jalapenos, carrots, celery, onion, cilantro into food processor. Grind into small bits.
2. When quinoa is cooked, put beans, veggie bits, and oats into same bowl and squish with a big spoon. Add spices and garlic.
3. Add flax, and mash all ingredients together. Form into patties. Cook in oil until golden on each side.
Keep up the local theme and wash it down with a Sun King or Upland brew, or a cocktail mixed with local spirits from Heartland Distillers.
May 07, 2013 by Hamilton County CVB
Mom deserves the best for Mother's Day right? Treat her to a trip to, a bite to eat in, or a gift from Hamilton County! We've compiled ideas that are sure to make mom smile this Mother's Day. Many of the events below require reservations, so don't forget to make them!
1. If your mom loves tea and gardening, Rita's Backyard Garden Center & Tea Room is the place for her. They are holding a Mother's Day Brunch at 11 a.m. right in their own finished barn. The brunch offers tasty selections and tea of course!
2. For moms who prefer a more formal tea, the historic R.L. Wilson House Mother's Day Tea will do the trick. Enjoy chatting with mom at an elegant table with fresh flowers. A five-course tea will be presented along with special tea pairings for each course. A delicious dessert from Heavenly Sweets will be an elegant finish to this tea fit for a queen (aka mom)!
3. Let mom ride in style on La Bella Donna train presented by the Indiana Transportation Museum! Treat mom to a train ride from Noblesville to Tipton where you can enjoy the Mother's Day buffet at the Elk's Club before returning back. Moms will also receive a lovely long stem rose during the train journey.
4. Does your mom love history? Conner Prairie is hosting special Mother's Day events including their annual Mother's Day Heirloom Plant Sale. Special varieties of veggie, flower, tomato, and herb plants will be available for purchase May 10-12. If you also plan to enter Conner Prairie during Mother's Day weekend, there will be special activities like helping a Civil War soldier send a letter to his mother, making family trees and much more!
5. For a traditional Mother's Day brunch with a twist, head to Mo's A Place for Steaks at Clay Terrace Mall. They will have several culinary stations in addition to a Bloody Mary bar. There are also special offerings for kiddos too.
6. Treat mom to a toe-tapping good time at the Mother's Day Show at the Hedgehog Music Showcase. Thom Bresh, a singer-song writer- guitarist- impressionist-entertainer extraordinaire will perform live. He's the type of performer you'd expect to see at the Opry in Nashville, but you'll be able to see him in the intimate setting of the Hedgehog!
7. Take mom to the Second Saturday Gallery Walk if she enjoys art. This month's walk includes special Mother's Day offerings at Soori Gallery and special exhibits at Magdalena Gallery, Eye on Art, and Renaissance Fine Art & Design. There will also be a chance to paint your own masterpiece and participate in a fun scavenger hunt!
8. Hit up a local Hamilton County shop for a special gift or treat for mom. Gallery 116 has everything from jewelry to local art, mix a special blend of her favorite scents at Bath Junkie, or browse for a unique vintage find at A Corner Cottage. Or if your mom has a sweet tooth, treat her to a cupcake from a local bakery! Even more ideas can be found on our shopping page.
May 06, 2013 by Alan Hinds
My concern was real. A Wall Street Journal article reported the icing was off the cupcake craze citing a big downturn in the stock of a major cupcake company. Having read that cupcakes were on their way out, I wondered if these popular indulgent pastries were going the way of traffic signals in Carmel.
Curious, I contacted several cupcake shops in Hamilton County to ask if there was any slip here with the trendy delight. My answer came quickly...the owners were all too busy making cupcakes to talk. However, after some persistence they dusted their hands of flour with their aprons, stopped the swirl of batter in arm held bowls and laid down icing covered spatulas to share their thoughts. Downturn? Not happening in Hamilton County they replied. Thank goodness. It may be a case on Wall Street but it's not a happening on Main Street.
I have found a consensus in describing cupcakes as an "economical extravagance" having both a popular and practical side. The flavors and imaginative frostings are liked by adults and kids alike. Who doesn't smile at a decorative cupcake or like to roll their fingers across the icing. Um-m-m is cupcake language spoken by all.
Interestingly our ice cream preferences tend to be the same one or two selections. However, for cupcakes, there seems to a sweet misery of choices on each visit. Often, we'll choose different ones and our choice just may depend on our imagination or a whimsical mood. Later on that particular subject.
Carmel's Flying Cupcake notes red velvet, strawberry, and a caramel butter as top sellers. In Cicero, SugarBean says its customers like vanilla, lemon, and peanut butter. GiGi's in Fishers finds red velvet, wedding cake, and a white and dark blend hard for customers to resist. For Heavenly Sweets in Noblesville it is salted caramel, strawberry and wedding cake that top the list.
If you have a practical side, cupcakes are even more attractive. The cost is nominal to buying the whole cake. There are no slices, plates or forks to handle. You are not tempted with leftovers. Talk about convenience for on the go, these treats come in their own travel cups. And for many of us, calories don't really count in small indulgences. In summary cupcakes are portion perfect.
Recently I brought home white almond wedding cupcakes from Heavenly Sweets. My wife seemed charmed by my "Hello Cupcake!" greeting and was delighted with her white icing pastry. Fondly remembering a wedding cake afternoon in 1976, we renewed our vows over cupcakes. This past Sunday closed an impromptu honeymoon weekend with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra/Lea Salonga concert at the Palladium.
Say, did I mention there is a whimsical side to this cupcake allure?
May 02, 2013 by Kevin Bowen
The Pete Dye designed golf course on the other side of Carmel, might not hold the prestige of Crooked Stick Golf Club but don't let that fool you. Plum Creek Golf Club is a championship level 18-hole semi-private golf coursed located just east of Hazel Dell Parkway and off of 126th street. Plum Creek is also apart of the Pete Dye Golf Trail.
Along with having one of the premier golf courses in central Indiana, Plum Creek also includes a renovated banquet room, an upscale snack/bar area, chipping and putting greens, a 300-yard long drive range, and pool/tennis facilities. The golf course is just over 6,900 yards from the back tees with demanding par threes and par fives that aren't overly long, with trouble surrounding them. Tee complexes range from 6,900 yards to 5,200 yards (the scorecard even includes a combination of gold and blue tees called the ‘member') and a wide range of ages call Plum Creek home.
Holes 1 and 9 (pictured above), along with the entire back nine, are played south of 126th street, where the clubhouse and practice facilities are located. The rest of the course is played just north of 126th street. The front nine has a little less character than the back, with holes mainly running parallel to each other and houses flanking holes 2, 3, 5, 7 and 8. Two sub 300-yard par fours on the front nine help distinguish the easier front side. Both par threes on the front nine have creeks to the left side of the green and the signature hole on the front is No. 4, with the same water hazard bisecting the fairway in two.
New ownership has made some interesting changes to the entire complex. A new back tee has been built at the long par three ninth hole. With the new tee, the hole can be stretched to up to 239 yards with a creek down the left side. The back nine remains pretty much the same as before with a new back tee built on the 13th hole, making that hole play up to 430 yards from the back tee box.
I love the added trees down the left side of the 13th fairway and management has added about 30 trees around the entire golf course in the past few months. In my opinion, the final four holes at Plum Creek are among the best set of closing holes in central Indiana. All four finishing holes have hazards that come into play with a risk/reward dynamic that creates great drama for all types of golfers down the stretch!
Apr 25, 2013 by Hamilton County CVB
Celebrate our Earth this week with Earth Day and Arbor Day festivities, get out and golf, and get psyched for outdoor concert season! Read on for those ideas and even more things to do in Hamilton County, Indiana this weekend. Also don't forget to check our online calendar in its entirety for tons more!
1. Celebrate Earth Week with Nickel Plate Arts! Enjoy earthy crafts, nature tours and other activities around Noblesville. But be sure not to miss the Fairyville Trail! Live music will guide you along a trail lined with "fairy houses" that artists have made with all natural materials. These are truly miniature works of art! The trail will be open all day Friday and Saturday and there is a preview event on Thursday, April 25 from 5-8pm.
2. For even more earthy activities, head to Noblesville for Earth Day Arborfest. Celebrate this combo if Earth Day and Arbor Day by getting a free tree seedling, participating in a tree hike, and much more! The fun kicks off on Friday from 1-4 p.m. on the courthouse square.
3. Do a good deed and have fun at the same time at Create for a Cure at Kiln Creations. Paint your own pottery, enter raffles with great Vera Bradley prizes and more. Best of all? Your $25 fee will be totally donated to the Vera Bradley Foundation for Breast Cancer and will go to help fund breast cancer research.
4. This weekend brings mild springy temperatures that are perfect for golf! From the challenging Purgatory Golf Club with punishing sand traps to the Scottish link style on the front nine of Bear Slide Golf Club, there is a course for everyone regardless of your handicap. Find your perfect course and golf getaway here.
5. Don't forget about Arbor Day! There are plenty of tree hugging events to attend in celebration. Head to Brooks School Park in Fishers for tree activities for kiddos, free saplings and more. Or go to Conner Prairie where you can observe how the professionals climb trees, see what trees grow in Indiana and explore the new Nature Walk. In Westfield's Quaker Park, there will also be free trees available and more. These events are sure to "tree-t" you to some new tree knowledge.
6. Speaking of trees... Civic Theater's latest production "Into the Woods" debuts this weekend. This tale incorporates favorite characters from popular fairytales and weaves them into a fun musical story. See wishes granted, curses bestowed and quests for breaking spells. It's a great time for the whole family!
7. Planning a wedding or event, or just curious about the Ambassador House in Fishers? Attend their open house this Sunday from 2-5pm to see the inside and gardens of the beautifully restored historic home. There will be refreshments, entertainment, and lots of information about the house!
8. Here's a fun you'll actually want to add to your "to-do" list: picking up tickets for a summer show at Klipsch Music Center! New shows are literally being announced each week and tickets are starting to go on sale. Announced this week was the Bob Dylan concert and the second appearance of Wiz Khalifa. Browse the month-by-month lineup on our Klipsch Music Center page and pick some of your own must-see shows!
Apr 23, 2013 by Carrie Lambert
Klipsch Music Center is celebrating its 25 year anniversary this year. Looking at the landscape today, it is hard to believe that in 1989 what was then known as Deer Creek Music Center stood in the middle of cornfields with very few homes around. In fact, that is still how I picture it. But today, located off of exit 210 on I69, Klipsch Music Center is virtually in the middle of urban sprawl. Homes are located on every side and Hamilton Town Center, with its 85 shops and restaurants, is just a mile away (which means it makes for a perfect stop before a show!).
I've attended my fair share of shows over the course of the last few years. Toby Keith was one of my favorites and I'm already looking forward to The Zac Brown Band this summer. But what I've never thought about, and what I've found interesting to find out, is how much of a community-minded landmark Klipsch Music Center is. What you might not realize is how many church events, graduations, Boy Scout activities and soccer games have been held on the grounds. Klipsch even has the opportunity for organizations to work concessions to earn money for their cause. And let's not forget the local workers who help make each concert possible - EMTs, security, ticket sales, concession workers and the list goes on.
It's true that Hamilton County wouldn't be the same without Klipsch. Outside of all the support it has given to the community, the best thing they are known for is the music. Countless acts have performed at Klipsch from Dave Matthews Band to Aerosmith to Kenny Chesney and the names keep coming.
But you may not know some of these facts:
• It takes a team of over 500 to put on a show.
• Since 1989, there have been three different names for the Venue: Deer Creek Music Center (1989-2001), Verizon Wireless Music Center (2001-2011) and now Klipsch Music Center.
• In 2000, there was a renovation and seating went from 20,000 to 24,000.
• Some of the MANY acts that have sold out the venue include: Jimmy Buffett, Dave Matthews Band, Grateful Dead, Phish, Pearl Jam, Metallica, KISS, Aerosmith, Tom Petty, Guns N Roses, John Mellencamp, Bon Jovi and Kenny Chesney.
• Jimmy Buffet has performed the most times.
• Some of the acts in the opening year included Bob Hope, Frank Sinatra, Dick Clark's 35th Anniversary Special and Ozzy Osbourne.
• My personal favorite fact: Julia Roberts and Lyle Lovett held their wedding reception at the venue in 1993.
• Katy Perry was once an opening act.
• And regularly, Klipsch Music Center is ranked in the top five amphitheaters in the world!
Whether you all it Deer Creek, Verizon or Klipsch, one truth remains ... there is a lot of history at this venue and much more to come in the next 25 years! Happy Anniversary Klipsch Music Center!
Apr 18, 2013 by Hamilton County CVB
Rainy days are going to give way to sunshine this weekend here in Hamilton County! We have ideas for indoor and outdoor fun- from bowling to exploring history outside. Read on for 8 Great ideas and for even more, check our online calendar of events.
1. Need an activity for those rainy April days? Pinheads Bowling has the answer! This Friday and Saturday there will be live music and karaoke fun at Louie's inside the bowling center. During the week, take advantage of their customer appreciation month special- FREE bowling! All you have to do is pay for shoes and you can enjoy up to 2 hours of free bowling fun.
2. Take advantage of another free activity here in Hamilton County by attending The Verdi Requiem performance. IU Jacobs School of Music will be performing the thrilling piece at the Palladium this Friday. You can claim up to 4 free tickets just by calling to reserve at the box office.
3. Enjoy the art of talented young local artists. Stop by the Nickel Plate Arts Campus to see the newly open Young Artists Exhibition that showcases art by kiddos from Noblesville. They are open Thursdays and Fridays from 12-5pm and Saturdays 10am- 5pm. You can also see art by pint-sized artists from Mohawk Trails Elementary at the aptly named World's Smallest Children's Art Gallery. The tiny gallery is open Fridays and Sundays from 2-4pm.
4. "We are runners and we will run on Saturday for our personal reasons that got us to this point AND NOW for all of our fellow runners and fans in Boston!"- Carmel Marathon. The marathon and other affiliated running events are on for this Saturday and more details about the races can be found on our previous blog post. Don't forget to stop by the Hamilton County Convention & Visitors Bureau booths at registration and after the race. We'll have 1 THOUSAND bananas for refueling runners and prizes too!
5. Wedding season is on the way and Carmel Rep is celebrating by presenting Father of the Bride. This popular tale is about all of the craziness that throwing a wedding brings, and of course the hilarities that ensue. Don't miss this fun show! UPDATE 4/22: this show has been cancelled, please visit The Center for the Performing Arts page to pick another fun show to see!
6. There is a lot to do at Conner Prairie this April! Explore their April theme, Threads Through Time to learn about the history of fabrics from fibers to furs. Take advantage of the Craft Corner this weekend too where you can make your own jump rope using a traditional braid technique. Also, don't forget to make your reservation for the powerful and educational Follow the North Star program. Lastly, Spacelab is this Saturday as well! This program allows kids to discover what it takes to live in space and much more.
7. We don't want to jinx it, but it may finally be time to invest in some shorts and summery dresses! This calls for a trip to Hamilton County shopping spots to stock up on warm weather wear, don't you agree? Head to Clay Terrace, The Fashion Mall, and Hamilton Town Center for name brands and tons of selection. To keep it local, shop on the square in downtown Noblesville or head to Carmel to shop along the Arts & Design District or City Center.
8. The weather is going to take a much needed break from April Showers this weekend. It'll be the perfect time to get out and about in Hamilton County and save money while doing so! If you haven't yet checked out our Special Offers page, you need to ASAP. There are deals on everything from dining to overnight stays!
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