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Westfield Wanderings: 5 “must hit” spots

Aug 23, 2016 by Kate Burkhardt

Wandering is the new exploring. To wander is to allow a place to happen to you –inviting the sidewalk to speak. To wander is to observe and absorb.

Westfield’s downtown is a wander-worthy place. In recent years, the once sleepy intersection of Main and Union Street is now a lively cross section of things to do.

As you plan a wander through Westfield, consider these five stops for slots on your itinerary.

 JPEG Wandering Peacock

The Wandering Peacock
141 S. Union St.

Inside Westfield’s whimsical art studio and gallery, people can take a “spin” on the pottery wheel. Owner Erin O’Rear is the expert potter-in-residence and offers one-on-one, hourlong classes for children ages eight and above interested in learning the basics of working with clay.

 Grand Junction

Grand Junction Brewing Company
110 S. Union St.

For the best fish and chips in Hamilton County and a local craft beer to wash it down, head to Grand Junction, right across from The Wandering Peacock. The recipe originates from owner John Knight’s grandparents’ fish and chips shop in England. In fact, it's served with traditional mushy peas, pickled onion, tartar sauce, malt vinegar and a lemon wedge, just like from across the pond! Pair with the Squirrel Stampede Nut Brown Ale and be sure to ask how the brew got its name.

 Board and Brush

Board and Brush 
100 N. Union St.

Unlike typical wine and painting studios, Board and Brush allows crafters to create their own canvas using woodworking techniques. Once the rustic backdrop is complete, personalize your board with the colors and lettering of your choosing

 Bash Boutique

Bash Boutique
149 N. Walnut St.

Get a head start on fall shopping at Bash. Bash Boutique’s second location (the original is in Wabash) offers Good Works jewelry, which donates 25 percent of net proceeds to help build solar panels and clean water systems in 12 rural areas, fund a playground for 107 orphans and provide 50,000 meals to the homeless.

 Rail Epicurean

“Restaurant Row”
Park St.

Wander south on Union Street and make a right on Park Street for some of the best new cuisine Westfield has to offer. Rail Epicurean Market offers local artisanal goods like B. Happy Peanut Butter and Joy Chai as well as gourmet lunch and dinner. Greek’s Pizzeria is also a local favorite as is the Italian House for tangy tomato sauce and abundant mozzarella on pasta and pizza. The eating is good on Park!

Where will your wanderings take you? Tag us in your adventures on social using @VisitHamiltonCo and #VisitHC!

Hamilton County, Indiana Fall Bucket List V.1

Aug 18, 2016 by Kara Baber

         

Do you enjoy the change of seasons? A chill in the air, falling leaves and trees in a blaze of color? Hamilton County, Indiana is the ideal place to escape on a fall getaway!

Kayaks

Start your day with one of the best views of fall colors by floating down the White River. Rent a canoe or kayak from White River Canoe Company in Noblesville. Trips lengths range from 1.5 miles (one hour) to 28 miles (two days). Keep an eye out for herons, hawks and turtles!

 Archery

Then head to Koteewi Range at Strawtown Koteewi Park to hit a bulls-eye. This is the largest facility in Indiana dedicated to archery. Rent a bow and choose from three ranges or the 3D archery trail to take aim. Children will enjoy aiming at dinosaurs in the family fun zone.

 Conner Prairie Apple Store

Next stop is Conner Prairie in Fishers for seasonal delicacies from the Apple Store. Be sure to try an apple cider slushie and a hand dipped caramel apple. You will want to take home a box of delicious apple doughnuts for breakfast! While here you should check out the new Treetop Outpost, a multilevel experience for exploring nature.

 Nickel Plate Movies

End your day relaxing with a movie under the stars in the Nickel Plate District. The free movies begin at dusk and are shown on Fridays in September. Pack a blanket, chairs and your favorite movie snacks.

Make memories and share your fall fun on Instagram, and don't forget to tag us in your photos using @VisitHamiltonCo and #VisitHC!

Hamilton County Happenings - Aug. 17

Aug 17, 2016 by Hamilton County Tourism

This week, cheer on champions in downtown Carmel, sample beer at District Brew Fest benefitting Chaucie's Place and more. Be sure to check out our online calendar for even more Hamilton County happenings!

Cheer on Champions

Cheer on Champions in the District
Aug. 17 - 21
Carmel Arts & Design District | Carmel, Indiana

Watch your favorite athletes in Rio, including Hamilton County’s own David Boudia and Steele Johnson. A giant LED screen with live feed from WTHR-13 will play throughout the games.

Rain on Main

Rain on Main
Aug. 17 - 19
Carmel Arts & Design District | Carmel, Indiana

Beautifully painted rain barrels will be on display along Main Street before being auctioned at the Carmel Farmers Market on Aug. 20.

 

 Brantley Gilbert

Brantley Gilbert
Aug. 19
Klipsch Music Center | Noblesville, Indiana

Country singer Brantley Gilbert takes the stage with Justin Moore and Colt Ford.

 

 Noblesville Square

Jazz Elements
Aug. 19
Noblesville Courthouse Square | Noblesville, Indiana

Jazz Elements is a six-piece band based in Indianapolis that specializes in jazz standards and songs from the Great American Songbook from Route 66 to Satin Doll and many more.

 

 Toto

Marsh Symphony on the Prairie: Toto
Aug. 19 - 20
Conner Prairie | Fishers, Indiana

Rock band Toto makes their first appearance at the Conner Prairie Amphitheatre performing classics including “Africa,” “Hold the Line,” “Rosanna” and many others.

Movies in the Park

Movies in the Park
Aug. 19 - 20
Various parks | Hamilton County, Indiana

Watch Inside Out at Asa Bales Park in Westfield on Aug. 19 and Mockingjay Part 2 at Forest Park in Noblesville on Aug. 20. Movies begin at sunset.

 

 District Brew Fest

The District Brew Fest
Aug. 20
Carmel Arts & Design District | Carmel, Indiana

Presented by The Warehouse and benefitting Chaucie’s Place, District Brew Fest features food, beer and singer Lou Gramm from Foreigner performing in the beer garden.

 

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Treetop Experiences Take Family Adventures to New Heights

Aug 17, 2016 by Luis Ruvalcaba

All summer long the Indy blogs have been abuzz about one thing: tree houses. As a resident of Hamilton County, I get the awesome privilege of being close to three of the best. My summer has been spent in the trees with my children, which is good because that shade sure does help when it gets pretty hot out. So have you had a chance to check out the newest experiences at Strawtown Koteewi and Conner Prairie? 



KoteewiKoteewi Aerial Adventure Treetop Trails is pretty breath taking. It’s the kind of thing you’d expect to see people do on a really cool and expensive vacation in Costa Rica, except it's right here in Hamilton County, Indiana. Featuring a zip line obstacle course, this tree adventure has a decidedly grown-up flair. However, children seven and over are welcome to participate with a parent or guardian, but since most of my children are under seven, I checked this one out solo. I’m not really afraid of heights, but looking out over the treetops here definitely gave me a bit of a scare. I’ve done other zip lines before, but this one takes you directly through the trees. My wife always tells me she pictures herself crashing into stuff on rides like this and that’s definitely the feeling I had. Of course, it’s completely safe and well planned out, but it’s for sure a dare devil adventure.



Conner PrairieThe second amazing offering is Conner Prairie’s Treetop Outpost, which opened July 1. Since then, I basically haven't seen my wife or children. This multilevel adventure really could be an attraction all on its own and it's entertaining for children of all ages. My youngest two spend the vast majority of their time in the sand boxes, digging up pottery, bones and all other types of unusual objects. In that same area, my older children used the life sized Lincoln logs to build a wall that would make any much-maligned presidential candidate proud. That area can easily keep my kid’s busy for more than an hour. Just when I think they will be ready to move on to the next part of the museum, they realize they haven't actually even been in the treehouse itself! Four floors of awesome for them to explore so as a lazy dad I like to hang out on the main level where there are communication tubes to each level. My children will shout down to me from each floor and I can keep an ear on them while I play with the magnifying camera. My favorite part though is probably the lower level, which leads out to a nature trail. On that level is a little library where I like to sit with my children in the retired seats from Bush Stadium, the former home of my Indianapolis Indians, and read aloud about all the nature around us.



Between these two and the incredible tree houses at Flat Fork Creek Park, Hamilton County is the place to be among the trees. As fall starts to turn the leaves into a rush of color, make sure you get out on a limb and climb some of our amazing trees. Remember to tag us on Instagram by tagging @VisitHamiltonCo and #VisitHC.

Festival, Fairs and Fun with Local Expert Andrea Davis

Aug 16, 2016 by Luis Ruvalcaba

Hamilton County has lots to do in the way of outdoor activities and historical attractions, but resident festival expert Andrea Davis says there's no match for HC when it comes to festivals. “No matter what you're looking for, you can find it somewhere,” Davis said.Andrea Davis

Davis takes little prompting and almost no reaction time to rattle off a list of the festivals and outdoor activities that make Hamilton County a standout. Here's what came to mind for her: 

Looking for a family-friendly way to spend some time with the kids? Try Fishers Freedom Festival or CarmelFest, Noblesville’s Street Dance or Westfield's Grand Junction Derby

Want an even smaller small-town festival experience? Try the New Earth Festival in Atlanta.

Looking for a more adult experience? Try Art of Wine in Carmel, Fishers on Tap, Noblesville's Beards and Brews or Rock the Junction in Westfield.

First Fridays are happening in downtown Noblesville, especially at Nickel Plate Arts which has a month-long celebration of the arts.

Fishers has "art crawls" and block parties in its Nickel Plate District downtown. Free concerts at the amphitheater are also fun and have a decidedly "festival-like" atmosphere. 

Art of WineThere's a Renaissance Faire in Fishers, amazing cars at Artomobilia in Carmel on Aug. 27 and all kinds of celebrations on the courthouse square in Noblesville.

There are parades all year long. Frequent fireworks. Free movie nights. Friendly faces everywhere you turn.

To make matters even better, Davis assures us that nearly every venue in Hamilton County has free or nearly free parking within a few blocks walk of the main event.

She recommends first-time festival goers pick an event that looks like fun and just explore.  Bring some cash and get a program to make sure you see everything there is to see. Davis stresses, “Don’t plan to ‘stop by’ a festival on the way to something else, because once you get there, you will want to stay.”

As a frequent visitor to many of the festivals mentioned, I’d have to say I agree! Check out our festival calendar and take your pick. Then get out, see your neighbors and bring out-of-town friends! Don’t forget to tag us in all of your Instagram pics using @VisitHamiltonCo and #VisitHC.

Hamilton County Happenings - Aug. 10

Aug 10, 2016 by Hamilton County Tourism

This week, cheer on athletes competing in the games, rock out to Beatles music and more. Be sure to check out our online calendar for even more Hamilton County happenings!


 Cheer on Champions

Cheer on Champions in the District
Aug. 10 - 21
2nd Ave. NW | Carmel, Indiana

Enjoy two weeks of cheering on your favorite athletes in Rio, including Hamilton County’s own David Boudia and Steele Johnson. A giant LED screen with live feed from WTHR-13 will play throughout the games.

 

Movies in the Park

Movies in the Park
Aug. 12 - 13
Various parks | Hamilton County, Indiana

Come out this summer with your family to enjoy a free, relaxing evening under the stars. Movies begin at sundown. Watch “Jurassic World” in Westfield and “Finding Nemo” in Carmel on Friday, and “Zootopia” in Noblesville on Saturday.

 

 Symphony on the Prairie

Marsh Symphony on the Prairie: Classical Mystery Tour
Aug. 12 - 13
Conner Prairie | Fishers, Indiana

The music of the Beatles comes to the prairie. Enjoy “Penny Lane” with a live trumpet section and the beauty of “Yesterday” with an acoustic guitar and string quartet, along with many more Beatles classics.

 

 Ghost Walk

Nefarious Noblesville Ghost Walk
Aug. 13
Noblesville Square | Noblesville, Indiana

From beer rooms to business, visit the places where the dead continue their spirited affairs and hear their empty voices call from beyond. Meet south side of Courthouse Square. Reservations required.

 

 Dierks Bentley

Dierks Bentley
Aug. 13
Klipsch Music Center | Noblesville, Indiana

County singer Dierks Bentley performs with Randy Houser and Cam.

 

Gallery Walk

IU Health North Hospital Gallery Walk
Aug. 13
Carmel Arts & Design District | Carmel, Indiana
Wine and dine at one of the District restaurants, browse galleries and more from 5-9 p.m. Painted rain barrels will be on display as part of Rain on Main before being auctioned off at the Aug. 10 Carmel Farmers Market.

 

Want to always know what Hamilton County weekend happenings are coming up? Sign up to have this list and more delivered right to your inbox.


Counting Crows

 

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The Wonderful White River Greenway

Aug 04, 2016 by Luis Ruvalcaba

Trail video

Summer is winding down and you might be thinking back on the time you spent this summer.  Was it more movies than memories? Was it more Quality Inn than quality time?  Don't worry.  The summer isn't over yet and Hamilton County, Indiana has a one stop shop for all the outdoor family/couple/alone quality time you could ever need: White River GreenwayWhite River

This trail begins behind the Hamilton County courthouse in downtown Noblesville.  Not the historic courthouse but the beautiful modern one just to the west.  The trail continues all along the White River up to Morse Park on Morse Reservoir.  Not too shabby way to end a hike, if you're asking me.  In between you can find not only breath taking scenery but Forest Park.  

Forest Park has virtually everything you need to make a memorable day: Tom Thumb golf course,  skate park, pool, play ground and carousel just to name a few of the options.  Not only that but there are shelters and grills available for a nice lunch out of the house. Bring your sunscreen because there is enough to do to keep you busy all day and you're going to need to reapply after a dip in the pool. Potter's Bridge

If you haven't completely worn yourself or your kids out at Forest Park, you head out to a fork in the road which gives you the option to check out Morse or Potter's Bridge.  Either is a great destination. My suggestion is to ride a bike or board down the paved trails, or better yet tube down the waterway. If you have a really great camera and it's sunset time, I recommend Potter's bridge for some family photos before closing out the evening.  The lighting is excellent at that time.  

And at the risk of really burying the lead here, did I mention that the trail is littered with Pokemon? Yup. If you are playing Pokemon GO this trail is an excellent way to avoid traffic, play safely and meet some other local trainers out and about. Take the kids and battle it out at one of several gyms along the trail. at 2.8 miles in length you can put a 5km egg in to incubate and have it nearly hatched by the time you finish your hike!

Happy trails, and don't forget to tag us in your photos using @VisitHamiltonCo and #VisitHC!

Hamilton County Happenings - Aug. 3

Aug 03, 2016 by Hamilton County Tourism

This week, roast marshmallows to toast National S'Mores Day, sip brews on tap in Fishers and more. Be sure to check out our online calendar for even more Hamilton County happenings!

Mountain Biking

Mountain Bike Skills Clinic
Aug. 3
Flat Fork Creek Park | Fishers, Indiana

Learn the basics of mountain biking with this intro and beginner level mountain bike clinic for children ages 7-15. Danielle and Kate of DNK Presents are certified Level I Mountain Bike Instructors through the Professional Mountain Bike Instructors Association.

 

 Fishers on Tap

Fishers on Tap
Aug. 5
Nickel Plate District Amphitheatre | Fishers, Indiana

Presented by the Fishers Rotary Club, the fourth annual Fishers on Tap features beer samples from 20 local craft brewers. Enjoy appetizers from local restaurants and live music.

 

 Nickel Plate Arts

First Fridays at Nickel Plate Arts
Aug. 5
Nickel Plate Arts | Noblesville, Indiana

Nourish your appetite for local culture during First Fridays at Nickel Plate Arts.  Expect to see and hear local musicians and/or actors performing on campus, and then try your hand at the arts by participating in an activity inspired by the month’s featured exhibit.

 

 Next to Normal

Carmel Community Players Presents: Next to Normal
Aug. 5 - 6
Clay Terrace | Carmel, Indiana

Next to Normal is the 2009 Tony and Pulitzer Price winning rock musical explores how one suburban household copes with crisis and mental illness.

 

Waterpark Olympics

Ultimate Waterpark Olympics
Aug. 6
Monon Community Center & Waterpark | Carmel, Indiana

The Rio Olympics are approaching, so join us for our own competition after hours at The Waterpark. Competition categories include rock climbing, FlowRider, log rolling, lily pad escape, lazy river laps, water balloon toss and more.

 

Art Fair on the Square

Art Fair on the Square
Aug 6.
Noblesville Square | Noblesville, Indiana

Brought to you by the Noblesville Cultural Arts Commission and the Hamilton County Artists Association, enjoy charming historic downtown with juried artists, all painting mediums, sculpture, pottery, jewelry and more. Admission is free.

 

 S'mores Day

National S’mores Day
Aug. 7
Ritchey Woods Nature Preserve | Fishers, Indiana

Join us for our eighth annual National S’mores Day celebration. We’ll light the campfire and provide roasting sticks, graham crackers, marshmallows and chocolate so you can create the perfect s’more combination. This rain or shine program welcomes residents of all ages.

 

Want to always know what Hamilton County weekend happenings are coming up? Sign up to have this list and more delivered right to your inbox.

Four pack giveaway

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Catch 'Em All in Hamilton County

Aug 02, 2016 by Mia Anderson

This summer, we’ve had an influx of wild and colorful visitors to Hamilton County, Indiana. With the incredible popularity of the smartphone game Pokémon GO, trainers of all ages have been seen walking around with their eyes glued to their phones in search of Pidgey, Squirtle and more to complete their Pokedex. Fret not, because we have no shortage of Pokemon, Pokestops, gyms and more! Here’s our guide of Hamilton County hotspots to visit in your quest to catch ‘em all.

 carmel statue

Nearly a dozen lifelike statues can be found in the Carmel Arts & Design District, created by renowned artist J. Seward Johnson, Jr., dubbed the “Norman Rockwell of American Sculpture.” Go on a scavenger hunt to visit them all and collect Pokeballs, as many are designated Pokestops.

 Silver in the City

Main Street in downtown Carmel is also home to a host of restaurants, galleries and boutiques. Shopkeepers will tip off trainers if a Pokéstop is nearby by placing a sign outside, like Silver in the City (pictured left). If you get hungry, there’s no shortage of places to eat less than a Pokeball throw away, like Bub’s Burger’s & Ice Cream, Bazbeaux Pizza, and more.

 Palladium

A few new patrons have appeared outside the doors of the Center for the Performing Arts. Post a picture of your Pokemon Go adventures on social media using #PalladiumPokemon to enter to win tickets to an upcoming performance!

 miniatures

The Museum of Miniature Houses and Other Collections has more than 600 miniatures, which are the perfect size for a Pokemon residence. The museum serves as a gym where trainers can face off against other players.

 conner prairie

Looks like the Pokemon want to take a trip back to 1836 Prairietown at Conner Prairie! This interactive history park is home to several Pokéstops and a gym. Don’t be surprised if while talking to the blacksmith at the Lenape Indian Camp you find a rare Pokémon. Have fun walking around the 800 acres of trails and villages in Conner Prairie, and maybe even go for a ride in the helium balloon.

 monon

There are over 300 miles of trails in Hamilton County, but the Monon Trail and White River Greenway are sure to lead you to excellent Pokémon. These trails connect to many of the spots mentioned above, so grab your bike, longboard or walking shoes and hit the trails.

Want to hunt down Pokemon with fellow enthusiasts? Celebrate First Friday in Historic Noblesville Square with a Pokémon Go gathering from 6-9 p.m. on Aug. 5. With lures dropped every half hour, you’re bound to expand your Pokedex. Capture Pokémon and great deals at places like Lil Bloomers, The Ville Restaurant, Sweet Home Cupcakes and Love’s Hangover Creations.

If you stumble upon a rare Pokemon or find a neat Pokestop, tag us in your adventures on social with @VisitHamiltonCo. Good luck in your quest to catch ‘em all!

Bringing New Life to Alleys in Noblesville

Jul 28, 2016 by Mia Anderson

AlleyNoblesville is a close-knit town in Hamilton County that brings people together in community. In fact, Chris Owens, Executive Director of Noblesville Main Street, says that the goal of Noblesville is to be a “hipstoric™” town that focuses on “people, places, and events” in building community. There is a rich history in Noblesville, as seen through the ornate government buildings, classic main square with shops and offices and more – and Owens’ vision is to meld historic Noblesville with hip and modern Noblesville through a series of events and activations. Projects that further Noblesville Main Street’s goal of bringing the community together include: an alley activation and beautification project, the two-decades old tradition of the Noblesville farmer’s market and the much sought after Meals from the Market dinner.

Alleys are typically thought of as dark and dank, and used for unloading goods for businesses and housing dumpsters. However, Noblesville Main Street envisions activating and beautifying alleyways to become places that can have function and a fun place to hang out. With the alley activation plan, Owens and Rachel Johnson, local landscape architect and urban designer at Loci Creative, alleys will become places of beauty and community. Envision miniature parks, creatively designed sitting spaces and more and you will have an idea of the potential for Noblesville’s alleyways. This project shows just how Noblesville longs to show it Hipstoric™ qualities to everyone and create creative spaces that the locals crave.Noblesville

One alley in particular near the main downtown square in Noblesville already has been activated and put to good use. With a million-dollar view of the square and twinkle lights cascading from wall to wall, it is no wonder that Noblesville Main Street hosts its newest event “Meals from the Market” there. “Meals from the Market’s” inaugural term this summer and early fall proved to be highly successful as the events sold out days after sales were opened. Noblesville also has brought the community together through the farmer’s market that has run weekly for over 20 years. Even the farmer’s market has become hipstoric™ by offering online ordering services and special programs like SNAP and W.I.C. for those in need of fresh produce for their families.

Noblesville is a town that is constantly growing and finding new ways to be relevant while still holding on to the traditions that made them great. Visiting this town will give anyone the opportunity to see innovation at work and be a part of a growing, bonding community. For more information on Noblesville Main Street and other projects that are underway in Noblesville, check out this website.

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