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Shop local for quirky last-minute gifts

Dec 19, 2014 by Shanna Mooney

In Hamilton County, you don't have to travel far to find that perfect quirky gift for someone near and dear to your quirky heart. Of course, "quirk" is in the eyes of the beholder, but my favorite finds might lead you in the right direction. From country to chic or country-chic, budget-friendly to luxurious, it all can be found if you know where to look. Behold:

Wilson Farm Market TaffyA few weeks ago, I traveled to the far reaches of Hamilton County to visit Lisa's Pie Shop, and I wasn't disappointed. Along the way, I discovered the Wilson Farm Market, 1720 East 256th St., Arcadia. While I wasn't in the market for fresh produce or anything, I stopped just to explore--and I'm so glad I did!

This place is a gold mine of bizarre foods, locally grown items, and all sorts of stuff to make you say, "yum" or "eww," depending on your preferences. And in many cases, you can even try before your buy, such as with the vast array of Amish cheese. They have some gift baskets already made up, including a "no sugar added" one that includes jams, butters, and chocolate.

But, because of the variety, this is the perfect place to create your own Hoosier gift basket. You could go with a variety of themes. Some of my ideas:Wilson Farm Market popcorn

Amish: Cheese, noodles, popcorn--including one with purple hulls, butters (apple, pumpkin, etc.), a cookbook, and how about a large tub of powdered cheese to toss with the locally grown popcorn? I somehow doubt it's Amish, but it certainly would up the quirk factor.

Meat: Jerky (available in multiple flavors and species), snack sticks, maple bacon salt-water taffy, meat, and meat accessories.

Wacky snacks: Wasabi nuts, peas, and crackers; freeze-dried fruits and veggies; dried meat products; candy; breads; and pickles (made with everything from watermelon rind, green beans, tomatoes, beets and asparagus to--yawn--cucumbers.)

Need something more romantic? Eclectic? Beautiful? A Corner Cottage, 895 Conner St., A Cornern Cottage CharmNoblesville, might be just the place. Vintage-style items are a specialty, from lacy pastel boot socks ($18) to sweet already-layered looking sweaters and slips that are so pretty they could be worn as a dress. Chunky jewelry also makes a fun gift, and here they have bracelets and necklaces with a cool variety of charms. I especially like the proud-to-be-a-Hoosier state charm necklace (also $18).

Looking for another way to sport your state spirit? Just down from the before-mentioned corner is Karisma, 859 Conner St., Noblesville. It has a TON of cool Indiana shirts. (In addition to a bunch of other modern and sassy clothes and jewelry.)

With the whole home-is-the-new-spa theme of modern bathrooms, Bath Junkie, 741 Hanover Place, Carmel (in the Carmel City Center shops), has luxurious Bath Junkie Fragrancesaccouterments in which to outfit yours to your liking. It really is a cool concept: You get to create your own scent from more than 100 small vials of essential oils. They are arranged in categories such as floral, citrus, spices, men's, etc. A menu of popular blends is available, but it's fun to wing it and create your own blend. Once you find your signature scent, you can choose from a dizzying array of products through which to enjoy it: Scrubs, lotions, massage oils, perfumes, reed diffusers, antibacterial hand wash, fabric softener, cleaners--even a line of doggie toiletries can be scented as you choose.

You can also chose the color of your product, so it can match your home spa, wedding theme, or dog bed. Shopping for a child? You can add toys and gems into a custom-created bubble bath as well.

And while it's hard to choose a scent for someone else, there are all sorts of bath crystals, slippers, robes, hair wraps, lip balms, loofahs, and other items that would pair perfectly with a gift certificate. Mass on Main Colts Shirt

Mass on Main, 110 W. Main St., Carmel, a shop that brings the best of downtown's Mass Ave to Carmel just increased our cool quotient! There you can find all manner of gifts from stores such as Silver in the City, Nurture Baby, and more. My favorite is a T-shirt that's perfect for a casual Colts fan who wants to be cute in displaying their semi-fandom. The shirt features the Colts logo bent into a heart shape!

The holidays are upon us, the malls are packed, and at this point, you'd likely have to pay extra shipping to receive items in time for Christmas. Really, is there any reason not to shop local?

8 Great Things to do the 3rd Weekend of December 2014

Dec 18, 2014 by Hamilton County CVB

It's the last weekend before Christmas! Don't panic, just read on for last-minute gift ideas, where to get a tree if you haven't yet, plus how to get into the holiday spirit with concerts and more. As always, our online calendar of events has even more Hamilton County happenings to discover. Happy Holidays!NPArts Outside Stone House

1. Give the gift of handmade items this season. Stop into Nickel Plate Arts to see the Gifted exhibit that's filled with locally crafted items at all price ranges. Feeling crafty? Make your own giftable items during the last Santa's Workshop of the season this Saturday. Just drop in and pick a project to create!  

2. For all of you procrastinators out there, it's the last weekend to get that Christmas tree! Country Christmas at Stonycreek Farm in Noblesville still has some trees to choose from. You can cut down your own or select pre-cut greenery from the greenhouse. 

3. Pick up some holiday gifts at a local shop this weekend. The HO HO Holiday Sale at Main Street Shoppes is a great place to snag a one-of-a-kind antique gift at a great price. Or check out Mass on Main that brings selections from some of Indianapolis' best Mass. Ave. shops right here to Main Street in Carmel.   Main Street Shoppes Outside

4. The running of Polar Bear Express train is coming to an end for the season. You can make reservations to hop aboard this weekend or Monday and Tuesday. It's also a great time to reserve seats for Santa's Train Home

5. The Mansion at Oak Hill is hosting its last Breakfast with Santa this Saturday. The whole family can enjoy a breakfast buffet and some time with Santa.

6. ‘Tis the season for fabulous holiday shows! Enjoy Holiday Classics with Blair Clark at The Warehouse or head to the Palladium for Handel's Messiah or the Festival of Carols. NEW Palladium Attendees

7. Get in those last minute wishes for Santa. He's making appearances all over Hamilton County for just that reason! Check out our event calendar to see all of the places to spot him.  

8. Holiday fun continues at Conner Prairie this weekend! Holiday Cheers, an adults-only party, will have samples of local beverages and more is this Thursday. It's also the last weekend to explore Prairietown as residents prepare for the holidays at Conner Prairie by Candlelight and Holiday Adventure. For fun before and after the holidays, visit the Gingerbread Village that will be on display through January 4.  

Holiday Family Time

Dec 16, 2014 by Emma Diebold

Palladium InteriorDo you have family visiting you in Hamilton County this holiday season? Firstly, give them the gift of extra space. Reserve them a hotel room with one of these 9 divine holiday hotel rates that are available at select Hamilton County hotels. Your family, wallet, and sanity will thank you. 

Once settled in, it's time for festive fun! Browse Hamilton County Tourism's other holiday blogs and online calendar of events to plan an itinerary packed with delights. Be sure to reserve ahead for things like Dinner with Santa at Conner Prairie and holiday shows at The Center for the Performing Arts. Don't forget to fill the days after Christmas with joy too! Try the Take Santa Home Train on December 27 where passengers can say farewell to Santa as he travels back to the North Pole. Chocolate for the Spirit chocolates

Forgot your crazy, I mean... "favorite" aunt was joining you? Pick up a last-minute meaningful gift for her at the Nickel Plate Arts Gifted exhibit or a local shop. Big malls like Clay Terrace and Hamilton Town Center have tons of gift ideas as well. When in doubt, choose a selection of chocolates from Chocolate for the Spirit and pair with a wine from Vine & Table. Who doesn't like chocolate and wine? 

Don't stress out and try to prepare a million meals, let local chefs take the reigns before or after your big family celebration. Try divvy for sophisticated tapas and drinks, Rosie's Place for brunch, Big Hoffa's for a Dining at Divvy by Carriefamily-friendly BBQ feast, or the ever-pleasing chicken finger platter at Nickel Plate Bar & Grill. Discover even more local flavors here or make reservations ahead of time (where available) here. Extra tip: if you're not an expert baker, leave the holiday pies to Lisa's Pie Shop. A large selection of flavors are available to please every palate.  

Whatever your plans are this holiday season, I hope they are filled with joy and a little dose of Hamilton County holiday fun. Cheers!  


8 Great Things to do the 2nd Weekend of December 2014

Dec 11, 2014 by Hamilton County CVB

A Year w Frog and ToadSee twinkling lights, lots of gingerbread, plus see art or create your own- all this weekend in Hamilton County, Indiana! This weekend is a perfect time for a getaway to experience holiday fun and get shopping done (find 9 divine hotel deals here). Read on for Hamilton County happenings and check our online calendar of events for even more.

1. Discover beautifully decorated homes during The Twelve Houses of Christmas light displays in Noblesville. Self-guided tour maps are available at Nickel Plate Arts and participating shops that'll point you to the historic homes that are dressed to impress for the holiday season. Lights will be up through December 31.  

2. Two classic shows are opening this weekend at The Center for the Performing Arts. Actors Theatre of Indiana is presenting "A Year with Frog & Toad" and Booth Tarkington Civic Theatre is putting on "The Wizard of Oz." Tickets to either show would make a great surprise gift for any theatre lover! Holiday Swing Dance

3. The Warehouse in the Carmel Arts & Design District will be hoppin' this weekend! On Friday see two talented artists, Gabe Dixon and Matthew Santos, perform live. Saturday the venue will be transformed into a Holiday Swing Dance Party complete with a swing band, dance instructors, and more.  

4. The Second Saturday Gallery Walk and Holiday in the Arts District are both this Saturday afternoon! Head to the Carmel Arts & Design District for gallery open houses, a gingerbread scavenger hunt, visits with Santa in the Santa House, carolers, and even more. If you have a wish list letter for Santa, be sure to bring it and drop it in Santa's Mailbox at ArtSplash Gallery. Also be sure to stop in the Museum of Miniature Houses for their annual candlelight tour from 5-8 p.m. Candlelight_2

5. Holiday fun abounds at Conner Prairie this weekend. See gingerbread creations at the Gingerbread Village, see how Prairietown residents prepare for holiday celebrations at Conner Prairie by Candlelight, and enjoy the holidays the 1830s way during the daytime at Holiday Adventure.

6. Want to meet a reindeer? You can this Sunday during the Holly Jolly Jamboree at Cool Creek Nature Center in Carmel! You can also meet other animals from the "North Pole" as well as Santa and Mrs. Claus. The fun begins at 2 p.m.  

7. SANTA! We know him! He is making appearances all over Hamilton County leading up to Christmas Day. From the Santa House on the Noblesville Square, to meeting him in a mall, to even eating breakfast with him at The Mansion at Oak Hill. See all of the Santa sightings on our online calendar of Hamilton County events.Holly Jolly Jamboree - Image

8. Speaking of Santa, he is setting up shop at Nickel Plate Arts this Saturday and next Saturday to help you make gifts. Santa's Workshop will offer artsy projects for all skill levels at various price points, plus the big man himself may stop by to inspect your work!  

Kid-Friendly Fun…All December Long!

Dec 09, 2014 by Caroline Mosey

Just because the temperature dropped doesn't mean kid-friendly fun has to drop, too. So don't hibernate just yet...there's still plenty to do with little ones in Hamilton County, especially this month! Gingerbread_2

Conner Prairie never disappoints when it comes to memorable kids' activities, and this month is no exception. Holiday magic is in full effect at their Gingerbread Village, an eye-popping display of gingerbread structures iced and decorated in dazzling colors. On Fridays and Saturdays in December, visit Conner Prairie for special dinners with Santa. Kids can enjoy food, activities and the chance to meet Santa in person! 

Still searching for that perfect Christmas tree? Head over to Stonycreek Farm and chop down your own evergreen, then warm up with hot cider afterwards. Kids will love the chance to be little lumberjacks and have a hand in bringing home the tree in of their dreams! 

Santa & BabyIf your kids are dying to talk to the "man" himself, stop by Santa's House on the Square in downtown Noblesville. Kids can whisper all their Christmas wishes to Santa! If they're a little shy about a face-to-face meeting, no worries. They can still write a letter to Santa's Mailbox and mail them at the Fishers Parks and Recreation office or at the Town Hall up until December 15, and receive a letter back from him! 

Burn off some energy at the Carmel Ice Skadium, where the rink transforms into a Winter Wonderland on Ice through January 1st! What's more festive than ice-skating around a huge Christmas tree?  

There's so much to do and see in Hamilton County in the winter, so don't let the cold weather keep you from enjoying all our 8 great towns have to offer! 

Caroline snowman


8 Great Things to do the First Weekend of December 2014

Dec 04, 2014 by Hamilton County CVB

Holiday CourthouseWhether you're lighting candles or an entire town with lights, there's no denying that all of Hamilton County is ready for this festive season! This weekend is no exception and is packed with holiday fun. Read on to discover where to find Santa, some amazing local gifts, and much more. More events are added daily to our online calendar, so be sure to check there as well!

1. Get into the holiday spirit at Noblesville Main Street First Friday! Visit the Santa House on the Square, hear carolers and a bell choir, support local small businesses and more. The fun kicks off at 5 p.m. Also this weekend, the Noblesville Main Street Holiday Market will take over the Noblesville 4-H Fairgrounds. Vendors of all kinds (including favorites from the Old Mill Festival and farmers markets) will be offering goodies and gifts.  

2. Speaking of Noblesville shopping, just south of the square is Nickel Plate Arts and you don't want to miss their newest exhibit that runs through December. The Gifted exhibit is packed with giftable art and crafts all made by local artists! Into making your own art and seeing art in the making? Check out the Comic Book in a Day workshop on Saturday from 10 a.m.- 9 p.m. to see comic artists at work. 

3. See Fishers light up for the holidays during Friday's Celebration of Lights. Carolers and Santa will be on hand to make the evening even more special. The fun starts at 6:30 p.m. 

Conner Prairie by Candlelight4. While the Town of Fishers is lighting up their electric lights, Conner Prairie will be lighting up candles! Experience Conner Prairie by Candlelight each Friday and Saturday through December 20. See how the townsfolk of Prairietown prepare for the holidays, just as people would have over 175 years ago. Prefer to stay in the current time? Reserve your spot at Dinner with Santa at Conner Prairie instead!  

5. Kick off the holiday season in Cicero this Saturday at the Christmas Parade and Holiday Marketplace. Discover gift ideas from the various vendors, have holiday family portraits taken, and more. The parade begins at 1 p.m. and Santa will be in attendance!  

6. Do you have your Christmas tree yet? Why not cut down your own tree? No, not "Christmas Vacation" style, but at a real farm! Stonycreek Farm's Country Christmas event continues daily through December 21. They offer pre-cut trees, greenery, gifts, and yes, the option to pick and cut down your very own tree.  

7. Head to downtown Westfield this Saturday for the annual Westfield in Lights celebration. Enjoy carriage rides down Union Street, live entertainment, and visits from Santa. The tree lighting will be at 7 p.m. and cap off the very festive evening!Stonycreek trees  

8. Santa, Santa, Santa! He is making several appearances throughout Hamilton County to ensure that he complies the perfect wish lists. See him at the most of the events mentioned above, plus on the Polar Bear Express train, at Hubbard & Cravens in Carmel City Center, at Clay Terrace mall, Breakfast with Santa at the Mansion at Oak Hill and Breakfast with Santa at Prairie View. Too shy to meet Santa? Send him a letter at Santa's Mailbox in Fishers.  

Hamilton County Tourism Staff’s Favorite Cheap Eats

Dec 02, 2014 by Hamilton County CVB

From sweet treats to entire meal options, the Hamilton County Tourism staff is a fan of all sorts of cheap eats in Hamilton County! Read on to discover some of our favorites: The Hoffanator

The Dish: Chili Cheese Étouffée
Where: Yats in Carmel, Fishers, or Hamilton Town Center in Noblesville
Price: Under $10 for a whole, half, or half & half entrée sizes
If you love Cajun food, you can't go wrong at Yats. An Indianapolis area staple for years, this dish is one of their most popular. A creamy, cheesy, spicy sauce drenches craw fish (or sometimes other meat selections) and is served on a hefty bed of rice and a side of sliced French bread. 

The Dish: The Hoffanator
Where: Big Hoffa's Barbecue in downtown Westfield
Price: $6.99, add a side for $1.29
This dish is not for the faint of heart (or dieters!). French fries get dressed up with toppings of mac & cheese, baked beans and pulled pork. Add drizzles of barbeque sauce and ranch dressing and you have yourself one unique and filling cheap meal.  

The Dish: Graham Central Station ice cream
Where: Handel's Homemade Ice Cream & Yogurt in Carmel or Fishers
Price: $3.22 per scoop (includes a cake or sugar cone), add a waffle cone for $1.35 more.
Often available on Handel's daily list of flavors, Graham Central Station ice cream is one of the most unique. It's a graham ice cream with a ripple of graham cracker, plus tiny chocolate-covered Zacky's Chicago Doggrahams for good measure. One scoop will surely aid your earning sweet tooth!

The Dish: The Chicago hotdog
Where: Zacky's Hot Dogs in Carmel
Price: $3.99 per hotdog, add $3.25 for combo deal with 1 side and drink
The classic Chicago dog with the works: sport peppers, neon relish, steamed poppy
seed bun, dill pickle, tomato, onions, celery salt, and yellow mustard. Not a fan of that dog from our neighbors to the north? Great news- all of Zacky's specialty hotdogs are just $3.99. Also try The "ZQ", a deep-fried, bacon-wrapped dog topped with BBQ sauce and cheddar.

The Dish: Dirty Rice & hushpuppies
Where: Mudbugs Cajun Café in Carmel
Price: Regular $6.95, Small $3.95. Hushpuppies (Order of 8)$1.95, (Order of 16) $3.95
Cajun is making another appearance on our favorite cheap eats list, and with good reason! The dirty rice is a creole classic with ground beef, green peppers, and lots of special Cajun spices. Add on an out-of-this-world order of golden fried hushpuppies as a side and you won't be disappointed! Taylor's Bakery Donuts

Ashley's close-second pick
The Dish: Grilled Triple Cheese
Where: Woodys Library Restaurant in Carmel
Price: $7.95
A childhood favorite gets an upgrade with three cheeses instead of one! Provolone, American, and Monterey Jack are sandwiched between crispy toasted white bread. The sandwich comes with kettle chips, but you can upgrade to waffle fries (another staff favorite) or another side for just $1.95.

The Dish: Donuts, any kind!
Where: Taylor's Bakery in Fishers
Price: 85 cents/donut, $9/dozen donuts, $3.60/dozen donut holes
Perfect for satisfying a sweet tooth at breakfast or any time, donuts from Taylor's Bakery hit the spot. This bakery is not like any other either; it's been around for over 100 years- talk about baking experts!

What are YOUR favorite cheap eats in Hamilton County? Share below in the comments!

Pie shop takes the cake

Nov 25, 2014 by Shanna Mooney

Lisa's Pie Shop Counter

True story: The first word my son learned to spell was pie. He was 2, and it was Thanksgiving morning. It was because of his love of and demand for pie that we did the less-than-stealth "did you bring the p-i-e" thing adults do when trying to keep a secret. I still remember him saying: "What's p-i-e, Mommy? What's p-i... Is it pie?! I want p-i-e!"

He is now 10, and I've rarely seen him more excited than when I answered his "What are we going to do this weekend" question with, "Go to a p-i-e shop." He laughed, remembering the tale that always comes up around this time of year, but then got VERY excited when he realized I wasn't joking, and I assured him it was, in fact, a pie shop and not just any bakery. Lisa's Pie sampling

Indeed, Lisa's Pie Shop doesn't sell "just" pies, either. She sells the nation's best pies, and the walls of her Atlanta, Indiana shop are lined with hundreds of ribbons and awards to prove it. But don't just take expert pie judges word for it. You must taste for yourself! We certainly did! 

In my house, we are a fruit-pie family. But it's divided between cherry and apple. Since it's my blog, I chose apple. Dutch apple, which was piled high with a sugar-cinnamon dust that certainly is applied by fairies and not a mere mortal. Or maybe it not. Regardless, it was delicious. No ice cream needed. Even my cherry pie-preferring husband declared: the best apple pie I've ever eaten. My son was over the moon.

So then we tried the lemon meringue. It was sweet, tart, and covered with fluffiness. A delight.

So, we went on to try black raspberry, which had just come out of the oven. Again, we were thrilled, and not quite ready to stop adding to our pie buffet, so we tried a peach pie-in-a-jar. When I first saw the jars, I assumed they were pie filling that you could take home and try your hand at an inferior-crusted, semi-homemade job. I was wrong. These jars are filled with pie--crust and all. It's pretty much like they crammed a whole slice of pie in a jar and sealed it up. In fact, that's exactly what they did. It's a convenient way to transport, sure. A novelty, yes--but also quite tasty. Although at $4 to $12 a pop, depending on size and flavor, I'd stick with the fresh.

Lisa' Pie Shop is located in northern Hamilton County, at 5995 S US Highway 31, Atlanta, IN. Her shop is a small slice of heaven in which they serve big pieces of pie. If you want a particular pie, make sure you order ahead online or call 317-758-6944. There are plenty from which to choose: Pie in a Jar

Fruit pies ($11): Apple, Dutch apple, apricot, blueberry, cherry, peach, pumpkin, rhubarb, and strawberry rhubarb.
Cream pies ($11): Banana, butterscotch, chocolate, coconut, lemon, peanut butter, and sugar cream.
Specialty pies ($13): Pecan. ($14): Carmel apple walnut, gooseberry, raisin, Hershey bar, black raspberry, and chocolate. ($25): 10" deep dish decorated famous frozen punch and chocolate caramel cheese pecan.
Pie in a jar (price varies): Apple, apricot, peach, blueberry, cherry, strawberry rhubarb, and black raspberry.

Whatever your preference, make sure you take your checkbook or plenty of cash--credit cards are not accepted, and you will likely end up purchasing more than you planned.


8 Great Things to do the 4th Weekend of November 2014

Nov 20, 2014 by Hamilton County CVB

Holiday happenings are already beginning in Hamilton County this weekend! Meet Santa, cut down your own Christmas Tree, see live music and more. Read on for weekend getaway ideas and discover additional fun on our online event calendar.

1. It's the last weekend of the year to experience the moving Follow the North Star program at Conner Prairie. Country ChristmasParticipants take on the role of a fugitive slave traveling along the Underground Railroad in this nationally acclaimed program. Reservations are required. 

2. The legendary Tony Bennett is coming to the Palladium! Hear him croon the classics like "Anything Goes" and new material from his album Duets II. A bit of trivia for Tony lovers- the Duets II album debuted at No. 1 making him the only recording artist in history to achieve this at age 85! 

3. Get into the holiday spirit at the 2014 Holiday on the Square event in Carmel this Saturday. This annual tradition brings a lot of entertainment to the gazebo on the square, visits with Santa and his elves, plus the tree lighting.  

4. Speaking of Christmas, Stonycreek Farm's Country Christmas kicks off this Saturday. Nothing says tradition like picking out your own Christmas Tree and cutting it down right on the farm! Also check out the array of custom made wreaths and more inside the gift shop.  Mustache Dache

5. Santa will continue his visits to local malls with his arrival at Clay Terrace this Saturday. In addition to meeting Santa in his Santa House, there will be even more like carriage rides and reindeer. Santa will stick around until Christmas Eve for photo ops and he'll also make appearances at The Fashion Mall- what a busy guy! 

6. Get your fitness on for a great cause at The Mustache Dache! Complete a zany and fun 5k at Grand Park in support of Movember, the leading charity for men's health and prostate cancer. All participants are encouraged to don a mustache (whether real, stick on or painted on!) to support the cause. Day-of registration is available. 

7. The Winter Farmers Market in Carmel is celebrating its second week of the season in its new location. The heated Wilfong Pavilion in Founders Park houses over 30 vendors that offer everything from prepared goods to eggs and meat. See you at the market this Saturday from 9am- noon! Hedgehog Dancing 2

8. Head to northern Hamilton County this Saturday for a unique evening. Grab a delicious Italian dinner at DeLullo's in Atlanta (read blogger Emma's review here). Then enjoy an evening of music the Hedgehog in Arcadia. Award-winning English guitarist Adrian Legg will perform for the third time at this charming venue beginning at 7pm. 



Hamilton County Holiday Happenings

Nov 18, 2014 by Hamilton County CVB

With the holidays quickly approaching, it's time to start stocking up on gifts for everyone on your list, marking your calendar for festive events, and securing a place to stay during your Hamilton County holiday getaway! Noblesville Holiday Shopping

From brand names to unique artisan goods, Hamilton County, Indiana is a one-stop shop for holiday shopping. The area boasts three Simon Malls including Carmel's Clay Terrace that has over 80 retail shops. Hamilton Town Center in Noblesville has everything from name-brand anchor stores to an IMAX theater for shopping breaks. Or head just a bit south to find high-end stores at The Fashion Mall.

Looking to buy local? No fear, Hamilton County has plenty of fabulous boutiques, antique malls, and local shops to support on Small Business Saturday. Art lovers can choose from a great selection one-of-a-kind local art pieces at Nickel Plate Arts' Gifted exhibit. Discover treasures at Carmel Old Town Antique Mall in the Arts & Design District or A Corner Cottage on the Noblesville Square. Don't skip Simply Sweet Shoppe, Mass on Main or Gallery 116 where you'll uncover quirky finds for the whole family.

Holiday Gifting Ideas


In addition to shopping, holiday cheer can be found all over Hamilton County, Indiana this season in the form of fun events. From holiday performances at the Palladium, to picking and cutting down your own Christmas tree during Country Christmas at Stonycreek Farm, there's something for everyone. 

Hop aboard the Polar Bear Express Train or Take Santa Home Train hosted by the Indiana Transpiration Museum. These two journeys include a visit from the jolly old elf himself, Santa!  

See holiday traditions celebrated the way they were 175 years ago during Conner Prairie by Candlelight or step inside at Conner Prairie to see the annual Gingerbread Village display.  Visit Hamilton Co Ice Sculpture- Noblesville Video

Experience holiday fun in Carmel during Holiday in the Arts District or Holiday on the Square. See towns aglow during Westfield in Lights or the Celebration of Lights in Fishers, or even witness Santa make his debut for the season at the Noblesville Holiday Parade. For even more festive fun events, visit our online calendar.

If you're wondering how to fit all of the shopping and holiday happenings into one day, you don't have to! Several Hamilton County hotels are offering special deals for overnight stays. These 8 great holiday hotel rates are also perfect for those extra family members you can't (or don't want to!) squeeze into your house this holiday season.

See all of the hotels offering special rates and plan your holiday getaway today at


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