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Your November 26 Hamilton County Getaway is Closer Than you Think!

Nov 25, 2015 by Hamilton County Tourism

From Christmas teas to lighting trees, Hamilton County is wasting no time getting into the holiday spirit! After your Thanksgiving feast is done, plan to attend a fun event with the family or get a jump-start on holiday shopping by seeking out local gifts. Read below for fun ideas and check the online calendar for even more things to do.

Festive Fri blurb

Festive Fridays

November 27 - December 18

Carmel, Indiana

Get your local shopping on in the Carmel Arts & Design District. Several shops, restaurants and attractions will have extended hours, special deals and more. The event will continue each Friday through December 18 so you can shop local.

Gifted Blurb

Gifted III Exhibition

November 27 - December 25

Noblesville, Indiana

Nickel Plate Arts is hosting the 3rd annual Gifted exhibit that is filled with giftable art. Local artists supply everything from traditional hanging art to wearable knits, ornaments and more. This is a must-visit for anyone with a culture-lover on his or her list.

Gingerbread Village blurb


Gingerbread Village at Conner Prairie
November 27 - January 3
Fishers, Indiana

Gingerbread creations have taken over at Conner Prairie! See hand-made sweet treat masterpieces made by amateurs and professionals. While you're there, be sure to check out Holiday Adventures to see how Prairietown celebrated holidays in the 1830s.


Ice Sculpture blurb


Tree Lighting & Ice Sculptures
November 27
Noblesville, Indiana

Ice sculptures will line the Noblesville Square as the city gets into the holiday spirit. See live ice carving demonstrations, check out the tree lighting ceremony and peek into the festive local shop windows.


LIttle town blurb


Westfield Playhouse Presents: "The Little Town Of Christmas"
November 27 - December 13
Westfield, Indiana

This Christmas comedy takes aim at your funny bone to ensure some holiday cheer. Meet fun characters like elves, Mrs. Claus, Dancer (you know, the reindeer!) and more.


SHopping blurb


Small Business Saturday
November 28
Throughout Hamilton County

Remember to shop small the Saturday after Thanksgiving to support local small businesses. Check out the Noblesville Square, Carmel City Center, the Carmel Arts & Design District, Fishers and small boutiques across the county to support local while finding great gifts.


Xmas Noblesville Blurb


Noblesville Holiday Parade
November 29
Noblesville, Indiana

Santa makes his debut in Noblesville with much fanfare at the annual holiday parade in downtown Noblesville. He'll then be available at the Santa House on the Square to listen to wish lists all season long.


Tina's Tea blurb


Christmas High Tea
December 1 - 31
Carmel, Indiana

Tina's Traditional Old English Kitchen sets the table this December for special Christmas Teas. Enjoy British savory and sweet treats while sipping hot tea in the quaint tea room with family and friends. Make your reservations today.


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.

Renaissance volunteers at work: Joe and Don

Nov 23, 2015 by Kate Burkhardt

This year, Hamilton County Tourism decided to pause the "holiday crazy" to honor the people for whom giving is not only an act, but a lifestyle in Hamilton County. Learn more about Tourism Gives here

Tourism Gives Header

If a "Renaissance man" is a "present-day person who has acquired profound proficiency or knowledge in more than one field" (thanks,, a "Renaissance volunteer" is someone who gives their time in a wide variety of ways.

Joe Trentman from Open Doors in Westfield and Don Greenlee from the Come-to-Me Food Pantry in Fishers are the wearers of many hats, the jacks-of-all-trades and true Renaissance volunteers of Hamilton County.

Open Doors in Westfield manages a food pantry, distributes clothing, refurbishes bicycles, collects children's books, gives away baskets of cleaning supplies and more to help clients. While Open Doors values all of those who help throughout the year, Joe Trentman stands out among the rest for his many abilities.

Joe works tirelessly on a variety of projects at Open Doors every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. Along with sorting food and picking up donations up to twice a day, Joe helps maintain the building and works as an all-around handyman.


"We've experienced some flooding in our building in the past," said Ann Godby, Open Doors vice president. "He's come in at midnight several times to check on things and lay sandbags. We know we can always count on Joe."

Joe is also a skilled woodworker. Over the years, he's donated his projects to Christ United Methodist Church, including a beautiful grandfather clock that has served as a donation box.

Even if you're not a handyman like Joe, here are a few ways you can give to Open Doors:

1. Donate funds to Open Doors' capital campaign to help them with the process of moving to a bigger facility.
2. Help fill up Thanksgiving baskets that Open Doors prepares to bountifully bless clients with all the fixings for a Thanksgiving dinner.
3. Help organize and sort Christmas gifts for clients.

For more details, visit the Open Doors website or email Ann Godby.

Fishers United Methodist Church's self-sufficient food pantry handles more than 5,000 pounds of donated food items every week and has donated 1.75 million pound of food since opening in 2007! No one is more well-rounded in food pantry operations than Don Greenlee.

The food pantry purveyor has been involved with the food pantry for almost eight years. While most people think food pantry operations only involve sorting and distributing goods, Don is proof that helping the pantry run smoothly involves much more. Don not only organizes donated food, but also helps with the logistics of packing donations into the small sorting area and doing statistics. He also helps organize fundraising efforts at the Reynolds Christmas lights display in Fishers, which benefits the food pantry.

"Don started working at the pantry when we were in dire need," Come-to-Me Food Pantry director Linda Williams said. "He is truly an amazing person."

Don is also extremely involved the Fishers United Methodist Church. He's been known to serve on many committees, cook church dinners and mow the lawns.

With the upcoming holidays, the Fishers UMC food pantry desperately needs food items. Follow Don's lead and give any of the following goods:

1. Soups (cream of chicken, cream of mushroom, vegetable, chowders and thick hearty soups)
2. Cereal
3. Toaster pastries
4. Oatmeal
5. Canned chicken
6. Canned yams, potatoes, mushrooms
7. Boxed dry potatoes or stuffing
8. Gravy
9. Chicken and beef broth
10. Canned or dried beans
11. 1-pound bags of rice
12. Beef stew and chicken and dumplings
13. Canned pastas (Spaghetti-O's and ravioli)

Donations may be dropped off at the pantry (behind Fishers UMC at 9691 E 116th St) any time on Wednesdays from 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. or at door 1 or 4 of the church. Visit the Food Pantry website for more information.

Thank you for your tireless giving to Hamilton County, Joe and Don!

For long-term support of Hamilton County charitable organizations through the Legacy Fund, click here.

Also, enter to win this week's "get one, give one" prize! Each week there will be give away for a pair of prizes so you can enjoy one prize and give the other away to someone special.

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Current Logo Legacy Fund Logo

Fuel for your holiday shopping trip

Nov 19, 2015 by Emma Diebold

One should never start an epic day of shopping without properly fueling up first! Hit the shops after a tasty breakfast or brunch in Hamilton County. Here are some eateries to try:

Rosie's Place amps up the charm factor on the downtown Noblesville Square, where cheery ambience collides with creative café favorites.

Eggshell Insta


Eggshell Bistro blends modern industrial style with a global fusion brunch menu. Expect stratas and frittatas loaded with uber-local ingredients and next-level, European-grade coffee and espresso.

Café Patachou has become a brunch mecca for in-the-know locals, and the reputation is well-deserved. The French-themed café has nailed their niche perfectly thanks to 25 years of experience.

Bub's Café, located just off the Monon Trail, gives a perfect view of the morning foot traffic while tucking into plates of biscuits and gravy, warm French toast or their signature donut holes.

Erika's Place, Cicero and Westfield's version of your grandmother's kitchen, serves up downhome cooking and that "small town vibe."

Now, on to the shopping...

From quirky locally owned shops to bustling malls with all of the brands you love, Hamilton County has you covered for holiday shopping! Plan out a getaway to get all of your shopping in so you can relax for the rest of the season with family and friends.

Noblesville Holiday Shopping


Find unique goods at shops like Gallery 116, Logan Village Mall or Silver in the City's Carmel Arts & Design District location. If vintage style is on your list, hit up one of the many antique shops around the Noblesville Square or the Antique Emporium. For Black Friday deals, shop ‘til you drop at Clay Terrace, Hamilton Town Center or the nearby Fashion Mall. Detectible edible gifts from Lisa's Pie Shop, Vine & Table and the Carmel Winter Farmers Market will bring some local flavor to your holiday table.

Wine at Vine & Table


Plan your perfect present procuring trip by using one of the many special deals being offered by Hamilton County hotels just for the holiday season. Use your savings to buy something special for yourself this season!

Browse a list of shopping options on



8 ideas for Hamilton County food souvenirs

Nov 18, 2015 by Kate Burkhardt

Sometimes the best way to remember a trip is through your taste buds, so take home a Hamilton County food souvenir for later reminiscing! Here are eight ideas for later snacking:


Dirty Helen beers


1. Grab a growler. By the end of 2016, Hamilton County will have more craft breweries than any other county in the state of Indiana. Find funky craft brews from Deviate Brewing Company. Find Indiana favorites from Upland Carmel Tap House or Sun King Fishers Tap Room. For a beer with a backstory, head to Grand Junction or Barley Island.

2. If you're a chocolate lover (who isn't!) try a truffle or bar from Chocolate for the Spirit's internationally recognized collection. The Chai Tea Truffle is one of my personal favorites and is perfect for the season! If fudge is your thing, try Hoosier Trail fudge from Cabela's in Noblesville.

3. To find ingredients for your own culinary concoction, visit Joe's Butcher Shop in the Carmel Arts and Design District for Indiana meats and various ready-to-serve side items, including the locally legendary Keltie's Bread Pudding.

4. Hit Noble Coffee and Tea for locally roasted coffee beans and teas. Don't forget to grab a zebra latte on your way out!


Local Folks Mustard


5. Grill masters can top off their creations with homemade barbeque sauce from Big Hoffa's or LocalFolks Foods' stone-ground mustard.

6. For fresh finds despite dropping temperatures, check out the Carmel Winter Market at Founders Park for local artisan goods. Also be sure to check out Wilson's Farm Market off of US 31 in Arcadia - now open year-round - for a delicious loaf of pretzel bread or sugared piecrust.


Pie in a jar


7. Keep your car smelling delicious the entire drive home with a pie from Lisa's Pie Shop, also off US 31. Purchase a Dutch apple pie fresh out of the oven or a Pie in a Jar to gift to a friend.

8. Pick up a bottle of wine from Peace Water Winery and automatically make a donation to a charitable organization with your purchase!

Your appetite (and memory) will thank you!


Your November 19 Hamilton County Getaway is Closer Than you Think!

Nov 17, 2015 by Hamilton County Tourism

That special holiday sparkle is already in the air in Hamilton County, Indiana! The holiday fun has just begun with Santa arrivals, special productions and gift hunting. Read on for ways to make this weekend festive and fun and find even more events on our online calendar.

The Belfry Theatre presents: A Christmas Carol
November 20 - December 6
Noblesville, Indiana

This classic tale will be brought to life on stage for the holiday season. Enjoy your favorite ghosts, dances and Ebenezer moments with the whole family. This is a heart-warming play that's not to be missed.


Holiday on the Square blurb


2015 Holiday on the Square
November 21
Carmel, Indiana

Carmel is kicking off the holiday season in style with this annual event. Holiday entertainment, a market, live reindeer and more will bring the holiday spirit. Stick around and you can even meet Santa himself.

Country Christmas 2015
November 21 - December 20
Noblesville, Indiana

‘Tis the season for holiday decorating and Stonycreek Farms does not disappoint. Browse decorations in the barn and pick out fresh greenery for your home. You can even take a hayride to the tree field to pick your own Christmas Tree.


Guerin blurb


Guerin Catholic Christmas Bazaar
November 21
Noblesville, Indiana

Make your list and check it twice and you might even find all of the gifts you need at this special bazaar. There will be over 100 specialty vendors with everything from décor to jewelry.

Santa's Arrival
November 21
Carmel, Indiana

Santa is arriving in style at Clay Terrace mall this Saturday. Stop by to meet him just outside of Dick's Sporting Goods. He'll be available for photos until he packs his sleigh on Christmas Eve.


Polar Bear Express blurb


The Polar Bear Express Train
November 21 - December 23
Fishers, Indiana

All aboard! Make your reservations now for this extremely popular holiday activity with the Indiana Transportation Museum. Listen to a lovely story, take a train ride and meet Santa as he mingles with passengers.

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.


How hands help: Kim and Anita

Nov 16, 2015 by Kate Burkhardt

This year, Hamilton County Tourism decided to pause the "holiday crazy" to honor the people for whom giving is not only an act, but a lifestyle in Hamilton County. Learn more about Tourism Gives here.

Tourism Gives Header


Helping hands could hold many different items - including horse reins. Agape Therapeutic Riding Center in Cicero focuses on healing through horseback riding for people with physical, mental and emotional needs. Because Agape works with 22 horses to provide almost 8,000 lessons and various equine programs each year, the center relies on close to 300 volunteers to change lives through interactions with horses.

While all of Agape's volunteers are valuable, Kim Dodson is a horse-handling superstar.


Before getting involved with Agape, Kim worked with horses for 20 years and learned the special nature of relationships between humans and horses. Two years ago, Kim started volunteering at Agape when her daughter showed interest in participating in an equestrian competition through the Hamilton County Special Olympics. Kim has given her time and other resources to helping kids bond with horses multiple times each week and loves watching these relationships grow.

"Kim is a special person for Agape and Hamilton County," Agape executive director Amanda Bocik said. "We've been blessed to have gotten to walk alongside her entire family in their experience with Agape."

Maybe you're not as experienced with horses as Kim, but there are plenty of ways to give to Agape:

1. Volunteer. Agape is always looking for individual and group volunteers to help with stable maintenance, property enhancement and side walking. Click here to learn more.
2. Donate. Agape accepts general donations, items listed on their wish list and horse sponsorships at a dollar amount a month. See all giving opportunities here.

While hands at Agape handle horses in Cicero, helping hands at Mama's Cupboard pass out food items and pick up the phone in Sheridan. Mama's Cupboard supports the Sheridan community through a food pantry and legal client advocacy services. The organization often calls mortgage companies and attends court on behalf of clients along with making sure no adult or child in Sheridan goes to bed hungry. Super volunteer Anita Childers' hands also reach out to hug any and every client she meets.


At one point in her life, Anita was the recipient of help from Mama's Cupboard. For the last five years, Anita has donated much of her time to volunteering and giving back to the organization that changed her life. Along with her involvement at Mama's Cupboard, Anita is an active member of her church and the Sheridan Main Street Committee.

"Anita always gives hugs and never judgment," executive director Brenda Garrod said. "I hope and pray that every other nonprofit in Hamilton County has a volunteer as wonderful as Anita."

If you'd like to follow Anita's example of a life of giving, visit Mama's Cupboard's Facebook page or email Brenda Garrod at to ask how you can be of assistance.

Thank you for your tireless giving to Hamilton County, Kim and Anita!

For long-term support of Hamilton County charitable organizations through the Legacy Fund, click here.

Also, enter to win this week's "get one, give one" prize! Each week there will be give away for a pair of prizes so you can enjoy one prize and give the other away to someone special.

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Current Logo Legacy Fund Logo

Your November 12-18 Hamilton County Getaway is Closer Than you Think!

Nov 12, 2015 by Hamilton County Tourism

From a classical piano performance to a Santa arrival, this weekend is bustling with things to do in Hamilton County, Indiana. Below is a sampling of fun things to do, be sure to check out our online calendar for even more.


HTC Blurb


Annual Holiday Festival
November 14
Noblesville, Indiana

Santa is arriving at Hamilton Town Center with full holiday flair. Kids can enjoy special activities, adults can enjoy local beverages and all can listen to live entertainment until Santa's arrival.

Carmel Arts & Design Second Saturday Gallery Walk
November 14
Carmel, Indiana

Browse new exhibits and features at 12 art galleries in the Carmel Arts & Design District. There will also be caricatures, face painting and a scavenger hunt.


CSO blurb


Carmel Symphony Orchestra presents: Rachmaninoff 3 with Sean Chen
November 14
Carmel, Indiana

Piano lovers won't want to miss this delightful performance with piano master Sean Chen, APA Classical Fellow and Van Cliburn medalist. He will be performing Rachmaninoff 3 with the orchestra.

Carmel Winter Farmers Market
November 14 - March 12
Carmel, Indiana

Head to Founders Park in Carmel for the first Winter Farmers Market of the season. Stock up on local goodies like winter vegetables, meats, eggs, cheese, honey and more. Plan to visit the market each Saturday from 9 a.m.- noon.


The Rink blurb


The Rink Ice Skating
November 14
Noblesville, Indiana

Experience the magic of ice skating outdoors at The Rink that opens this Saturday. Located at Hamilton Town Center, this new ice skating venue will be open and have solid ice to skate on no matter the temperature.

Santa's Mailbox
November 16 - December 14
Fishers, Indiana

Get that stationary ready, Santa is accepting wish list letters soon! Children in fourth grade and younger are invited to share their holiday wishes via letter. Parents can deliver letters to Santa's Mailbox inside Fishers City Hall or the Fishers Parks & Recreation office.

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.


Our Holidays in Hamilton County, Indiana Bucket List

Nov 11, 2015 by Sarah Buckner

As Christopher, 7, and Emily, 4, quickly grow up, I always want to make sure they are able to look back to a ton of magical memories. As fall comes to a close and the holiday season gets closer, I have asked them to help me come up with a list of things they would love to do. So I now present to you our 2016 Holiday Season bucket list:

- A visit to The Rink in Noblesville - an outdoor ice skate park opening November 14. Located next to Santa's Village in Hamilton Town Center, the Rink is at the top of my children's list. 

PolaR Express from Kori

- Hop aboard the Polar Bear Express Train Ride. Each weekend, November 21 - December 23, is the Polar Express. My kids are eagerly awaiting to hear the story, ride the train, and visit with Santa - all while snuggled up in their pajamas!

- Country Christmas at Stonycreek Farm is a must do every year. We plan to bundle up and head to Stonycreek - where we can take a hayride to choose our Christmas tree, sip hot cider, stroll through the greenhouse and experience all magic of the season.

Country Christmas


- Emmy turns five in November, and to celebrate we are having a tea party. Needless to say, she is very into tea. So in addition to her tea party birthday, we are going to have a girl's day and visit Tina's Traditional Old English Kitchen for Christmas High Tea.

- Go to the Palladium in Carmel for a holiday music show. Between Wynonna Judd, Michael Bolton, the local symphony and MORE - there is a festive performance almost every weekend in the month of December. Nothing puts me in the spirit of the season quite like dressing up and listening to the beautiful holiday classics.



- A visit to Conner Prairie in Fishers. My family can travel back in time to the 1836 winter season with a visit to the homes and businesses in Prairietown, explore the Gingerbread Village, take a stroll through Conner Prairie By Candlelight, or dine with Santa

There is so much more to do, that this is just the start of the list! For further information on Santa sightings, tree lightings, and other fun things to do in Hamilton County, Indiana this holiday season please visit the online calendar of events.


From “go” to “give:” How Hamilton County Tourism is reimagining the holidays

Nov 09, 2015 by Kate Burkhardt

In recent years, the holidays aren't as much about "giving" as they are "going." Calendars fill with office Christmas parties, picking up the ham, running out for another roll of wrapping paper or taking an armful of boxes to the post office. The frenzied back-and-forth is enough to make anyone's head spin with visions of dancing sugarplums and grandparents at the mercy of runaway reindeer. Despite our best intentions, the busyness of the holidays often puts us in a "holidaze."

This year, Hamilton County Tourism decided to pause the "holiday crazy" to honor the people for whom giving is not only an act, but a lifestyle in Hamilton County.

Packing for Tourism Gives

For the project we're calling "Tourism Gives," the Hamilton County Tourism staff identified nine organizations doing big things for the community. We then asked for nominations of particularly stellar volunteers - those who regularly go "above and beyond" what is asked of them. Next, we put together special "staycation" packages with hotel, restaurant and attraction certificates from our tourism partners as a "thank you" for the giving these volunteers do every day.

The catch? None of the volunteers had any prior knowledge of the covert giving operation. Until we surprised them and caught their reaction on camera, that is.

Over the next five weeks, you can follow along on our blog as we introduce and give to nine Hamilton County "serial givers." You'll meet two "dog whisperers," an expert equine handler, a Nigerian microcomputer processor turned nurse and more, as well as the organizations working year-round to benefit the communities of Hamilton County. These organizations don't get to take a break once the holidaze begins, so we've also included ways to help you pause from "going" to give this holiday season.

Giving Gift

Join us in celebrating the people and organizations that tirelessly give to Hamilton County.

Feel like giving a little yourself this holiday season? Please consider supporting one of these worthwhile organizations with your time, talent and money or give for grants sustainability to the Legacy Fund

Also, enter to win this week's "get one, give one" prize! Each week there will be give away for a pair of prizes so you can enjoy one prize and give the other away to someone special.


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Current Logo Legacy Fund Logo

Your November 5-11 Hamilton County Getaway is Closer Than you Think!

Nov 05, 2015 by Hamilton County Tourism

Learn, see art and get a jump on holiday shopping in Hamilton County. This week is filled with fun, so read for a selection of great getaway ideas. Discover even more events on our online calendar!


Follow the North Star blurb


Follow the North Star
November 4 - 21
Fishers, Indiana

This intense and moving Conner Prairie program puts visitors into the role of a fugitive slave. Suitable for those ages 12 and up, there are many obstacles to overcome during the escape. It's an interactive learning experience unlike any other. Reservations are required.

65th Annual Art Show & Sale
November 2 - 13
Noblesville, Indiana

Enjoy an art exhibit at the Hamilton East Public Library for free this November. Stop by during normal library hours to see works of art created by local artists.


First Friday holiday blurb


First Friday
November 6
Noblesville, Indiana

Head to downtown Noblesville for fun this Friday evening. Yes, it's time to get into the festive spirit already! There will be holiday open houses at several shops and live mannequins in the windows of various merchants. Also stop by Nickel Plate Arts for an exhibit featuring Fishers artwork.

The Actors Theatre of Indiana presents: The Andrews Brothers
November 6 - 22
Carmel, Indiana

This hilarious show blends comedy, music and romance into an unforgettable performance. A group of stagehands and one celebrity must save the day during a USO show for the troops during WWII.


Jennie DeVoe blurb


Jennie DeVoe
November 7
Carmel, Indiana

Indiana native Jennie DeVoe will return to The Warehouse for an evening filled with two show times. Jennie is an indie rocker with a sensational voice and she'll be performing some tunes from her 6th album.

City of Carmel Veteran's Day Ceremony
November 10
Carmel, Indiana

Honor veterans who have served our country by attending this free ceremony at the Booth Tarkington Civic Theatre. Carmel's Mayor along with the local VFW and American Legion posts will conduct a great tribute to vets.

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