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So much summer, so little time: a guide to the perfect Hamilton County day trip

Jun 23, 2016 by Hamilton County Tourism

The summer season was, at one point, associated with slowing down. But between graduations, weddings, family cookouts and summer camps it seems that summer is as busy as ever. And busyness leaves us craving a break – a getaway or escape that lets us take back the slowness that once characterized the season. But who has time for an entire weekend away?

Save time and recharge with a quick daytrip to Hamilton County, no overnight required!

Bub Holes

Start your day with a quick brunch at Bub’s Café in Carmel. Don’t forget to order the famous Bub Holes – donut holes as big as your fist! From there, hop on a Carmel Bike Share bike and go for a quick 2.5-mile pedal to the Monon Community Center Waterpark. Purchase a day pass and spend a few hours lounging on a lawn chair, practicing your surf tricks on the Flowrider or riding the lazy river.


 Tenderloin Trail

 For an authentic Hamilton County lunch, look no further than the Tenderloin Trail! If your plans bring you to Hamilton County on a Tuesday during the month of July, you’ll be just in time for Tenderloin Tuesdays. Beginning June 28 and running through July 26, find deals and discounts on the signature Hoosier sandwich at 20 restaurants throughout Hamilton County.


 Arts and Design

 After lunch, shop it off in the Arts and Design District. Enjoy the air conditioning inside several art galleries, the Indiana Design Center and Silver in the City. Once your eyes have feasted on local art, bike a few minutes north to Clay Terrace for airy summer shopping.

Nickel Plate District Amphitheater

 For your evening entertainment, find waterfront dining at Lazy FroggBella Vita or Wolfie’s and prepare to rock out! Find outdoor summer concerts every night of the week at venues like the Nickel Plate District AmphitheaterConner PrairieKlipsch Music Center and more.


Luke Bryan 

Tenderloin Tuesday 

Happy daytripping!

Cheers to Part 2 of the Hamilton County Summer Bucket List

Jun 23, 2016 by Hamilton County Tourism

Since Part 1 of our summer bucket list was such a hit, it’s now time for Part 2! Here in Hamilton County, we like to serve up the summer with a mixture of laidback summer concerts, places to splash and can’t-miss festivals and events. Pair any of these with an impeccable forecast (we enjoy highs in the 80’s all summer long) and you’ve got additions to your own bucket list in the making.

Here’s Part 2 of our summer bucket list:

Pack a picnic for Symphony on the Prairie – outdoor dining and amphitheater concerts are our bread and butter, so why not combine the two? Rent a table or bring a blanket with your favorite packable dinner to eat while enjoying tributes to David Bowie, John Williams, Billy Joel and Elton John at Symphony on the Prairie!
 Morse Beach  Splash around at Morse Park and Beach – who says Indiana doesn’t have beaches? At Morse Park and Beach, sink your toes in the sand or head for the water to climb on a playground of inflatables. Slides and climbing courses make for a beach day adventure you can’t even find in the tropics!
 Art of Wine  Experience Art of Wine – The Carmel Arts and Design District will be teeming with oenophiles on Saturday, July 16 for Hamilton County’s biggest and best wine festival – Art of Wine. Enjoy unlimited wine tasting from 10 Indiana wineries for just $20 as well as access to art galleries, food and entertainment.
 Street Dance Street Dance – Noblesville’s biggest event of the year returns to the historic square July 9 from 4 – 11 p.m. Ready your best moves for Street Dance as the live band takes the stage at 7:30 p.m. to play dance hits from the 70s to now. In between songs, sample eats from Noblesville restaurants and vendors. For younger dancers, the Kid’s Zone will open at 4:30 p.m. and feature free activities like a rock-climbing wall, airbrush tattoos, balloon vendors and carnival games.

Cheers to your summer bucket list!

Hamilton County Happenings - June 22

Jun 22, 2016 by Hamilton County Tourism

Enjoy the great outdoors this week with festivals, late night events and a new one-of-a-kind treetop adventure. If all that exploring makes you hungry, grab a classic Hoosier meal along the Tenderloin Trail in celebration of #TenderloinTuesdays. Be sure to check out our online calendar for even more Hamilton County happenings!

Carmel's Late Night on Main  Carmel’s Late Night on Main
June 24
Carmel, Indiana

Join us on Main Street as we welcome mayors from all over the country visiting the Carmel Arts & Design District with a special late night street party. Live music begins at 9 p.m. and entertainment continues until midnight. Many shops, galleries and restaurants will be open late.
Fishers Freedom Festival  Fishers Freedom Festival
June 24-26
Fishers, Indiana

The annual Fishers Freedom Festival will be at the Roy G. Holland Memorial Park off Holland Drive & Ellipse Parkway in Fishers. This free event offers fine arts & crafts, food & business vendors, live music, 5K walk/run, K-9 demonstrations, children's tent, teen area, street dance, children's parade, main parade, fireworks and much more.
Symphony on the Prairie
Marsh Symphony on the Prairie: Tribute to David Bowie
June 24-25
Fishers, Indiana - Conner Prairie

Celebrated by critics, musicians and fans worldwide, David Bowie sold an estimated 140 million records and produced eleven chart-topping albums in a career that spanned over five decades. Come pay tribute to him at Symphony on the Prairie this weekend! 
Westfield Movies in the Park
Westfield Movies in the Park: Minions
June 24
Westfield, Indiana
Come out this summer with your family and friends to enjoy a free, relaxing evening under the stars to watch a good movie with good company! We encourage you to bring blankets, chairs, snacks and flashlights! Kona Ice will be selling cool treats onsite.
 Great American Campout Noblesville Parks: Great American Campout
June 25
Noblesville, Indiana

Join Noblesville Parks as we celebrate the outdoors and the National Wildlife Federation with the Great American Campout. Families will engage in programming and hikes throughout the evening then stay in tents in Forest Park.
Tenderloin Tuesday
Tenderloin Tuesday
June 28-July 26
Various participating Hamilton County restaurants

Celebrate the tenderloin this summer by going to a participating restaurant on Tuesdays to take advantage of specials for this Hoosier food! Don't miss Tenderloin Tuesdays running June 28 and July 5, 12, 19 and 26. View the website for specials from participating Tenderloin Trail locations. 

Luke Bryan


Hamilton County, Indiana MusicHamilton County, Indiana Farm Markets

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What makes Hamilton County great?

Jun 21, 2016 by Jeanine Bobenmoyer

ILuis Ruvalcaba’ve had the distinct pleasure of knowing Luis Ruvalcaba and his amazing crew for only a few short months, but already I’m smitten. If you haven’t caught his written work with Hamilton County Tourism – or even for where we met – then you’re missing out. Luis’ personality shines in everything he publishes, and his Instagram account gleams with must-do-with-the-fam suggestions. It only made sense to tap him for this week’s piece: What makes Hamilton County great? And luckily, he was full of answers.  

How often are you and your family out exploring Hamilton County? 

We’re out at least once a week. Sometimes we go out for a quick trip after work to get some photos or longer excursions on my days off to spend some time away from the house before it becomes a wreck.

If you and your family had one free afternoon to do anything, do you have a usual go-to? 

Yes. I feel like Conner Prairie is definitely our default. There’s so much there that it's basically a no-brainer. Splash pad, history, big giant balloon, arts and crafts, play ground, live animals… what's not to love really? Although when it's super duper hot out, we do spend a fair amount of time at the Fishers YMCA swimming. It’s a great pool. If anyone ends up joining the Y from this I feel like we should get a referral bonus or something!

What do you think are some of the hidden gems more people should know about? 

There is a “museum” of sorts in the Carmel Arts and Design district: The Fire Buffs museum is an old fire station run by a retired firefighter who restores old engines. It's amazing to check out with kids. It's like a touch a truck event without the lines. I also think that Strawtown Koteewi doesn't get nearly enough love. This park is just gigantic and it has so many trails, indoor nature displays and a new zip line course opening this year that you really need to get out and see.

What makes them special? 

Oh. Sorry I think I already answered that! But just in case, those are both special because they are run by people who have a genuine love of what they do. If you talk to Jim, who runs the fire museum you’ll see it in his eyes that this is really his passion and he takes great pride in it. Same with all the volunteers and staff at Koteewi. They are just really committed to the place they are building.

You meet a family brand new to Hamilton County - where do you send them first? 

Oh man. Depends on the family I guess. Forest Park is a good place to start if they don't want to be overwhelmed and just want a nice quiet afternoon. Conner Prairie is good if they are adventurous and it's not too hot. But you know where I started? I got a fishing license and took my kids to fish in the little ponds and lakes all around the place. Sitting out there in the quiet and looking at the beauty of the area really made this place feel like home. My kids would just sit there and hold a fishing pole and the look on their face when they caught some little 4” fish would just priceless. You can’t buy that kind of moment you know? My older daughter’s first catch she even named: Fish and Chips. Those little moments that you can only have out here in our neat blend of city and country are the things that make Hamilton County outstanding.

Experience the New Supper Club at Klipsch Music Center

Jun 17, 2016 by Hamilton County Tourism

Klipsch Music CenterSummer is the perfect time to enjoy an outdoor summer concert. Now you can take your experience to a new level with the Klipsch Music Center Supper Club, available at select performances this season.

Chef Jeff Smith of Georgia Reese’s and Executive Chef Tyler Herald of Patachou will head the fine dining experience, creating custom menus for each show to incorporate fresh, local, seasonal ingredients. Formats range from three-course meals to supper-by-the-bite and more. Diners can expect a full bar and handcrafted cocktails or local wine and beer pairings. Supper Club patrons also receive access to limited VIP parking.

Supper Club tickets do not include admission to the concert, which must be purchased separately.

Enjoy this enhanced concert-going experience at the following performances:

June 16: Joe Walsh and Bad Company
June 17: Dead & Company
June 18: Florida Georgia Line
June 30: Kenny Chesney
July 1: Def Leppard
July 8: Luke Bryan
July 9: Luke Bryan
July 22: Dave Matthews Band
July 23: Dave Matthews Band
July 24: Daryl Hall and John Oates
August 26: Hank Williams JR and Chris Stapleton

Swiss Family Hamilton

Jun 16, 2016 by Luis Ruvalcaba

I once heard that happiness is laying under a tree and looking at the sky through the leaves. While that sounds like time well spent, the author of those words didn't quite have it right. This summer, take some advice from the trees themselves; go out on a limb, leave your house, and climb the trees of Hamilton County. The county has no shortage of forests to frolic in, but I am going to highlight three must-see spots for this summer.

If you haven't been to Flat Fork Creek Park, you haven't been out much this year! The newest of Hamilton County's parks in Fishers, it's well known for having the best sledding in the area. Now that the sun is shining, the big hill is really just an obstacle in your way to the sweet stuff. Climb over the hill, cross the bridge, and head back into the woods to tour the three separate tree houses that line the hiking path. With their simple design, these platform "houses" allow kids and adults to engage in imaginative play. It's the perfect place to take the family for an epic game of capture the flag or just a wild walk-in nature.


As a member of Conner Prairie I am excited to tell you about this next stop. You have likely heard all about Conner Prairie's newest exhibit, Treetop Outpost, but if you haven't: listen up. Set to open in July this year, this new exhibit will feature a multi level building with natural materials, art projects and musical instruments in addition to the much anticipated nature walk. Conner Prairie is always an excellent location to take the family but with this new exhibit it's likely to interest not only the science and history buffs in your family but the hands on artsy adventurer as well. If you haven't been to Conner Prairie lately, there has bene no better time to stop by.


CP Treetop

Lastly and very possibly my favorite: Hamilton County's first treetop and zip line experience is set to open this month. The Edge Adventure Park's Koteewi Aerial Adventure Tree Top Trail will boast five different levels of treetop awesomeness. Suit up in your safety gear, get a quick lesson from your guides, and then you'll be ready to belay your way across the canopy. You can choose from a comfortable 12 foot height (good for the children) or double that for the extremists out there. If you've never been out to Koteewi you're going to want to go now. Not only does it boast some of the most amazing scenic views of our prairie home, but with the addition of new zip-lines, guests will be able to see this breath-taking view in a whole new way. And most importantly it will give us thrill seekers something new and fun close to home! Grab a group of friends and go walk among the hardwood.


Koteewi Aerial

I hope you get a chance to head out with your family or friends this summer and climb the trees! Make sure you take lots of photos and share them with us on Twitter and Instagram at @VisitHamiltonCo by tagging #VisitHC and #RecHC

Hamilton County Happenings - June 15

Jun 15, 2016 by Hamilton County Tourism

Get in touch with nature, enjoy performances and art exhibits or a unique dining experience. Read on for family fun ideas and find even more festivals and events on our online calendar. Be sure to check out our online calendar for even more Hamilton County happenings.

Nature Play Days
Nature Play Days
June 11–19
Throughout Hamilton County

Jump start a summer of outdoor fun! Activities and games or unstructured nature play are a great way to connect as a family, team, congregation, or class and reap the physical, mental, and emotional benefits of time spent outdoors.
Prairie Plates
Prairie Plates: Petite Chou Bistro and Champagne Bar at the Balloon
June 16
Fishers, Indiana - 
Conner Prairie
Restauranteur Martha Hoover and Executive Chef Tyler Herald of Petite Chou Bistro and Champagne Bar add a French flare to the 1859 Balloon Voyage with delectable wine and epicurean delights. Take a tour of the balloon exhibit, meet pioneering balloonist John Wise and soar 370 feet in the air in our French helium-filled balloon if the weather permits.
Food First
‘Food First’ Screening
June 16
Cicero, Indiana

 This film looks at how growing quality food, supporting local, and increasing access and education are impacting Indianapolis. A “Community Conversation” discussion will follow the 70-minute film, including a panel of local food experts from Hamilton County and audience participation.
Plein Air Paint Out
Plein Air Paint Out
June 16–18
Noblesville, Indiana

Take advantage of what festival organizers say is always the most beautiful weekend of the summer during the Nickel Plate Arts Festival. Stop by the 39th Annual Strawberry Festival on Friday and Saturday for a yummy treat.
Follow Drinkin Gourd
Follow the Drinkin' Gourd
June 17–19
Westfield, Indiana

Attendees will be taken along on the Underground Railroad with only the "drinkin' gourd" (Big Dipper) to guide them. The special performance highlights the struggles, fears, and hopes that slaves experienced in their attempts to achieve freedom.
Goldilocks Picnic
June 18
Carmel, Indiana

Round out the day's Goldilocks extravaganza by spreading out your blanket, opening up your basket, and enjoying your picnic, with members of the Trial of Goldilocks cast!

Def Leppard Giveaway

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Downtown Noblesville Girlfriend Getaway

Jun 14, 2016 by Mia Anderson

Father's Day may be just around the corner, but that doesn't mean us girls can't have a Saturday to ourselves! Explore downtown Noblesville, full of boutiques, quaint cafes and endless possibilities for a fun day with your girlfriends. There are many shops and restaurants to try in the Square, but this list of six places is the ultimate itinerary.


9:00 a.m. - Sunrise Café at Uptown
The greatest adventures start with a filling breakfast. Head over to The Uptown Café at 809 Conner Street, for a charming, diner-style breakfast. Sit in one of the cozy booths or even on a stool at the counter and take in the fun atmosphere. There may be a wait, but it will be worth it for the all-American breakfast menu!


10:00 a.m. - Logan Village Mall
After you and your friends' breakfast, it is time to shop til you drop! The first shop on this itinerary is the Logan Village Mall, located at 977 Logan Street. There are 40 different shops in this quaint village mall. There are countless rooms of different repurposed furniture, boutique style fashion and jewelry, hand-made candles and soaps, art and home décor locally made and even a wide variety of candy. This mall has just the antiques and vintage items you need to decorate your space.


Noble Coffee11:15 a.m. - Noble Coffee and Tea
Head over to Noble Coffee and Tea for a pick-me-up. The iced zebra latte (dark and white chocolate with espresso and milk) is a local favorite, or if you are more of a coffee purist, try one of their many locally roasted coffee blends. If you're more of a tea drinker, there is still a world of opportunity for you with over 100 different flavors of tea. There is plenty of seating here if you and your pals need to take a break, but our itinerary continues with more shopping!


11:45 a.m. - Karisma
Are you looking for something new and trendy for your wardrobe? Then Karisma, at 859 Conner Street, is the perfect place for you. This boutique offers cutting edge Bohemian and modern styles of clothes, shoes, accessories and more. When you walk in the door, you will smell the sweet perfume that is Karisma's signature scent-try some on, an employee will be happy to show you where the test samples are! There is something for every modern woman at Karisma!


12:15 p.m - A Corner Cottage
The Corner Cottage staff will be sure to welcome you to their shop with wide smiles and helpful advice. Look around every corner of this store and you will find a different style, era and type of product. With a modern-vintage, urban-cottage feel, this shop has something for everyone. From wall hangings, to garden ornaments, to refurbished furniture and vintage décor-A Corner Cottage is where you want to go to find the perfect decorations for your home.


1:30 p.m. - Rosie's Place
After shopping all morning, it is time to end your girls' day out with a fresh and delicious lunch at Rosie's Place at 68 North 9th Street. They offer a seasonal menu of fresh salads, filling sandwiches and gluten free options. The restaurant opened in 2010 and has been bringing regulars back ever since. Treat yourself to a homemade bakery item or a coffee after your meal!


Be sure to plan your next trip to Noblesville with your girlfriends! There's always more to do and see.

Hamilton County Happenings - June 8

Jun 08, 2016 by Hamilton County Tourism

Summer is officially here in Hamilton County, Indiana! Splash around, taste local strawberries and dance the night away at fun musical events. Read on for family fun ideas and find even more festivals and events on our online calendar. Be sure to check out our online calendar for even more Hamilton County happenings.

Wreath Laying Ceremony
June 9
Noblesville, Indiana

Honoring Sen. James Noble, one of the signers of the 1816 constitution at the state's first Constitutional Convention and the namesake of Noblesville.
Meals Market
Meals from the Market
June 9
Noblesville, Indiana

Enjoy the first in a new dining series of unique farm-to-table meals featuring local music, art and cuisine. Local chef, Rick Moreland will prepare the meals highlighting produce, meat and goods from the Saturday Farmers Market vendors.
Curiosity Fair
Curiosity Fair
June 11-12
Fishers, Indiana

Through a series of activities, presentations and hands-on demonstrations, the whole family will be encouraged to ask questions, share knowledge and ignite the urge to discover. Learn about robots and making video games, explore 3D printing, discover what living things are in your own backyard and find out how milk goes from udder to glass.
CC Concert
Cool Creek Concert - Polkaboy
June 10
Carmel, Indiana

Kick your weekend off with the first concert of the Cool Creek Concert Series. Pack your blanket, chairs and picnic basket for a night of music under the stars.
CC Passport
Shop & Dine Local Passport Event at Carmel City Center
June 10-12
Carmel, Indiana

Shop, dine and save at participating businesses! The Shop & Dine Local Passport Book is full of special offers and promotions from women's and men's fashion, home gifting, kids wear, tapas and pub food to dessert and more!
Gallery Walk
Carmel Arts & Design Second Saturday Gallery Walk
June 11
Carmel, Indiana

Enjoy the monthly tradition of the Second Saturday Gallery Walk in the Carmel Arts & Design District. Enjoy a free caricatures or and art experience class, musical entertainment and a scavenger hunt.

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Kenny Chesney Tix


Funky Father's Day Fun Guide

Jun 07, 2016 by Luis Ruvalcaba

Father's Day is coming! I hear that Mother's Day is all about giving mom a day off from mothering, but Father's Day is about giving dad some time to really enjoy fatherhood. I have to say, from my angle that's true enough. So here's some advice from the "world's greatest dad" (I have the mug to prove it) to help you make your dad's day second to none!

First, the gift, the all important gift.

Silver in the CityI'm partial to all things Indiana myself. Silver in the City in Carmel has excellent options for funky locally made or locally inspired items like Indy themed shirts, wooden beer cap maps or bags made from the remnants of the RCA dome. Getting a bit of Hoosier history is always a hit.

However, if your dad is a bit more outdoorsy, check out the one of my favorites, Cabela's in Noblesville. It has everything you need so dad can become the optimum outdoorsman. Help the head of the household heat it up the kitchen with a new smoker, digital meat thermometer or outdoorsy spice set.

If your dad is more of a dapper bearded gentleman, head to The Rugged Co. in Hipstoric downtown Noblesville where you'll find not only a plethora of merchandise, coffee, but also a great supply of super-manly grooming items like shaving soap or beard oil to keep dad looking fresh.

Secondly, brunch might be the meal of choice for moms but us dads like our meals grilled over an open flame.

Silver in the City 2Head out to Carmel's Market District to pick up a dry aged ribeye to grill (or smoke on that new smoker) out in the back yard with friends. This is some of the most magnificent meat you can buy. If you're not in the mood to cook your own burgers or steak, Hamilton County is filled to the brim with meat cooked to pop's pleasure.

Mark the occasion by getting the old man's mug on the legendary wall at Bub's Burgers by completing the Big Ugly Challenge. Simply put, the grand-daddy of food challenges, one must eat giant burgers. To quote Adam from Man Versus Food, " The Challenge is big, the results will be ugly."

If dad isn't up for the challenge or cooking, but still has a craving for cookout goodness, Big Hoffa's Smokehouse Bar-B-Que is a must do. Over the last ten years this Westfield joint has been featured and praised across the country. Their specialties like the Buccaneer, Hoffinator, and Saigon Special aren't just funky names on the menu but feasts fit for the king of the family!

Lastly, you have to take dad out for an adventure to celebrate the day.

Like any good adventure, it needs to involve the family! Check out the White River Canoe Company for canoeing and tubing trips: an excellent way to relax and see Hamilton County from a view many people miss.

If the weather isn't cooperating with a river trip, don't worry! Head to K1Speed in Fishers. If the dad in your life is like me, chances are his inner speed demon is feeling like a visit after that epic Indy 500. Exercise the demon in the right way rather than letting dad fly around the roundabouts. At K1 speed dad can battle it out with the wife and kids! Use this link to get started.

Dad's such a special guy he needs to have special day! I hope you can use my tips to have a funky father's day this year. And remember be sure to share with all of us at @VisitHamiltonCo by tagging #RecHC and #VisitHC.

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