Archive for the ‘Indiana Outdoors Activities’ Category

Spend September 6-12, 2009 by “Going Local” in Hamilton County’s 8 Great Towns.

I found out from the Going Local blog that it is “Going Local Week,” which is a time to celebrate and enjoy Indiana’s wide array of fresh, locally grown foods, spices and treats.  Sounds good to me!


Here are a few ways to “Go Local” in Hamilton County:

-Visit one of the four great Farmers Markets (click for details)

-Stop by the Apple Store at Conner Prairie for fresh Indiana apples

-Quench your thirst with fresh artesian water at The Flowing Well Park

-Sip wine at Ferrin’s Fruit Winery or Grape Inspirations, both in Carmel

-Satisfy your sweet tooth with a pie from Lisa’s Pie Shop or candy from Uncle Henry’s Candies

-Visit a Hamilton County Farm or U-Pick: Gatewood Vegetable Farm or Spencer’s You-Pick in Noblesville, Wilson Farm Market in Arcadia, or Sheridan’s Stuckey Farm

For more Indiana food ideas, restaurants and recipes go to the Indiana Foodways Alliance website: IndianaFoodways.com


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Pumpkins from the Stonycreek Farm Pumpkin Festival

Fall in Hamilton County, Indiana is ushered in with the leaves changing to bright colors, crisp air and weekends filled with train rides, haunted hayrides, tasty treats and of course festivals and fairs.  Below is a guide to some of the festivals this season, pick just one or come to them all – you surely won’t be disappointed!

Enjoy your 8 Great Towns weekend escape…

The Apple Store at Conner Prairie September 1- November 1 – Conner Prairie’s 18th annual Apple Store is filled with fresh, hand-dipped caramel covered apples, cider slushies, apple butter, candy and seasonal home decorations.  Take the treat with you or if you can’t wait relax outside on one of the picnic tables – I can’t think of a better way to enjoy a fall afternoon…

23rd Annual Tour of Historic Homes September 12 Enjoy a September stroll through the storied structures & residences of Noblesville.

Art in the Park September 19 – Visit the Municipal Center of Fishers where musicians, dancers and other performers will entertain you while you browse and shop through the one of a kind jewelry, pottery, paintings and more on display.

Art in the Park - Photo from FishersArtCouncil.org

Art in the Park - Photo from FishersArtCouncil.org

Country Fair September 19-20 – Country Fair is all about celebrating Indiana’s Farm Heritage!  The 1886 Agricultural Fair has been re-created so that visitors can see a bearded lady, have their fortune read and play a historic game of base ball.

Stonycreek Farm Pumpkin Harvest Festival September 26-October 31 It is a local tradition to kick off fall at Stonycreek Farm!  Hayrides, a pumpkin patch, farm animals and beautiful fall colors will greet you when you arrive at the Pumpkin Harvest.

Carmel International Arts Festival September 26-27This free event offers artists exhibiting in watercolor, oil, 2D, 3D, jewelry, photography, wood, sculpture, pottery and more.  The art is then coupled with tempting food vendors, outstanding restaurants and local shops within the Arts and Design District.

Carmel International Arts Festival

Carmel International Arts Festival

Atlanta New Earth Festival (take the Earthfest train!) September 26-27 Visit the small town of Atlanta for the 36th Annual New Earth Festival.  Over 80,000 people come for the fine arts, food and crafts.  Start the day at Forest Park in Noblesville, where you can hop aboard the Earthfest train to make the journey to Atlanta.

10th Annual Potter’s Bridge Festival October 3 More than 40 arts & crafts booths plus a climbing wall, food, live music and kid’s activities will be featured at this free, fun annual event!

Fishers Renaissance Faire October 3-4 Held on the grounds of historic Conner Prairie, the 5th Annual Fishers Renfaire offers visitors the opportunity to experience: jousting, archery, sword fighting, period music, Shakespeare vignettes, pirates, Queen Elizabeth’s court, demonstrations of period craftsman, falconry, parades, AND provides for a unique food and shopping experience. There is also a dedicated children’s game area and much, much more!

Princess - Rich

Fishers Renaissance Faire

Sheridan Harvest Moon Festival October 3-4 This weekend long event kicks off with a classic car show and is non stop entertainment of food, music, arts and a “Pumpkin Chuck” contest.

Autumnfest October 10 This free fall celebration is held in the quaint downtown of Arcadia.  Join in for a festival of arts, crafts, food, pumpkin decorating, antiques, collectibles and more!

Headless Horseman at Conner Prairie October 16-18, 21-25, 28-30 Hop on a haunted hayride tour of Conner Prairie, but be on the lookout for ghosts as they warn you about the Headless Horseman….  Stick around for ghost stories, campfires and music.


Headless Horseman

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Whenever I visit a new place, I first ask “What do the locals do?”  Well, this weekend THIS local felt like a tourist in my own county.  On Saturday, a small group of my girlfriends gathered together at Hamilton Town Center in Noblesville, Indiana for a quick girlfriend getaway.Hamilton Town Center Hamilton Town Center is an outdoor mall – so we were able to feel the sun shining and the breeze blowing as we strolled from shop to shop. We had lunch at a gourmet burger place, where between bites, laughter and chatting was heard from our corner booth.  It was a lot of fun, especially since it has been a long time since we could all just sit back, relax and enjoy a long conversation.

Later in the afternoon we decided to walk over to the Hamilton 16 IMAX to catch a showing of “Time Traveler’s Wife.”  (Side note: As a self diagnosed movie lover, I have been to a LOT of movies and movie theaters – and this theater is one of my favorites.  It is big, clean, open and has the most comfortable chairs).  After the movie we slowly headed back to our cars before sadly parting ways!

ForestparkOn Sunday, we had family over for a visit.  Since it was such a beautiful day we wanted to get out and enjoy the perfect weather, so we drove to Forest Park, also in Noblesville.  Forest Park is a large park with tons of green grass, mature trees, pretty flowers – not to mention places to play, places to eat and paths to wander along.  We had our very own Indiana family adventure!  We started our visit by walking down one of the paths.  We walked by families celebrating birthday’s, friends playing volleyball, teenagers enjoying the skate park and small groups of people tee’ing off at the park golf course.  We stopped to let Christopher play on the playground equipment and to ride the carousel. Then we paused to watch a baseball game that was being played by a group of very dedicated high schoolers.

Alexander's on the Square, photo from DestinationNoblesville.com

Alexander's on the Square, photo from DestinationNoblesville.com

After an afternoon filled with fun activities, we were famished!  We went to Noblesville Historic Square to look for a cool, local dining spot and decided on Alexander’s on the Square (as a warning, Sunday evenings are a little slow on the Square, not a lot of shops/restaurants are open).  When we walked in, we were pleasantly surprised to see the placed filled with families, teenagers and grandparents all happily eating their sweet ice cream treats.  My family sat in the booth by a window offering a great view of the Historic Square.  The food there is tenderloin & chicken fingers type of food, and while we really wanted to get a cone before we left, we were too full from dinner to manage another bite!

What a great way to spend a weekend….

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If you are already planning a weekend getaway to Hamilton County’s 8 Great Towns or are looking to take a last minute Indiana vacation, here are 8 Great Things to do in Hamilton County, Indiana this weekend:

Explore fire trucks, police cars, dump trucks and more at "Things That Go Rodeo" Image from www.ci.carmel.in.us

Explore fire trucks, police cars, dump trucks and more at "Things That Go Rodeo" Image from http://www.ci.carmel.in.us

1. Learn about Chinese landscapes at Chen Hao’s Chinese Art Exhibit: Urban Landscape– Friday, August 28 – Saturday, August 29.

2. Check out cool cars from all eras at the Fishers Community Car Show (all profits will go to benefit Prevail, Inc). – Saturday, August 29.

3. Check out Carmel’s “Things That Go Rodeo” for a fun, free way to entertain the kids. – Saturday, August 29.

4. Wrap up summer in Arcadia with the “Summer Windup” celebration. – Saturday, August 29.

5. While in Arcadia on Saturday night, visit the Hedgehog Music Showcase and watch a variety show that features a wide variety of entertainers and musical genres.

6. Take your taste buds to another time at Conner Prairie’s “Taste the Past” event.  Come hungry because you will be feasting on authentic food from 1816, 1836 and 1886. – Saturday, August 29 – Sunday, August 30.

7. Choo! Choo!  Ride the caboose shuttle to and from Forest Park.  While there, take a walk in the park, spin around on their carousel or enjoy a picnic lunch. – Sunday, August 29.

8. Close out the weekend with a free concert in Noblesville’s Seminary Park.  – Sunday, August 30.

*Visit us online at 8GreatTowns.com for more details on the activities above and other weekend fun ideas!

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Summer is coming to an end and before you know it fall will be over here, leaving us little time left to enjoy the great outdoors of Hamilton County – or at least while it is warm!  Before the season passes us by, we want to have a contest to encourage you to see another side of Hamilton County, Indiana.

Strawtown Koteewi Park - Photo from MyHamiltonCountyParks.com

Strawtown Koteewi Park - Photo from MyHamiltonCountyParks.com

The idea is simple – pack up your family and camp out under the stars in beautiful White River Campground.  Start early the next morning with a hike or leisurely stroll at Strawtown Koteewi Park (if it is late fall, sit back and watch the leaves change colors).  Take in one of the many interpretive programs the staff offers before heading back for lunch at your campsite.  Don’t miss Potter’s Bridge or check out one of the many free fall festivals in the area.  After the busy day, slow things down with an ice cream cone at Alexander’s on the Water.  The next day take everyone to Geist Lake Marina and rent kayak’s for a day of fun on the water.  If you are in need of a fun Indiana family getaway – look no further!

Here are the details:

PRIZE: A gift certificate for 2 FREE overnight stays at White River Campground in Cicero, a $20 gift certificate for Alexander’s on the Water in Cicero (can also be used at the Noblesville Square location) and 2 gift certificates for buy one kayak rental, get one free from Geist Lake Marina.  Entrance to and programs at Strawtown Koteewi Park are free!

How to win: Answer the following question in our comment section (I will keep comments turned off until the contest is over).  I will throw all the names of the people that correctly answer into a hat and randomly select the winner!


QUESTION:  Koteewi is a Miami Native American word meaning what?

Good luck to all!

hint: http://www.co.hamilton.in.us/parks_details.asp?id=2932

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If you are already planning a weekend getaway to Hamilton County’s 8 Great Towns or are looking to take a last minute Indiana vacation, here are 8 Great Things to do in Hamilton County, Indiana this weekend:

1. All aboard!  Ride the WFMS State FairTrain down to the 2009 Indiana State Fair. Train departs from the Fishers Train Station- Friday, August 21 – Sunday, August 23.

2. Find a good spot in downtown Noblesville to sit back and enjoy the smooth sounds and ambiance of Jazz Squared. – Friday, August 21.

Bear Slide Golf Club in Cicero, Indiana

Bear Slide Golf Club in Cicero, Indiana

3. Take a bottle of wine, something delicious to eat and a blanket to rock out at Rockapella night at Symphony on the Prairie – Friday, August 21 – Saturday, August 22.

4.  Golf season will be over before you know it, so play 18 of our 297 holes at one of our many Hamilton County, Indiana golf courses!

5.  Travel back to a time of poodle skirts and saddle shoes during “Jukebox Saturday” at Cool Creek Park in Carmel – Saturday, August 22.

6.  Watch local artisans create beautiful works of art at “Arts in the Park” in Sheridan Veterans Park- Saturday, August 22.

7.  Looking for outdoor recreation?  Visit Strawtown Koteewi Park for an evening hike.  Choose between a woodland wildflower hike or a star gazing tour – Saturday, August 22.

8.  Have an exciting family outing during Conner Prairie’s “Family Canoe Adventure.” – Saturday, August 22 – Sunday, August 23.

*Visit us online at 8GreatTowns.com for more details on the activities above and other weekend fun ideas!

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I was reading the Visit Indiana blog when I stumbled across a post about a recent experience a blogger had at Symphony on the Prairie (including taking a ride in the 1859 Balloon Voyage).  You all should take a moment to read this post, because I found several of the statements completely relatable and totally hilarious (Fear causing you to sit on the floor of the balloon basket while it ascends 350 into the air?  Describing the Symphony on the Prairie as “sophisticated tailgating?”  Grocery shopping being considered a date night?).  All in all, I must say that the Symphony on the Prairie is a wonderful way to spend an Indiana summer evening, especially when it’s coupled with a balloon ride during sunset.

Enjoy and let me know what you think!  http://www.in.gov/visitindiana/blog/

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