Spend a romantic night away in Hamilton County’s 8 Great Townson us!

We are having a contest on the blog that will give you some time away with a loved one.  If you win, you will first travel back in time while at Conner Prairie Interactive History Park in Fishers.  You can spend your day strolling the grounds, working on a farm, gobbling up caramel apples from the Apple Store or flying 350 feet above Hamilton County.  After a fun filled day, slow down during a romantic dinner at the Glass Chimney restaurant in Carmel.  Dine on a mouth watering meal of steak, seafood, dessert and more.  Once you have finished dessert, tuck into a comfy bed at the Quality Inn & Suites in Noblesville. Head home the next day filled with a lifetime of happy, romantic memories.


2 general admission tickets to Conner Prairie, $50 Gift Certificate to the Glass Chimney, 1 overnight stay at Quality Inn & Suites

How to enter:

To win, answer to the following question in the comment section of this post: How many days/months/years/decades have you loved your significant other (we have to keep it romantic, right?)?  The winner will be selected at random!  See the blog policy tab for more details on contest policies.  This contest closes at 4:00 p.m. on Wednesday, September 16.

(we are having another contest on our website where we are giving away “Fantastic Fall Getaways” – enter to win!)


2009 Artomobilia

Saturday, September 12th officially kicked off “Carmel Arts Month” in the Carmel Arts & Design District.  The first event of this month long celebration was “Artomobilia,” which showcased the deep roots that Indiana has with the artful evolution of the automobile.

I had the pleasure of going to this unique event with a close friend.  The weather was just beautiful with lots of sun and light breeze.  As we wandered around, we discovered over 140 cars on display.  We were fascinated with the oldest car – a 1905 Brush Roundabout in mint condition! Some of the other cool cars were a 2008 Lotus Exige S240, an old Cadillac covered in pennies, sleek Lamborghinis and, of course, iconic race cars!  The Penny Car was quite the sight to see- with the sun shining off the pennies it almost looked like a car covered in small mosaic tiles.

My favorite cars were the ones from the late 50’s to late 60’s.  My friend and I were taken back in time as we remembered cruising around in our parents cars and only putting $1.00 worth of gas for a Friday or Saturday night on the town. I certainly enjoyed taking that walk down memory lane!

It was a beautiful afternoon to take in the sights and enjoy some fine food and drinks.  Take a Saturday afternoon this month to appreciate one of the upcoming arts events in the District; a Gallery Walk on the 19th or the Carmel International Arts Festival on the 26th-27th.

Photo from carmelartomobilia.com

Photo from carmelartomobilia.com

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:

Picture 1

Artomobilia, photo courtesy of CarmelArtsAndDesign.com

1.  Celebrate “Going Local Week” by visiting a weekend Farmers Market, a local winery or a U-Pick.

2.  View the “Berlin Airlift – A Legacy of Friendship” traveling exhibit, now displayed at the Indianapolis Executive Airport – Friday, September 11 – Saturday, September 12.

3. It’s not too late to participate in the “Tour De Carmel” cycling event! Saturday registrants are welcome to join in on this exciting 10 or 20-mile ride – Saturday, September 12.

4.  Stroll through beautiful Noblesville residences during the “23rd Annual Tour of Historic Homes” – Saturday, September 12.

5.  Study Indiana rocks and fossils during “Science Saturday” at Conner Prairie in Fishers – Saturday, September 12.

6.  Ride the Tipton Pork Festival Train to Tipton, where you can depart and continue on with your adventure at the Pork Festival – Saturday, September 12.

7.  Gather in the Carmel Arts & Design District for Artomobilia and check out an outdoor gallery of seminal designs from automotive history – Saturday, September 12.

8.  Enjoy the music from great live bands during “Sunday Music On The Patio” at Fionn MacCool’s in Fishers- Sunday, September 13.

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

Going Local

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


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

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 Labor Day weekend:

1.  Wrap up the 2009 season of Symphony on the Prairie at one of the 4 final shows – Thursday, September 3 – Sunday, September 6.

2.  Spend the first Friday evening of September at “First Friday’s – Upstairs Downtown” on the Historic Noblesville Square – Friday, September 4.

Cool Creek Park - Photo from myhamiltoncountyparks.com

Cool Creek Park - Photo from myhamiltoncountyparks.com

3. While on the Square celebrating First Friday’s, visit Jazz Squared for an evening of great music – Friday, September 4.

4.  Take a hike at Cool Creek Park during one of their guided walks – either the “Saturday Morning Fall Migration Bird Hikes” or the “Woodland Fall Wildflower Hike.” – Saturday, September 5.

5.  Relax with a picnic and family at Veteran’s Park in Sheridan during the “Sunset Mandolin Serenade.” – Saturday, September 5.

6.  On Labor Day, hop aboard a caboose at the Indiana Transportation Museum in Forest Park for a quick train ride! – Monday, September 7.

7.  Enjoying your free Monday off of work?  Gather a group of friends and play a round of golf at one of our Indiana premier golf courses.

8.  Gobble up a caramel apple from the Apple Store at Conner Prairie – Open September 1-November 1, Tuesday – Sunday, 11 am – 5 pm.

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

Apple Store

When I say Apple Store, I am not talking about computers, I am talking about delicious, hand-dipped caramel covered apples from the annual Conner Prairie Apple Store.  See, the reason why I am so excited about this store is that when I think of fall in Indiana, a few things come to mind.  I think of leaves changing from deep green to bright orange, yellow and red.  I think of cozy sweaters and coffee on Saturday mornings.  I think of sitting around a fire, chatting with friends.  AND I always think of visiting the Conner Prairie Apple Store, I remember leaving with a cider slushie, a bag of popcorn, a few caramel apples (some sprinkled with nuts, some without) and various other fall delights (like those flavored stick candies, what is the technical name of those treats?).

This fall tradition opened on September 1 and, lucky for me, I was excited to take my son for his 1st visit.  I arrived at Conner Prairie around 4 p.m. and met up with a friend and her son.  We loaded the boys into a wagon I brought from home and pulled them along right along with us.  It was the end of opening day, but the store was still filled with shoppers eager for their first caramel apple of the season.  By the time we sat down at the picnic table the boys were going crazy, so we gave them little nibbles of apple and BIG sips of the slushies.  They loved it!

The Apple Store is open September 1 – November 1, Tuesday – Sunday, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.  This is a must do for visitors, residents and people simply driving through town!

Contact info: 13400 Allisonville Rd, Fishers. 800-966-1836. ConnerPrairie.org