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Posts Tagged ‘Forest Park’

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 your family is in need of an Indiana weekend getaway, look no further than Hamilton County’s 8 Great Towns.

Day 1 begins at Conner Prairie Interactive History Park, where your family will be transported back in time.  You will be guided through history with the aide of Interpreters as your family visits a pioneer village, a working farm and a Lenape Indian camp.  See a Headless Horseman, exhibits, rare animal breeds and theatre performances.  Ride 350 feet into the air on the 1859 Balloon Voyage.  Don’t leave without eating a hand dipped caramel apple at the Apple Store – and don’t deprive yourself of the sweet, tasty cider slushy…

The 1859 Balloon Voyage ready for take off! Photo from http://www.flickr.com/photos/connerprairie/

The 1859 Balloon Voyage ready for take off! Photo from http://www.flickr.com/photos/connerprairie/

Once the day is done at Conner Prairie and you are ready for a good, affordable dinner, stop by Alexander’s on the Square in Noblesville.  Alexander’s is a local family friendly restaurant with great food, delicious ice cream and it won’t hurt your wallet.  Drive back to the hotel (need ideas on lodging in Hamilton County?  Click here: Where to stay) and get plenty of rest – because your weekend is not over!

Start the next day with breakfast at Bub’s Café (try the Cinnamon Croissant French Toast, wow).  As a family, take a walk or a bike ride under the trees of the Monon Trail (bikes can be rented down the road from Bub’s Café at Carmel Cyclery).

2BikingMonon

Biking the Monon

Once the group is ready for lunch, drive straight to Big Hoffa’s Barbeque in Westfield.  The food is amazing and prices range from $4.50 to about $10.00 (you can also split a larger combo meal between the whole family).  After the feast is complete, drive a few minutes east to Forest Park in Noblesville.  Settled into the park setting is the Indiana Transportation Museum – where you can tour trains or take a train ride.  This fall, you’ll want to hop aboard the Pumpkin Train.  The train takes you through the countryside of Hamilton County and let’s you off at a local farm so that you can search for the perfect pumpkin.

The Pumpkin Train

The Pumpkin Train

In the late afternoon, the train will bring you back to Forest Park to depart.  Grab dinner on the Historic Square before you head back to the hotel to call it a night!

For a detailed, printable map of these activities, visit: http://8greattowns.com/content/view/39/78/

Enjoy your fall Indiana family vacation!

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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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1. Be apart of the memorable “First Friday’s” event in downtown Noblesville where you will enjoy music, games, prizes and specials from merchants and restauranteurs – Friday, August 7.

2. All aboard!  Ride the WFMS State FairTrain down to the 2009 Indiana State Fair. – Friday, August 7 – Sunday, August 23.

Willy Wonka performance at The Belfry Theatre

Willy Wonka performance at The Belfry Theatre

3.  Immerse yourself into a magical world of fun, music and candy at a live performance of “Willy Wonka” at the Belfry Theatre in Noblesville – Friday, August 7 – Sunday, August 9.

4.  Sip half-priced drinks and dine on delicious featured dishes at Peterson’s Restaurant in Fishers – Friday, August 7 – Saturday, August 8.

5.  Take the family for a picnic in the park at Forest Park in Noblesville (I will be there Saturday!).

6.  Boogie down to the tunes of country music star Brad Paisley at Verizon Wireless in Noblesville – Saturday, August, 8.

7.  Take advantage of great sales while you are back-to-school shopping at Clay Terrace in Carmel!

8. Visit the Phrenologist at Conner Prairie to learn what all those bumps on your head REALLY mean…  – Sunday, August 9.

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

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1.    Enjoy a free outdoor concert by the up-and-coming group The Flying Toasters at Cool Creek Park – Friday, June 19.
2.    Head over to The Belfry for a performance of the Pulitzer Prize and Critic Circle Award-winning show “Picnic” – Friday, June 19 through Sunday, June 21.
3.    Nourish your green thumb with the Noblesville Tour of Gardens in the Wellingtons – Saturday, June 20.
4.    Listen to the music of the Grateful Dead at Conner Prairie’s Symphony on the Prairie – Saturday, June 20.
5.    Gaze into the night sky during the Star and Satellite Gazing Tour at Strawtown Koteewi Park – Saturday, June 20.
6.    Explore Boxley Cabin and meet some furry friends in Sheridan at the Boxley Cabin Open House and Critter Showcase – Friday, June 19 & Saturday, June 20.
7.    Treat dad to a Car Show and Train Ride in Forest Park on Father’s Day – Sunday, June 21.
8.    Watch the Circle City Socialites battle the Stateline Derby DIVAS in a roller derby at the Hamilton County Fairgrounds. Be sure to check out the after party at Barley Island – Saturday, June 20.

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Thursday evening was my weekly date night with my boyfriend (we’re trying to get out and do things this summer, so these weekly rendezvous will probably be the source of many of these blogs). Rather than the usual dinner and a movie, we decided to tap into our inner children and spend the evening at Ben and Ari’s in Fishers. For $10 we played a round of miniature golf. We walked right in, and one of the workers tore herself away from a group of Girl Scouts to get us our clubs and balls. If you’re looking to go, I’d recommend a quick game on an evening during the week – we were the only ones on the course. There were no lines, no waiting, and no impatient patrons behind us, it was great.

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The weather this past Saturday was amazing – high 60’s and sunny with enough of a breeze to feel great.  A day like that can not be wasted, so my husband and I packed up our 1 year old son and drove over to Forest Park in Noblesville.   We spent several hours walking the tree-lined paths; we strolled by Forest Park Golf Course (Johnny has vowed to go back and play), stopped for a break at one of the many playgrounds and at one point realized we had joined in with a bird watchers group.  One of the nice “park-going” parents recommended that we stop by the Indiana Transportation Museum for a tour of their historic trains – but Christopher was getting ready for a nap, so we had to go. 

One of my favorite parts of Forest Park, the Carousel, was just beginning to spin when we pulled away – but we have all summer, so we WILL go back!  

The train waiting outside of Hobbs Station in Forest Park

The train waiting outside of Hobbs Station in Forest Park

 

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