By Amanda Dorman
Downtown Indy, Inc.
Is romance in the air but you can’t come up with any ideas for Valentine’s Day? Here are some great suggestions:
Dine out, dance or do both!
Grab your dancing shoes and head to the historic Fountain Square Theatre Building on Feb. 12 for Friday Night Swing Dance. Take a dance lesson at 7:30 p.m. then stay for live entertainment from 8:30 – 11:30 p.m. with some of the hottest swing bands around. The dance lesson is $12 and dancing only is $10.
Get up and groove after dinner at the Love is All You Need Dinner Dance at The Rathskeller on Saturday, Feb. 13. This event includes a three-course meal starting at 6 p.m. followed by a performance from First Time Caller Band from 8 p.m. – midnight. Tickets are $90 per couple.
Celebrate Valentine’s Day with treats from the tropics including chocolate and coffee, all while enjoying the candlelit romantic atmosphere of the Conservatory at Garfield Park. Sweets for Your Sweetie takes place Sunday, Feb. 14 from 6:30 – 8 p.m. and 8 – 9:30 p.m. and costs $10.
Chef JJ’s culinary team will be preparing fresh, local dishes made to share for Valentine’s Day Night on Feb. 13 at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $75 and include beer or wine tasters, a five-course dinner and a sweet treat to take home. Beer and wine will be available for purchase.
Weber Grill is offering a special Valentine’s Day menu Feb. 12 – 14. The meal includes a choice of Cedar Planked Salmon, Surf and Turf or New York Strip plus a strawberry salad, shrimp bisque and chocolate dipped strawberries. Make your night out extra special by adding red roses to your table for $30 (put in your request when making reservations).
Other date-friendly dinner spots:
Harry & Izzy’s
Iozzo’s Garden of Italy
Spoke & Steele
St. Elmo Steak House
Shows and performances
Listen to a tribute to one of the most influential artists of all time – Frank Sinatra. The Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra will play tribute to the 100th birthday of Sinatra during Sinatra Centennial at Hilbert Circle Theatre Feb. 12 & 13. Tickets are $15 – $61 or $10 for students.
Experience the fun of The Mind Tripping Show – a comedy with a psychology twist. Catch the show at The Hilton on Feb. 12 at 8:30 p.m. or Feb. 13 at 5 and 8:30 p.m. Make an entire night of it and dine at 120 West Bar & Grill or McCormick and Schmick’s, both at The Hilton, before or after the show. Check The Mind Tripping Show website for special restaurant offers.
Younger Valentines can enjoy Valentine’s Day Cabaret at Peewinkle’s Puppet Studio Feb. 12 – 15. Marionettes include magical music boxes, a dancing ostrich butterflies and more. An optional post-show workshop is available for purchase. Tickets are $13 and FREE for children under two.
Groove to live music at Old National Centre. Catch R&B musician and Hoosier native Babyface on Feb. 14 at 7 p.m.
Visit one of Downtown’s museums
Watch a pre-Valentine’s Day screening of the iconic love story Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb at the Indianapolis Museum of Art. The film, part of the Winter Nights Film Series, plays on Feb. 12 at 8 p.m. in the Toby. While visiting the IMA, explore Oldfields-Lilly House and Gardens, the 26-acre estate that is just as beautiful in the winter, and snap a photo in front of the LOVE sculpture. Browse Gustave Baumann, German Craftsman–American Artist before it closes Feb. 14.
The Indiana State Museum is hosting the 13th annual Indiana Art Fair on Feb. 13 from 10 a.m. – 9 p.m. showcasing an array of art made in Indiana. More than 60 artists from 28 of Indiana’s counties will be represented. For those looking to celebrate the holiday with girlfriends, the Indiana State Museum is hosting Galentine’s Art Night on Feb. 12 from 6 – 9 p.m. Meet and mingle with the Indiana artists from the Art Fair and enjoy hors d’oeuvres and cocktails while shopping. A select number of guests can paint their own masterpiece.
Couples who run can participate in the Be My Valentine 5K Run/Walk at the Athenaeum on Feb. 13 at 9 a.m. For a more relaxing workout, couples can attend Valentine’s Candlelight Hot Yoga at The Hot Room on Feb. 12 at 6 p.m. or
Partner Yoga & Massage at Invoke Studio on Feb. 14 at 2 p.m.
Surprise your partner with a gift from Rowdie himself. On Feb. 11 & 12, the Indianapolis Indians mascot will hand deliver a gift package of an Indians t-shirt or Rowdie Doll, four box seat ticket vouchers and four Gigi’s cupcakes. The package costs $95 (Rowdie-less packages will also be available for pick up for $75). All deliveries must be within a 20-mile radius of Victory Field.
The Indianapolis Colts Mascot, Blue, will also be making deliveries. Surprise visits from Blue include confetti, flowers, chocolates and Colts gear. Deliveries cost $150 and are available Feb. 8 – 12.
Stop by Silver in the City on Mass Ave for a unique piece of jewelry, including many options from local designers. If you’re taking the diamond route, be sure to visit Windsor Jewelry for diamonds, gold and precious stones.
Start your Valentine’s Day weekend with a wine tour and tasting at Easley Winery. Complimentary tours begin at noon on Saturday and Sunday and tastings cost $5. While you’re there, share a chilled bottle of Kauffman’s 76 Brand or grab a bottle to go – it will be on special for $8 per bottle.
Give your partner the best chocolate in town. Score big points with a heart box filled with sea salt caramels or your choice of assorted truffles from The Best Chocolate in Town.
Get a room
Why not celebrate Valentine’s Day all weekend long and stay at one of Downtown’s many hotels?
Book the Valentine’s Day Package at the Hilton Indianapolis and receive a five-course meal for two, a rose, a champagne toast, complimentary valet parking and overnight accommodations.
The Alexander’s Win Their Heart with Art package includes a $25 credit in Plat 99, prosecco and chocolate covered strawberries, brunch for two in Market Table, a late check-out at 2 p.m. and overnight accommodations. Book their package benefitting Horizon House and receive a $25 credit to Plat 99, a <3INDY shirt, an in-room amenity and complimentary self-parking.
The Omni Severin’s Retreat to Romance package includes a $100 cuisine and cocktail credit, a bottle of Chandon sparkling wine, romantic turndown service, concierge pre-call, a late check-out of 1 p.m. and overnight accommodations.
The Conrad’s is offering a girl’s getaway weekend. The Galentine Day Package includes chocolate covered strawberries upon arrival, $10 gift card per person to Tastings, an AVEDA styling session at Evan Todd Spa & Salon and overnight accommodations.
For more information, visit http://downtownindy.org, or call 317-237-2222.
Visit Fort Wayne
Vera Bradley Annual Sale tickets are now available. The sale opens Wednesday, April 13 and closes Sunday, April 17, 2016.
Tickets for the first three days of the sale are $5 each and will be available at http://www.ticketmaster.com, authorized Ticketmaster locations and the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum Ticket Office.
2016 Vera Bradley Annual Sale
Allen County War Memorial Coliseum
4000 Parnell Avenue
Fort Wayne, Indiana
Wednesday, April 13 through Friday, April 15 – Tickets Required
Session 1: 7:30am – 10am
Session 2: 11am – 1:30pm
Session 3: 2:30pm – 5pm
Session 4: 6pm – 8:30pm
Saturday, April 16 and Sunday, April 17 – No tickets required – Open to the public
Saturday: 8am – 8pm
Sunday: 10am – 5pm
Vera Bradley requires tickets for the first three days of the sale. 4,000 tickets will be available for each session. While tickets are not required during the weekend portion of the sale, attendees who wish to make a purchase will need to complete the free registration process.
Pre-registration is underway at http://www.verabradley.com/outletsale. Registration kiosks will also be available at the Memorial Coliseum during the sale.
Vera Bradley handbags, travel items, accessories, stationery and eyewear will be available at the Vera Bradley Annual Sale.
By Aubrey Sitzman
Brown County CVB
Maple mania has officially struck Brown County as the National Maple Syrup Festival is fast approaching! The fun, sticky, and oh so sweet Festival returns to Brown County for a second year, March 5-6, 2016.
Originating in Medora, Indiana, in 2010, the Festival moved to Brown County in 2015. Geographically, Indiana holds the southern and westernmost position in the United States’ Maple Sugar Belt meaning as winter gives way to spring the sap flows first in Indiana’s maple stands. As Indiana’s most densely forested county, Brown County is an ideal location for the National Maple Syrup Festival as it is rich in natural resources, home to a wide variety of maple trees, and reflects the pioneering essence and history of maple sugar production.
The grand celebration of all things maple, the Festival will bring together maple sugar producers and hobbyists, maple syrup connoisseurs, and visitors of all ages for a weekend full of activities and events. From live sugaring demonstrations and guided hikes to warm maple syrup flights, kids activities, a pancake breakfast, and more, there is something for everyone to enjoy at the National Maple Syrup Festival.
New to the 2016 Festival is Tap the Town on February 27. Taking place the weekend before the Festival, this hands-on experience provides guests with the unique opportunity to tap their own maple tree in the Village of Nashville! Tap the Town at Creekside Retreat includes a maple sugaring program with brunch beginning at 11 a.m. The event also will include a visit to Hinkle-Garton Farmstead, a commemorative bottle of pure Indiana maple syrup, and tickets to the National Maple Syrup Festival on March 5-6.
Visitors will learn the ropes of tapping before searching out the perfect tree in town. After inserting their tap, they will be able to watch firsthand as the sap begins to flow, officially kicking off Brown County’s maple festivities. Participants also will receive sap production updates on their tree and the sap collected will be used for demonstrations during the National Maple Syrup Festival. This one-of-a-kind event costs $125 per couple or $150 for a group of four. A $20 fee will be charged for each additional person after that. Tickets are available online atwww.browncounty.com/national-maple-syrup-festival.
With the sap freely flowing, maple mania will continue the following weekend at the National Maple Syrup Festival, March 5-6. This year Festival headquarters will be at the Brown County State Park. Not only will festival guests learn the basics of maple syrup and the sugaring process, they also will be able to see for themselves how it is done.
The State Park’s Lower Shelter will serve as the hub for all the maple excitement. Inside and surrounding the Lower Shelter, guests will be able to freely explore the Festival’s maple marvels. There will be live reenactments of Native American and French Colonial maple sugaring techniques, as well as modern day sugaring demonstrations. Festival-goers also will have the opportunity to attend Sap School, where they will learn from sugaring experts all there is to know about the maple biz and sugaring in general.
Kids will be able to test their sugar making skills too during Sugaring for Small Folks, a fun and interactive experience showcasing the sap to syrup process. After the kiddos have mastered maple sugaring, they can take on the Maple Syrup Heist Challenge Course, an obstacle course modeled after the Great Canadian Maple Syrup Heist of 2012.
Festivities also will include guided interpretive hikes along State Park trails. Groups will depart from the Lower Shelter for a leisurely stroll, where they will identify maple trees and learn their role in sugar and syrup production. Of course, there will be syrup sampling as well. For a small fee, festival-goers will be able to try a variety of syrups produced in multiple states as they dive into a warm maple syrup flight. Sponsored by Rawhide Ranch, guests will have the opportunity to create their serving tray and souvenir by branding a piece of wood.
As if all that wasn’t enough, the Festival’s Maple Market will offer maple-related merchandise, a beer and wine garden, live acoustic music, and food, all under a heated tent. There will even be a culinary competition featuring maple recipes at the Abe Martin Lodge on Saturday!
The National Maple Syrup Festival will take place on Saturday, March 5 from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. and Sunday, March 6 from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. Weekend admission is $10; children 6 and under are free. Festival-goers can park in town and board the Maple Motor Coach for a park tour ending at the Festival gates. Minimal parking also will be available within the State Park. Tickets can be purchased online at www.browncounty.com/national-maple-syrup-festival, at the Festival gate, or in the Visitors Center.
While Festival headquarters will be buzzing with activity all weekend long, there will be plenty of maple fun going on in town as well. No maple syrup festival would be complete without pancakes, which is exactly why Chris Cakes will be serving up delicious hotcakes with a side of entertainment during the Festival’s Pancake Breakfasts on March 5 and 6. Hosted by the Brown County High School Student Council, these breakfasts are an all-you-can-eat steal. The breakfasts will be held at Brown County High School from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. Tickets are $8 for adults and $5 for children ages 3-18, or $30 for the entire family. Children 2 years and younger are free. Tickets are available online at www.browncounty.com/national-maple-syrup-festival or can be purchased at the door.
Guests can definitely expect to find plenty of Maple on the Menu around town too. During the Festival, some of Brown County’s finest restaurants and treat shops will be serving sweet and savory maple-infused items. Look for items that bring a unique maple twist to classic favorites, as well as truly one-of-a-kind maple creations. Participating restaurants and shops will be designated with a “Maple on the Menu” sign. Special Maple on the Menu dishes will be available for three weekends: February 26-28, March 4-6, and March 11-13.
While the National Maple Syrup Festival may end on March 6, maple festivities continue during Indiana’s first-ever Maple Weekend, March 12-13. Presented by the Indiana Maple Syrup Association and the National Maple Syrup Festival, Indiana Maple Weekend will provide guests with an exclusive look inside various sugar camps around the state. From 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, attendees will be able to see how trees are tapped, how sap gets to the sugar house, and how it becomes maple syrup and other maple products. Details about Indiana Maple Weekend can be found at www.facebook.com/IndianaMapleWeekend/.
There is no doubt about it, Brown County has been struck with maple mania. From Tap the Town and the National Maple Syrup Festival to Indiana Maple Weekend, there is definitely something sweet happening in Brown County. Come check it out for yourself. It is guaranteed to be a memorable maple experience!
More information on Brown County’s maple-related events, including tickets to Tap the Town and the National Maple Syrup Festival, are available online at www.browncounty.com/national-maple-syrup-festival or by calling 812-988-7303.
By Kendal Miller
On behalf of Rising Sun/Ohio County Tourism
The Ohio County Historical Society along with the Sunshine Stitchers is pleased to announce Rising Sun Quiltfest 2016. The event takes place April 1-3, 2016 at the Historical Museum located at 212 Walnut St. in Rising Sun, Indiana. The contest is open to the public. Participants need not be local or residents of the state of Indiana to participate.
Entries entered into the quilt contest require an entry form and payment of $10 per quilt. Forms will be accepted at the museum no later than Friday, March 4, 2016. Quilts must be delivered to the museum between Monday, March 7 and Wednesday, March 23. Forms and rules can be downloaded from the Quiltfest 2016 website at risingsunquiltfest.com.
Museum hours are Monday-Friday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from noon until 4 p.m. Entries previously exhibited at Quiltfest are not eligible.
Categories include: applique, pieced, mixed technique, novelty, art quilt, art work, youth, and novice.
Monetary awards for first and second places in each category will be awarded provided there are sufficient entries. First place receives $100 with $50 for second. Awards will be presented for Best in Show, People’s Choice and youth entries. A special Mayor of Rising Sun monetary prize will be given. Additional cash awards, merchandise or certificates may be awarded at the discretion of the QuiltFest 2016 Committee.
Along with a quilt contest, Quiltfest 2016 will feature quilter Sandra “Charlie” Charles, demonstrations and live music. Three-day admission is $5.
For additional information, contact the Ohio County Historical Museum at (812) 438-4915, e-mail email@example.com, or log on torisingsunquiltfest.com. Quiltfest 2016 is sponsored in part by Rising Sun/Ohio County Tourism.
For information on lodging, county events, eateries, and historical sites, contact Rising Sun/Ohio County Tourism at 888-776-4786 or log on toenjoyrisingsun.com. Rising Sun/Ohio County Tourism can be found on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
By Duane Brodt
Conner Prairie Interactive History Park
Visitors of all ages can enjoy free admission to Conner Prairie on President’s Day and hours of presidential antics and activities.
From 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday, Feb. 15, 2016, visitors can meet several famous U.S. presidents, chat with some favorite first ladies, participate in sing-alongs, play games, shock George Washington with a surprise birthday party and more. Younger visitors are encouraged to come to Conner Prairie dressed as their favorite president or first lady for the day.
The following is planned inside the museum’s Welcome Center and Featherstone Barn (these activities will be repeated in the afternoon):
· 10:30 a.m.: George Washington’s birthday party
· 11 a.m.: Sing-a-long with Lady Liberty
· 11:30 a.m.: Fireside Chat with Franklin D. Roosevelt
· Noon: William H. Taft!
· 12:30 p.m.: Meet Some First Ladies
· 2 p.m.: Ask Abe
Other events and activities will include:
· “The Presidential Cabinet of Curiosities” with Ulysses S. Grant
· “Teddy Roosevelt’s Shooting Gallery”
· “Revolutionary War Edition of Capture the Flag” (a new game will begin at the top of every hour throughout the day)
· “Party Preparation” with Lucy Hayes and other first ladies
· “A Chicken in Every Pot and a Car in Every Garage” with Herbert Hoover
· Storytelling with Abigail Fillmore
· “I Like (Putting With) Ike!” With President Eisenhower
· “Manifest Destiny” with James K. Polk
· “Cards Against the Presidency” with Peyton Randolf
· “Save the White House” with Dolley Madison
Also, there will be many interactive exhibits throughout the day that visitors can explore, including a “Hall of Awesome Presidents,” a “Presidential Birthday Calendar,” an opportunity for visitors to vote for their president of presidents, a display of presidential pets and a true and false “Requirements to be President” presentation.
For a complete list of activities on President’s Day at Conner Prairie, visithttp://bit.ly/1SDxhNa.