Archive for December, 2012

2012 ‘Best of Indiana’ Honors from

December 28, 2012 Leave a comment
Bratzel Sandwich at the Schnitzelbank in Jasper

Bratzel Sandwich at the Schnitzelbank Restaurant in Jasper.
Photo provided by JTPR, Inc. and used with written permission.

By Jen Thomas
On behalf of the Indiana Office of Tourism Development

Looking for the tastiest sandwich in Indiana? The best place to view autumn leaves? The state’s most beloved pie? The Indiana Office of Tourism Development has put those favorites and more at your fingertips at, the go-to resource for travelers planning a trip in Indiana.

Compiled based on online votes by the public, the inaugural “Best of Indiana: Your Ten Favorites” lists rank top choices for Indiana pies, ice cream shops, sandwiches, and fall and summer travel destinations, providing insiders’ insights to some of the state’s formerly best-kept secrets.

“Best of” honors are being given to the top vote getters in each category. These include:

•     Best Pie: Apple Pie at The Apple Works in Trafalgar

•     Best Sandwich: Bratwurst at the Schnitzelbank in Jasper

•     Best Ice Cream Shop: The Chief in Goshen

•     Best Fall Foliage Spot: Brown County State Park, Brown County

•     Best Summer Gotta-Do: Fort Wayne’s Children’s Zoo, Fort Wayne

“Seasoned travelers know that the best way to find great food and fun is to ask locals what they like,” said Mark Newman, Director of the Indiana Office of Tourism Development. “We’re connecting travelers with that information in a way that will help them get the most out of exploring the Hoosier state.”

The inaugural “Your Ten Favorites” lists grew from the Indiana Office of Tourism Development’s “Super 46 Sandwiches in Indiana” list, created in conjunction with Super Bowl XLVI. After receiving an enthusiastic response, the Office of Tourism Development implemented the “Best of Indiana” voters’ choice section on

In celebration of the honorees, visitors to have the chance to escape to the Best of Indiana by entering to win prizes from the five winners on the Contest page –

The following are the top three vote getters of this year’s “Your Ten Favorites” in the categories listed on the website:


1.    Apple Pie at The Apple Works in Trafalgar

2.    Apple Pie a la Mode at Apple Hill Orchard in Bruceville

3.    Sugar Cream Pie at Wick’s Pie in Winchester

Super Sandwiches

1.    Bratwurst at the Schnitzelbank in Jasper (pictured above)

2.    Mile High Club at Rock Cola 50s Café in Indianapolis

3.    Roast Pork Po Boy at Papa Roux in Indianapolis

Ice Cream Shops

1.    The Chief in Goshen

2.    Valpo Velvet in Valparaiso

3.    South Side Soda Shop in Goshen

Fall Foliage Spots

1.    Brown County State Park, Brown County

2.    Indiana Dunes State Park, Chesterton

3.    Clifty Falls State Park, Madison

Summer Gotta-Dos

1.    Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo, Fort Wayne

2.    Fort Wayne TinCaps at Parkview Field, Fort Wayne

3.    Indiana Dunes, Chesterton

Each listing on the Web site includes background about the choice and directions.

“We plan to expand the Best of Indiana by adding new categories in 2013,” said Newman. “Hoosiers love to share their favorites, and this has been a great way to highlight some gems.” is the official travel resource for planning a vacation or getaway in Indiana. The Web site’s homepage makes it easy to find travel discounts, see trip ideas and get first-hand tips from the Indiana Insider blog. Visit Indiana information is also available via Twitter and Facebook.

Each year, Indiana welcomes more than 62 million people. Indiana’s tourism industry employs more than 257,000 workers and generates $10 billion in direct and indirect spending annually.

Editor’s Acknowledgment: JTPR, Inc.

Tina’s Traditional Kitchen Expanding in 2013

December 27, 2012 Leave a comment
Tina's Traditional Kitchen

Tina’s Traditional Kitchen. Image provided by the company and used with written permission.

Press Release
Tina’s Traditional Kitchen

Native Englander and Brownsburg resident Tina Jesson, who has been a regular chef on WISH-TV’s IndyStyle show, is now offering in-home cooking classes and elegant tea party, dinner and special event catering, and even makes traditional English wedding cakes, all from her Grandma’s recipes.

You may have seen Tina at various farmers markets through the summer months in and around Indianapolis and in 2013 she is expanding her business to create the British Tea Room experience that comes to you. Tina also offers Table Etiquette classes to business pros and teens, as there’s only one chance to make a great first impression. Tea Tastings and talks on the health benefits of tea are also available as part of an event.

Become the star chef in your home with a little help from Chef Tina, a wonderfully talented pro. She has more than 20 years experience in cooking traditional old English Fare learning from three generations of cooks and loves sharing her knowledge and secrets with others. She loves to teach, and with her guidance you can create magic in your kitchen. Her secret: great local fresh ingredients and tried and tested original recipes and techniques.

You can also order your favorite British pastries and meat pies (like sausage rolls, Cornish pasties and stake pies) and Tina will bake to order. See for full menu options and more information, or call 317-858-4345.

Things to do in Indianapolis, Dec. 24-30, 2012

December 23, 2012 1 comment

Winterfest at the Indiana History Center, Dec. 26-29, Jan. 2-5

December 22, 2012 Leave a comment
Indiana History Center

Indiana History Center. staff photo, (c) 2010, all rights reserved.

By Amy Lamb
Indiana History Center

Even though Christmas will be past, the future is bright for families looking for affordable activities with the Indiana Historical Society’s (IHS’s) Winterfest, which will take place Dec. 26-29 and Jan. 2-5. IHS is offering free admission during the first week of the celebration at the Eugene and Marilyn Glick Indiana History Center, home of the IHS and its Indiana Experience, at 450 W. Ohio St. in downtown Indianapolis.

Guests can enjoy family-friendly crafts and activities, face painting and special performances each day from jugglers, magicians, dancers and musicians. The History Center will still be decked out in holiday style, offering opportunities to step into a scene from A Christmas Story for a fun photo op with the infamous leg lamp—with or without bunny suits. Visitors can also enjoy Eli Lilly Hall’s holiday transformation into a gorgeous tree-filled white winter wonderland featuring beautiful handmade star lanterns.

Included with Winterfest is the IHS’s award-winning Indiana Experience, which uses cutting-edge technology and interactive elements to bring the wealth of IHS’s extensive collections to life in meaningful and enjoyable ways. Guests can step back into particular moments from recreated historic photographs with You Are There, take virtual time-travel journeys with Destination Indiana, try their hand at conservation work in the W. Brooks Fortune History Lab and have songs sung live for them upon request in the Cole Porter Room.

The Rose McKee Lanham Gallery on the fourth floor offers a look at IHS collections materials on the Civil War, from the firing on Fort Sumter to the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation. The IHS’s Basile History Market will feature many great post-holiday deals on Indiana-related products, and the Stardust Terrace Café (operated by Hoaglin To Go) will offer kid-friendly cuisine throughout the celebration.

The 2012 Winterfest performance schedule includes:

Wednesday, Dec. 26 (1 p.m. and 2 p.m.)
Elliot Feltman

The Blue Monkey Sideshow founder and member stumps and stupefies guests with his unique brand of juggling and magic.

Thursday, Dec. 27 and Friday, Dec. 28 (11:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 p.m.)
Mike and Suzie DeSante, Arthur Murray Dance Studio in Zionsville 
Celebrate the winter season with a unique mix of holiday-themed ballroom dance lessons, including the Foxtrot, Waltz and Swing, as well as exhibition dancing by the instructors.

Saturday, Dec. 29 (1-3 p.m.)
Radio Disney 

Radio Disney entertains guests with games, prizes and music.

Wednesday, Jan. 2 (11 a.m., 11:40 a.m., 12:40 p.m., 1:20 p.m., 2 p.m. and 2:40 p.m.)
Connor Ebbinghouse 
This state and regional yo-yo champion entertains with skills demonstrations.

Thursday, Jan. 3 (1 p.m.)
Metropolitan Youth Orchestra
of Indianapolis

MYO features talented middle and high school musicians.

Friday, Jan. 4 (11:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 p.m.)
Zach Kelley

Join this White Lick Elementary teacher and founder of Juggling Masters for an afternoon of plate spinning and juggling—including lessons!

Saturday, Jan. 5 (12:30 p.m. and 2 p.m.)
Magician Ryan Demler

Be filled with intrigue and wonder by his magical works!

Winterfest will take place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and is included with admission to the Indiana Experience, which will be complimentary Dec. 26-29. Winterfest is presented by Macy’s with support from Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance. For more information on IHS offerings, call 317-232-1882 or visit

Ring in the New Year in Downtown Indianapolis

December 20, 2012 Leave a comment
Ring in the New Year in Downtown Indianapolis

New Year’s Eve Events in Downtown Indianapolis.

By Taylor Newell
Indianapolis Downtown, Inc.

Forget hosting a New Year’s Eve get-together this year. These Downtown parties, events and specials offer everything from exciting daytime sports matchups to classy top-shelf parties in the sky.

*Family-friendly option

Be safe – don’t drink and drive. Plan out your transit to and from your Downtown NYE destination ahead of time. IMPD and Indianapolis Downtown, Inc. have teamed up to place taxis in metered parking zones along Illinois, South and South Meridian streets from 9 p.m. until 4 a.m. on Dec. 31. For more information on Downtown taxis and buses, visit

*Indiana Ice vs. Chicago Steel: New Year’s Eve Celebration (Dec. 30), $11 – $29
Bankers Life Fieldhouse

New Year’s fun takes place a day early with the Ice as they match up with the Steel at 6 p.m. Tickets start at just $11 with discounts for children, seniors and military service members.

*Indiana Pacers vs. Memphis Grizzlies, $15 & up
Bankers Life Fieldhouse

Have some daytime fun with big-time NBA action as the Pacers take on Rudy Gay and the powerhouse Memphis Grizzlies in a 3 p.m. tipoff.

*Countdown to Noon, $17.50 adults, $12.50 kids
The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis

Instead of counting down to midnight, celebrate during the day with music, fun activities and a Water Clock countdown that kids can enjoy without staying up late!

*Family New Year’s Event, $6 member, $11 non-member
Indiana State Museum

Enjoy face painting, stilt walkers, clowns and music by The Tides with an 8 p.m. balloon drop. A fun, alcohol-free celebration for the family.

ComedySportz Celebrates New Year’z Eve, $20 adults, $15 students/seniors
The Athenaeum Theatre

Celebrate with the most unique comedy show around! Admission to the ComedySportz match includes hats, noisemakers and a sparkling cider toast. Second show ends with a countdown to midnight.

6 X 13: New Year’s Eve at the IMA, $125 – $175
Indianapolis Museum of Art

Don your festive cocktail attire and peruse the IMA’s fantastic galleries as you sample drinks from a champagne bar and select Upland Brewery offerings. Live music by The Cultural Cannibals.

Hard Rock’s NYE Bash, $30 – $95
Hard Rock Cafe

Celebrate with live music from Brent James & the Contraband, coming straight off their tour with Third Eye Blind.

New Year’s Eve Party at The Rathskeller, $50 in advance, $55 at the door
The Rathskeller

Enjoy some local brew and live music from Zanna Doo! Includes hors d’oeuvre Buffet and a champagne toast at midnight.

New Year’s Eve at Howl at the Moon!, $30 – $90

Celebrate New Year’s Eve with the World’s Greatest Rock N’ Roll Dueling Piano Bar! Seating package includes gourmet dinner buffet, champagne toast. Standing room package includes champagne toast.

Cheer to the New Year, $100
Chef Joseph’s at The Connoisseur Room

One of Indy’s top new restaurants, Chef Joseph’s is offering a wine pairing dinner and cabaret with Nancy Moore and Sean Baker the Music Maker.

NYE with James Johann: “Rural Genius,” $22.50
Crackers Downtown

Welcome the New Year with stand-up comedy by James Johann, who has been featured on Comedy Central and The Slackers Tour.

New Year’s Eve Blue and White Ball, $25
Cadillac Ranch and Bartini’s

Party with DJ Slater Hogan, DJ Cory James and X103 personality Deuce, and enjoy the pre-party dinner with a special menu at Bartini’s.

ChaCha presents CIROC the New Year, $125
Regions Bank Tower

Party in the sky with a 360-degree view of Downtown! Features an all-inclusive top-shelf  bar with light gourmet hors d’oeuvres, champagne toast, special fireworks show & party favors.

New Year’s Eve Rock ‘N’ Roll Ball, $40 – $375
Hyatt Regency Indianapolis

Live music from local musicians and DJs, plus the biggest balloon drop in Indy! Admission to the party is $40 or $65 for VIP and room + party packages are available starting at $225.

New Year’s Eve with Toxic Reasons, $10
Radio Radio

Be at one of Fountain Square’s coolest venues for a NYE punk rock show featuring Toxic Reasons, Creepin’ Charley & the Boneyard Orchestra and others.

New Year’s Eve Murder, $50
Indianapolis Propylaeum

Enjoy a fabulous dinner at the Propylaeum – but be careful. Other things besides champagne corks are popping… the host is dead!

Stella Artois New Year’s Eve Masquerade Ball, $55 (VIP $110 – $135)
Union Station

This New Year’s Eve party takes over three ballrooms at Union Station, each with their own theme and entertainment!

New Year’s Eve Party at Blu & Hideaway, $80 – $100

Open bar from 9 p.m. – 1 a.m. DJ John Larner and live music, hors d’oeuvres, balloon drop and champagne toast at midnight and prize package giveaways all night!

NYE Shows at the Noodle, $30 – $250
The Slippery Noodle Inn

$30 admission includes admission to The Why Store show plus champagne toast, hats and noisemakers. $250 table of four available for Big James & the Chicago Playboys show with reserved seating and buffet dinner.

New Year’s Eve Party at Adobo, $59.99 – $89.99
Adobo Grill

Complete your New Year’s Eve party with unlimited drinks, dancing and light appetizers. The $90 option includes a four course meal and tequila toast.

New Year’s Eve at Scotty’s Brewhouse, various discounted prices
Scotty’s Brewhouse

$10 all you can eat wings, $7 pitcher specials, $3 Thr3e Wisemen Brewing Company pints and a special tapping of King Solomon’s Imperial Stout.

New Year’s Eve at End of the Line Public House, $30
End of the Line Public House

Starting at 5 p.m., get a special prime rib dinner for two for only $30 at this unique restaurant inside the Fountain Square Theatre Building.

For more information, visit, or call 317-237-2222.