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.
By Stephanie Perry
Indianapolis Museum of Art
Winter is in full swing, but flowers are blooming at the Indianapolis Museum of Art.
Step into spring with the new Color Me Orchid exhibition, a vibrant and stunning display of orchids in the IMA’s Madeline F. Elder Greenhouse from Feb. 19 through March 13. The exhibition will pay homage to the brilliant colors, shapes and pattern of orchids, while also highlighting their history and connection to the IMA. Throughout the show, orchids will be available for purchase in the Greenhouse and at a special Pop-Up Shop in the main Museum building. IMA horticulture experts will be available to share advice on orchid care.
For more than 40 years, orchids have been a striking staple in the Greenhouse. The orchid was the favorite flower of Madeline F. Elder, who rallied volunteers and support to save the Greenhouse from demolition in 1972. From the beginning of Elder’s involvement, the Greenhouse has housed this exquisite flower.
“Orchids have a great history of captivating people,” said Sue Nord Peiffer, the IMA’s greenhouse manager. “People really enjoy seeing this exotic and diverse group of plants. They have the most complicated bloom in the flowering world.”
For guests looking for extra tips for caring for these complex flowers, the IMA will offer workshops on mounting and repotting orchids on Feb. 27 and March 5. Workshops are $35 and $60 for the public, with special discounts for IMA members.
The exhibition is the first of its kind in the Greenhouse in recent years. As a living gallery space, the Greenhouse offers classes, workshops and educational plant displays year-round.
Color Me Orchid is included with general admission and free for IMA members. During the opening weekend, IMA members will receive a special 20 percent discount in all onsite retail stores, including the Pop-Up Shop and Greenhouse.
“Although this exhibition may seem nontraditional for the IMA, it is reflective of our new direction,” said Dr. Charles L. Venable, the IMA’s Melvin & Bren Simon Director and CEO. “We are more than an art museum— we have botanical gardens, a park and a historic estate. We have scientists, horticulturists, teachers and historians on staff. We want to showcase the expertise of our team and the experiences that make our institution unique. When guests visit the IMA, we hope that they not only explore the galleries, but all that we have to offer on our diverse, 152-acre campus.”
To learn more, visit www.imamuseum.org.
By Rachel Hill-Ponko
Indiana Historical Society
In just its second year, the Indiana Historical Society’s Festival of Trees is growing in both popularity and scope. This year, around 50 elaborately themed trees will be on display at the Eugene and Marilyn Glick Indiana History Center at 450 W. Ohio St., up from 25 trees in 2014. The winter wonderland opens on Nov. 27, 2015 and runs through Jan. 2, 2016.
“Last year’s Festival of Trees brought thousands of people into the History Center to see themed trees that were whimsical and reflected our unique Hoosier character and culture, ” said John A. Herbst, IHS president and CEO. “This year we have doubled the number of trees to 50. In addition to trees that celebrate Indiana companies past and present like L.S. Ayres and Weaver Popcorn, and icons like the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, we added a lot of ethnic themed ones.”
This year’s featured trees also include a tribute to the Indiana holiday classic A Christmas Story, an upside-down tree, and even a tree you could win to display in your own home. You can take part in the fun during the History Center’s regular hours of Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
This holiday season, guests will also be able to tour Festival of Trees an extra day each week. The History Center will be open noon to 5 p.m. on Sundays between Thanksgiving and the New Year. The History Center will also extend its hours on Tuesday, Dec. 22, staying open until 9 p.m.
In addition to the winter wonderland, guests to IHS can tour an exhibition highlighting holiday-based photos in Lanham Gallery and enjoy fun, family-friendly activities and events.
For more information on Festival of Trees and other IHS programs, call (317) 232-1882 or visit www.indianahistory.org.
By Duane Brodt
Conner Prairie Interactive History Park
Conner Prairie transforms into Conner Scairie next week for 11 days of Headless Horseman, a fall family tradition in central Indiana. And this year, guests can help Conner Prairie set a world record.
The 32nd year of Headless Horseman begins Oct. 9, 2015. Conner Scairie will be a haunted land inhabited by fun-loving ghouls Beautisha, a cosmetics-loving witch; underworld expert and stand-up comedian wannabe Dr. Acula; mad scientist Ed and assistant Esmeralda; magic storyteller Holly Ween; and the Headless Horseman roaming the land.
Guests of all ages are encouraged to attend in family friendly costumes. Each night, Disney’s “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” will be shown at Lenape Indian Camp. The story will also be shared through nightly marionette shows. Magic shows, storytelling, face painting, ghostly vortexes, fortune telling, music and more are offered each night.
And guests are asked to visit a new craft area each night of Headless Horseman and help ghouls create 6,000 origami bats. Once that feat is achieved and verified, Conner Prairie will be eligible to be listed in the Guinness Book of World Records.
The Apple Store at Conner Prairie has extended hours each night of Headless Horseman. The store will serve up its popular gourmet caramel apples plus fresh cider slushies, popcorn, rice crispy treats and more until 9 p.m. each night.
And Headless Horseman guests can take in the fall sights and Conner Scairie from above as the 1859 Balloon Voyage exhibit will be open each night, weather permitting.
Sponsored by Reynolds, Goodwill, Marsh Supermarkets and Fishers Family Dentistry, Headless Horseman runs from 6-9 p.m. Oct. 9-11, 15-18 and 22-25. Activities and hayrides may run past 10 p.m. Tickets on Thursday and Sundays are $10 in advance, $12 at the gate and free for Conner Prairie members. Tickets for Fridays and Saturdays are $14 in advance, $16 at the gate and free for Plus Level members.
Advance sale tickets are available at select central Indiana Marsh and O’Malia’s locations: http://bit.ly/1KQGMnv.
Conner Prairie members can take advantage of a host of Headless Horseman perks, including free admission and an Express Pass to ride the hayride. For a list of perks, visit http://bit.ly/1KVFINb. Guests may sign up to become a Conner Prairie member at the entrance of Headless Horseman.
Spanning 850 wooded acres in central Indiana, Conner Prairie welcomes more than 360,000 visitors of all ages annually. As Indiana’s only Smithsonian Institute affiliate, Conner Prairie offers various outdoor, historically themed destinations and indoor experiential learning spaces that combine history and art with science, technology, engineering and math to offer an authentic look into history that shapes society today.
By Amanda Dorman
Downtown Indy, Inc.
Family-friendly outdoor festivals take the forefront in June with the return of many annual Downtown favorites.
The Christ Church Cathedral Women’s Strawberry Festival returns to Monument Circle to serve an estimated six tons of strawberries and 18,000 homemade shortcakes on Thursday, June 11, 2015.
Thousands of people will gather outside of Holy Rosary Catholic Church and enjoy 25 different Italian meats, pastas, salads and desserts during Italian Street Festival June 12 & 13 (see photo above).
The Circle City IN Pride Festival, Indiana’s largest LGBT celebration, takes place at American Legion Mall June 13.
Sip on craft beer from more than 50 local and national breweries at Brew-Ha-Ha on Park Avenue June 20.
On June 27 & 28, check out the Eiteljorg Museum’s Indian Market and Festival, one of the Midwest’s largest Indian markets.
Other big June festivals:
June 6: Vintage Indiana Wine and Food Festival
June 13: PBS Kids in the Park
June 13 & 14: Talbot Street Art Fair
June13: INDIEana Handicraft Exchange
June 18: Marsh Cookout on the Circle
June 20: Asian Fest
June 21: Familia Fest
Take in the sights and sounds of summer
Summer concerts are officially here and national and local artists alike will bring Downtown to life this June.
The Farm Bureau Insurance Lawn at White River State Park hosts an exciting June summer concert lineup, with Third Eye Blind and Dashboard Confessional kicking off the season on May 30. See Alabama Shakes June 2, Cage the Elephant June 7, Hozier June 11, Ben Harper & The Innocent Criminals June 13, Rob Zombie June 14, Barenaked Ladies June 17, Flogging Molly June 17 and David Gray/Amos Lee June 27.
At Old National Centre, fans of all genres of music can catch big names including:
June 5: Juicy J
June 11: Heart
June 16: Rob Thomas
June 17: The Smashing Pumpkins: In Plainsong – An Acoustic Electro Evening
June 27: Reel Big Fish and Less Than Jake
Catch two more shows at The Cabaret at the Columbia Club: Indy Men’s Chorus: A Night at the Cabaret on June 12 and Linda Lavin: Now on June 26 & 27.
There are several options for enjoying live tunes outside this summer. Indiana Historical Society’s “Concerts on the Canal” kick off May 28 and continue every Thursday at 6 – 8 p.m. through the end of July. Reserve a table on the Stardust Terrace or bring a chair or blanket and take a seat on the grassy hill right off the Canal.
Easley Winery offers free concerts every Saturday from 2 – 5 p.m. as part of their “Groovin’ in the Garden” concert series.
Enjoy great live music, animals, rides, delicious food and more Friday nights June 19 through July 10 from 5:30 – 8:30 p.m. at the Indianapolis Zoo’s Zoolapalooza Concert Series.
The Indianapolis Museum of Art kicks off Summer Nights Film Series on June 5 with National Lampoon’s Vacation. Other June showings include Heathers June 12; Casablanca June 19 and Psycho June 26. The series continues every summer Friday through Aug. 28. Films begin at dusk with pre-show activities at 7 p.m. Tickets are $12; $6 for members.
Go car-free this summer
WalkScore.com ranks Downtown Indy as a “Walker’s Paradise” and Sports Illustrated named Indy as “the most walkable Downtown in America.”
That’s why Downtown Indy is challenging the public to go car-free this summer with the new Car-Free Indy program. Ride your bike, take the bus or walk for a more sustainable city. Participants can up online, create a profile, set a goal and track progress now through August. The program strives to have 1,000 participants and save 30,000 miles of commuting by the end of the summer. Prizes will be awarded monthly.
Georgia Street action
Happy Hours kicked off with a bang, with more than 400 people attending each week. Wind down your week at Downtown’s hometown hangout every Thursday from 4:30 – 7 p.m. Enjoy live DJs or bands, appetizers from the Severin Bar and domestic beers and craft brews including Flat 12 and Upland. This event is free to attend.
Workout Wednesdays continues through the end of July on Georgia Street’s west block. Downtown Indy has again partnered with the YMCA to provide fun, all-levels group fitness for FREE Workout Wednesdays weekly from noon – 12:45 p.m. thanks to Buckingham Companies.
Eat lunch alfresco on the Boardwalk and enjoy the sights and sounds of Downtown during Food Truck Fridays from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Cheer the Fever, join the Tribe and more Downtown sports
Catch one (or more) of the 15 Indianapolis Indians home games at Victory Field in June. Enjoy monthly promos including 2-for-1 Tuesdays, Thursday Craft Beer Night, Friday Fireworks and Kid’s Eat Free Sundays.
On June 4, catch the Celebrity Softball Challenge at Victory Field. This game features Indianapolis Colts Robert Mathis and teammate Dwayne Allen, along with other local sports stars as well as mascots and media personalities. The Home Run Derby competition begins at 6 p.m., followed by the seven inning Celebrity Softball Game at 7 p.m.
The Indiana Fever home opener is June 6 against the Minnesota Lynx. Catch four more games at Bankers Life Fieldhouse this month: June 12, 14, 20 & 26. Every Indiana Fever game of the 2015 season will be broadcast either online or on radio or television.
And there’s one more chance to catch the Indy Eleven at home for the season. The team plays FC Edmonton June 13 at IUPUI.
For more information, visit http://downtownindy.org/, or call 317-237-2222.