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.
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.