Veterans and Active Duty Military Free Admission Day at DNR Properties, Nov. 11

November 7, 2017 1 comment
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Clifty Falls State Park near Madison, Indiana.
AroundIndy.com staff photo, (c) 2016, all rights reserved.

Press Release
Indiana Dept. of Natural Resources

All veterans and active-duty military personnel, and everyone in their vehicle, will be admitted free to DNR state parks, reservoir properties and state forests on Veterans Day, Saturday, Nov. 11, 2017. Veterans and military personnel should present ID or evidence of military service where entrance gates are in operation.

“We appreciate the sacrifices and service of our veterans and active-duty military and look forward to recognizing them with a day to explore some of the best outdoor places in our state,” said Dan Bortner, director of Indiana State Parks.

For proof of military status, gate attendants will accept:

—Discharge papers (veteran’s DD Form 214).
—Veteran license plates: Ex-POW, Purple Heart, Disabled Hoosier Veteran, Pearl Harbor Survivor.
—Veteran license plates also include:
—Air Force Veteran
—Army Veteran.
—Coast Guard Veteran.
—Marine Corps Veteran.
—Merchant Marine Veteran.
—Navy Veteran.
—U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Disability Award Letter.
—Veterans hunting and fishing license.
—Documents showing veteran benefits with veteran’s name on document.
—Any other certificate or verification letter or form.

For general information about state park, reservoir and forest properties, visit http://dnr.IN.gov.

For information about interpretive programs at state parks and reservoirs, visit InterpretiveServices.IN.gov.

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Temporary State Park Closings November 2017

November 6, 2017 1 comment
spring-mill-state-park-sign

Spring Mill State Park is one of the parks affected by this announcement.
AroundIndy.com staff photo, (c) 2010, all rights reserved.

DNR Press Release

Multiple state park properties to close temporarily for deer reductions

Select Indiana state park properties will close temporarily to allow for controlled deer reductions in the coming weeks.

The dates for the temporary closings are Nov. 13-14 and Nov. 27-28, 2017.

The state parks affected are Chain O’Lakes, Charlestown, Clifty Falls, Fort Harrison, Harmonie, Lincoln, McCormick’s Creek, Ouabache, Pokagon and Trine State Recreation Area, Potato Creek, Shades, Shakamak, Spring Mill and Cave River Valley Natural Area, Tippecanoe River, Versailles, and Whitewater Memorial.

These properties will close to the general public the evening before each two-day reduction effort and reopen the morning after each effort.

Only individual hunters selected from the draw in September and their designated hunting partners may participate in the hunts.

DNR biologists evaluate which parks require a reduction each year based on habitat recovery and previous harvest rates at each park. The state parks are home to more than 32 state-endangered plants and numerous significant natural communities. The reductions help control browsing by deer to a level that helps maintain habitat throughout the state parks for all plants and animals.

Information on 2018 state park deer reductions, including online applications, will be available next summer at dnr.IN.gov/fishwild. The application deadline is usually the end of August.

Additional information on state park deer reductions is at stateparks.IN.gov/6289.htm.

“A Christmas Story” Comes Home in Hammond @southshorecva

November 3, 2017 1 comment

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By Erika Dahl
South Shore CVA

Editor’s Note: Hammond is on central time (e.g. 8 am in Hammond is 9 am in Indianapolis).

This holiday season, the “A Christmas Story” Comes Home exhibit, presented in collaboration with Warner Bros. Consumer Products, will be on display from Nov. 11, 2017 until Jan. 7, 2018 at the Indiana Welcome Center in Hammond, Indiana. The exhibit takes visitors to the streets of downtown Hohman, a fictional Indiana town which was a disguise for author, Jean Shepherd’s, hometown Hammond.

A Christmas Story Comes Home exhibit features six animated scenes from the holiday movie A Christmas Story. The displays include Higbee’s Department Store Window, Flick’s Tongue and the Triple Dog Dare, It’s a Major Award, Santa’s Mountain at Higbee’s, The Bumpus Hounds and A Hero’s Dream.

In addition to the exhibit, visitors will have the opportunity to see a bronzed Flick with his tongue stuck to the flag pole. This homage to the classic scene is the perfect photo opportunity in front of the Indiana Welcome Center.

The Indiana Welcome Center is located at the intersection of I-80/94 and Kennedy Avenue South in Hammond; only 30 minutes from downtown Chicago and two hours north of Indianapolis.

Special Events

“A Major Event” & Holiday Market will be held Saturday, Dec. 2 at the Indiana Welcome Center and kicks off the holiday season. The Welcome Center will be bustling with children’s activities from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. and a cozy holiday market from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. features handcrafted and specialty items and gourmet treats. “A Major Event” kid’s activities include a passenger train – kids can ride for just $1! “Flick” Bingo, movie viewings, crafts, and a visit to Santa atop Santa’s Mountain.

“Oh Fuuudge!” Tire Changing Relay is an event that pays tribute to the events leading up to Ralphie blurting out “the-queen-mother-of-dirty-words,” will be held on Saturday, Dec. 9. Parent/child teams will run through an obstacle course and prizes will be awarded to the pair with the best time. Registration begins at 9:30 a.m., and the event begins at 10:00 a.m.

The popular “Mommy’s Little Piggy” Mashed Potato Eating Contest features plates mounded with mashed potatoes and contestants of different age groups showing how the piggies eat and will be held on Saturday, Dec. 16. Registration will start at 9:30 a.m., and the first wave of participants will begin at 10:00 a.m.

All events are held at the Indiana Welcome Center in Hammond and registrations are available online at http://www.AChristmasStoryComesHome.com.

Letters to Santa, live entertainment and more!

Bring the whole family to enjoy live entertainment on the weekends and write letters to Santa and drop them in the big mailbox in the exhibit hall! Request to view the documentary “The Untold Christmas Story” in the 100-seat theater, vote on the ugliest leg lamp and favorite holiday tree or participate in the Write a Theme Contest – the exhibit is packed with fun for the whole family. More information is available online at www.AChristmasStoryComesHome.com.

Relive the “You’ll Shoot Your Eye Out” scene atop Santa’s Mountain

Have your picture taken with Santa on top of Santa’s Mountain, a replica of the one featured in the movie. In the famous scene, Ralphie Parker asks Santa for an Official Red Ryder BB Gun, and Santa responds, “You’ll shoot your eye out, kid.”

Photos with Santa on Santa’s Mountain are available between Thanksgiving and Christmas, every Saturday and Sunday between 11:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. at the Indiana Welcome Center; photos on Christmas Eve will end at 2:00 p.m. Photos are also available on Nov 24 from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and Dec. 22 from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Children have the opportunity to slide down a big red slide into a pillow of snow. Photos are $6 each.

Wag Your Tail Wednesdays

Don’t miss the opportunity to have your pet photographed with Santa on Santa’s Mountain. Pet photos with Santa will be available Wednesday, Nov. 22; Nov. 29; Dec.13 and Dec. 20 from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Photos are $6 each, and $1 of every photo is given to local animal rescues. Well-behaved animals only.

The Parker Living Room

See an additional “A Christmas Story” Comes Home animated display window this year at Cabela’s in Hammond! This year, Cabela’s will display The Parker Living Room through the holiday season. Cabela’s is located one-mile from the Welcome Center at 7700 Cabela Drive in Hammond.

More Information

Visit www.AChristmasStoryComesHome.com for a complete list of special events, contests, hours of operation and directions. The Welcome Center gift shop offers an array of movie memorabilia including the infamous leg lamp!

“Circle of Lights” Celebration on Monument Circle, Nov. 24, 2017 @indydt

October 31, 2017 1 comment
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Monument Circle during the holiday season.
AroundIndy.com staff photo, (c) 2015, all rights reservd.

By Jennifer Hanson
Downtown Indy, Inc.

INDIANAPOLIS – For 55 years, thousands of spectators have gathered Downtown at Monument Circle to see the most spectacular holiday display illuminate. Central Indiana’s most beloved tradition is here again. Downtown Indy, Inc.’s Circle of Lights® presented by IBEW #481 will take place the day after Thanksgiving, Friday, Nov. 24, 2017.

“The Electrical Workers of IBEW #481 are thrilled to be the presenting partner of Circle of Lights,” said Steve Menser, IBEW #481 business manager. “The tradition is a wonderful opportunity to showcase the standards, skill and capability of the union electrical industry along with our community commitment. We invite all Hoosiers to kick off their holiday celebration with us!”

NEW THIS YEAR: The decorations on the Soldiers & Sailors Monument will look familiar – 52 garland strands with 4,784 colored lights, strung from the top of the Monument to its base.

However, all of the strands are new this year including the use of LED bulbs for the first time ever. These improvements are the first phase of the Keeping Spirits Bright capital campaign with a goal to raise $2 million to further enhance and keep this beloved tradition alive.

The Monument will continue to be surrounded with 26 larger-than-life toy soldiers and sailors and 26 peppermint sticks.

More than 100,000 spectators are expected for the FREE ceremonial lighting and holiday kickoff on Friday, Nov. 24. Entertainers chosen from statewide video auditions will share the stage with Sandi Patty, host of the Indianapolis Symphony’s IPL Yuletide Celebration.

Festivities begin at 6 p.m. with the live televised show running from 7 – 8 p.m. on (NBC) WTHR-13. The Monument light-up will occur at approximately 7:55 p.m.

And who gets to “flip the switch?” Each year, a lucky child is chosen from the Carson’s Coloring Contest to help Santa illuminate the night.

To conclude the evening, watch the sky for a spectacular fireworks finale.

Millions of sightseers will take in this brilliant spectacle throughout the holiday season, lit through early January. Travelocity named the Circle of Lights® one of the top five “must-see Christmas trees” in the nation. USA Today also listed the Circle of Lights® as one the “10 Best Holiday Attractions.”

BONUS: After the Monument is lit, head to Carson’s Department Store for FREE Selfies with Santa from 8 – 10 p.m.

As the presenting partner of Circle of Lights®, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) #481 represents more than 3,000 electrical workers. IBEW #481 provides the needed expertise, highly trained workforce, safety and dedication to help build many of Central Indiana’s premiere education, health care, utility and logistics projects. Visit www.ibew481.org.

Circle of Lights® is an official program of Downtown Indy, Inc. which focuses on three areas: development, management and marketing to advance Downtown as a great place to live, learn, work and play. Visit www.downtownindy.org for more information or call 317-237-2222.

Halloween ZooBoo at the Indianapolis Zoo, Oct. 5-29, 2017 @indianapoliszoo

October 2, 2017 1 comment
indianapolis-zoo-may-10-2017

Indianapolis Zoo in White River State Park in Indianapolis, Indiana.
AroundIndy.com staff photo, (c) 2017, all rights reserved.

By Carla Knapp
Indianapolis Zoo

INDIANAPOLIS — Not-so-frightful animals, pumpkins galore and a whimsical village to explore — the Indianapolis Zoo has conjured some fantastic new ways for families to celebrate Halloween during the reimagined ZooBoo presented by Central Indiana Honda Dealers.

Now beginning its 36th year, this beloved fall event includes four extra days for visitors to enjoy the spooktacular festivities. ZooBoo kicks off Oct. 5 and continues every Thursday through Sunday all month long. The Zoo opens daily at 9am, so guests are encouraged to come early to visit their favorite animals, then event activities go on from 2-7pm.

With the all-new experiences in Pumpkin Town presented by Macy’s, this year’s ZooBoo is bigger than ever before. Under the cover of the Bicentennial Pavilion awaits a magical town where little witches and goblins can discover fun all around. There’s nothing to fear from encounters with fascinating critters, including toads, turtles, rats and cats. In partnership with the Humane Society of Indianapolis, the cats will be available for adoption following ZooBoo.

Inside the Candy Corn Factory presented by Metro PCS, the mirror maze hides thrills and smiles around every corner. A friendly witch offers potions to transform special treats. Guests can also stop in at a crafty Pumpkin School, dance to Halloween music and try a few rolls of Pumpkin Bowling presented by Universal Windows Direct.

More Halloween fun is waiting elsewhere around the Zoo, too. Children can dash down Broomstick Alley presented by State Farm. Plus, the Zoo’s rides also feature a wild twist, like the Spooktacular Train Ride and the Round-Go-Merry — the carousel that moves in reverse.

Costumes are encouraged and kids can bring a reusable bag to collect a few goodies along the Trick-or-Treat Trail presented by Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital at St. Vincent, located in Plains. Allergy-friendly snacks are available upon request, and all Halloween treats are either palm-oil free, contain sustainable palm oil or are produced by a member of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil, which is working to make orangutan-friendly palm oil readily available.

Even the Zoo’s animals get into the spirit of the season. Mild fall temperatures mean the animals will be out and active, providing the perfect backdrop for all the festivities. Plus, visitors can enjoy extra chats, Halloween-themed animal enrichment and special activities, like the messy fun of the Elephant Pumpkin Smash presented by Sam’s Club.

ZooBoo is free for Zoo members and included with regular admission. Discount tickets are available at area Donatos and Indiana Members Credit Union locations.

For more information, visit http://indyzoo.com, or call 317-630-2001.