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Take Your Spring Break in Downtown Indianapolis

March 20, 2014 Leave a comment
Peewinkle's Puppet Studio

Peewinkle’s Puppet Studio in downtown Indianapolis.
AroundIndy.com staff photo, (c) 2011, all rights reserved.

By Amanda Dorman
Indianapolis Downtown, Inc.
http://indydt.com/

It’s becoming popular to take vacations close to home – and in Downtown Indianapolis, this makes perfect sense. Downtown Indy has a number of world-class attractions, vibrant Cultural Districts, big-time sports and more. Make your spring break destination a brag-worthy family furlough without breaking the bank.

Go on an adventure at White River State Park

When working up your list of day-time things to do, White River State Park’s attractions are a must. Purchase a Park Pass which gets you admission vouchers into the six attractions with more than 25 percent off the regular adult and child prices.

  • At the Indianapolis Zoo, touch dogfish sharks at the nation’s largest shark touch pool, walk through the 3.3 acre White River Gardens and experience hundreds of exotic birds up close and personal. Butterfly Kaleidoscope returns to the Hilbert Conservatory starting March 21.
  • The Indiana State Museum offers interactive exhibits, including Ice Age Giants: The Mystery of Mammoths and Mastodons. Race derby cars at Pinewood Derby on April 1 – 6. Watch a movie at the IMAX Theatre the biggest of big screens. Starting April 4, catch Island of Lemurs: Madagascar 3D.
  • The Eiteljorg Museum recently opened the Ansel Adams exhibit which includes many of Adams’ most famous photographs.
  • The NCAA Hall of Champions walks visitors through the history of all 23 NCAA sports, just in time for March Madness.
  • Come back in April for an Indians game at Victory Field!
  • In between museums, take a walk on the canal or try a guided Segway tour. (Discount coupon included with Park Pass.)

Visit Downtown Indy’s museums and attractions

Clown around at the Indiana Historical Society for Circus Day March 29. Enjoy the Hampel Family Circus, live animal shows from Amazing World of Animals, clowns, magicians, jugglers, face painting and more. Try your hand at carnival games to win fantastic prizes. Get silly with Radio Disney from 3 – 5 p.m. and, of course, visit the Indiana Experience.

Don’t wait until summer to experience a creative art adventure. The Indianapolis Museum of Art will host Fam-tastic Days: Spring Break, March 25–28 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Families work on projects that include coil pots and other ceramics, canvas paintings, wood sculpture and printmaking and then take their creations home to display. Studio capacity is limited. Tickets are $5.

Museum Adventure Camp, March 24–28, campers ages 9–12 can see what happens behind the scenes at the Indiana State Museum. Campers will explore exhibitions, participate in a paleontology dig and create their own exhibit at the end of the camp. Also at the Indiana State Museum, the entire family can race in the Pinewood Derby, April 1–6. The Indiana State Museum and the Boy Scouts of America Crossroads of America Council invite families to race derby cars and watch as they zip down the two-story, 125-feet of track headed for the finish line.

Spend the night at the Indianapolis Zoo during the Spring Family Overnight, March 22. Activities include crafts, games, animal stories, a special after-hours tour and a morning breakfast. Participants must be at least six years old.

Party like it’s 70 million B.C. as The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis celebrates 10 years of Dinosphere. Since opening in early March, Leonardo: The Mummified Dinosaur has fascinated visitors of all ages. Join in Dinosaur Extravaganza, March 29 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and dig for bones and participate in special dinosaur extravaganza activities. Also at The Children’s Museum, participate in Animal Secrets (various dates through May 4) and explore the hidden habitats and secret lives of forest animals.

There are plenty of FREE activities taking place at the Central Library:

Catch the well-loved fairytale Cinderella at Peewinkle’s Puppet Studio every Thursday, Friday and Saturday from March 13 to April 12 (see photo above). Classic music, a glittering coach and a bit of shadow puppetry will keep the youngsters spellbound.

Platinum selling recording artist Demi Lovato performs at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on March 30 – fulfilling every teenage girl’s dreams.

After you have worked up an appetite exploring an exhibit or experiencing an event Downtown, head to Georgia Street for Food Truck Fridays, every Friday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

March is on: sports action Downtown

It would be hard to spend a vacation in Downtown Indy without catching at least one game:

  • The Indiana Pacers are wrapping up the regular season with games at Bankers Life Fieldhouse March 21, 26, & 31 and April 2 & 6, among other home games for the blue and gold around spring break.
  • Baseball is back in full-swing and the Indians open their season April 10 at Victory Field. Get in the game for just $10 for adults and $9 for children 14 and younger.
  • For the hockey fans, Downtown Indy has you covered too. Catch the end of the Ice’s season, with games March 22 and April 2 at Pan Am Pavilion and March 23 and April 4 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Tickets start as low as $11.
  • Catch the IHSAA Basketball State Finals March 29 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse and the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament March 28 & 30 at Lucas Oil Stadium.

Make it a staycation in Downtown Indy

The Gardens & Galleries Package at the Indianapolis Marriott Downtown includes overnight accommodations plus tickets to the White River Gardens, Indianapolis Zoo, Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art and Indiana State Museum. Their Lights, Legends and Lions Package includes accommodations plus tickets to the IMAX Theater, Indianapolis Zoo and White River Gardens.

Book the Dolce Spring Escape offer at The Alexander any time before May 23 and save up to 50 percent on their best available rate. The offer includes breakfast in Market Table for two adults and children under 12.

The Hyatt Regency Indianapolis offers a Children’s Museum Package that includes four tickets for two adults and two children (ages 2-17) to experience one of the top children’s museums in the nation.

Stay up-to-date on spring break happenings in Downtown Indy online: www.indydt.com/springbreak.cfm. For more information, call 317-237-2222.

Tenderloin Throwdown in Greensburg, July 19

March 1, 2014 Leave a comment
Tenderloin Throwdown

Logo provided by Visit Decatur County, Inc. and used with written permission.

By Bob Burchfield, Editor
AroundIndy.com, LLC
http://aroundindy.com/Decaturco.php

Anyone who has read this blog for any length of time is surely aware that if you want to get my attention quickly, just mention that great Hoosier classic: the breaded pork tenderloin (BPT). Melanie Maxwell, Executive Director of Decatur County Tourism in Greensburg, is one individual who knows this.

So she got my attention quickly recently with the announcement that Main Street Greensburg and Visit Decatur County, Inc. will host the inaugural Tenderloin Throwdown competition on Saturday, July 19, 2014, to determine who makes the best tenderloin in the state of Indiana. WHOA!

Why didn’t somebody think of this before? I’ve heard of all kinds of burger competitions. In fact, I attended a great one last summer at Family Leisure judged by George Hill from the Indiana Pacers and Anthony Castonzo from the Indianapolis Colts, among others. Someone is always trying to outdo the competition when it comes to making a great burger. Same goes for chili cookoffs, BBQ competitions, pie wars at the City Market recently, and so forth. But have you ever heard of a tenderloin competition? That would be news to me and lots of others, even though it’s been dubbed the state sandwich of Indiana (I don’t think that’s official, but it might as well be).

A pan of pork tenderloins

A pan of homemade pork tenderloins
at the Burchfield residence.

So this is kind of exciting. Why? Well…I make a pretty mean BPT, if I do say so myself. And it appears that this competition is open to both professional chefs as well as amateur cooks like me. I’m getting kind of enthusiastic about entering this contest, to tell you the truth. I don’t know if I can match the culinary talents of some of the professional chefs in Indiana, but I know how to make a darn good tenderloin. I’m hopeful that they might divide the competition into two classes, one for chefs and one for amateurs. I wouldn’t mind taking a shot at the amateur title.

The official announcement arrived in my inbox yesterday:

“Do you claim to have the best pork tenderloin sandwich in Indiana? Prove it! Join us in Downtown Greensburg, Indiana on July 19, 2014 for the Inaugural Tenderloin Throwdown.  Each participating team will line up around the Decatur County Courthouse, cook their famed sandwich and enter their creation to win in one or more of the following categories: Best Breaded Tenderloin, Best Grilled Tenderloin, Most Creative Tenderloin and People’s Choice. Winners will receive a prize package and more importantly, bragging rights. Come show us your loins!

“The Tenderloin Throwdown will be made possible with the support of Mainstreet Greensburg. Registration is $50 for Decatur County participants and $75 for out-of-county participants. All participants must apply for a temporary food service permit from the Decatur County Health Department ($15).”

You know what? This could be a big deal for the victor. Can you imagine winning the competition and owning the bragging rights that go with that? The right to say that you make the best tenderloin in Indiana in a state known for its great tenderloins! That would be pretty cool for either a professional chef, restaurateur, or amateur cook.
So I might just do some tinkering with my recipe to see if I can think of a way to add more flavor and taste to my tenderloins and put them over the top in this competition. Lots of places and people claim to make the best tenderloin in Indiana. This is an opportunity to put up or shut up.
In the meantime, for entry forms and additional information contact Staci Schutte or Elizabeth Nobbe with Mainstreet Greensburg at 812-222-0037. Or email execdirector@mainstreetgreensburg.com.
Breaded Tenderloin at the Tie Dye Grill

Breaded Tenderloin at the Tie Dye Grill in Indianapolis.
AroundIndy.com staff photo, (c) 2012, all rights reserved.

Breaded Tenderloin, Gas Light Inn

Breaded Tenderloin, Gas Light Inn in Indianapolis.
AroundIndy.com staff photo, (c) 2011, all rights reserved.

Breaded Tenderloin at Storie's Restaurant.

Breaded Tenderloin at Storie’s Restaurant in Greensburg.
(Across the street from the site of this competition, no less!)
AroundIndy.com staff photo, (c) 2012, all rights reserved.

December/January Events in Downtown Indianapolis

December 18, 2013 Leave a comment
IMAX Theatre at the Indiana State Museum

Free admission at the IMAX Theatre on Jan. 20.
AroundIndy.com staff photo, (c) 2013, all rights reserved.

By Amanda Dorman
Indianapolis Downtown, Inc.
http://indydt.com/

Holidays winding down

Still searching for one last dose of holiday cheer? Downtown opportunities are plentiful. As the holidays wind down in Downtown Indy, make sure to check out our Holidays Happenings page to stay up-to-date on events at the end of December:  http://www.indydt.com/holidaymedia.cfm. A fan favorite, 12 Free Days in Downtown Indy, ends Dec. 24.  Ride the Yule Slide at Jolly Days Winter Wonderland at the Children’s Museum. Get decorating ideas from the early 20th century at Christmas at Lilly House. Take the Santa Claus Express train at Celebration Crossing at the Indiana State Museum. Enjoy dazzling twinkle lights at Christmas at the Zoo. See the landmarks and trains at the Eiteljorg Museum’s Jingle Rails.  The Circle of Lights display will remain lit through Jan. 10. 

Ring in the New Year Downtown!

Whether you are looking for live music, good food or family-friendly festivities, there are plenty of fun ways to celebrate the New Year Downtown! Visit http://www.indydt.com/nye.cfm for a list of Downtown New Year’s Eve events. Check back for updates as more Downtown events and specials are announced.

2014 Beautification Calendar

Indianapolis Downtown, Inc. (IDI) is planning for Downtown’s beautification in 2014. IDI’s Beautification Calendar is distributed to hundreds of Downtown businesses to encourage clean properties and colorful landscaping. Different color themes are created to add variety and a cohesive, sophisticated atmosphere as each season changes. Businesses and landscapers can be creative and choose flowers appropriate to site conditions. Find 2014 color themes here (think: blue, yellow and orange for spring). Also, IDI recently planted 15 new trees thanks to IPL’s Trees for Tomorrow program, helping to keep Downtown green and vibrant! 

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day promotions and events

Hoosiers will be able to choose from wide range of FREE or inexpensive events taking place Jan. 20 for MLK Day. Some of these special events include FREE admission to White River State Park attractions, including the Indianapolis Zoo, Indiana State Museum, IMAX Theatre, Eiteljorg and NCAA Hall of Champions. Also enjoy FREE admission and activities at Victory Field. Visitors are asked to bring one canned food item per person for donation to Gleaner’s Food Bank.

Gather the family and enjoy a FREE admission to the Children’s Museum. The IMA will host a community day from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. with art, film, music and a celebration of the Theater of Inclusion’s community-built art project, One and All. The IUPUI Campus Center hosts its 13th annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. Hundreds of students and faculty will volunteer at various community sites around the city.  As most kids will have the day off from school, many families are expected to spend the day taking part in one or more of these activities.

Devour Downtown Winterfest kicks off Jan. 20
Anticipate more Downtown diners as 50+ Downtown restaurants offer specially-priced menu items. Participating Downtown restaurants will offer guests $30 – $35 per-person menus plus gratuity and tax while showcasing specialty dishes and highlighting popular items from their menus. Several lunch and dinner menus are two for $30!  For a list of participating restaurants, visit www.devourdowntown.org. 

Big names take the stage

Harlem Globetrotters, Jan. 20, Bankers Life Fieldhouse
Disney on Ice Princesses & Heroes, Jan. 22 – Jan. 26, Bankers Life Fieldhouse
Rock of Ages, Jan. 26, Old National Centre 

Downtown bustling with sports action

Downtown will stay busy with several Indiana Pacers games and Indiana Ice matches throughout December and January. Pacers fans will be packing Bankers Life Fieldhouse Dec. 28 & 31 and Jan. 4, 7, 10, 14, 16, 18, & 30. The Indiana Ice play at Bankers Life Fieldhouse Dec. 30 and Jan. 3 & 11 and at Pan Am Pavilion Jan. 4, 10 & 30. The iconic Harlem Globetrotters return to Bankers Life Fieldhouse Jan. 20.

For more information, visit http://indydt.com/, or call 317-237-2222.

Auditions for ‘Circle of Lights,’ Sept. 26 and Oct. 5

September 23, 2013 Leave a comment
Monument Circle at Christmas time

Monument Circle at Christmas time. AroundIndy.com staff photo, (c) 2009, all rights reserved.

By Jennifer Hanson
Indianapolis Downtown, Inc.
http://www.indydt.com/

WHAT:              Lights, camera… perform! Be a part of a very special tradition – 51 years in the making.  It’s time for Indy’s own renowned holiday auditions. Quality Connection, IBEW #481, RTV-6 and Indianapolis Downtown, Inc. are seeking entertainers to perform at the 51st anniversary of the Circle of Lights® presented by the Contractors of Quality Connection and Electrical Workers of IBEW #481 on Friday, Nov. 29.

Auditions will be recorded and made into an RTV-6 Circle of Lights® audition special, The Circle of Lights® Talent Search.The show will take viewers behind the scenes for the drama as hundreds of Hoosier singers, dancers and entertainers vie for coveted spots in the beloved Circle of Lights show.  The one-hour Circle of Lights® Talent Search will premiere Tuesday, Nov. 26 from 7 – 8 p.m. on RTV-6 and again Thanksgiving night, Nov. 28 at 7 p.m. This is in addition to RTV-6’s live coverage of the Circle of Lights® Friday, Nov. 29 at 7 p.m.

Selected finalists from first auditions will be called back for a final audition Oct. 15.  With more than 100 acts auditioning each year, a second audition allows judges to focus on the top acts and then select the finalists to perform in the live show.

The chosen acts will have the opportunity to share the stage with Indianapolis native Sandi Patty and The von Trapp Family singers, both appearing at the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra’s Duke Energy Yuletide Celebration.

WHEN:              Thursday, Sept. 26 from 4 – 8 p.m.

WHERE:            IBEW Local 481 Hall, 1828 North Meridian St.

WHO:               Quality Connection, IBEW #481, RTV-6 & Indianapolis Downtown, Inc.

NOTE:               A second open audition will be Saturday, Oct. 5 from 9 a.m. – noon at the Electrical Training Institute, 1751 S. Lawndale Ave. (Take Sam Jones Expressway to Lynhurst.  North on Lynhurst to Minnesota.  West on Minnesota to Lawndale.  Left on S. Lawndale just before the I-465 overpass.)

Call-back auditions will take place for selected finalists (by invite only) on Tuesday, Oct. 15 at 6:30 p.m..

There is no need to pre-register for auditions.  Performers will audition in the order in which they arrive. Please allow several hours for the audition process on both Sept. 26 and Oct. 5.

Performers should prepare a number/act using the following specifications:

  • Not to exceed 2 minutes.  This time limit will be strictly enforced at auditions.  Acts chosen for the show will have approximately 3 – 3½ minutes to perform but for the sake of time, we must limit auditions
  • A holiday theme is required (upbeat preferred)
  • Tracks are to be formatted to CD. If necessary, a keyboard and microphones will be provided.  Please provide your own keyboardist.
  • Stage dimensions are 24’ x 16’
  • Group size not to exceed 25 persons
  • Those acts that audition in person are generally more successful.

Selected groups/performers must commit to two evening rehearsal dates, Oct. 30 and Nov. 13, prior to the event and from 2:30 – 8:30 p.m. on the day of the event.  Call 317.237.2317 or email vanessa@indydt.com with audition questions.