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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.

A Busy March 2014 in Downtown Indianapolis

February 22, 2014 Leave a comment
Lucas Oil Stadium

Lucas Oil Stadium hosts NCAA Midwest Regional, Mar. 28 & 30.
AroundIndy.com staff photo, (c) 2009, all rights reserved.

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

St. Patrick’s Day: Blarney Bash on Georgia Street, Shamrock Run and more

On Saturday, March 15, Indianapolis Downtown, Inc. and Georgia Street will host Blarney Bash from 2 – 10 p.m. on the east block between Meridian and Pennsylvania streets. Festive tents with green beer and Irish spirits will line the boardwalk operated by The Pub Indianapolis, Howl at the Moon and Kilroy’s Bar & Grill. Local bands My Yellow Rickshaw and The Flying Toasters will perform. Admission to the Blarney Bash is FREE, but attendees must be 21 or older.

The Hoosier Lottery Greening of the Canal takes place Friday, March 14 from 5 – 5:45 p.m. at the Stardust Terrace outside the Indiana Historical Society with live music and dancing. On March 15, the 23rd annual Shamrock Run and Walk takes off from Monument Circle at 10 a.m. The St. Patrick’s Day Parade is Monday, March 17 at 11:30 a.m. on the Downtown parade route. The Parade Festival will take place on Vermont Street between Meridian and Pennsylvania streets from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. with live music, food and a beer garden. All of these events, with the exception of Shamrock Run and Walk, are FREE. Visit www.indysportsfoundation.com/stpatsnew for more information.

Big sports action with NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Regional and more

With 22 games and two titles up for grabs, there will be tons of Big Ten basketball action in Downtown Indy this March. The Big Ten Women’s Basketball Tournament takes place March 6 – 9 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse and the Big Ten Men’s Basketball Tournament takes place March 13 – 16. The two weeks also include several fan events such as the Big Ten Hoops Day 5K, Big Ten Conference Career Expo, pep rallies and more.

NCAA Division III Men’s and Women’s Swimming and Diving Championships come to the IU Natatorium March 19 – 22. The NCAA Men’s Basketball Midwest Regional will be at Lucas Oil Stadium March 28 & 30, marking the 19th time Indianapolis will host an NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament event. The regionals were last in Indianapolis in 2009. Tickets are available now.

Nike Mideast Qualifier brings several volleyball tournaments to the Indiana Convention Center March 21 – 23 for thousands of athletes 18 and younger.

The Pacers play seven home games at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in March. The Pacers’ final regular season home game will be April 13 against the Oklahoma City Thunder. The Ice play two home games at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on March 1 & 23 and one game at Pan Am Pavilion March 22.

Georgia Street comes alive

Beginning March 7, head to Georgia Street every Friday from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. for Food Truck Fridays. Grab your friends and eat out alfresco while enjoying the sights and sounds Downtown. New to Georgia Street, pack your gym bag and ditch the boring treadmill workout for FREE Workout Wednesdays weekly from noon – 1 p.m. Move to energizing, powerful beats and a motivating instructor beginning April 2. Instructors and cardio-based fitness classes will rotate. All fitness levels are welcome.

See some of the big concerts and acts hitting the stage

March 4 – 9                Ghost – The Musical, Old National Centre

March 7                      Live Nation Presents the 10th Annual Green 17 Tour with Flogging Molly, Old National Centre

March 9                      The Pink Floyd Experience, Old National Centre

March 10                    Live Nation Presents Young The Giant: Mind Over Matter Tour, Old National Centre

March 14                    Crosby, Stills & Nash, Old National Centre

March 15                    Scooby Doo-Live! Musical Mysteries, Old National Centre

March 15                    Mike Epps: After Dark Tour, Old National Centre

March 21                    Grouplove, Old National Centre

March 23                    We The Kings, Old National Centre

March 25 – 26            Tyler Perry’s Hell Hath No Fury Like a Woman Scorned, Old National Centre

March 26                    Juicy J – The Never Sober Tour, Old National Centre

March 30                    Demi Lovato – Neon Lights Tour, Bankers Life Fieldhouse

Visit www.indydt.com/eventsearch.cfm to find more Downtown concerts and performances.

Warmer weather brings back run/walks!

It’s not quite summer, but March is about the time to dust off the running shoes and take part in some of the great runs and walks. The 500 Festival Training Series 10K, the second training series run, takes off March 1 at 8:30 a.m. in front of the NCAA Hall of Champions. Those interested in running in the OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon on May 3 still have time to register online!

Other runs/walks include the Fight for Air Climb on March 8 at Chase Tower and the Muscular Dystrophy Association’s Muscle Walk on March 22 at the Indiana State Fairgrounds.

Downtown live music and shows

Enjoy a different live performance from the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra every weekend in March, starting with Gorecki’s Third Symphony on March 1 at Hilbert Circle Theatre. Enjoy The Firebird on March 6 – 8; Ann Hampton Callaway Sings The Barbra Streisand Songbook on March 14 & 15; Shawn Colvin and Steve Earle: Songs and Stories, Together Onstage on March 22; and Romeo & Juliet on March 28 & 29. Catch Tierney Sutton: After Blue at The Cabaret at the Columbia Club March 19 at 8 p.m.

Midwest Fashion Week kicks off March 17 and continues through March 22 at the Artsgarden.

March conventions will bring thousands Downtown

March 1: Supercross, Lucas Oil Stadium, est. attendance 55,000

March 5 – 7: The Work Truck Show and 50th Annual NTEA Convention, Indiana Convention Center, est. attendance 8,700

March 12 – 14: Public Library Association National Convention, Indiana Convention Center, est. attendance 9,000

March 14 – 16: ComicCon, Indiana Convention Center, est. attendance 4,000

March 21 – 23: Nike Midweast Qualifier Volleyball, Indiana Convention Center, est. attendance 25,000

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

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.