Posts Tagged ‘White River Gardens’

Tickets on Sale for Indianapolis Zoo’s Zoolala

January 12, 2016 Leave a comment

White River Gardens at the Indianapolis Zoo. staff photo, (c) 2013, all rights reserved.

By Carla Knapp
Indianapolis Zoo

Guests will be transported to the mysterious African wilderness when the Indy Zoo Council hosts Zoolala 2016: Amazing Africa on Saturday, Feb. 6, 2016, in the White River Gardens building (pictured above).

This fourth-annual event will begin at 6:30pm with a VIP reception presented by Bingham Greenebaum Doll LLP, followed by general admission from 7:30pm to midnight. Tickets are now on sale exclusively through the Indianapolis Zoo’s website.

This vibrant evening of fabulous food, fun and philanthropy provides the perfect opportunity for Central Indiana’s emerging and aspiring leaders to network and engage each other in a social setting while also supporting the Zoo’s animals and programs.

New this year, attendees can start the party early during the VIP reception, which will include special animal chats in the Hilbert Conservatory, early bar access and delicious offerings from The Oceanaire Seafood Room and Open Society Public House.

During the main event, guests will enjoy tempting fare prepared by Zoo Executive Chef Joe Hsu and other area restaurants as well as an open bar with beer provided by Sun King Brewing Co. Additionally, the craft cocktail competition presented by Southern Wine & Spirits will feature the specialty drink creations of some of Indy’s top mixologists. Plus, party goers can dance the night away to live music by the Brett Wiscons Band and DJ Lockstar.

The festivities will continue into the early morning hours with the official Zoolala After Party at Severin Bar. Plus, as the event’s official hotel partner, the Omni Severin Hotel is offering Zoolala guests a discounted room rate.

Tickets for Zoolala 2016 are $150 per person for general admission and $200 for VIP. Attire is black-tie and all guests must be at least 21 years old.

Founded in 2011, the Indy Zoo Council is comprised of community leaders age 25-40 who are dedicated to supporting the Zoo and its mission of advancing animal conservation. Zoolala is the Council’s signature event, which in its first three years has raised more than $100,000 to help fund the feeding and care of nearly 1,400 animals and 31,000 plants in the Zoo’s collection as well as its global animal conservation initiatives.

For more information, call 317-630-2001.

A Great Day at the Indianapolis Zoo

June 27, 2015 Leave a comment
Indianapolis Zoo.

Indianapolis Zoo in White River State Park. staff photo, (c) 2015, all rights reserved.

By Bob Burchfield, Editor, LLC

It’s easy to dream about taking a trip to the beach or the mountains or some special place that’s captured in your imagination, but we often overlook the obvious gems right under our noses.

You don’t have to travel all over the country or the world to have a good time. Indianapolis is living proof of that. And one of those gems is the Indianapolis Zoo and White River Gardens.

In the course of covering Indianapolis events, I drive by the zoo almost every week. But I haven’t been inside the zoo in nearly five years. I discovered this week that a LOT has changed since the last time I visited.

With its entertainment and rides, dining options, special exhibits, and all those animals, the Indianapolis Zoo is among the best attractions in Indiana. The Oceans, Forests, Deserts, Plains, and Flights of Fancy areas—in addition to White River Gardens—offer visitors a wide variety of viewing and interactive activities and a full day of fun.

Bath Time at the Indianapolis Zoo.

Bath Time at the Indianapolis Zoo. staff photo, (c) 2015, all rights reserved.

My personal favorites during this visit were the elephants in the Plains area. I found two active youngsters in the pond just swimming and splashing and having a good time and putting on a real show for the spectators (see photo above). Simple enjoyment at its best! I also enjoyed getting up close and personal with the giraffes (as the photo below reveals!).

Up close and personal with the giraffes at the Indianapolis Zoo.

Up close and personal with the giraffes at the Indianapolis Zoo. staff photo, (c) 2015, all rights reserved.

That’s not to overlook or overshadow the other activities at the zoo. Each day from Memorial Day to Labor Day, the zoo offers a regular summer schedule with special chats at designated hours of the day, such as Tiger, Cheetah, Parrot, Baboon, Python, and Meerkat Chats, plus the Dolphin Presentations three times a day in the Dolphin Pavilion and the All-Star Dog Challenge four times a day most days of the week.

Butterflies Exhibit at White River Gardens.

Butterflies Exhibit at White River Gardens. staff photo, (c) 2015, all rights reserved.

Two notable temporary exhibits—the Butterflies exhibit at the Hilbert Conservatory (see photo above) and the Koalas exhibit in the Forests area (see photo below)—both end on Sept. 7, 2015.

Koala action (?) at the Indianapolis Zoo.

Koala action (?) at the Indianapolis Zoo. staff photo, (c) 2015, all rights reserved.

But the biggest noticeable change since my last visit is the Simon Skjodt International Orangutan Center in the Deserts area, an imposing structure with a cathedral-style architecture. The entrance almost made me feel like I was entering a church! And you can get up within inches of the orangutans (as well as many of the other animals, on the other side of the glass, of course). Fascinating creatures!

Hire wire act at the Indianapolis Zoo Orangutan Center.

High wire act at the Indianapolis Zoo Orangutan Center. staff photo, (c) 2015, all rights reserved.

As my photos reveal, many of the animals are as curious about you as you are of them. It makes for an interesting and visually-appealing experience, and is certainly a photographer’s delight! I had a bear-y good time [grin]:

A bear-y good time at the Indianapolis Zoo.

A bear-y good time at the Indianapolis Zoo. staff photo, (c) 2015, all rights reserved.

On a side note, I was wheeling my camera equipment around in a sizable cart, and so I’m happy to report that the grounds are fully wheelchair- and handicap-accessible.

There’s so much more than I’ve covered here in a short blog post. When you throw in special events like Zoobilation, Zoolapalooza, Animals and All That Jazz, ZooBoo, Christmas at the Zoo, and all the other special events each year, the zoo is definitely worth a visit if you haven’t been lately!

Flamingo Exhibit in the Flights of Fancy area at the Indianapolis Zoo.

Flamingo Exhibit in the Flights of Fancy area at the Indianapolis Zoo. staff photo, (c) 2015, all rights reserved.

The Indianapolis Zoo is located in White River State Park at 1200 West Washington Street, just on the west side of downtown Indianapolis, Indiana, and is open daily beginning at 9 am.

For more information, visit, or call 317-630-2001.

DISCLOSURE NOTICE: The Indianapolis Zoo provided a free media pass and tour guide for this visit. Thank you for the hospitality! Please note that these photos were taken from the general visitor areas that any zoo visitor can access.

Kombo Coaster in the Deserts Area at the Indianapolis Zoo.

Kombo Coaster in the Deserts Area at the Indianapolis Zoo. staff photo, (c) 2015, all rights reserved.

Riding the Zoo Train in the Plains Area at the Indianapolis Zoo.

Riding the Zoo Train in the Plains Area at the Indianapolis Zoo. staff photo, (c) 2015, all rights reserved.

Things to do in Indianapolis, April 14-20, 2014

April 13, 2014 Leave a comment

Things to do in Indianapolis, Mar. 24-30, 2014

March 23, 2014 Leave a comment

Spring Break at White River State Park

March 13, 2014 Leave a comment
Butterfly Exhibit at White River Gardens

The popular butterfly exhibit opens Mar. 21 at White River Gardens.
Photo provided by the venue and used with written permission.

By Jen Thomas
On behalf of White River State Park

Families who opt to enjoy this year’s Spring Break close to home will find that White River State Park in downtown Indianapolis, Indiana, offers a wide array of family-friendly experiences. There’s something for everyone, including movie-goers, sports fanatics, history and culture buffs and animal lovers.

And because everyone likes saving money, White River State Park offers a discount option where visitors can do-it-all for one low price with the WRSP Park Pass.

“The Park Pass can be used to visit all the attractions over one incredible week or long weekend, or visitors can spread their trips throughout the entire year,” said Bob Whitt, White River State Park executive director. “Either way, folks get to enjoy our fabulous attractions and amenities at more than 25 percent off regular admission.”

Why is the Park such a fun spring break destination? Because of all these Park attractions during spring break:

  • Indianapolis Zoo:
    After such a harsh winter, what could be better than a tropical paradise? You’ll find one at the display of free-flying butterflies at the Indianapolis Zoo’s newest exhibit – Butterfly Kaleidoscope. Beginning March 21, the Zoo’s indoor gardens will be transformed, and guests will experience the flying creatures like never before.
  • Indiana State Museum:
    Discover a hidden graveyard of ancient elephants uncovered by Hoosiers. The elephants were entombed under Indiana soil for thousands of years. Ice Age Giants: The Mystery of Mammoths and Mastodons brings to life a world the Indiana State Museum has been digging, discovering, studying and preserving for decades.
  • IMAX Theatre:
    The Downtown IMAX is showing several 3D movies this spring. Discover the otherworldly frozen landscape 10,000 years before modern civilization at Titans of the Ice Age 3D. Take an adventure to the tropical islands of remote west Papua at South Pacific 3D. Starting April 4, audiences trek to Madagascar for Island of Lemurs: Madagascar 3D. The film chronicles lemurs’ arrival as castaways millions of years ago, their evolution into hundreds of diverse species that are now endangered, and Dr. Patricia Wright’s mission to help the adorable creatures survive in the modern world.
  • NCAA Hall of Champions:
    Experience the thrill of NCAA March Madness at the NCAA Hall of Champions. Shoot hoops in the 1930’s replica gymnasium or test your knowledge with a trivia game on all 23 NCAA sports.
  • Eiteljorg Museum:
    Some of the most iconic black-and-white landscape photographs of the American West were shot by Ansel Adams. In the Ansel Adams exhibit at the Eiteljorg Museum, visitors will see 80 photographs Adams personally chose to represent his work.
  • Victory Field:
    Pick up a ticket and get set to hear the crack of the bat! The Indianapolis Indians’ Opening Night is April 10 at Victory Field.
  • Wheel Fun Rentals:
    Explore miles of biking paths and the historical Canal with a fleet of pedal-powered recreational cycles and boats. Bike rentals are located in front of the Indiana State Museum and across from the Visitors Center; boat rentals are located on the Canal Walk at the corner of Ohio and West streets.
  • Segway® of Indiana:
    Take a scenic tour of the 250-acre Park, including a trip around all of the Park’s attractions and the Canal. The tour price includes a training session and helmet.
  • River Promenade:
    Enjoy the beauty of the outdoors and feel as though you’ve found a secret passage as you wander along the promenade, a half-mile walkway lined with flowering trees and evergreens that offers unique views of the White River and the Indianapolis skyline. Look for the hand-carved “rose window” and renderings of famous buildings using Indiana limestone blocks along the way.

White River State Park 2014 Park Passes are on sale for $45/adult; $33/children ages 3-12 and may be purchased at the White River State Park Visitors Center or online at

Visitors to any of the Park’s attractions may park in the underground garage located off Washington Street in front of the Indiana State Museum, in the surface parking lots at the Indianapolis Zoo and Victory Field, and in the surface parking lot across from Victory Field next to the Park’s Visitor’s Center. Parking is not guaranteed and is on a first-come, first-served basis.

White River State Park is located at 801 West Washington Street in Indianapolis. For more information, visit, or call 317-233-2434.

Editor’s Acknowledgement: JTPR, Inc.