Get Outside and Get Active This Fall

We are officially on the clock. Temps are starting to recede and leaves will soon be shifting from green to brilliant orange, reds, and yellows. Before the winter coats and snow boots come out of the closet you need to get out and enjoy Indiana’s most beautiful season. For outdoor fun in the fall here are a few suggestions:


Play a Round at Brickyard Crossing

Racing season may be over, but the grounds at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway are still open for golfers. Brickyard Crossing, one of seven courses on the Pete Dye Golf Trail, is a bucket-list worthy course that truly integrates with its surroundings.  From the slabs of concrete pulled from the track that now line creek beds to the four holes that are inside the track, the Brickyard is an ideal way to cap off your golf season.

Town Run Trail Park

Get on a Mountain Bike

What better way to enjoy fall foliage than riding beneath a canopy of color? While Indiana’s Brown County is the undisputed king of mountain biking in the state, Indy has some great trails to offer riders. Town Run Trail Park has been a go-to favorite for years and the relatively new trails at Fort Harrison State Park are both scenic and challenging.

Go Ape Treetop Adventure

Take to the Trees

Eagle Creek, one of the largest city parks in the country, is known for paddling and bird watching. There is no better way to take in views of each than the ropes course and ziplines offered by Go Ape Treetop Adventure. Challenge yourself by maneuvering through obstacles before clipping into one of five zip lines and soaring through the canopy.

Monon Rail Trail

Run, Walk, or Bike the Monon

Indy’s premier trail experience runs north/south from the suburb of Westfield to downtown Indianapolis. Jump on the Monon Rail Trail in Carmel, Broad Ripple, or any point in between and get in a run before you become treadmill-bound for the snowy season.

While outdoor enthusiasts may be fearing what lies ahead we have roughly two months to pack in adventures during the glorious fall season. Get out, get active, and take advantage while there is still time.

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Categories: Arts & Culture, Family, Sports
Tags: Brickyard Crossing, eagle creek park, Fort Harrison State Park, Go Ape Treetop Adventure, Monon Rail Trail, Town Park Trail Park

2014 CANvitational Preview and Ticket Giveaway

Ever tasted a British canned, craft beer? Camden Town Brewery is just one of the 40+ breweries traveling to Indy for the 2nd annual Sun King CANvitational, the largest beer festival in the Midwest dedicated solely to canned beers. Taking place next Saturday, September 20, visitors will have the opportunity to sample beer from breweries from around the globe, as well as enjoy local food trucks and music.

Now I know what you’re thinking—beers served in cans must mean they’re cheap and not very tasty. That’s what I thought as well, but a visit to the Sun King Brewery Co. changed my mind. Co-founder Clay Robinson explained that many craft beer brewers use cans to hold their beer because it protects their product from light and air infiltration. Basically, putting your beer in a bottle has the potential to distort the flavor. After working for days to produce and package just one batch of beer, that’s not something brewers want to risk.

New to the event this year is the CAN’d ART Show, celebrating the partnership between CANvitational and the Indianapolis Arts Council. Local artists have turned beer cans from 2014 CANvitational breweries into reinvented works of art. The show will take place Friday, September 19 and tickets are only $10.

See for yourself what all the canned hype is about. CANvitational tickets start at $50 for a general admission tickets purchased in advance (tickets jump to $60 at the door). Designated drivers can attend the event for only $10.

We’re giving away TWO general admission tickets to CANvitational—all you have to do is enter the Rafflecopter below. Winners will be chosen and notified via email on Wednesday, September  17.

a Rafflecopter giveaway



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Categories: Beer, Contest

Yelp’s Blanc Affaire

Have you ever walked around Monument Circle and wondered what it would look like filled with 1,000 people having a public dinner party? Yelp Indy has, and on Sunday, September 21 from 6-9 pm, you can join in on the fun at Yelp’s Blanc Affaire.

Britt Smith, Yelp Indy’s Community Manager, has dreamed of this event for a few years now and is excited for it to come to fruition. Downtown Indy is providing the tables and chairs while guests are invited to dress in all-white attire and bring dishes made in their own kitchens using locally-sourced ingredients. Guests are encouraged to visit local butchers, creameries and farmers markets to create their meals and local florists for creating that perfect tablescape.

Yelp's Diner en Blanc

On top of the seating, Yelp has partnered with 15 local wineries, breweries and beverage businesses who will be serving complimentary drinks throughout the evening. Musical ambiance will be provided by the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, which gently turns this locavore love fest into an elegant evening of dinner on the circle with 1,000 of Indy’s biggest fans.

Not sure where to find white attire after Labor Day? Not only can you support local ingredients in your Diner en Blanc menu, you can support local fashion retailers with the duds you sport to the event. Located on Mass Ave, Pattern has you covered with a special line of several white dresses, shirts and pants just for this event. Your purchase gives back to their nonprofit organization, which was created to grow the fashion, apparel and design community and industry in central Indiana.

Yelp's Diner en Blanc

To top it off, Yelp will be passing around the bucket in request for donations to Farm Works Indy, a one-of-a-kind summer youth program dedicated to increasing employment, educational and food resources to under-served individuals throughout Indianapolis.

Do I have you convinced to attend yet? Grab a few of your friends and RSVP through the event website to reserve your space. But hurry, the seats are filling up fast!

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Categories: Arts, Arts & Culture, Beer, Dining

Indy’s Chefs Night Off

One meal prepped by the best of the best. Sounds pretty good, right? Indy’s Chef’s Night Off is an ongoing series of “pop up” dinners that provide just that: a meal prepped by the Circle City’s top chefs in a laid back atmosphere. Rotating locations each month, cooks from Indy’s most respected restaurants collaborate to whip up an unbelievable experience and showcase the developing talents of Indy’s culinary scene. This once-a-month dinner gets “cooks, working with other cooks and exchanging ideas.”

If we haven’t sold you yet, our friend Heather Brogden’s short video below should do the trick. You can thank us later!

This Sunday, September 14, Chef’s Night Off will be heading to Plow & Anchor, Indy’s newest seafood restaurant located just north of the Indianapolis Central Library. The evening’s culinary masterminds include Plow & Anchor’s Craig Bakers, Mesh on Mass’ Matt Robey, The Alexander’s Eli Laidlaw, and Cobblestone Grill’s Omar Guzman.  Tickets are $55 (reminder: gratuity is not included, so don’t forget to tip!) and include a three-course meal plus dessert. Ticket sales close on Thursday!

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Categories: Arts & Culture, Dining

New at the IMA: Five Brushstrokes

If you frequent the Indianapolis Museum of Art, you know outdoor sculpture is just as much a part of the museum as everything inside their doors. From Robert Indiana’s sculptures to everything found inside the beautiful 100 Acres: Art and Nature Park, the IMA features significant collections of art spanning 5,000 years of history. Now, they are bringing you art that has never been seen before.

Five Brushstrokes is a monumental work from Roy Lichtenstein and the newest outdoor sculpture for the IMA. Lichtenstein is famous for pioneering American pop art in the late 1960s, most notably the comic book-like style of primary colors, bold lines and dotted appearance, ultimately altering and revolutionizing our idea of what a painting could be.

What’s especially unique about Five Brushstrokes is how it came to be installed at the IMA. While it was originally commissioned by the Stuart Collection at the University of Southern California San Diego in the earl 1980s, Lichtenstein sadly did not finish the piece before his death in 1997 due to difficulties in fabricating the piece on such a large scale. The Roy Lichtenstein Foundation was established with the purpose of increasing the world’s exposure to his art and the Foundation decided to fund two fabrications of Five Brushtrokes, one which was acquired by the IMA and one still owned by the Foundation.

The tallest point on Five Brushstrokes is 40 feet tall and cannot be ignored upon walking up to the museum. It took over 48 hours to install the five elements, lots of manpower and heavy machinery to complete the process, all done with the upmost care and attention to detail. Watch this time lapse of the installation to get an idea of the work involved:

Founded in 1883, The Indianapolis Museum of Art is free and open to the public Tuesday through Sunday. 100 Acres: Art and Nature Park and the Oldfields Lilly House and Gardens are open daily from dawn to dusk.

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Categories: Arts
Tags: Indianapolis Museum of Art, Lichtenstein, Pop Art

American Spirits: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition at the Indiana State Museum


American Spirits: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition is coming to the Indiana State Museum this fall. Visitors can start exploring all this exciting exhibit has to offer on September 19th. Created by the National Constitution Center, American Spirits spans the dawn of the temperance movement in the early 1800s, through the Roaring ’20s, to the unprecedented repeal of a constitutional amendment during the Great Depression. The exhibition was curated by Daniel Okrent, Pulitzer Prize finalist and author of Last Call: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition.

The 5,000-square-foot exhibition features more than 100 rare artifacts; recreated environments from a church where you can hear and deliver temperance speeches to a speakeasy where you will learn the Charleston and the slang of the time. Did I mention Wayne Wheeler’s Amazing Amendment Machine? There is no better way to learn the complex political and legal maneuvering behind the passage of the 18th Amendment.

As if all that wasn’t enough…

Bourbon and history enthusiasts eager to explore the exhibit should attend Indiana Spirits, a special opening party on Friday, October 3rd from 7 to 11:30 pm.

spiritsasd36sssssThe museum will be transformed into a one-night-only speakeasy where guests can check out the exhibit and partake in the the best kind celebratory experiences.

  • Sip with the world’s first female master bourbon taster at a VIP bar
  • Pose for a gangster mug shot
  • Dance to music provided by renowned DJ Helicon
  • Sample local brews and wines
  • Enjoy craft cocktails
  • Attend the after party at Plat 99 in the Alexander Hotel.

Fashion-forward cocktail attire requested.

The Indiana showing of American Spirits is funded in part by 21st Amendment, Republic National Distributing Company, Barnes & Thornburg LLP with public and educator programming support from the Arthur Jordan Foundation.

The Indiana State Museum is located at 650 W. Washington Street in Indianapolis. Exhibit gallery hours are 10 am to 5 pm. Monday through Saturday and 11 am to 5 pm on Sunday. The first Tuesday of each month (Community Tuesdays) admission is half price. Auxiliary aids and services are available with advance notice. For more information, call the museum at 317.232.1637.

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Categories: Arts, Arts & Culture, Beer, Fashion, Hotels, Meetings & Events, Music, Nightlife, Uncategorized
Tags: 1816 board, American Spirits, Beer, bourbon, Brew, cocktail, craft, DJ Helicon, exhibit, fun, fundraiser, Indiana Spirits, Indiana State Museum, indianapolis, Indy, new, opening, party, Plat 99, speakeasy, spirits, The Alexander, The Rise and Fall of Prohibition, VIP, Wine

Give Away: Conner Prairie Apple Store ($100 Value)

The Apple Store is Even Open Evenings this Fall During Headless Horseman!

The Apple Store is opening soon! Don’t forget to mark your calendar for the Headless Horsemen, too.

Nothing says fall like a crispy apple. I can’t believe the month of August has less than ten days left (where did it go?!) and I must admit I’m not looking forward to the winter months yet. But fall? It is my most favorite season of all. In Indy, the weather cools, the leaves turn, and the world because six shades of beautiful. You know fall is just around the corner when our world renowned interactive history park Conner Prairie opens its Apple Store.

This Apple store isn’t the kind with fancy gadgets and gizmos. No, it’s the real apple sort of store – the kind that carries everyone’s favorite juicy fall fruit. But that’s not all, the Apple Store at Conner Prairie also carries decor, delectable locally made treats, donuts, cider slushies, and stationery. It’s a great place for lovely gifts and of course hand dipped old fashioned carmel apples. There are even treats for your favorite four-legged friend! Mark your calendars now because on September 1st, the Apple Store will once again open its seasonal doors.

Of course, I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t share some specific ways to save when you visit!

  • On opening day, September 1st, you can get a 15 percent discount!
  • On Tuesday, September 2nd, the Apple Store is hosting a Buy One, Get One Plain Carmel Apple Sale (while supplies last). Twice the carmel apples, half the price? I’m sold.
  • Enter our smashing give away for this amazing gift basket worth over $100 of products and Conner Prairie tickets.

Win an amazing gift basket from the Conner Prairie Apple Store that includes tickets, yummy fall goodies, decor, and more - a $100 value!

In the gift basket, you’ll find:

  • Pumpkin Ornament
  • Candle
  • Notepad
  • Apple Chips
  • Red Velvet Cherries
  • Plain Caramel Apple 
  • 4 Tickets to Conner Prairie
  • 4 Tickets to ride the balloon

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Categories: Deals, Family
Tags: Apple Cider, Apples Indianapolis, Conner Prairie, fall, fall activities, Give Away

Devour Downtown Summer 2014 Preview

Devour Downtown is back in action with 74 (yes your read that right) participating restaurants. Some are brand new, others are established favorites that have Indianapolis’ visitors and restaurants coming back each year for more.

What is Devour Downtown? Running from August 18 – 31, participating restaurants provide menus that show off their best dishes, often at a discounted price. Each restaurant is different, but you can usually expect an appetizer, entree and dessert for a flat fee of 2 people for $30, one person for $30, one for $35 or another similar variation. If you’ve been wanting to try a new restaurant but are a hesitant due to the cost, Devour Downtown is here to help!

To preview Devour Downtown 2014, I have listed below some of the participating restaurants with a peek into their menus. This list does not include each and every restaurant. To view the whole list and full menus, visit here.

Classic steak or seafood dinner options include:

  • Shula’s in The Westin Hotel has a lunch and dinner menu.
  • St. Elmo’s famous shrimp cocktail is an absolute must.
  • McCormick’s and Shmick’s Fried Oyster Rockefeller is sure to be a hit.
  • Dunaway’s will please steak, seafood and vegetarian eaters with their four course meal.
  • Eagle’s Nest will captivate you with their food and rotating view of downtown Indianapolis.
  • Ruth’s Chris Steak House has a simplified menu with mix and match sides.
  • Morton’s $35 menu is outstanding, but for $10 more you can choose from even more upscale items.
  • Skyline Club’s Bacon Wrapped Jalapeno with Lump Crab appetizer has me wondering if I’ll even have room for a second course.
  • Columbia Club is opening their doors for Devour Downtown, otherwise this private club is closed to members only.

The best bang for your buck:

  • Fogo de Chao Churrascaria $39.50 menu is a steal for this all-you-can-eat meat buffet, served right at your table until you cannot eat any more. Carnivores can rejoice here, but only if you make a reservation in advance.
  • Pizzology’s new Mass Ave location is jumping in on Devour Downtown with a 2 for $30 menu. Choose one salad per person and one pizza to share while you enjoy their gorgeous new space over craft beers and unique libations.

The newbies:

  • Union 50′s Balsamic Tofu with wood fired mushrooms is one menu option that can be enjoyed on their outdoor patio.
  • Plow and Anchor’s showing off their creativity with dessert lavender biscuits that includes strawberries, rhubarb, pea shoots and pea anglaise (a sweet custard sauce).
  • 120 West is the only restaurant offering duck breast on the Devour menu.
  • Giorgio’s Pizza has three options with three price points depending on how many people are in your party.
  • The Grub House has two options, a breakfast menu with sweet fried biscuits and a lunch menu with house made strawberry cake or peach cobbler.
  • Mo’s… A Place for Steaks is proud to be in their new location on Maryland Street with a Devour menu of traditional steak, seafood and chicken options.
  • New Orleans on the Avenue’s has Devour’s only Cajun and Creole menu.
  • Nine Irish Brothers is a newcomer on Mass Ave but don’t let name fool you into thinking they only offer traditional Irish pub food.
Short Rib Panini at Plat 99 - Devour Downtown Fall 2014 Preview

Short Rib Panini at Plat 99

Innovative eats:

  • Cerulean’s bento-style lunch boxes for $11.50 are a steal while their dinner menu of White Gazpacho, Roasted Mushroom with pickled carrots and Tropical Entremet dessert will challenge all five of your senses into understanding what food is and can be.
  • Plat 99 asks you to choose a cocktail for your first choice, but this gorgeous bar offers more than just a dry martini. Venture outside the box with compressed watermelon salad or the Short Rib Panini, which I can attest to as absolutely delicious.

Ethnic eats:

  • Rathskeller’s German food served family style with local craft beer is a great family-friendly option.
  • Iaria’s and Iozzo’s will both serve Italian classics with a modern twist.
  • Adobo Grill’s Mexican menu is so much more than tacos. Ceviche, roasted butternut squash enchiladas and adobo marinated flank steak are just a few unique dishes on their Devour menu.

My personal recommendations:

  • Severin Bar located inside The Omni Hotel is a sports lounge with pre-prohibition style cocktails and locally-sourced meats and produce. Two draft beers are included in their Devour Downtown menu.
  • Osteria Pronto’s upscale Italian menu is one not to be missed. Located inside the JW Marriott hotel, the atmosphere is comfortable and relaxing yet elegant, just like the food.
  • Maxine’s Chicken and Waffles is comfort food to the max. I highly suggest the Smothered Chicken, which is part of a 2 for $30 deal with drinks, sides and dessert.

In addition to dining out, Devour Downtown has partnered with Indy Eleven, the Indiana Historical Society, the Eitlejorg Museum of American Indian and Western Art, NCAA Hall of Champions and Conrad Indianapolis to make your evening out even sweeter. Visit the “What’s Happening” tab to learn more.

Which restaurants are you checking off your list? Leave a comment below and let us know!

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Categories: Deals, Dining, This Week in Indy
Tags: Devour Downtown, Indianapolis restaurants, New restaurants

Gen Con and Gleaners Food Bank Join Forces

Gen Con isn’t just about playing games – they also like to use their presence to help out communities in need through charity partnerships. This year, they are taking on hunger by partnering with Gleaners Food Bank.

Gleaners Food BankGleaners is no stranger to the convention scene, having partnered with the pop-culture focused Indy Pop Con earlier this year

“It’s always cool to be a part of unique events like this in the community,” Gleaners Communication Coordinator Willie Matis said. “We’re excited to reach a different demographic through Gen Con because hunger strikes everywhere.”

Gen Con’s partnership with Gleaners will assist in funding the BackSacks: Weekend Food for Kids program, which focuses on providing kids with grocery bags with enough nutritionist-selected shelf-stable food to make it through a weekend.

Gen Con Senior Marketing Communications Manager Jake Theis stated that the opportunity to work with Gleaners allowed them to address two concerns at once. “We like to work with kids,” Theis said. “We think that the BackSacks program is a great opportunity to do that while fighting hunger.”

Gleaners provides the BackSacks service to children facing food insecurity in 21 counties via 250 agencies across central and southeastern Indiana. In 2013 Gleaners distributed the equivalent of 25 million meals to over 300,000 people, over 100,000 of whom were children.

Guest  post authored by Kasey Bradley. Kasey is the Client Success Manager at SmallBox, Project Manager for The Music Council, the Musical Family Tree Board Secretary, and the Managing Editor for When he’s not busy with one full-time job and three part-time jobs he spends time with his wife and 6-month old daughter, and records music as Frontman and the Rhythm Section. He is almost always available for a rousing game of Settlers of Catan.

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Rookie’s Guide to Gen Con in Indianapolis

Gen Con Dealer ExpoWith 50,000+ visitors and over 14,000+ events, Gen Con can be an overwhelming experience for first-time attendees. We hit the Indianapolis Convention Center on Thursday to talk with some of the gamers and we have compiled a list of eight tips for Gen Con rookies.

1. Hit the dealer hall early and often – The dealer hall features hundreds of vendors of everything from art, books, costumes and nerd couture is available for visitors. Didn’t bring your cosplay gear? Always wanted a chainmail dice bag? The dealer hall is a gold mine. It is open from 10 am to 6 pm every day. You might want to be careful with your schedule though, because…

2. Timing is everything – You know what else is popular in the dealer hall? Games of course! New releases sell out fast, so if you’re in the market be sure to make the dealers hall your first stop. However, if you’re more interested in finding a good deal then it’s best to wait as late as possible – no one likes packing a car after a weekend of hard work, so visitors can expect to see some deep discounts on Sunday evening. Thanks to the crazy number of games available you might even have the opportunity to test before you buy, which brings us to…

3. Demos, Demos, Demos – Throughout the convention, everywhere from the dealer hall to the hallways, you can do demos of new and prototype games. If you like games, or just like trying new things, you’ll find plenty to demo here. Even if you’ve played the game before, there’s a good chance someone will be close by to teach you a thing or two. Speaking of lessons…

4. Learn something while you’re at it – Seminars and panels featuring industry veterans, for everyone from writers to business people, designers to event organizers. Even if you aren’t a gamer or game designer, you will take away a lot more than a board and some dice. Gamers can’t survive on knowledge alone though, so keep in mind that…

5. Food trucks will be out in full force – Sure there are a lot of restaurant choices downtown, but having the awesome local food trucks right outside the door is not only tempting, but also extremely helpful for folks with packed Gen Con schedules. Then again, what if hunger strikes in the middle of the game? This is why it’s always important to…

6. Bring snacks – Jerky, a premade sandwich, bottled water, baby carrots, whatever. The convention center is absolutely enormous, and there are things to see and do nearly everywhere inside – you might not always be near a food truck! This brings us to another point. Be sure to break out your most…

7. Comfortable shoes – Unless you’re only interested in checking out one thing you will easily walk a couple of miles in one visit. Be sure to look good though, because you might also notice that Gen Con provides an opportunity for cosplay enthusiasts to break out some pretty elaborate finery, with their penultimate event being…

8. The Costume parade, Saturday afternoon – If you like the spectacle of events like these, this is the pinnacle point in the convention. These folks create some of the most amazing costumes you’ll see anywhere, ever! Many visitors will tell you that this is a can’t-miss event, even if you’re not in to gaming.

Have any other great Gen Con tips? Let us know, and happy gaming!

Guest post authored by Kasey Bradley. Kasey is the Client Success Manager at SmallBox, Project Manager for The Music Council, the Musical Family Tree Board Secretary, and the Managing Editor for When he’s not busy with one full-time job and three part-time jobs he spends time with his wife and 6-month old daughter, and records music as Frontman and the Rhythm Section. He is almost always available for a rousing game of Settlers of Catan.

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Categories: Arts, Arts & Culture
Tags: Conventions Indianapolis, Gen Con