Experience the Catacombs on Hallow’s Eve

The City Market Catacombs are only open May-October, so the chances to see this famous Indy haunt are dwindling! Luckily, Easter Seals Crossroads’ Hallow’s Eve bash gives you one of the last opportunities to experience this unique landmark—and we’re giving you the chance to do it for free.

Catacombs at the Indianapolis City Market

Catacombs at the Indianapolis City Market

Hallow’s Eve is the inaugural fundraiser for Easter Seals Crossroads, an organization dedicated to helping individuals with special needs and disabilities. This underground party will feature local food from City Market and beer from Sun King Brewing. Live entertainment will keep you captivated all evening, including multiple fire-spinners, magicians, psychic readers and DJ Gabby Love, who provides music for the Indianapolis Pacers.

Costumes aren’t required but are encouraged; their costume contest includes prizes like hotel stays, a $100 St. Elmo gift certificate and travel vouchers. Local celebrities Nicole Misencik from WTHR, Leslie Bailey from the Indy Star and Rowdie from the Indianapolis Indians will sit as judges. And of course, there will be catacomb tours in conjunction with Indiana Landmarks. Tickets ($50 or $75 for VIP) will get you all of these spooktacular opportunities!

We’ll be giving away two VIP tickets to Hallow’s Eve on Friday, October 25, which includes first entry into the catacombs, a signature Sun King Drink and appetizers available only for VIPs. To enter, leave a comment naming your all-time favorite Halloween costume. Must be 21+ to attend. 

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Categories: Arts, Arts & Culture, Contest
Tags: Hallow's Eve, Halloween Party

Where to See Peaking Leaves in Indy

It’s no secret that the Midwest is known for it’s seasons, particularly fall. With beautiful parks and campuses throughout Indianapolis, the city has a colorful offering of fall foliage.

Crown Hill Cemetery offers beauty year round and the view of Indianapolis from the highest point in the city is sure to let you take in bursts of colorful trees. You’ll enjoy the colorful trees on site during a bike ride, a walk or even a drive through the historic cemetery.

Crown Hill Cemetary

Crown Hill Cemetery

Eagle Creek Park is a favorite for many visitors to take in colorful scenes that often include deer and other wildlife. Drive through the park, hike a trail, gather a group of friends for a tractor pulled hayride, zipline through the trees or ride your bicycle.

The Indianapolis Museum of Art is a gorgeous property that boasts many works of art and beautiful gardens and during this time of year, they are a little more beautiful as they join the ranks of nature’s beauty. For full immersion, visit 100 Acres: The Virgina B. Fairbanks Art & Nature Park. The natural growth and vegetation has been preserved as much as possible and the works of art fit right in.

Lilly House at the Indianapolis Museum of Art

Lilly House at the Indianapolis Museum of Art

Fort Harrison State Park is a must-visit for locals and visitors, the easy to moderate hiking trails take you on short jaunts through the park where you’ll find a pond and picnic areas. In addition to being a must visit for seeing birds and wildflowers, the fall brings so much color to the tree filled park. Horseback trail rides, tractor pulled hayrides and bicycle trails are also fun ways to see the sights.

Fort Harrison State Park

Fort Harrison State Park

The campus of Butler University is visited by many during the peak of fall foliage “shows.” The wooded areas and gardens provide a beautiful view of Mother Nature’s finest colors.

Holliday Park has views of the White River clothed in colorful leaf filled trees. You’ll also love the miles of trails amidst the trees and gardens. Stop into the nature center for some help identifying the trees you see.

Get outdoors and enjoy the beauty around you. It’s always changing, so each day brings a new scene.

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Categories: Arts, Arts & Culture, Family

LEGO KidsFest is Headed to Indy

What kid — or adult — would not want to spend hours in a room full of LEGO(r) bricks? Very soon you will have that opportunity. The Indiana Convention Center is scheduled to host the LEGO KidsFest during the weekend of November 7 – 9.

Lego Pile at LEGO KidsFest Indianapolis

Photo courtesy of LEGO KidsFest

The event caters to builders of all ages and skill levels. Little builders will have the opportunity to play in a pile of bricks, meet Master Builders, and walk through large LEGO sculptures. Adults will have the opportunity to compete in building competitions and challenges, not to mention having the opportunity to attend the Master Builder Academy. Do you have a real little person interested in the LEGO world? The LEGO KidsFest will offer the DUPLO Build Area for kids 1.5 to 5.

Many dream, but only a few get to say that they get paid by LEGO to play. How does one get that job? You can ask a Master Builder in the LEGO Activity Area, the Master Builder Academy or the Big Brick Pile. You can spot them with the red jackets.

Tickets are sold in timed sessions to help regulate the crowd and enhance the visitor experience. All sessions offer the same amenities. There is so much to do at the KidFest, we recommend checking out the official LEGO KidFest website to plan your visit strategy in advance.

LEGO KidFest has limited ticket availability and typically sell out days in advance. Tickets are available for purchase here and are $22 for adults, $20 for youth ages 3-17, and FREE for children 2 and under.

We’re giving away four tickets to the Friday, November 8 session. All you have to do to enter is follow the instructions on the Rafflecopter below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Categories: Arts, Blog, Contest, Family
Tags: LEGO, LEGOFest

Georgia O’Keeffe and the Southwestern Still Life

On a recent visit to New York City, I entered the Metropolitan Museum of Art where I was emotionally enlightened by seeing great works of art from the most iconic artists from across the globe. The feeling I get when I step into the Indianapolis Museum of Art is exactly the same as how I felt in the Met. Indianapolis is home to an outstanding collection of works that represent American culture, and now another artist is being added to their repertoire of exhibits: Georgia O’Keeffe.

Georgia O'keefe

Starting November 2, Georgia O’Keeffe and the Southwestern Still Life will be on exhibit at the Indianapolis Museum of Art with more than 50 still life paintings with several audience interactive experiences.

Georgia O’Keeffe grew up in Wisconsin, spent years teaching in Virginia, Texas and South Carolina, and later landed in New York City after receiving attention from Alfred Stieglitz, who exhibited her works in the famous 291 Gallery. After spending about a decade in the hustle and bustle of the New York art scene where she was well respected, O’Keeffe began taking multiple trips to New Mexico for recluse, likely desiring a similar landscape from where she grew up. These trips impacted her art and over the next two decades, O’Keeffe would spend up to six months at a time visiting New Mexico, and eventually moved there permanently in 1949.

Known for her earlier large scale works of landscapes and flowers with great attention to color, it was at this point in her life that the Southwestern landscape she escaped to became her muse. These still life paintings are what attracted visitors to the Southwest who were drawn to the unusual geological formations of the rocks, cliffs and mountains that surrounded her and became part of her art. O’Keeffe continued to allow her surroundings to inspire her art up until the last few years of her life when she became ill. After passing in 1986, her ashes were scattered across New Mexico, her true home. A biography with noted works of art can be read in full here.

Several interactive activities have been developed for this exhibit to enhance the audience experience. Audio guides contain detailed information about 19 of the works on exhibit, iPads offer short video interviews with the artist, and visitors are invited to draw their own still life using objects available in the Inspired by the Southwest gallery. After you visit, you can participate in the My Indiana Still Life photography competition for a chance to have your work exhibited at the museum. Read more about these experiences and the exhibition here.

IMA members receive free entry to the exhibit and can attend two special member preview days before the exhibit opens to the public. Talk about a bonus for annual membership! Public tickets are $20 for adults Friday – Sunday, $15 for Tuesday – Thursday, children ages 7 to 12 are $12 and children under the age of 7 are free. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit their website today.

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Categories: Arts, Arts & Culture
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Heartland Film Festival Preview 2014

HeartlandThe folks at Heartland Film have arranged yet another world-class cinema spectacular right here in Indianapolis, and you’re invited.  Now through October 25, the 23rd annual Heartland Film Festival  captivates the city, showcasing more than 130 independent films and giving audiences access to more than 100 independent filmmakers from around the world. Over this 10-day span, cinephiles can experience the festival’s most diverse lineup yet at a variety of theatres around the city, including red carpet premieres and events, parties, and hundreds of film screenings. To help you plan your movie-watching marathon, here are some important details pertaining to this year’s thrilling installment of Indiana’s largest and longest-running independent film festival.

Roll out the red carpet

Everything gets kicked off at the IMA’s Toby Theatre with a special red carpet screening of Jason Reitman’s (Up in the Air, Thank You for Smoking, Juno) new film, Men, Women & Children. According to Heartland, the film “follows the story of a group of high school teenagers and their parents as they attempt to navigate the many ways the Internet has changed their relationships, their communication, their self-image and their love lives.” Following the film, a reception will be held at the museum’s Deer Zink Pavilion.

A movie medley

Heartland Film Artistic Director Tim Irwin points out, “The films in this year’s Heartland Film Festival represent myriad cultural experiences throughout the United States and
in over 40 countries around the world.” This includes LGBTQ titles and a variety of films directed by women.

Local love

Although this year’s festival is flooding with famous names, Heartland Film Festival 2014 will also feature an Indiana Spotlight, which will include three works (“The Healing Wall,” “Three Months” and “We’ll Be All Right”) from Indiana filmmakers.

Showings: Monday, October 20 7:30 pm at AMC Castleton Square 8, Friday, October 24 6:30 pm at Trader’s Point Theater 7.

Visit the Heartland Film website for more information on this year’s festival.

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Can’t-Miss Saks Shopping Weekend

It appears that fall in Indy is here to stay, which is why I spent my entire weekend sorting out my clothes closet. It was time to purge, which also means time to replenish (the best part).

When Forbes named Indy a ‘Top Five Best Shopping City in the U.S.,” I was the first to publicly agree with their announcement. A quick look at my bank account would serve as proof enough for their study however Forbes took  more of a comparative analysis approach in identifying that Indy’s ‘shop til you drop’ options average about 6,000 retail locations, various brands are a plenty and retail prices run the full gamut at about 18 shopping centers throughout the city.

The Fashion Mall at Keystone

There’s one destination in particular that really puts Indy’s shopping scene on the map: Saks Fifth Avenue at The Fashion Mall. For those that haven’t been to The Fashion Mall in a few shopping trips or dare I say never have been to The Fashion Mall, they’re due for a visit. They’ve poured millions of dollars into bringing top tier retail brands, local culinary options and engaging public spaces to the mall, meanwhile its anchor, Saks Fifth Avenue is in the midst of a first floor remodel.  There’s a buzz amongst shoppers about the Louis Vuitton boutique in Saks that is slated to double in size this November.

Saks Fifth Avenue

For those like me who can’t wait until November to replenish their closets, there’s no better time to flee to Saks than this weekend. The Friends and Family sale of the year is upon us. Thursday, October 16 through Sunday, October 19, Saks is extending 25 percent off their merchandise. (20 percent off jewelry and watches.  Exclusions do apply.)  In addition, it’s Saks big Key to the Cure weekend meaning two percent of sales are donated to St. Vincent Cancer Care.

For me and fellow fashionistas, it’s a can’t-miss Saks shopping weekend. Not only will I be scoring big discounts while giving back a percentage of sales to a good cause, I’ll also be trying out Saks complimentary personal shopping service through the Fifth Avenue Club.

So, shoppers: On Your Mark, Ready, Set, Go!

Insider Tip: Saks’ personal shoppers are saying that all fall trends are pointing towards Luxe Texture like fur, shearling, fringe or Daytime Drama with a trophy skirt and novelty pullover.

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Categories: Arts, Deals
Tags: Fashion, saks fifth avenue

Brunch, Juice Bars and More: New Restaurants in Indy

You don’t have to look far to notice that Indianapolis’ culinary scene is sizzling with several new dining options for breakfast, lunch, dinner and after hours fun. On top of the recent openings, we’ve heard of a few promising adventures that have barely broken ground. Catch up with our quick guide to help you plan your weekend and those to come.

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Photo courtesy Visit Indy blogger Natalie Clayton

Milktooth, 534 Virginia Ave

Do you believe breakfast is the most important meal of the day? Jonathan and Ashley Brooks do, which is why they are bringing unconventionally creative morning fare to Fletcher Place with Milktooth. The modest menu shows off classic dishes with a a twist – like the Sweet Tea Fried Chicken Biscuit with Sausage Gravy and Fried Egg. Eyes of adventurous eaters will widen upon seeing pickled kombu, a type of Japanese kelp, in their miso soup or the mildly sweet Kusshi oysters available for purchase individually.

Milktooth’s atmosphere reminds us of how every day brings a bright, new start. Large garage doors let in plenty of light that bounces off of the tall white walls, leaving your eye to spot the bright colors in the 50′s and 60′s kitchen equipment turned decor. It’s a retro time warp – one that reminds you of simplicity, where you could sit down at the table and enjoy a full breakfast before work with love found in every bite.

Georgia Reese’s, 3454 W. 84th Street

“Honest. Goodness. Soul.” That’s the tagline seen on the back of t-shirts worn by servers at Georgia Reese’s, a new soul food restaurant from former Colts linebacker Gary Brackett. Located in Indy’s northwest side, Georgia Reese’s is open for lunch and supper with a menu that offers southern cuisine with a side of live jazz and blues in an urban atmosphere. Each entree reminds you of traditional southern food you may have grown up on - like the BBQ Pork and Beans made with pork brisket, pigs feet and pork belly, or the Smothered Rabbit with Vidalia onions, wild mushrooms and a sherry-demi glaze.

A full lunch buffet is offered every Saturday and Sunday morning featuring Southern Fried Chicken, Catfish, Carved Prime Rib, omelets made to order and more, all accompanied by local jazz musicians. Diners expecting more than just great food will appreciate the attention to detail in the large wooden doors separating the rooms, elegant lighting and low ceilings that make you feel at home, or at least at the home you wish you had.

Screen Shot 2014-10-09 at 6.38.50 PM

 

Cashew Concoction – Photo Courtesy The Garden Table Facebook Page

The Garden Table, scheduled to open 908 E Westfield Blvd

It is always sad to see a loved retail shop close its doors, but the tears are comforted by a new business taking on the same space and continuing the vibe of the village. Moving into Broad Ripple Village in what was previously Chelsea’s gift store is a healthy alternative to the pub food found on the strip. The Garden Table offers a smoothie and juice bar (because we all know making those things at home is a lot of work) along with soups, sandwiches and salads that can be eaten in or picked up and taken to-go.

Scheduled to open shortly, The Garden Table will likely be the stopping point for pick-me-ups after runs and bike rides on the Monon Trail, a thirst quench while shopping at Good Earth or a hangover cure after a night of brews at Broad Ripple Brew Pub. It’s a step in the right direction for health-conscious locals or those who just want to enjoy a delicious non-alcoholic beverage in Broad Ripple.

BurgerHaus,  335 W. 9th Street

Walking the canal is a beautiful way to explore Indianapolis, but wouldn’t it be great if you were walking to a juicy burger shop? That will change next summer with the scheduled opening of BurgerHaus, a Valparaiso restaurant that is expanding their grill to Indy. Attention is given to the details of each of the 10 burgers listed on their menu, all with suggested beer, wine or cider pairings and at least five different toppings piled high on whole wheat, brioche or pretzel buns. Sandwiches, soups, salads and other entrees are available, though the burgers and Haus fries that can be ordered with multiple cheesy, bacony toppings, are the focal point of the restaurant.

How many restaurants have you visited that give a meal for each one you purchase? For every burger you enjoy at Burgerhaus, they will provide a balanced meal to a hungry child in a third world country through their partnership with Kids Aid International.

The Owner’s Wife, scheduled to open at 608 N. Park

What happens when you love beer and food? You find a way to make both of them your full time passion. The Owner’s Wife is new venture from Ted Miller, owner of Outliers Brewing Company and Brugge Brasserie and chef and restauranteur Greg Hardesty, and is expected to open late spring or early summer 2015 near Mass Ave. There is no doubt that Hardesty, a James Beard Award finalist, will use his technique and skill in ways that will continue to surprise restaurant goers throughout each season, giving Mass Ave one more delicious destination.

With the brewery and restaurant being one in the same, those who drop by for either a growler fill or a bite to eat will feel connected to both, likely making The Owner’s Wife a one-stop shop for downtown dwellers who are otherwise finding those two things separately.

Which restaurants have you visited and which of the soon to be opened restaurants will you be dining at first? Share your thoughts in a comment below!

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Categories: Dining
Tags: BurgerHaus, Georgia Reese's, Milktooth, The Garden Table, The Owner's Wife

Explore the Hot New Block of Mass Ave

City indy

You could easily spend a whole day along the vibrant Massachusetts Ave. The locals call it simply Mass Ave, but you will find out it is so much more. There is a lot to do along the the avenue, but you will wan to make sure you take time to explore the gem of the 800 block of Mass Ave.

You can start with a healthy dose of your fruits and veggies, explore local fashions, and end with a gourmet dinner within one block.

A street with a view

The view down the avenue gives an amazing view of the city. Indy looks absolutely perfect with the sun reflecting off the limestone, gold, and glass buildings. The east end of Mass Ave gives a real special view of the city.

Kick off your 800 block adventure with a nutritious juice or blended drink from Natural Born Juicers. They have a extensive menu of drinks with fruits and vegetables galore. You could even Instagram, tweet, or Facebook your drink choice out to make your mom proud. The Refresher and Beastess are two very solid choices to jump start your adventure.

Natural-Born-Juicers

Natural Born Juicers

Learn something new

You will be tempted with the exciting shopping along the block, but do yourself a favor and check out Crimson Tate or Homespun for their classes and workshops. These are great places to learn something unique from local artists. It is a great way to get something unique to Indy, but also to learn something new.

Crimson Tate and Homespun also offer some great shopping options for gifts and special items that you won’t find anyplace else. You will want something to remember your day in Indy.

Homespun

Homespun

Shop! Shop! Shop!

Indy is home to an exciting emerging fashion culture. Two stores that you have to visit are Boomerang BTQ and the hub of Indy fashion the Pattern Store. Both store offer great fashion options that you will want to wear for dinner later.

Boomerang BTQ is a chic boutique that offers local and national brands mixed with fantastic quirky accessories and home goods. Not only can you pick up a look that needs a silver goblet in your hand, but chances are pretty high that the store has those too.

A spot that offers exclusive fashion pieces for men and women is the Pattern Store. Pattern is a local organization that highlights and promotes the local fashion industry. The store is home to the award winning international fashion magazine highlighting a wide range of Indy talent, but also fashions new to Indy, or exclusives from local designers.

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Pattern Store

Boomerang BTQ

Boomerang BTQ

 

Shopping break

If you are down on the East end, you have to check out YATS for a filling fall lunch. You can also get an opportunity to check out some local beers as well from their bar. It is a local favorite so expect a busy, but quick service during lunch hours.

While letting your food settle sit down for a read and book shopping at Indy Read Books. Their book shop provides a great relaxed book shopping atmosphere. Your purchase also helps to fund literacy programs around Indy. Plus you can get some great book deals.

If you want to do something a little more permanent, check out the creative guys at Mass Ave Tattoo. They are Indy’s only walk-in tattoo shop. Same talented guys, it is just a different name.

Tattoo

Mass Ave Tattoo

Dinner on the Ave

After an afternoon of exploring you will be hungry, and should treat yourself to a dinner experience exclusive to the 800 block. R Bistro and Black Market are two culinary gems on the ave, both offering fantastic dining experiences.

R Bistro will please your pallet with locally grown produce and creative mix of flavors from the European trained chef. It is hard to recommend a dish because the menu always changes based upon available ingredients. You will be treated to a beautiful dinner while viewing the buzz of the ave.

Black Market is a 21+ dining option tucked away on the end of Mass Ave. The experience is one not to be missed. From unique food parings and cocktails, this will be a place too tasty to Instagram about. Start off with the signature Beef Tongue Cocktail, before enjoying the Fried Duck Leg Confit for the dinner.

The 800 block is an exciting block to visit because there is still new places moving in, and you will want to be the first to check them out.

Remember to share with Visit Indy what you think of the 800 block. Tweet or Instagram to us with the tag #LoveIndy!

 

 

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Categories: Blog, Dining, Fashion

Awesome Con Arrives in Indy October 3-5

Batman and Robin are making an appearance in the Circle City, along with the yellow Power Ranger and stars from The Walking Dead and True Blood. These are just a few guests in store for this year’s Awesome Con, arriving in Indy from October 3-5 for its second year. At its core, Awesome Con is a comic convention—but that doesn’t mean that’s all it has to offer.

Awesome ConAwesome Con is rolling out the red carpet for their list of celebrity, comic and literary guests. Attendees will have the chance to get autographs and photos with their favorite guests, in addition to attending other sessions. Most special guests offer a Q&A session at some point during the three-day convention. Visitors will be able to see a joint Q&A with Adam West and Burt Ward, famous for their television roles as Batman and Robin, as well as sessions with Veronica Taylor, Kristin Bauer, Michael Rosenbaum and more. Basic resin casting, self-publishing and character design are just some of the topics covered in other break-out sessions intended to teach visitors about multiple aspects of pop culture.

Awesome Con has conventions throughout the year in Washington, D.C., Milwaukee and Indianapolis, with different guests and sessions at each one. It’s only the second year the organization has put on these conventions, but they’ve already seen their attendance numbers skyrocket. The convention has events planned for the entire family, so suit up in your favorite character costume and stop by the Indiana Convention Center October 3-5.

For more information, list of guests or a schedule of events, please click here. We will be giving away a pairs of tickets. All you have to do is enter the Rafflecopter below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Categories: Arts, Arts & Culture
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Indiana Spirits Celebration at the Indiana State Museum

More details: IndianaMuseum.org/IndianaSpirits

More details: IndianaMuseum.org/IndianaSpirits

Fashioned after 1920s style speakeasies, Indiana Spirits at the Indiana State Museum will celebrate the opening of American Spirits: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition, an exhibition exploring the causes and effects of Prohibition.

The event on Friday, October 3rd will run from 7 pm to 11:30 pm at the Indiana State Museum, with the VIP Speakeasy running from 7 pm to 9 pm.

What will you experience at Indiana Spirits?

  • Tastings with local chefs
  • Sips from Indiana wineries and breweries
  • Spirited cocktails
  • Renowned DJ Helicon
  • Vintage photo booth in the freight elevator that is typically carrying mammoth and mastodon bones.
  • VIP guests will enjoy tasting bourbon with the world’s first female Master Bourbon Taster Peggy Noe Stevens, formally with Woodford Reserve
  • After party at The Alexander’s mixology lounge, Platt 99

Music, food, drinks, and entertainment in a gorgeous museum setting will make this event a night to remember.

Need an outfit or accessory? Check out the Pattern Store on Mass Ave; their “Indiana Spirits Capsule Collection” boasts great clothing and accessory items for men and women.

Dollars raised at this fantastic fundraiser will benefit the Indiana State Museum and Historic Sites to develop high quality exhibitions and dynamic programming for visitors and school children across the state of Indiana.

Now for the logistics. Paper tickets will not be issued. Please bring your ticket confirmation  and photo ID (you must be 21 years old to attend this event) to present at check-in. While you’re there, hashtag the event with #ISMSpirits and be sure to check in with Yelp Indy when you arrive for a great swag bag!

Need a room for the night? The Alexander (333 South Delaware St., Indianapolis, IN 46204) is offering a discounted room rate for Indiana Spirits attendees: $209 and includes breakfast for two. Book your stay today. Click here.

Need a ride to the event? UBER is Indiana Spirit’s official transportation partner. Download the UBER App to your mobile device to request a ride to or from Indiana Spirits.

You don’t want to miss out on Indiana Spirits and supporting your Indiana State Museum. Details and tickets can be found here.

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Categories: Arts & Culture, Beer, Family, Fashion, Music, Nightlife, Uncategorized
Tags: American Spirits The Rise and Fall of Prohibition, art and culture, Beer, brewery, cocktails, dance, dancing, DJ Helicon, exhibit, food, Free Event, Friday, fundraiser, Indiana Spirits, Indiana State Museum, indianapolis, Indy, Oct. 3, Oct. 3rd, October 3, Plat 99, White River State Park, Wine, winery, Yelp