“Lions and tigers and bears, oh, my!”

New baby elephant Kalina! http://bit.ly/n0uHAO

(the following information provided by our local zoo expert)

The Indianapolis Zoo is just down the street from the NCAA Hall of Champions, location of the Sunday night gala event. We have a dolphin amphitheater, touchable sharks and even a botanical garden. Our female baby elephant, Kalina (just born on July 20th), is a real cutie pie and not to be missed. Check out the zoo at http://indianapoliszoo.com/, or just ask me. I’ll happily talk your ears off about our wonderful facility.

Sue London (zoo volunteer naturalist)

Need a little culture (besides the Cultural Trail)?

Yes, I already extolled the virtues of the Cultural Trail, but what if you are looking for culture–as in performing arts? Indianapolis has a year-round performing symphony, the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra (ISO), and the Indiana Repertory Theatre (IRT).

Image courtesy of the ISO http://www.indianapolissymphony.org/

The ISO’s world premiere performance of the program “Do You Hear the People Sing” happens our conference weekend their Pops series. More information can be found here: http://www.indianapolissymphony.org/tickets/learnmore.aspx?id=4390

The ISO is located in the historic Hilbert Circle Theater located on Monument Circle, 0.5 miles from the Downtown Marriott (exit the hotel onto Washington Street).


Indiana Repertory Theatre
Image courtesy of Carl Van Rooy http://www.flickr.com/photos/vanrooy/

The IRT’s Going Solo Festival of three intimate one-actor plays returns for its third year of audience acclaim. During your time in Indianapolis, you could attend of three different one-actor plays (or more!):

I Love to Eat: Cooking with James Beard by James Still
Lost: A Memoir by Cathy Ostlere and Dennis Garnhum
Nobody Don’t Like Yogi by Tom Lysaght

The IRT is located in the beautiful 1927 Indiana Theatre located at 140 W. Washington St., 0.2 miles (~3 blocks) from the Downtown Marriott (exit the hotel onto Washington Street).

Two of my favorite things–the Indy Cultural Trail & the downtown Canal

When I moved to Indianapolis 5 years ago, I wasn’t super excited about it. Growing up in rural Indiana, moving to Indiana’s “big city” didn’t hold a lot of thrill for me.

However, despite my lack of initial excitement, I truly have been pleasantly surprised by Indy. One of the neatest things (in my opinion) in Indy is the Cultural Trail. The Cultural Trail “is a world-class urban bike and pedestrian path that connects neighborhoods, Cultural Districts and entertainment amenities, and serves as the downtown hub for the entire central Indiana greenway system.” (according to http://www.indyculturaltrail.org/about.html )
As a biker, I have appreciated the Trail and how it links up my way to work (the White River Greenway) with the Monon Trail (a rails-to-trails path) and weaves itself downtown, providing a much less stressful bike ride around downtown and is also very pretty. 🙂 The Cultural Trail is along existing roadways, so make sure to pay attention to traffic signals.

A detailed map can be found here: http://bit.ly/q2dvwW

The Cultural trail also ties in with another of my favorite things about Indy–the downtown Canal. The canal is great for running & walking (you can also bike on it, but it can get kind of narrow at points) and is below the street level, so it’s actually quite peaceful even though you’re in the midst of the city. Since it is below street level, you also don’t have to worry about crossing streets, having to constantly stop at lights, etc. You can get in a nice 3-mile loop pretty easily just along the canal (all the way to Buggs Temple on the north end), and it also hooks into the pedestrian bridge that connects the White River State Park with the Indianapolis Zoo, which has a promenade path on the north side of the zoo.

(image above from http://bit.ly/pwsfz1)

The main canal path is marked on the map in green. The conference hotel, Indianapolis Marriott Downtown, is one of the red icons towards the bottom; the canal is only a few blocks from the hotel, so it’s a nice place to go for a stroll!

Brew Bracket Fall Tournament

Do you like locally crafted microbrews? Do you like stouts? If so, the Brew Bracket Fall Tournament may be something to add to your Saturday calendar.

This event features a specific type of beer (on Saturday, October 8, it is stout) where you, blindly taste-testing each of them, get to determine the best brew out of all those entered. More info about what a Brew Bracket is can be found here: http://www.brewbracket.com/about/

More general info about the event can be found here: http://www.brewbracket.com/upcomingevents/

Event: Brew Bracket

Date: Saturday, October 8, 2011

Time: 12.30pm-5.00pm

Where: Indiana State Fairgrounds (you will need to have a car or taxi to get here)

The cost is $35/person, or $7/designated driver.

I plan on also posting about some of my favorite local breweries (or place to get a beer) in Indy. However, what do you want to hear about? 🙂

Things to do in Indy–German Fest! (Groupon special)

*For a limited time only! (well, for the Groupon anyway)

When you think of Indianapolis, it’s race cars, Peyton Manning (well, until this year), breaded tenderloins, popcorn, and….German Fest? Yes, indeed, Indy has its own German Fest, also know as the Third Annual Original and Fabulous GermanFest! GermanFest is a one-day event in downtown Indianapolis on Saturday, October 8 from 12pm to 6pm.

Groupon, a website that offers specials deals each day for various cities, provides special pricing for this event. Choose between the following options:

  • For $15, you get admission for two people (up to a $20 value) and two beers (a $10 value; a $30 total value).
  • For $27, you get admission for four people (up to a $40 value) and four beers (a $20 value; up to a $60 total value)

To purchase the deal, go to Groupon’s website: http://gr.pn/nqfgG5

For full details about GermanFest and all the activities, please visit the GermanFest website: http://bit.ly/owabVE

Some nice details from the website include: “Wiener dog races all day, every hour, Alpine Express and their famous yodel-ers, Jay Fox and his Bavarian Showtime Band, the Steinheben – strong man contest, the 5K Lederhosen lauf and much more!”

GermanFest takes place at the Rathskellar/historic Athenaeum at 401 E Michigan St., about 1.3 miles walking from the hotel.