At Lala Gallery & Studio, creative types collide, from local artists displaying and discussing their newest exhibits to kids and parents bonding over the clay wheel. Studio classes include afterschool programs for grades 1–12, adult classes geared toward clay throwing, and drop-in sessions for one-off lessons. Inside the gallery, work from regional artists dresses the walls, which inspires visitors’ art projects and gives people something to look at other than the backs of their weird, veiny hands.
For the past 50 years, people of all ages, faiths, and cultural backgrounds have gathered at the Arthur M. Glick JCC for attractions ranging from book festivals to a seasonal water park. Inside its 20,000-square-foot fitness center, visitors can break a sweat in the aerobics studio—with a spring floor that cushions joints—or swim laps in the six-lane competitive pool. During group workouts, athletes relieve stress with yoga poses, tone their physiques with boot camps, or practice Zumba moves to use with their up-and-coming boy band.
Through the JCC's educational programs, visitors can make their brains as well-toned as their bodies. Members cultivate their creative side with film screenings, art exhibits, and shows from celebrated performers. Alternatively, adult education classes can impart expertise on topics such as social media, cooking, calligraphy, and music. During the summer months, kids can learn and play at the JCC's camps, and adults can build their environmental expertise in the community garden, rather than by donning a tree costume in an effort to understand life on the other side.
The Vintage Indiana wine festival totes more than 200 award-winning Indiana wines. As varietals from wineries such as Oliver Winery, Winzerwald Winery, and Best Vineyards flow into glasses, food from eateries such as Bazbeaux, Chef JJ's, and various food trucks curbs appetites. Live music adds a soundtrack to the entire affair, which also includes special events such as culinary demonstrations.
The eclectic organizers at Red Frog Events take a lighthearted and fun-focused approach to building their adventurous events, such as obstacle courses, scavenger hunts, and themed bar crawls, to connect city dwellers with local neighborhoods. Their creative, interactive offerings include regularly occurring competitions such as the Warrior Dash, Great Urban Race, and Beach Dash, the proceeds from which usually benefit St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. Like the idea of having a pet rock, their events have grown more popular annually, and frequently spring up in cities across the United States.
The Hunter family knows bees. At their family-owned and operated farm, they continue a more than 100-year-old tradition of producing honey and honey-related products. Managing several hundred hives across the state of Indiana, Hunter farms produce honey, beeswax, bee pollen, and propolis, which is used to make everything from beeswax soap and lip balm to honey hot-wing sauce and 32 different flavors of honey sticks.
Guided tours of the honey farm teach groups of all sizes and ages about the work of the honeybee, while forestry tours introduce tourists to the farm’s 65 acres of hardwood. The beehive tour lets guests shadow a beekeeper on the job while "Flight of the Bumblebee" plays on repeat in their heads. The Worker Special tour includes even more hands-on learning, teaching visitors how to roll their own beeswax candle and fill bear-shaped containers with honey.
Urban Element assembles scrumptious café fare while surrounding guests in an inviting wine bar atmosphere replete with art-adorned walls and live music. The menu abounds with fairly healthy fare, including homade roasted red-pepper hummus ($8) and grilled-pineapple-and-shrimp salad ($10). Patrons can coordinate outfits to match the blue cheese pasta with chickpeas ($10+) or sample a curried chicken-salad sandwich or wrap ($7). The prevalence of paintings at Urban Element allows guests to appreciate local art without the need to pay admission or ship themselves inside cardboard boxes to fancy museums.