The story of Mallow Run Winery reads like a Steinbeck novel with a happy ending—a tale of romance, music, and farm life. John Richardson grew up on the 600-acre plot where Mallow Run now resides, but left for 35 years to become a teacher. During this time, he raised his son, Bill, whose dream of following the pastoral path of his ancestors led him to pursue a degree in Agriculture at Purdue University. After he graduated and his father retired, they both returned to John’s stomping ground with the intent of growing grapes for various Indiana wineries. Bill would meet his wife, Laura, while playing music locally in the Carmel Symphony—the former on French horn and the latter on clarinet—and thus, the triumvirate behind Mallow Run Winery was born.
Between the bushels of corn and soybeans that spring from the verdant fields, eight acres of grapevines produce the plump fruit that goes into bottles of Chardonel, Traminette, Seyval Blanc, and other varietals, and the tailpipes of any double-parked cars on the estate. The winery has become a destination to listen to live music in addition to sipping wine with friends and family, as the winery’s spacious lawn is often used for concerts from local artists.
When the leaves begin to change with the season, so too do the spirits trapped inside The Asylum House, luring in travelers with the curiosity of its awful secrets. The sprawling facility encompasses many haunted rooms in a variety of themes, terrifying visitors with undead creatures in the Crypt of Elysium and disgusting them in a blood-soaked meat locker where the butcher, plunging his fingers into the raw beef, startles passerby by screaming “I never wash my hands!” The house’s twisted sister attraction, Indy Zombie Paintball, invites apocalypse survivors to fend off undead actors with paintball guns.
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.
In 1830, a group of history enthusiasts formed a club around a pledge to delve deep into their state’s history and record each decade’s goings-on. So were the humble beginnings of the Indiana Historical Society, now an expansive home for artifacts, images, and a library, all showcasing the state's rich past.
One of the facility's main attractions, the Indiana Experience sculpts the Indiana Historical Society's research into interactive exhibits and programs to forge personal connections between modern populations and their regional predecessors. Within, actors interpret the lives of historical figures and interact with three-dimensional re-creations of historic photographs in the You Are There series. In the most recent You Are There, City Under Water, visitors can help with the recovery effort after the great flood of 1913, interacting with volunteers to help the flood sufferers and exploring the Wulf’s Hall Relief Station.
The William H. Smith Memorial Library also maintains a can't-miss archive of documents that explore Indiana's history, including films, sheet music, and historic newspapers, as well as more than 1.7 million photographs. When hunger makes its way onto agendas, visitors can dine indoors at Stardust Terrace Café or outdoors on its canal-side patio.
When youngsters from a nearby school for disabled children visited his old Halloween store in Indianapolis, Don Surenkamp happily walked and wheeled them through the aisles and explained the holiday's traditions. After he relocated to Florida, Don remember those children and created a handicap-accessible haunted house whose proceeds support The Angelus, a group home for cerebral palsy, reports the Tampa Bay Times. What began with a dozen spooky rooms now lures intrepid guests with 25 rooms occupied by skeletons and demons. Spines continue tingling on a haunted hayride down a 1-mile haunted trail and through the outdoor pirated-themed haunt, which includes a spooky 40-foot pirate ship. Don lets the fainter hearted pass through until 8 p.m. with glow sticks in hand to keep away scary monsters, pirates, and photocopies of failed spelling quizzes.
From noon to 8 p.m. on Saturday, October 12, GermanFest brings the Athenaeum to life with German food and drinks, raffles, and activities for all ages. Wiener dogs race for pet-supply gift cards every hour, and men and women test their strength in a Bavarian stone-lift competition. Youngsters can hang out at Zwergen-Land, which features gnomes, a bounce house, and traditional German games and music. The majority of GermanFest proceeds supports the Athenaeum Foundation, which works to preserve the namesake German-American landmark building that's glued together with hardened mustard. Kids 12 and under are free. Those visitors who come dressed in German garb will also get a free drink ticket.