It didn't take long for the first professional hockey team in Evansville to make their mark; in just their second year in the All American Hockey League, in 2010, the fledgling IceMen won the Davidson Cup in seven games. Though that first clan of IceMen has since gone extinct, the team soon resurrected as part of the ECHL, where they serve as the minor-league affiliate of both the Columbus Blue Jackets and the Saint Louis Blues. During games, fans fill the 9,400-seat Ford Center arena as the polar-bear mascot, Blizzard, entertains crowds and teaches children of the dangers of costume warming.
A full moon casts pale bands of light across the calm waters of Hovey Lake as canoes weave silently through a half-submerged forest of bald cypress trees. Like most Canoe Evansville trips, this moonlight paddle transports paddlers to an area accessible only by watercraft. A subsidiary member of the Wesselman Nature Society, Canoe Evansville embodies the Society’s mission to cultivate an appreciation of local nature and a healthy respect for the tyrannical river god. To that end, guides certified by the American Canoe Association educate paddlers about the ecological importance of local waterways and are quick to identify the cormorants, ospreys and egrets that roost along the shore.
Hoof Beats Stable brings horses and riders together for hours of enjoyment during lessons, training sessions, and parties. At an indoor arena, riders mount powerful steeds to learn basic skills or sharpen their English- and Western-riding skills. Instructors teach students the techniques they want to learn, whether it's bareback riding or parallel parking. Parties at the stable bring party guests nose-to-muzzle with gentle horses.
Whether sinking a putt or demolishing a high score, Walther's Golf & Fun surrounds visitors with the trappings of the tropics. On the dual miniature golf courses, one indoor and one outdoor, waterfalls and banana trees give the feel of golfing through a vibrant jungle. The laser-tag course is similarly themed, with tangles of neon lights washing over palm trees and weathered ruins. Jungle-print carpet coats the floor of the fully stocked arcade, and golfers practicing on the driving range wait impatiently for one droopy toucan to collect and return their golf balls.
It's easy to get lost in Two Bit Bandit Family Fun Center's massive arcade, and even easier to spend the entire day aiming for the high score on everything from air hockey to Jurassic Park pinball. But do yourself a favor and save a few hours to explore the non-virtual fun zones, which include eight batting cages and four one-on-one basketball courts. The family fun center is a popular place to celebrate a birthday or office MVP award, as two-hour celebrations include a thematically decorated party room.
Wear white, and be prepared for that shirt to never look the same. That's just about the only rule of the Color Blaze 5K, a technicolor event that's a little different than the standard run. For one, contestants don't have to run at all?in fact, they can mosey, lollygag, skip, crawl, jog, and backflip their way along the course. Rather than determining the best time, the non-competitive race is about the experience itself. At each successive mile, Blaze Zones powder participants in biodegradable?and even edible?colors, creating an army of fleet-footed Jackson Pollocks. Proceeds from the event benefit local charities, and an afterparty welcomes the newly prismatic to dance the day away in their freshly illustrated get-ups.