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 guests 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 Caf? or outdoors on its canal-side patio.
It's been more than 75 years since Clarence disappeared into the depths of Hagan Park, but the lost souls that inhabit the Horror Trail are all too aware of his presence. The shadow of the man looms over what was already a grim place, even though the tale of his axe-murdering spree is a wound on the area's history that has long since scarred over. But there's other things to worry about. Visitors find themselves inevitably drawn into the woods, following the cries of what they are certain could be their loved ones. Some think the cemetery is the source of strange lights that can sometimes be seen by passersby. And, worst of all, others still think they can hear the rhythmic scrape of a whetstone on Clarence's axe.
At the heart of Ennis Horsemanship Center is David and Jill Ennis, a married couple with a shared passion for the majestic nature of horses. Before moving to Chandler in 2010, David and Jill ran a successful stable in Missouri?the very place where David happened to also propose to Jill, inside the riding arena. Today, the Ennises and their roster of award-winning school horses provide training, education, and riding lessons that accommodate kids and adults. These lessons emphasize becoming a total ?horseperson,? meaning students not only learn how to ride a horse, but also how to care for it to and teach it how to neigh orders at drive-thru windows. To make their services even more accessible to the community, David and Jill have also registered their facility as part of the Horses4Heroes network.
Hailed as the "granddaddy of Northwest Indiana's haunted attractions" by the Post-Tribune, Reapers Realm Haunted Attractions terrifies guests every Halloween season with multiple haunted sites. Most of its frights lurk within the three floors of a 1920s-era stone mansion. There, fog makes it tricky to see where demented demons lie in wait, and strobe lights illuminate famous movie monsters such as Michael Myers reenacting classic scenes of carnage.
More creepy creatures populate the Reaped Woods, where, in the past, a corn maze has hosted sights nearly as frightening as a scarecrow stuffed with old SAT scantrons. At the aptly named Carnevil, the screams echoing from the rides aren't just screams of delight.
High above a lush vineyard, the morning sky brims with creatures of flight: an eagle, a large bumblebee, a pigeon that forgot how to land. These were just some of the sights Airbus Balloon Rides' owner Andy Richardson imagined would greet his future down-gazing passengers. He first fell in love with the roar of a hot air balloon's flame just before entering the second grade, and that passion has driven his dreams ever since. Ten years after buying his first balloon at age 14, Andy now commands a fleet of rainbow-colored balloons that come in standard and specialty shapes. These colorful vessels set the elevated stage for individual flights and tethered rides helmed by Andy and his talented team. Flights lift off at sunrise, in the afternoon, and at sunset, when the low sun paints an orange-red glow over water, fields, and reindeer still stuck on rooftops.
Back on land, Airbus Balloon Rides also educates visitors on hot air balloon creation inside their balloon factory, which welcomes tours. At the end of each tour, the guides lead guests in a champagne or mimosa toast with accompanying hors d'oeuvres, celebrating their skyfaring adventures together.
Running strong for 37 years, the Indianapolis Greek Fest collects Hellenic food, music, and tradition under the benevolent bulk of the Holy Trinity Church. Tote along family members or a triad of friends to nosh on Greek cuisine while gazing at the fancy and authentic footwork of costumed dance troupes. Spiced hunks of lamb twirl send savory aromas wafting far and wide, and patrons can yank flavor from the ocean by nibbling on fried calamari. Flaky and feta-cheesy spanakopita rests easily between fingers, and flaming saganaki bounces frantically between daredevil fingers. Sugary bites, from honey-drenched baklava to buttery koulourakia, cloy pleasingly at the palate, and thirsty throats can quaff a Dionysian refreshment and revive parched stomachs with wine and beer. Transmute Grecian enthusiasm into dance by bumping up against the energetic sounds of Greek band Kosta and the Wave, or delve into the rich, storied and ornately painted tradition of Greek Orthodox Christianity with regular church tours of the Trinitarian sanctuary throughout the fest.