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.
Spine-tingling chills begin as soon as visitors enter Hysterium Haunted Asylum's clinical waiting room and fall under the gaze of the facility's head nurse. Once groups enter the asylum, they find themselves navigating a macabre maze filled with darkened hallways and gory scenes. Plenty of costumed inmates lurk in the shadows along the way, awaiting the perfect opportunity to give passersby a good scare.
The haunting doesn't end with Halloween though. For a limited time each winter, the asylum transforms into a gruesome, Christmas-themed experience. The mythological Krampus stalks visitors as they shuffle past mischievous elves and a familiar cast of devious inmates.
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.
Designed exclusively for Groupon, your class combines the high points of Grape Inspirations’ Wine 101 series into a two-hour Language of Wine course (a $30 value), and throws in a signature wine glass (a $4 value). The friendly, expert vintners at Grape Inspirations will first teach you how to taste wine like a sophisticated swirler with glass held aloft. Next, you’ll become a proper wine and food matchmaker, sure to never mistakenly seat a Merlot next to its sworn enemy, lime JELL-O. Finally, take a peak at the business side of wine, with tips on purchasing, storing, and serving wine. The course will also cover wine faults, the sand traps of winery, and how best to avoid them. Classes are offered from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. every Thursday until your Groupon expires and on select Tuesdays (see sidebar). Be sure to call ahead for availability; additional classes may be scheduled based on demand.