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.
Looking for a fresh turn in their respective careers, Joe and Dawn Taylor planted the first grapes at Sleepy Creek Vineyards in 2002. In 2007 they opened the winery, where they sell their wines and swap stories with visitors. Amid 10 acres of expansive grapevines, a timber-frame barn houses the winery and tasting room. While sipping Sleepy Creek's varietals, guests can browse the gift shop, peruse the upstairs art gallery, and sample local cheeses from Ludwig Farmstead Creamery and Ropp Jersey Cheese. Above the winery, bed-and-breakfast-style accommodations allow visitors to relax amid the countryside and eavesdrop on rumors spreading through the grapevines outside.
With the sunrise, Midwest Balloon Rides’ hot air balloons slowly rise into the morning sky for sprawling views of the Indiana landscape. They also take off at sunset, but no matter what time their kaleidoscopic balloons enter the wild blue yonder, a licensed pilot is at the helm. They gently navigate the vessel to ensure a safe journey that doesn’t end up somewhere over the rainbow but back on the ground for a ceremonial toast to celebrate the occasion.
Situated amidst 80 acres of rolling countryside, Chateau de Pique Winery hosts wine tastings inside a fully restored, 19th-century horse barn. Glasses swirl handcrafted wines such as a bold Syrah, a rich, buttery Chardonel, Sweet Mile High, and their award winning First Class Blackberry wine. In warmer months, a 6,500-square-foot tent accommodates up to 350 guests during special events, and two satellite tasting rooms provide sips in Indianapolis and Clarksville year-round.
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.
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.