Once a year, spurred perhaps by the rise of the harvest moon or the purchase of thousands of Halloween costumes, the grounds at Corpse Manor transform from a quaint home into a trio of haunting exhibits. Within the manor itself, the terrifying tale of Lord Henry Calvert and his family unfolds as their house comes to unlife with walking corpses and ghosts. Also within the walls lies the Night Shadows experience, where hungry things stalk visitors through the interplay of light and shadow. Outside the house proper lies a stretch of forested land known as the Sinister Woods, where ghouls and monsters lurk behind each trunk, pursuing the unwary as they wander the gore-strewn paths.
Urban Element assembles scrumptious café fare while surrounding guests in an inviting wine bar atmosphere replete with art-adorned walls and live music. The menu abounds with fairly healthy fare, including homade roasted red-pepper hummus ($8) and grilled-pineapple-and-shrimp salad ($10). Patrons can coordinate outfits to match the blue cheese pasta with chickpeas ($10+) or sample a curried chicken-salad sandwich or wrap ($7). The prevalence of paintings at Urban Element allows guests to appreciate local art without the need to pay admission or ship themselves inside cardboard boxes to fancy museums.
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.
For the past 50 years, people of all ages, faiths, and cultural backgrounds have gathered at the Arthur M. Glick JCC for attractions ranging from book festivals to a seasonal water park. Inside its 20,000-square-foot fitness center, visitors can break a sweat in the aerobics studio—with a spring floor that cushions joints—or swim laps in the six-lane competitive pool. During group workouts, athletes relieve stress with yoga poses, tone their physiques with boot camps, or practice Zumba moves to use with their up-and-coming boy band.
Through the JCC's educational programs, visitors can make their brains as well-toned as their bodies. Members cultivate their creative side with film screenings, art exhibits, and shows from celebrated performers. Alternatively, adult education classes can impart expertise on topics such as social media, cooking, calligraphy, and music. During the summer months, kids can learn and play at the JCC's camps, and adults can build their environmental expertise in the community garden, rather than by donning a tree costume in an effort to understand life on the other side.
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.
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.
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.