Five Fresh Ideas for 2017

Travel bookmark-5+ Leisure has dubbed Indianapolis “America’s next big destination” for 2017, and with good reason. It’s hard to keep up with everything that’s happening here, including new restaurants and hotels.

With that in mind, here are five fresh ideas for Indianapolis activities in 2017:

  1. See a burlesque show at the White Rabbit Cabaret in the trendy Fountain Square neighborhood. These tongue-in-cheek, body-positive shows are perfect for a girls’ night out.
  2. Book a private karaoke room at Punch Bowl Social, which recently opened downtown. Not a crooner? Go bowling or play the vintage arcade games instead.
  3. You love watching curling every four years during the Olympics. Why not try it yourself? The Circle City Curling Club offers clinics ($30 per person) that nearly always sell out, so reservations are essential.
  4. Cooking with kale. Composting with worms. Making your own knitting patterns. Navigating public records. These are just a few of the things you can learn at Trade School Indianapolis. The catch? Payment is via the bartering system. Your instructor might ask you to bring cooking spices, sheet music, bike parts, postage stamps or … well, pretty much anything.
  5. Compete in the Linear Bocce World Championships, a game of bocce that rolls along block by block. Neckwear, such as a scarf or a tie, is mandatory because … well, just because.

What are your favorite new things to do in Indy? Add a suggestion in the comments!


Yelp’s Totally Bazaar 2016

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Last December, 100 Things to Do in Indianapolis Before You Die was a sell-out hit at Yelp’s Totally Bazaar, Indy’s best holiday shopping party. If you missed your chance to get a signed copy last year, never fear! I’ll be back this year, along with 130+ other local vendors. Pick up handcrafted soaps, unique jewelry, Indiana-themed items, artisan foods and much more. Stop by and see me, and remember that 100 Things Indy makes a perfect stocking stuffer!

Details: 6:30-10 p.m., Thursday, Dec. 8 (Central Library)

Coming Up: Yelp’s Totally Bazaar

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Yelp’s annual Totally Bazaar is my favorite holiday shopping party — so much so that it made the “100 Things Indy” list. So I’m thrilled to be participating as a vendor this year, along with 130 other local vendors selling everything from artisan foods to hand-crafted jewelry. I always intend to buy gifts and instead find a pile of things I can’t live without. Stop by and see me, and remember that “100 Things Indy” makes a perfect stocking stuffer!

Details: 6:30-10 p.m., Thursday, Dec. 10 (Central Library)

Indy Trivia Contest

Thank you to everyone who participated in the Indy trivia contest at last week’s book launch party! I loved chatting with Indy enthusiasts about their favorite things to do in the Circle City. But if you missed the party, it’s not too late to challenge yourself. Here’s a copy of the quiz. Can you beat the current best score of eight points? No cheating!

  1. What is the name of the car that won the first Indy 500 in 1911?
  2. Name the architect who planned the original Mile Square section of downtown Indianapolis.
  3. This famous singer performed his last concert here in Indianapolis in June 1977.
  4. The new Indy Eleven soccer team plays its home games at IUPUI’s Michael A. Carroll Stadium, but the team’s fans refer to the stadium by a nickname. What is it?
  5. This old-school Indianapolis restaurant is known for its smashed burgers and onion rings.
  6. Every Thanksgiving, a little bronze statue appears on top of the old L.S. Ayres clock at the corner of Washington and Meridian streets. What does the statue depict?
  7. Name the Hoosier author who won two Pulitzer Prizes for fiction—one of only three people to do so.
  8. If you order a fresh baked good at Hubbard & Cravens, you’re probably eating a treat from what Hoosier bakery?
  9. Name the fictional character who appears in several of Kurt Vonnegut’s novels, and whose name is reminiscent of a fish.
  10. Where in Indianapolis would you find three statues called “The Races of Man”?
  11. Indianapolis is a popular city for conventions—which means we have lots of hotels connected by climate-controlled skywalks. In all, how many Indy hotel rooms are connected by these tubes?
  12. Butler University was originally located in what Indianapolis neighborhood?

You’ll find the answers in the comment section below!

Reminder: Launch Party This Friday

Just a reminder that the 100 Things launch party is this Friday, May 22. Stop by Indy Reads Books at 7 p.m. for snacks, a book signing and an Indianapolis trivia contest. We have some great prizes lined up, including the following:

Hope to see you there!

Where to Buy: Local Retailers

“100 Things Indy” celebrates the best of Indy shopping, so I’m excited to announce that the book is now available at two local shops, both of which are on the “100 Things” list: Goose the Market and Homespun: Modern Handmade.

Goose, a craft butchery, is known for charcuterie and award-winning sandwiches (especially the Batali, which is piled high with Italian meats). And Homespun is one of my favorite local boutiques. It stocks “modern handmade” goods from across the Midwest, such as jewelry, home decor and artisan food products. The owners of Homespun also organize the annual INDIEana Handicraft Exchange, which is also on the “100 Things” list.

More local retailers are coming soon, so watch this page for announcements! And don’t forget the official launch party: 7 p.m., Friday, May 22 at Indy Reads Books. Hope to see you there!

UPDATE: The book is now in stock at Silver in the City, too!

Holcomb, Holcomb, Hinkle

Many thanks to Butler University for this great coverage of “100 Things Indy” this week:

Butler University is well represented in the new book 100 Things to Do in Indianapolis Before You Die. And not just because it’s written by Ashley Petry, who went to preschool at Butler, earned her MBA here in 2006, and is finishing her MFA in Creative Writing.

No, Petry said, Butler gets its due because Hinkle Fieldhouse, Holcomb Gardens, and the Holcomb Observatory and Planetarium fit the bill. (Plump’s Last Shot, the Broad Ripple restaurant owned by Bobby Plump ’58, is another of the 100.) . . .

Butler’s historic Hinkle Fieldhouse gets a mention in the entry about experiencing Indiana basketball, while Holcomb Gardens is one of several destinations on a list of Indy’s prettiest gardens. But the Holcomb Observatory and Planetarium is one of my favorite spots in Indy, and it gets an entry all its own. Check the book for more details!

Save the Date: Launch Party at Indy Reads Books

If you pre-ordered a copy of “100 Things to Do in Indianapolis Before You Die” from Amazon, it’s likely to arrive on your doorstep this afternoon! But the book will make its official Indy debut next month at Indy Reads Books — which is, of course, one of the 100 things. Please join me for a book signing, snacks and the ultimate Indianapolis trivia contest, complete with prizes straight from the pages of “100 Things Indy.” Hope to see you there!

What: “100 Things Indy” Launch Party

Where: Indy Reads Books, 911 Massachusetts Ave.

When: 7-9 p.m., Friday, May 22, 2015

Sneak Peek: The Book Cover

Drum roll, please! It’s time to reveal the book cover for my new Indy guidebook, “100 Things to Do in Indianapolis Before You Die.” Very exciting! 100ThingsIndy Cover Small The photo inside the “100” is the historic carousel at The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis. I’m thrilled, because riding that carousel is one of my favorite memories from childhood, and the museum’s “Carousel Wishes and Dreams” exhibit is still one of my favorite spots in the city. Plus, the carousel is colorful, dynamic and energetic — just like this amazing city. Stay tuned for more details about the book release. It’s coming in mid-April, but it’s available now for pre-order from booksellers like Amazon and Barnes & Noble.