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Natural Awakenings Indianapolis

Indiana Staycation: Rejuvenation for the Soul

Oct 01, 2017 07:31PM ● By Allie McFee

Extensive traveling brings new opportunities for seeing geographical wonders and experiencing other cultures, cuisine and traditions. Yet, there is much occurring in our area, providing wonderful opportunities for staycations.

For those wanting to save money on travel expenses, have young children or aging parents, or long to savor the beauty within reach, staycations can provide needed rest and explore without all the hustle of airport traveling, luggage and time off from work.

This autumn brings incredible opportunities within central Indiana for exploration in nature during the change in seasons, as well as festivals, music events, spooky Halloween activities for children and mini-getaway retreat ideas.

Outdoor Adventures

When the busy-ness of life, responsibilities and deadlines distract the connection from hearing one’s own inner truth, nature provides a “container” for stillness to retreat back into the self. Outdoor activities bring plentiful fall-time opportunities to experience the gorgeous hues of color within the changes of Indiana’s leaves.

For those wanting to take a day hike, Eagle Creek (northwest), Ft. Harrison State Park (east), Marott Park (central), Flat Fork Creek Park (northeast) and the Canal Walk (downtown) are great options for hiking alongside rivers, finding a rock to sit on for stillness and meditation, and foraging for wild edibles.

Consider a bike ride on the Monon Trail, encompassing 18 miles through Marion and Hamilton counties, and stop at farm-to-table restaurants, local breweries and coffee shops along the way for a sip and nibble with friends.

Some fun options near the trail in Carmel are Divvy, a small-plate restaurant with vegan, gluten- and lactose- free options, and SoHO Café for coffee and tea, and Sun King Distillery, which is projected to open during this fall in midtown Carmel.

Near the Monon in Broad Ripple are Public Greens with locally grown produce, The Garden Table, Broad Ripple Brew Pub, Locally Grown Gardens, and Sobro Café, known for their house-brewed authentic chai.

For family outdoor activities, imagine zip-lining high in the treetops in the middle of bright colors of the changing leaves and fresh autumn air. This thrilling activity is offered by Go Ape at Eagle Creek Park along with with obstacle courses including rope ladders, wobbly bridges and cargo nets, all overlooking Eagle Creek Reservoir.

Girlfriend Retreats

Country Living Magazine highlighted amazing cities in the Midwest for planning a “girls’ getaway,” and Bloomington, Indiana was a top pick. Home of Indiana University and Hoosier National Forest, it’s about 50 miles from Indianapolis, and offers charming natural awakenings October 2017 17 cabins like Antler Log Cabins to rent and plan a getaway retreat.

Picture spending the night in a log cabin with close friends, waking up to venture around the downtown farmers’ market, which offers an abundance of locally grown fall produce, and then taking a stroll through the university campus as the trees hit their peak in change.

Other options include renting a boat for the last few warm days of the year and cruising around Lake Monroe Reservoir. Lake Monroe Boat Rental offers canoes, kayaks and even pontoon party boats.

Perhaps the girls’ getaway involves a luscious, twohour mini-retreat to connect with sisterhood and spirituality. Gentle Heart Yoga in Bloomington is offering Blissful Rejuvenation Secrets on Sundays from 1 to 3 p.m. on October 15, November 5, and December 3 at Touchstone Yoga and Massage. The retreat creates a safe space for building energy reserves, connecting with inner peace and learning blissful self-massages.

Fall Festivals

Indiana hosts a number of fall festivals where main streets turn into gathering grounds with delicious food vendors, music and other activities.

Get set to dance at Fountain Square Music Fest on October 6 and 7 featuring local bands like bluegrass band BigFoot Yancey and internationally traveling bands such as Dr. Dog, an American rock band, and Phantogram’s electro-rock.

The Historic Irvington Halloween Festival takes place from October 21 through 28, and includes a week of events: Zombie Bike Ride, Spooky Organ Concert and Slightly Haunted Puppet Show along with a street fair, fivemile run, ghost tours, pumpkin carving and more.

The final First Food Truck event of the year is from 5 to 9 p.m. on October 6 at Old National Center Downtown with family-friendly food, live music and games.

Autumn Fun

Zoo Boo, at the Indianapolis Zoo, is occurring every Thursday through Sunday in October. Enjoy a Halloween-themed dolphin adventure or Elephant Pumpkin Smash. Children are encouraged to bring reusable goodie bags for trick-ortreating in addition to dressing in costumes. Face painting is offered by artists to help bring out their inner animal.

Crisp autumn apples are in season. Tuttle Orchards, in Greenfield, utilizes sustainable-growing practices and offers apple-, pumpkin- and sunflower-picking through October. Also, explore the corn maze, kids’ farm, hayrides and the Tractor Town Adventure.

Staycations are an invitation to visit what’s already happening within reach in our area. Spending less time planning a faraway journey may invite more time to retreat into the soul for inquiry, rest and rejuvenation, as well as opportunities to explore with friends and family that may not be able to travel out of the state.

Go Ape is in Eagle Creek Park at 855 Delong Rd., Indianapolis. For more information, visit

For more information on Lake Monroe Boat Rental, call 812- 837-9909 or visit

Admission for Blissful Rejuvenation Secrets retreat is $40, with early bird special of $35. Location: 2864 E. Buick Cadillac Blvd., Bloomington. For more information, visit

Fountain Square Music Festival is located at Virginia Ave. at Shelby & Prospect Sts., Indianapolis. For ticket sales and more information, visit

For more information on Historic Irvington Halloween Festival, visit

The Indianapolis Zoo is located at 1200 W. Washington St., Indianapolis. For more information, call 317-630-2001 or visit

Tuttle Orchards is located 5717 N. 300 W., Greenfield. For more information, call 317-326-2278 or visit

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