Summer Fun in the Hoosier State

Abby Gardner

There is a television ad from the 80’s (for the Indiana Beach amusement park) that touts, “There’s more than corn in Indiana” and that has never been truer. The Hoosier state is an excellent destination in the summertime, as long as you don’t mind a little humidity. Whether you’re an art buff or more of an outdoor adventure type, we’ve got you covered for some good, old summertime fun.

Enjoy a Day of Fair Play
From August 2-18 the Indiana State Fair will salute Heroes in the Heartland, presented by the Indiana Donor Network. The fair’s theme will recognize Hoosier farmers, first responders, educators, members of the armed forces, and many others. Thursday, August 15 is AAA day where guests will receive one free admission ticket per valid AAA membership card at the gate. For more information visit www.indianastatefair.com.

Live The Lake
Life Indiana may be known as one of the flatter states in the U.S., but one thing it has in spades are lakes, both of the man-made and natural variety. From Monroe Lake near Bloomington to Lake Wawasee and Lake Maxinkuckee further north, there is no shortage of options for day, weekend, or weeklong trips filled with boating, sailing, skiing, or maybe just lounging by the water. Or check out the Festival of the Lakes ( July 17-21) in Hammond, Indiana, at Wolf Lake Memorial Park. The event will feature concerts, a carnival, and lots of incredible food and fun for the whole family. Or perhaps a relaxing wine cruise on Patoka Lake in the southern part of the state is more your speed. It’s only $50/person ($98/ couple) and they run through September. For more information, go to www.festivalofthelakes.com. For more information, go to www.patokalakemarina.com.

Groove to the Music
The Ruoff Home Mortgage Center in Noblesville is one of the premier outdoor amphitheaters in the country and counts itself as a primo stop on many of the big summer concert tours. In July and August alone, acts like Brad Paisley, Carlos Santana, Hootie & the Blowfish, Luke Bryan, Heart, and Jason Aldean will swing through town. Whether you’re on the lawn or in the covered seats, it’s sure to be a memorable evening of great tunes. For more information go to www.livenation.com.

Support the Arts
he Penrod Arts Fair (September 7) has been called “Indiana’s Nicest Day” and takes place annually on the grounds of Newfields (formerly known as the Indianapolis Museum of Art). More than 300 artists will be on site, as well as six stages with entertainment, more than 76 arts-related non-profit organizations, and a large area for the kiddos. Oh, and there’s a giant beer garden. It’s a classic Indy event, in its 53rd year, that never fails to shine a light onto emerging artists while also offering up a little fun for the non-art fan in your group, too. For more information, go to www.penrod.org.

Ride the Rapids
Located along the St. Joseph River in Indiana, South Bend is home to some great outdoor attractions like the East Race Riverway—the first North American man-made whitewater rafting course—where visitors can take on the Class II rapids. Not to worry, there are also more chill kayak and canoe options for the less adrenaline-motivated in your crew. For more information, go to visitsouthbend.com/paddling- through-south-bend-mishawaka.

Abby Gardner is a writer and editor living in Indianapolis, Indiana.