Parents of preschoolers: it's time to start getting OUR KIDS registered for kindergarten! Wondering how and when you get your kid registered in one of the six public school corporations in Hendricks County?
North West Hendricks
It's amazing what we can accomplish when Villagers work together. I wanted a new logo for They're Our Kids, and as I was researching a blog post, I stumbled across a logo designer. The result: a fantastic new look for They're Our Kids.
I recently had a conversation with Joni Kisner about her new family-friendly urban fun run, CityQuest, and she happened to mention that she also dabbles in logo design. I described to her what I was looking for, she got right to work, and BLAMMO! Behold the new logos:
These logos not only look sharp, but they will also provide a huge boost to my upcoming marketing campaign for They're Our Kids!
To top it all off, Joni DONATED the logos to They're Our Kids! Thank you, Joni!! You are an awesome Villager!
Have you ever watched "The Amazing Race" on TV and thought to yourself, "That would be fun to do!"? On June 7, you and your family have the opportunity to participate in CityQuest -- an event in Downtown Indianapolis that is very similar in concept to the popular television show, but with a few major twists.
CityQuest is a 5K urban adventure fun run dreamed up by Hendricks County residents (and Villagers!) Steve and Joni Kisner.
This isn't the Kisners' first rodeo when it comes to planning race events. They are also behind Danville's popular Mud Soap Run (which will be held July 26).
The premise of CityQuest is similar to that of "The Amazing Race" in that contestants travel from one destination to another and complete challenging tasks at each checkpoint.
CityQuest is different, however, because the entire race takes place within Downtown Indianapolis, stretching from White River State Park to Monument Circle and the surrounding areas. It's also different in that it's family-friendly and it gives back to the community.
While contestants can choose to complete the course as quickly as possible, families are strongly encouraged to navigate CityQuest at their own pace, making lasting memories together as they complete fun and silly challenges.
I had the opportunity to sit down with cofounder Joni Kisner recently and talk to her about CityQuest.
She said that she and her husband, Steve, have participated in urban fun runs in other cities, but the events weren't family-friendly, leaving the kids bored or excluded altogether.
The events were also planned by organizations outside of and unfamiliar with the host city, often resulting in confusing clues that left contestants lost.
Having grown up in Indianapolis, the Kisners decided to take the urban fun run concept that they enjoyed and improve upon it.
They're sending contestants to the coolest parts of their home city, they're making navigation to checkpoints simple and easy, and they're specifically designing quests to include the entire family.
Best of all, they're allowing registrants to choose from a list of beneficiaries -- including Rupert's Kids, The Wounded Warrior Project, Maeci & Gracie Give Back Foundation, and Share Our Strength -- to which CityQuest will donate 20 percent of their registration fee.
During CityQuest, getting to the checkpoints isn't the challenge. It's getting out of the checkpoints that will require some family bonding ... and a whole lot of laughter.
"Families bond when they have fun and laugh together," said Joni, and the primary goal of CityQuest is to provide lasting memories and strengthen family bonds.
Contestants are encouraged to wear costumes -- there will be a costume contest, in fact -- as they navigate the 12-15 quests throughout the course.
Racers will begin with a passport that sends them to their first checkpoint, but teams enter the course at a variety of locations and travel in a variety of directions so that racers don't get bogged down by human traffic at any particular station.
As contestants complete each quest, their passport leads them around Downtown Indy to the finish line. Joni said that she anticipates the event taking leisurely contestants about two or three hours to complete.
It's part scavenger hunt, part photo opportunity (bring the camera!), part adventure, part exploration, and a heaping helping of goofy family fun.
As the "disclaimer" on the CityQuest website warns, "CityQuest is only for those who want to have fun. In order to preserve the happiness of the event, Party Poopers, Stick-in-the-muds, Fuddy Duddies or Nay Sayers should stay home. Thank you."
Fuddy Duddies and the like: consider yourself warned!
CityQuest is a rain-or-shine event, so make sure to wear comfortable walking shoes, pack plenty of drinking water and dress for the weather.
While I had Joni's attention, I tried to convince her to give me some inside scoop as to what some of the quests will be in CityQuest. She was coy, though, not wanting to spoil the fun surprises that await contestants.
Since Wheel Fun Rentals and Rocket Fizz are already listed on the website as sponsors, I guessed that challenges involving pedal boats, gondolas, bicycles or Surreys will be involved, along with quests that have something to do with soda pop or candy.
Since it's family-friendly, I'm guessing that there won't be any quests involving wrestling mountain lions, juggling chainsaws or rappelling down the Chase Tower.
Joni confirmed the family-friendliness, but otherwise would only smile, leaving me and my family to discover the quests for ourselves on June 7.
(All photos courtesy of CityQuest's Facebook page.)
I got tired of staring at the boring ol' "Blog" title at the top of this blog. The blog needed a name and some personality -- something that embraces what They're Our Kids is all about.
Welcome, then, to The Village.
To paraphrase an African proverb, it takes a village to raise OUR KIDS. It has long been a belief of mine that no one can effectively raise a child on their own. It takes family, friends, neighbors, teachers, coaches and other role models.
It takes an entire community.
It takes an entire community because we all have different talents, interests, areas of expertise and life experiences to share. OUR KIDS' lives are exponentially enriched by all of the villagers around them because OUR KIDS observe and learn from everyone with whom they have contact.
OUR KIDS are exposed to new things and exciting adventures when an entire village takes an interest in their development. They're kept safe and out of trouble when an entire village keeps an eye on them. And ultimately, the village benefits when OUR KIDS grow up and become contributing villagers themselves.
This is the premise around which They're Our Kids is built. We're all members of a community, and each child in that community is one of OUR KIDS.
I envision They're Our Kids as an online village where we can all come together in one spot and learn about our schools, local events and other community resources that assist us in raising OUR KIDS. The more villagers we have seeking and sharing resources and experiences, the better.
Now that we have our Village, we need Villagers.
Note the capital 'V' in Villagers. We're not talking about run-of-the-mill villagers now. We're talking about the special, dedicated Villagers who cherish OUR KIDS.
Our Villagers buy into the philosophy that it takes a special, dedicated Village to raise OUR KIDS, and that the more Villagers we have seeking and sharing resources and experiences, the better for all of us.
Our Villagers are those who subscribe to our blog (note the new feature in the right-hand column of this blog and on our home page), who spread the word about They're Our Kids and this blog to their friends and family, who "like" and share and actively participate on our Facebook page, who follow us on Twitter.
Our Villagers offer suggestions for additions to the They're Our Kids website, share kid-related resources that they find helpful so that those resources can be added to the site, and share family-friendly events in the area that they'd like other Villagers to know about.
Got some writing skills (don't worry...you don't have to be perfect -- or anywhere close to it) and a story to share with other Villagers about your experiences as a parent or something fun that you did with your kids? Contact me about submitting a guest blog entry! I'd love to read about your experiences, and I'm sure other Villagers would, too.
(Unfortunately, I cannot offer monetary compensation for guest bloggers. I don't get paid to do this, either.)
I've already had some Villagers alert me to Easter Egg hunts in Hendricks County that I didn't know about, special needs resources that they value for their own special needs kids, youth sports leagues that I didn't know existed (did you know that there's a youth LACROSSE league in Brownsburg?!), and suggestions for pages on local service clubs and local media and publications.
I LOVE the extra eyes and ears, and I want all the Villagers I can get! Together, we can cover Hendricks County like a blanket and make our Village an invaluable resource for parents in the area, as well as for parents who want to learn more about our area.
And OUR KIDS are going to be the ones who benefit.
Will you please become a Villager?
Brownsburg 8 theater is showing free family movies every Saturday and Sunday morning through April! Check out their lineup below!
Brownsburg 8 is located at 1555 N. Green Street.
(A big shout-out to Indy With Kids and Macaroni Kid - Hendricks for tipping me off to this event!)
A favorite spring activity in Hendricks County is to take the kids to an Easter Egg hunt. Wondering where the nearest hunt is to you?
Here are the Easter Egg hunts that we're aware of for 2014 (and please contact us if you know of one that isn't on this list!)
Saturday, April 12, 2014
Danville Public Library (Danville) - Their stacks are always filled with books....now they're filled with Easter eggs too! Children ages 2-9 are invited to an Easter egg hunt at the Library! Children ages 2-5 will hunt for eggs in the stacks at 10:00am and children ages 6-9 will hunt for eggs at 10:30 am. Please register by clicking here.
Thursday, April 17, 2014
Countryside Meadows (Avon) - Join Countryside Meadows in the 500 lounge from 5-7pm for their annual Easter egg hunt. The Easter Bunny will be there, and there will be face painting for the kids. Light refreshments will also be served. Hunt hosted by Countryside Meadows Senior Community. (Villager submitted)
Saturday, April 19, 2014
Arbuckle Park (Brownsburg) - Over 10,000 eggs filled with candy and prizes. Free photos with the Easter Bunny begin at 9:30am. Easter Egg hunt begins at 11am. Hunt sponsored by Brownsburg Parks & Recreation.
Happy Easter Eggstravaganza at Indoor Water Park (Plainfield) - 10am to noon. Event hosted by Plainfield Parks & Recreation.
Hummel Park (Plainfield) - The 2014 Hummel Park Easter Egg Hunt Presented by Carpenter Realty® will be from 10-11am at Hummel Park, 1500 South Center Street, Plainfield. The Easter Bunny will arrive by fire truck at approximately 9:45am. Age categories will be 2 and under, 3-4, 5-6, 7-8, and 9-10. For more information, click here or call (317) 839-9121.
Our Shepherd Lutheran Church (Avon) - The annual Easter Egg hunt will be April 19th at 10am. Also the Easter Breakfast will be following the 7am service on April 20th. For the church's website, click here. (Villager submitted)
Washington Township Park (Avon) - Hunt will be held at 10am. Hunt sponsored by the Avon Optimist Club and Washington Township Park.
Eagle Church (Avon) - Eagle Church of Avon will be hosting an Easter Egg hunt from 11am to noon. (Villager submitted)
Egg-stravaganza at McCloud Nature Park (North Salem) - Hop-in for a non-traditional egg hunt from 11am to 4pm! Search for clues inside hidden camouflaged eggs on a nature scavenger hunt and trade in your completed worksheet for a prize. Crafts and games will also be available during the event. Event sponsored by Hendricks County Parks & Recreation.
Ellis Park (Danville) - Over 6,000 eggs filled with candy and prizes. Free photos with the Easter Bunny begin at 1:30pm. Easter Egg hunt begins at 2pm. Separate area will be set up for children with special needs. Rubber Ducky Race immediately following the Easter Egg hunt. Hunt sponsored by the Kiwanis Club of Danville and Danville Parks & Recreation.
Coatesville United Methodist Church (Coatesville) - Easter Egg hunt held at 4863 Milton Street in Coatesville at 2pm. Hunt sponsored by Coatesville Downtown Revitalization Project.
Sunday, April 20, 2014
Easter Eggsplosion (Danville) - Massive 4-acre easter egg hunt (over 3,000 eggs) plus lunch, music, games, family portraits and a drawing for a New Wii U and Nintendo DS3 at Living Faith Church of Danville, 934 Sycamore Lane in Danville. Participating age groups: PreK, K-2nd, and 3rd-5th. They would love for you to join them on April 20th for a comfortable and contemporary Easter worship service at 11am. Then at 11:30am there will be free food, music, family portraits and games followed by the Eggsplosion Egg hunt and capped off with an exciting drawing for great prizes. Come get to know Danville's newest church! Hosted by Living Faith Church of Danville. (Villager submitted)
Looking for Easter Egg hunts in Indianapolis and Central Indiana? Check out the list compiled by Indy With Kids!
Check this post frequently, as it will be updated as more information becomes available.
Since 1992, Danville’s Mayberry Cafe has served up down-home cooking and plenty of Andy Griffith Show nostalgia to thousands of people who come to Hendricks County every year from around the region, country and even the world.
Restaurant owners Brad and Christine Born, with the help of the Downtown Danville Partnership, plan to take that success and notoriety to a new level this spring with a first-ever, two-day festival called Mayberry in the Midwest, May 17-18. The Downtown Danville celebration will pay homage to the 1960s show, its characters and its wholesome, small-town persona.
“For years, people would ask us why we didn’t have a Mayberry-themed festival here in town,” said Christine Born. “We have been thinking about this for a while because the Mayberry theme really meshes well with Danville’s hometown values. Danville knows how to put on a festival, so we feel the time is right for this to be successful and sustainable.”
The two-day festival will primarily surround the Hendricks County Courthouse Square with numerous themed activities both days including appearances by two original cast members, Maggie Peterson, who played Charlene Darling on the show, and Rodney Dillard, who portrayed one of the Darling boys.
A number of tribute artists will join the celebration reprising many of the show’s most popular characters including Barney Fife, Floyd the Barber, Otis, Goober, Gomer, Ernest T. Bass and others. Those artists will sign autographs, mingle with the crowd and perform on stage on the west side of the Courthouse Square.
Fun contests, including a whistling contest, Miss Mayberry, Opie look-a-like, trivia and more, will add to the festivities. More details about all the contests and how to register can be found at www.MayberryInTheMidwest.com. Other activities include a Mayberry Parade, Opie’s World for kids, a concert at Ellis Park featuring Dillard and his band, a church service on Sunday morning by Dillard who is now a minister, Squad Car Nationals in the park and much more.
Organizers even have a Mayberry Downhill Derby planned near Ellis Park that includes a “Just for Fun” category that is open to anyone and any car and a competitive division for the more serious Soap Box Derby racers. Online registration will begin for both categories by March 1. Participants must be at least 8 years old to participate as each category will be divided into two age groups: 8-16 and 16 and up.
Similar festivals in North and South Carolina, one of which the Borns visited last year, provided inspiration for some of the activities. But local organizers also came up with fresh ideas for Mayberry in the Midwest, Born said.
Organizers expect thousands of visitors both days. They will host a Meet and Greet event with limited tickets available the Friday night before the festival at Twin Bridges Golf Course. The Dugan Family has stepped up as a title sponsor for Mayberry in the Midwest, but the town is seeking additional sponsors and volunteers, said Laura Parker, Danville Assistant Town Manager and Downtown Danville Partnership board member.
“We have been building our reputation as a town that offers great festivals and events, so Mayberry in the Midwest is another opportunity for Danville to shine,” Parker said. “Because of Mayberry’s appeal and Danville’s reputation, this festival is bound to be the biggest by far. We can’t wait to roll out the red carpet for Mayberry fans from across the country.”
For more information, go online to www.MayberryInTheMidwest.com or visit its Facebook page.
Press release and photos provided by Visit Hendricks County.
The Hendricks County Tourism Commission d/b/a Visit Hendricks County attracts visitors to the county by promoting and developing tourism, which stimulates economic growth and enhances quality of life. Find us on Facebook at Facebook.com/VisitHendricksCounty. You can also follow us on Twitter @HendricksCounty or get updates by following or subscribing to our tourism blog at TourHendricksCounty.com/blog. For more information, visit our website at TourHendricksCounty.com or call (317) 718-8750.
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