Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Crew Review of the "Super Bowl Experience 2012 in Indy"

The NFL has their Super Bowl website with a wealth of info about parking, directions, events, tickets......you name it. 
You can get more info on the logistics at the Indianapolis Super Bowl Site HERE!

This Crew Review comes at you from one family to another!  What will you need to know with a family in tow?  We've tried to cover it all and hopefully many of your questions will be answered!

Parking-We purchased our parking space online.  We went in two separate trips and vehicles, so one of us had a garage on Illinois Street and the other had a spot at the old Airport.  Both were reserved and hassle free and had school bus shuttles to get us closer to the events.  I did see a sign that read, "Super Bowl Parking $25".  If you don't plan ahead, you're likely to pay for it!

We also read that you can get a shuttle bus down from Carmel and Fishers.  Might be a nice option if you're not into crowds and parking and closed streets!  Get more info on Park and Ride in downtown Indy Here and Hamilton County Shuttle Busses Here!  (We thank Around Carmel for the HC Shuttle info!)

More reserved parking options at: www.parkwhiz.com and www.parkhub.com

Strollers-We had three in our trunk (that's how we roll!), but chose to carry the littles into the buildings instead.  We figured they would be running about anyways.  Pros: nice not to have to mess with a stroller in all the crowds.  Cons: could have used it to hold kids (really?!), purses, coats, and gear.  Your call!

Tickets and Entry-The Village (free) is right outside of the NFL Experience. 
When you do arrive, have your tickets ready to be scanned as you enter.  They will NOT let you in before your assigned entry time.  Once you're in, you're in.  Stay as long as you want.  We prepurchased our Experience tickets online, but we're unclear if you can buy them at the door. It's best to call or visit the Super Bowl site Here for that!  Once you do get an assigned day and time, it's on or after that time that you can enter.

Wristbands-PLEASE NOTE: In order to participate in any event, rather than just walk around and observe, people of all ages must have a wristband on.  This is NOT associated with your ticket.  It's a wristband associated with the liability waiver that you will sign.  Woops!!  The hubs waited in a 30-minute line to get up to the front and discover that without a wristband, you don't play.  Wait in line for the wristbands (no fees!), sign the waivers, and then play away!  PS: There's a shorter line for wristbands up the escalators on the second level (actually near the coat check!).

Are There Extra Costs?-Once you're in, you're in!  Of course the food and souvenirs cost extra, but all of the indoor events are included in your price.  The Village is free and the Zip Line is an extra fee with a required pre-purchased ticket. 

Age Appropriate-This was a VERY family friendly event!  Kids of all ages were in attendance and engaged.  There are areas for adults and older kids to play and also a mini area for smaller kids.  Our kids are 8, 6, 3, and 2 and loved every minute of it.  If you child enjoys a park, playground, the zoo, or museum, then this is a good stop for you!

Events-Live bands, active play, obstacle courses, art station, face painting, food, shopping, dining, simulation booths, demos, and more!

Coat Check-There is a coat check and a fee associated with that.  However, the line for pick-up is quite long.  The walk in is lengthy, so be prepared for the cold outdoors and then what to do inside when you get ready to play!

Lines-There are lines everywhere!  It really depends on the time of your entry.  My hubs was there at 11AM and said the lines were ok.  We arrived at 1:30PM and he said by that time the lines had doubled.  Give yourself plenty of time for travel down, parking, loading shuttle buses, entry, exhibits, etc.  Remember, this is a very popular event and the crowds will be present, but wait it out and enjoy the experience......it won't be back anytime soon!

Shopping and Souvenirs-Special event, inflated prices, bring your bucks....if that's your style!  Our kids wanted to shop with the $3 in their pocket.  This is the Super Bowl, buddy, nothing costs $3!!

Food Sales and Outside Food-Like the goods, the food is pricey, but people were buying!  There's quite a nice variety and you can even walk around with on-site purchased alcohol.  For example, a bottle of Gatorade was $5.  A pretzel was $4.50 and the cheese to go with that was $1.50.  Happy kids though!  Some of us ate before we came or brought our own snacks and drinks.  There are also many spots with tables and chairs to sit and enjoy your treats!

The Village-We did not spend any time there, but it was nice to know it was easily accessible to the NFL Experience!  You walk directly under the Zip Line on your entry into the Experience, so that's fun to watch for those not willing to take the plunge!  Another family commented below on their experience with the Village.  Thank you for that!!

Overall-We were VERY impressed with the ease of access, the organization, the friendliness of the volunteers, and the opportunity for our family.  It felt safe and the excitement of being in Indy during this memorable event was a buzz!  Congrats, Indy, you look marvelous!

Love the feel of being downtown!  Lots to see and appreciate! 
Don't go in in a hurry though.  Bring your patience with you...this is the Super Bowl, folks!

This was outside at the Village.  There's no cost to walk the Village, but the Zip line is an extra fee.  It went right over our heads!  Will you dare?

The NFL Experience is great for getting your game on or just watching the scene! 
Lots to see and do!

One of the many interactive areas!  Dress comfortably like you're going to the park...you'll be walking (and running!) tons.....for those that wish to play!

Love the stations for the little ones where you simply just walk up and try some gear on!
This guy's 2.....he thinks he's 15 here!

She loved it, too!  Great for girls and boys!

The volunteers were wonderful and as you can see, the events are geared for all ages!
This is my 2-year-old making the pass!

Her one request....to get her face spray painted!  It was worth the long wait to see her smile!
There are many face paint options for the kiddos to choose from and it washes off easily with soap and water!

Slow it down with a football bean bag and a story read to the kids by a professional football player!

Live Music and dining tables nearby to enjoy a treat and the show!

Sign your star up and get them on the field! 
Flag football in action.  Whatcha' got?  Bring your A game!

What a treat to enjoy this NFL Experience!  It was worth the cost, the long lines, and the drive down to see my kids smiles, make memories, and be a part of the action.  Let us know if you go and enjoy making a memory with your Crew when you do!

Calendar of Events for February 2012

*Events are organized by Dated, Service Projects, and Ongoing/Area Venue categories....so make sure to scroll all the way down!!

*Want to add an event in your area to our list? You can!
Email Mindy Here!

-February Dated Events-

Hearthside Suppers
Conner Prairie
Select evenings thru March 25
Recommended for ages 10 and older
(We went in 2010 and LOVED it!!)

Super Bowl Science
Conner Prairie
Wednesday, February 1
Find out why a spiral throw is so important, how speed and weight affect how hard players get hit and how they keep their balance and direction while swerving through the air….then test your own skills, too!

Children’s Museum
FREE for First Thursday 2/2 from 4-8PM
FREE for President’s Day 2/20

Pepsi Super Bowl Fan Jam
Thursday, February 2
Concert featuring star-studded performances by well-known artists
Pepsi Coliseum

Broad Ripple Super Fest
Friday, February 3-Sunday, February 5 Caricatures, ice sculptures, face painting, indoor/outdoor venues, games, Radio Disney
Get More Info Here!

Lowes Build and Grow Clinic
Saturday, February 11
Valentine card creator

Valetine’s Day Show at Peewinkle’s Puppet Studio
February 11 and 12
Various show times; purchase your tickets online at link below!
Hosted by Sweetheart the Clown
Tickets: $10/person; includes show, a special treat, and juice box!

2012 Ford 58th Annual Indianapolis Boat, Sport & Travel Show
February 17-20
Tickets: Adults-$13, Children 6-12 $8, 5 and under Free!

Free Community Day at Conner Prairie
President’s Day, Monday, February 20
Get More Info Here!

Free Admission at the Children’s Museum

President’s Day, Monday, February 20



Magic School Bus Live! The Climate Challenge

Wednesday, February 22


Clowes Memorial Hall, Butler University

Adults: $13, Children: $8
Get More Info Here!

Book Benefit and Bazaar, a Shopping Extravaganza
Hosted by the MOMS Club® of Fishers-NE
Friday, February 24
Shop 35+ vendors from the area in support of benefiting the Hamilton County East Public Library

Dora the Explorer Live, “Dora’s Pirate Adventure”
February 24-March 31
Fridays at 10A; Saturdays at 10A and 1P
Beef and Boards
Tickets: $14

Lowes Build and Grow Clinic
Saturday, February 25
Rumblin’ race car

Kids Helping Kids Garage Sale
Saturday, February 25
Noblesville Parks and Rec
Clean out the toys and closets, this sale is for kids, by kids!  Profit is kept by the kids!  Admission and table rental go towards programs in Noblesville Parks and Rec
Vendors: $12/table; Non-residents $17/table
Admittance: $1/person

Summer Camp Fair 2012

Saturday, February 25


The Fashion Mall at Keystone

Explore 75+ overnight camps, day camps and summer programs.  We will provide lots of fun entertainment from Radio Disney, face painters, our prize wheel, and much more! Every child who attends will also receive a free ID from Kids BMV.

Polar Bear Run
Saturday, February 25
30th Annual 3-mile and 5-mile runs…great for friends and family!
Summer Camp Fair 2012, by Indy's Child
Saturday, February 25
The Fashion Mall at Keystone
Explore 75+ overnight camps, day camps and summer programs.  We will provide lots of fun entertainment from Radio Disney, face painters, our prize wheel, and much more! Every child who attends will also receive a free ID from Kids BMV.

The Language of Music
Sunday, February 26
SymFUNy Sundays where families take part in preconcert activities
Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra

Ruditoonz Winter Kids Koncert
Monday, February 27
Classical hits and sing-along favorites for kids ages 2-5
Monon Community Center, Carmel

Freedom Train
Tuesday, February 28
The story of Harriet Tubman, a woman born a slave and helping over 300 other slaves to freedom through the Underground Railroad
Tickets: $13 adults, $8 children
Clowes Memorial Hall

Clifford the Big Red Dog Live
Wednesday, February 29
10A-Noon; Noon-2P
Ages PreK-2nd Grade
Tickets: $8
Clowes Memorial Hall

Monster Jam Truck Show
Saturday, March 3
Lucas Oil Stadium

-Service Projects and Charity Events-

Bottles for Babies
An operation of Life Centers
Fill baby bottles with loose change to raise money for mothers who have chosen life for their babies
Great fundraiser for any age, in your home, garage sales, parties, you name it!

Food Rescue
Food Rescue schedules and inspires more than 2,000 "food rescues" each month, turning millions of dollars in rescued food into hundreds of thousands of meals for children and families in need through a network of volunteers working to turn discarded food into changed lives.
Great service to do as a family!

Kids Against Hunger
(See our Crew Review!)
3rd Saturday of the Month
Food Packing

Shepherd Community Center
TONS of ways to get involved and give back: soup kitchen, youth sports, tutoring, medical clinic, pancake breakfasts.  Find your fit!

Wheeler Mission Thrift Store
By selling new and gently used clothing and household items to the community, the Thrift Store helps fund vital ministry programs and also offers training and work opportunities for program participants. Volunteers are needed throughout the week to sort, organize, and clean donations at the Thrift Store and Donation Center.

-Ongoing Activities-

Ben and Ari’s
(Read our Crew Review!)
Arcades, Bowling, Miniature Golf, Parties, Pizza
Fishers, 141st and SR 37

Blue Ribbon Carriage Rides
(Read our Crew Review!)
Tour the downtown streets of Indy by horse drawn carriage!
Open year round, 7 days per week
Rates start at $50 for 1-4 passengers for a 25-minute ride; Holds up to 6 for $5 more/person
Load at your choice of hotel or restaurant or starting point
They tell us little ones sitting on laps don't get charged as passengers, so you can squeeze more in!

*Cooper's Stardust Bowl, Noblesville
Smoke-Free Days: Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays (select hours)
Play 9 holes of Putt Putt Golf for $5/person and get 8 arcade tokens free!

*Pin Heads, Fishers
Arcade, Bowling, Parties
Thunder Bowl: $3/person per game; $4 Fri-Sun

Chicken Limo and The Hippo Party Bus
Rent the privately-driven Chicken Limo for your next fun occasion!
Seats 8; $85/hour
Rent the privately-driven Hippo Party Bus for an even bigger party!
Seats 18; $150/hour
Loaded iPod on each rental

Children’s Art Gallery
Recorded in the Guiness Book of World Records as the Smallest Children’s Gallery!
Downtown Carmel

Civil War Museum
Free; Observation Deck $1
10A-6P Wed-Sun

Climb Time Indy
Rock Wall Climbing
Wednesday Nights Kids’ Night after 5PM
$12/session; Free harness rental to all others

Conner Prairie Indoors Areas
Open Thursday-Sunday; Outdoor areas closed thru March.

Cool Creek Park Nature Center
(See our Crew Review!)
Nature Center and Ongoing Events
Bird Hikes and Activities, Wildflower Hikes, Special Programs
Get More Info Here!

Earth Discovery Center
Eagle Creek Park
(See our Crew Review!)
$5 Park admission/car; Discovery Center Free
9A-5P Mon-Sat; 1P-5P Sun

Farmers Markets
- Carmel Winter Farmers Market
Saturdays; 9A-Noon
Carmel, City Center Building

-Trader’s Point Creamery
Saturdays; 9A-Noon

Gymnastics Unlimited
Open Gyms, Teen Times, Classes, Adult Zumba
Brookschool Rd. Exit off of 465 East

Hamilton County Sports Complex
(See our Crew Review!)
Saturdays, "Community Appreciation Day"
Sundays, "Family Fun Day"
Open gym for all sports, bounce houses, tumbling, bungee trampoline, zip line
$25/Family; $10/individuals
Get More Info Here!

Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum
(See our Crew Review!)
Open 9A-5P
Adults $5; ages 6-15 $3; Under 6 Free
Take a Track Lap (for additional costs) while you're there!

Indiana Transportation Museum
Train Rides and Events All Year Long
Dinner Trains; Caboose Rides; Holiday Trains….See the schedule link!

Indiana State Police Museum
Police cars, artifacts, displays of all things law enforcement
Open 9A-3P, Monday thru Friday
Located near 21st and Post Road in Indianapolis

Indiana War Memorials
(See our Crew Review!)
Museums honoring all Indiana war veterans
Downtown Indy

John Deere Tractor Store at Reynolds Farm Equipment
Farm Figurine Toys and Tractors to (pretend) drive!
Fishers, 126th and SR 37

LEGO Store
Castleton Square; Center Court in front of Macy’s

Ongoing calendar of events
Story Time; Early Literacy Programs; Teen Movie Night; Art Classes and more!

Lucas Oil Stadium Tours
A behind the scenes, 1-hour tour visiting the playing field, NFL locker room, plaza, press box, and more
Every Tuesday/Wednesday
11A, 1P, 3P
Adults $7; Ages 4-12 $5; Ages 3 and under free

Monkey Joes
(See our Crew Review!)
Bounce Houses and Birthday Parties
Castleton/North Indy

Museum of Miniature Houses
(See our Crew Review!)
Open Wed-Sunday
$4 adults; $2 children under 10

My Gym
Open Play for ages 1-5
Tuesdays 11:45-12:45
$5 per player for 1 hour of play
Ball pits, climbing, balance beams, trampolines, gym equipment, and the famous Mr. Kendal!  Plus, it’s a clean, smaller gym so it’s just right for younger children! My Gym also does great birthday parties and structured classes as well!
E. 96th Street in Fishers

Peewinkle’s Puppet Studio
(See our Crew Review!)
Year-round puppet shows with holiday themes
Downtown Indy

Prairie Tykes at Conner Prairie
Adult/child class to engage using crafts, dance, and song
Ages 2–5
$11/member youth; $12/non-member youth
9:30–11am and 12:30-2pm on select Fridays
Classes all year long.....Schedule/Themes on link below
Get More Info Here!

Recreation Unlimited
(See our Crew Review!)
Indoor Playset Demo Showroom open for play!
$6 per child

Rhythm! Discovery Center
(See our Crew Review!)
Interactive exhibits and participatory opportunities using rhythm and its role in our society
Open: Mon-Sat, 10-5; Sun, 12-5
Admission: Adults: $8, Seniors: $7, Youth: $5, Free under age 5
Downtown Indy at Illinois and Washington Streets

-Carmel Ice Skadium
Open Year Round
Fees: $5-6.50; Skate Rental $3

-Indiana/World Ice Skating Academy
Open Year Round
Fees: Children $3-$4, Adults $4-5; Skate Rental $3
Pan Am Plaza, Downtown Indy

-Pepsi Coliseum Public Ice Skating
Great for birthdays, youth events
$5 entry ages 13+; $4 entry under age 13
Skate rental extra
Indiana State Fairgrounds

-The Forum at Fishers, Ice Skating
Open Year Round
$6 entry; $4 skate rental; Ages 3 and under only pay skate rental

-Skateland Family Skate Events, Rollerskating
1st Wed of each month: Tiny Tot Skates
Character Skates; Saturdays; 11A-1:30P
West side of Indy

Sky Zone Indoor Trampoline Park
(See our Crew Review!)
Individual Trampolines, runways, walls, dodgeball courts, basketball hoops, foam pits, and fitness classes
Fishers, 121st and Cumberland Road

Snapperz Family Fun & Sports
(See our Crew Review!)
30,000 sq ft of fun featuring bowling, themed inflatables, rock wall, 4-story kid center, laser tag, games, bumper cars, trampoline, and food
Great for parties and group outings
Free Admission on Mondays after 5PM!
Check link for hours, general admission and single activity pricing

Stony Creek Farm
(See our Crew Review!)
Noblesville SR 38
Very family-friendly seasonal events
Get More Info Here!

Sweet Treat Boutique
(See our Crew Review!)
Ice cream, cotton candy, loads of treats, gifts
Great for birthday parties
Oaklandon/Geist area

Trader’s Point Creamery
(See our Crew Review!)
Take a Creamery Self Guided or Guided Tour!
Observe cow milking, see pigs and chickens, enjoy a treat at the Dairy Bar or a great meal at the Lodge Restaurant!

"The Park" at Trader's Point Christian Church
Got kids with a lot of energy? How about a two-story indoor playground filled with mazes, slides, and a tree house?
Hours: Monday-Friday 8A-8P;  Saturdays 8A-6P; Sundays 12:30P-8P
Get More Info Here! (Scroll down the page on this link for the details)