First Friday Kokomo: A Family Experience

First Friday provides a great opportunity to bring your family to Downtown Kokomo.  While we have attended before, I thought I would share our family’s experience during last month’s First Friday in photos.

Our adventure started at Artworks Gallery.  We looked at the beautiful artwork on display and enjoyed watching the local artist demonstrations.  There is so much to see on both floors!

Artworks Gallery

 

Then, we headed to Planet Mind and Kokomo Toys & Collectibles (two of my son’s favorite downtown stores!)  He made an edible craft while at Planet Mind.  We took our time exploring both shops (while he made mental notes of the items he wants to add on his Christmas list already!)

Planet Mind

When we left Planet Mind, we ran into a couple of interesting characters on the sidewalk – pirates!  Well, not real pirates as my son thought.  They were promoting an upcoming event in Kokomo and drew quite a bit of attention!

Re-enactors

 

Some of the Kokomo Downtown Farmers’ Market vendors were there.  We shopped and enjoyed samples.  And learned more about the weekly market (and brand new Little Sprouts program for kids.)  It felt like a festival!

Farmers' Market vendors


 Farmers' Market booth

As we walked around, we stopped to listen to great, live music performed on Walnut Street.  Musicians from the Sound of Music’s Rockstar Academy were playing.


Live Music

 

Sound of Music was celebrating its 30 year anniversary.  So, we helped them celebrate by joining the party!

Sound of Music

 

Next, my son got his face painted (with a mischievous moustache!) and got a balloon animal hat made.  Of course, he requested an elephant – his favorite animal!

Balloon Animals
There was so much to see and do!  The restaurants were busy, and the flowers were in full bloom.  Downtown was the perfect setting to enjoy a Friday evening.

First Friday crowd
After several more stops and looking at the “Chalk the Block” sidewalk artwork, it was finally time to go home.  And make plans to attend the next First Friday!

Balloons & Fun

 

First Friday is held year-round on the first Friday of every month from 5:30-9:00 p.m.  While the activities change each month, you can bet you will find artists, music, and tons of fun in Downtown Kokomo!  Visit www.firstfridaykokomo.com to learn more.  The next First Friday “A Tribute to Innovation” will be held on July 4th, where you can get your pic in the Pioneer! Hope to see you there!

Plan a Summer Getaway to Kokomo!

Kokomo Beach Family Aquatic Center

Kokomo Beach Family Aquatic Center

 

Kokomo is a short drive for a fun (and very affordable) family-friendly weekend getaway.

Spend the day enjoying high-energy water slides, riding on the lazy river, playing in the splash pad, and swimming at Kokomo Beach Family Aquatic Center.  Admission is only $5 for adults and $4 for youth (ages 2-11.)

For a local experience, make sure you visit one of Kokomo’s local restaurants. Several are located Downtown in unique, historic buildings!  These include The DistrictFoxes TrailCook McDoogal’s Irish PubDrakes Bar & GrillPepperwhistle Bakery & CafeMain Street Cafe, and Jamie’s Soda Fountain.

Learn more about Kokomo’s rich history at the Elwood Haynes Museum, Seiberling Mansion, Kokomo Opalescent Glass Factory, or Kokomo Auto Museum.  Or explore the Historic Downtown Architecture Walking Tour!

Elwood Haynes Museum

Elwood Haynes Museum

Check out fun-filled festivals and the Summer Concert Series at the Kokomo Arts Pavilion in Downtown’s Foster Park.  Enjoy FREE admission to all concerts and festivals!  Many genres are represented with a great line-up of talented musicians and well-known bands, including rock, country, and blues.  For a list of all concerts this summer, go to www.KokomoSummerSeries.com. Upcoming festivals include:

Haynes-Apperson Festival – July 3-5, 2014
Parade, car show & cruise-ins, food, fireworks, rides, and concerts featuring Molly Hatchet, Here Come the Mummies, and 38 Special.  To see a full schedule of events, visit their website at www.haynesappersonfestival.org.

WeberFest – August 2, 2014
Food, medieval festival, and afternoon KidsFest.  Evening concerts will feature Cracker along with several opening bands.

Taste of Kokomo – August 16, 2014
Enjoy the tastes of local Kokomo cuisine from over 30 restaurants, beer garden, food competitions, kid’s activities, and concerts featuring American Idol winner David Cook.

While visiting Downtown, take time to explore local shops and trails.  The Wildcat Creek Walk of Excellence and Industrial Heritage Trail are perfect for walking, running, and biking.  Don’t miss the colorful murals created by local artisans located along the trails and throughout Downtown!

Wildcat Creek Walk of Excellence

Wildcat Creek Walk of Excellence

Love comedy?  Laugh House Kokomo just opened this month bringing premium, live comedy to Downtown Kokomo.  Upcoming summer shows include Donnie Baker, Steve-O, and Jamie Kennedy. Visit their website for ticket information.

To plan your summer getaway, call the Greater Kokomo Visitors Bureau at 800-837-0971, go to www.VisitKokomo.org or download the free Visit Kokomo mobile app!

May Brings an Abundance of Great, Family Events in Kokomo!

The Greatest Spectacle in Tasting

The Greatest Spectacle in Tasting

May is brimming with great, family-friendly events all month long!  From concerts and car shows to racing,  farm markets and comedy, there is something going on for all interests and ages.  Here are a few highlights that you won’t want to miss:

  • First Friday “Art Explosion” and Kokomo Family YMCA Beyond the Bricks Kick-Off Celebration in Downtown Kokomo - May 2, 2014
  • IU Kokomo Crescendos Spring Musical “The Producers” – May 2-4, 2014
  • 2014 Designers’ Showhome at 2517 Brookshire Drive, Kokomo – May 4-25, 2014
  • Kelly Miller Circus (2 performances) – May 9, 2014
  • Greatest Spectacle in Tasting – May 17, 2014
  • Kokomo Klassic at Kokomo Speedway – May 25, 2014
  • Red White and Blue Memorial Day Cruise In – May 26, 2014
  • Kokomo Downtown Farmers’ Market – every Saturday 9am-1pm in Downtown Kokomo

To see ALL events going on during the month of May, go to www.VisitKokomo.org/events or download the FREE Kokomo mobile app.

Download the Visit Kokomo Mobile App – for local information at your fingertips!

The Visit Kokomo mobile app now has a NEW design!  Check out our newly updated and redesigned app that has a fresh, new look and is more user-friendly than ever.  Find information on local attractions, local restaurants, tours, upcoming events, walking & biking trails, and much more.  The Visit Kokomo app is FREE and available on both Apple & Android devices.

Kokomo mobile app screenshot - Things to Do

 

The Kokomo Downtown Farmers’ Market Opens Soon!

kokomo farmers market photo

Spring has finally arrived!  Take time to check out the Kokomo Downtown Farmers’ Market, opening for the season on Saturday, April 19, 2014.  Open weekly on Saturdays from 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. (through October 18), the market will offer fresh produce, eggs, handmade gifts, flowers, fresh breads, home-baked goods, and much more.  You can even meet local artists and musicians and watch fun demonstrations.

Did you know the market is a producers’ market?  This means the vendors sell only products they have grown or made themselves, which makes it a truly LOCAL  experience!

NEW this year is the Little Sprouts’ Market club!  Program sign-up starts the first day of the season, and “little sprouts” will receive a market passport and a reusable market bag and can begin the fun weekly activities right away.  The Little Sprouts’ Market club is free, and children ages 5-12 are invited to participate.  Visit the market for more details!

Open rain or shine, the Market is located in Downtown at the corner of Mulberry & Washington Streets.  For more information or to see the upcoming schedule of weekly activities, visit www.KokomoFarmersMarket.com.

The Performing Arts are Alive in Kokomo! Check out Upcoming Shows …

Photo provided by Kokomo Civic Theatre

Photo provided by Kokomo Civic Theatre

No need to travel far to find fantastic concerts, musicals, comedy shows, and plays.  There are plenty of opportunities to experience great performing arts in Kokomo!  Below are just a few of the upcoming shows.  Plan to attend one (or more!) for a great evening of fun with family or friends.

Plus stay tuned for even more live music this summer as the Kokomo Summer Concert Series kicks off at the Performing Arts Pavilion in Foster Park in Downtown, and Kokomo Park Band concerts, held in Highland Park, will also start in June!

For a complete calendar of upcoming events, check out www.VisitKokomo.org/events.

Kokomo Curtain Call presents “The Twelve Daughters of Hercules”
February 28 – March 2, 2014
Sycamore Elementary School Auditorium, Kokomo
Performances: Fri. & Sat. 7 p.m. and Sun. 2 p.m.
For tickets & upcoming shows, visit www.KokomoCurtainCall.com

Kokomo Civic Theatre presents “The Odd Couple” (Female Version)
February 28 – March 2, 2014
IU Kokomo Havens Auditorium, Kokomo
Performances: Fri. & Sat. 8 p.m. and Sun. 2 p.m.
For tickets & upcoming shows, visit www.KokomoCivicTheatre.com

Hoosier Heartland Comedy Series presents: Mike Armstrong
February 28, 2014
Elite Banquet & Conference Center, Kokomo
Doors open at 7 p.m. & show at 8:30 p.m.
For tickets & more info, visit www.EliteBanquet.com

Kokomo Community Concerts present “Tom Gustin Big Band” Swing to Light Rock
March 15, 2014
Kokomo High School Auditorium – 7:30 p.m.
For tickets & upcoming concerts, visit www.KokomoCommunityConcerts.org 

Student Night at Rhum Academy of Music (held monthly)
March 15, 2014 – 7 p.m.
For tickets & upcoming shows, visit www.RhumMusic.com 

Hoosier Heartland Comedy Series presents: Ms. Pat 
March 28, 2014
Elite Banquet & Conference Center, Kokomo
Doors open at 7 p.m. & show at 8:30 p.m.
For tickets & more info, visit www.EliteBanquet.com

First Friday Brings Family Fun to Downtown Kokomo!

Enjoy First Friday, a free, self-guided arts tour in Downtown Kokomo, on the first Friday of every month from 5:30-9:00 p.m.  Many downtown businesses offer free activities, treats, music, and local artists.  The event is free and family-friendly!

Themes vary by month.  The theme for February is “Fall in Love Downtown.”  See map and list of activities below.

For more information about First Friday, call 765-457-5301 or visit www.FirstFridayKokomo.com.

FirstFridayMap1

Activities for First Friday on Feb. 7, 2014

Activities for First Friday on Feb. 7, 2014

Kokomo’s Chocolate Celebration … A Chocolate Lovers Paradise!

Make your next visit to Kokomo extra sweet by attending the 12th Annual Chocolate Celebration on Friday, Feb. 7, 2014.

Sponsored by J. Edwards Fine Chocolates, Gourmet Cakes & Gifts, the event will be held at Kokomo First Church of the Nazarene from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.  Arrive early for best selection!  Tickets are only 2 for $5 and can be redeemed for one chocolate item of your choice while quantities last.  Chocolate selections vary from year to year and usually include a variety of cakes, brownies, candy, chocolate-dipped fruit, fudge and other delicious and decadent creations.  I have never had a chocolate dessert that I did not enjoy!

Chocolate Celebration 2013

During the event, Grace United Methodist Church will be selling soup and sloppy joe sandwiches (for eat-in or carry-out) and several businesses will offer chocolate items and gifts to purchase – right in time for Valentine’s Day!  Chocolate Celebration is held annually and proceeds benefit Samaritan Caregivers.  For more information about the event, call 765-453-7611 or visit their website.

Trike Wars, Doughnut Throwdown, Music, Fireworks & More during Kokomo’s 2013 New Year’s Eve Celebration!

Got plans for New Year’s Eve?  Come to Downtown Kokomo!  There will be music, fireworks, contests, lighted ball drop, and tons of fun from 10:30 p.m. – Midnight on December 31, 2013.  Admission is free.  Join us Downtown to ring in the New Year!  Visit website for more details.

Kokomo New Year's Eve poster

Angels are coming … to the Seiberling Mansion!

Christmas at the Seiberling MansionThe Seiberling Mansion is about to be home to one of the largest gatherings of angels ever seen in Howard County – big angels, tiny angels, glass angels, and paper angels are appearing in every room of the Mansion!  They’re part of the traditional Christmas at the Seiberling celebration in Kokomo.

Lighting Ceremony will be held on Saturday, November 30, 2013 from 6-9 p.m.  Come witness the official arrival of Santa and countdown to 6 p.m., when the glorious display of outdoor lights is illuminated.  After the lighting, visit the Elliott House (located next door) to warm up with cookies & wassail and give the kids and grandkids the chance to see Santa.  For the first time this year, take your own picture with Santa for free.  Be sure to bring your camera!

In the Seiberling Mansion, tour a true vision of holiday beauty, created by dozens of volunteers.  Twenty rooms on all three floors are decorated, and the third floor ballroom features ornaments from the former Blasius Christmas Tree House in Kokomo.  Vote for your favorite room!

Christmas at the Seiberling stairs

There will be musical entertainment and a contest for kids 12 & under: “How Many Angels Are in the Mansion?” Opening night tickets are available in advance for $7 or at the door for $10.  Kids 12 & under are $3 and Howard County Historical Society members are free. Advance tickets are available online.

Christmas at the Seiberling holiday tours will continue through December 22, 2013.  Hours are Tuesday through Sunday 1-4 p.m.  Daytime tour admission is $5 adults, $4 seniors, and $2 for kids 12 & under.

The Seiberling will also be open on December 6th from 6-9 p.m. during First Friday.  Enjoy an evening of holiday fun with Mansion tours, along with many family-friendly activities in Downtown!

Carriage rides will be available on both November 30th and December 6th from 6-9 p.m.  The cost is $50 and includes up to six people. Advance reservations are required.

The Seiberling Mansion is located at 1200 West Sycamore Street in Kokomo.  For more information on tours and special events, call (765) 452-4314 or visit www.howardcountymuseum.org.  See a sneak preview of the angels at www.facebook.com/hchistory!