Summer Sun, Family Fun

Summer is a great time to visit Kokomo!  Check out these family fun activities to plan your summer getaway.

Enjoy fun festivals, food, and fantastic live music during the Kokomo Summer Concert Series with great performers and bands all summer long! Upcoming headliners include The Fabulous Thunderbirds, Robby Krieger of The Doors, and Hotel California “A Salute to The Eagles.” All concerts are free! See full concert schedule on their website.

Kokomo Municipal Stadium aerial

Hit a “home run” with your family with a visit to Kokomo Municipal Stadium to watch the Kokomo Jackrabbits baseball team. Tickets start at only $8. Themed game nights, giveaways, pre-game festivities, and Kid Zone for youngsters create a fun game-day experience. And best of all, it’s all within walking distance to Kokomo’s revitalized downtown, full of unique dining, shopping, art galleries, and adjacent to beautiful walking and biking trails along the Wildcat Creek!

Want to stay active during your visit? Canoe or kayak in the Kokomo Reservoir or down the Wildcat Creek. Kokomo Canoe & Kayak Rentals offer on-site delivery. Or bike, walk, or run on the Wildcat Creek Walk of Excellence or Industrial Heritage Trail. Both trails intersect Downtown Kokomo, and watch for colorful murals painted by local artists!

Kokomo Beach

Check out Kokomo Beach Family Aquatic Center, the perfect place to cool off on a hot summer afternoon, with its large leisure pool, high energy water slides, splash pad, kiddie slides, and relaxing lazy river. Show off your skills at Kokomo Pipeline Skate Park, a world-class facility in Jackson Morrow Park with 9,800 square feet of concrete – open for boards, bikes, and blades.

Other must-see events this summer include the 2016 Kokomo Air Show on Saturday, July 23, thrilling racing action at Kokomo Speedway, weekly Kokomo Park Band concerts in Highland Park, First Fridays (held year-round) in Downtown, the Cole Porter Classic “Kiss Me, Kate” performed by Kokomo Civic Theatre and Kokomo Symphony Orchestra on August 26-27 at the Kokomo Arts Pavilion, and the new Indiana University Kokomo Union Street Gallery.

For more information on Kokomo, go to www.VisitKokomo.org or download the free Visit Kokomo mobile app.

 

Consider Kokomo for a Spring Break Staycation!

Looking for things to do during spring break?  Enjoy a staycation and explore all things Kokomo!

Want to experience some of Kokomo’s homegrown gems?  This is your list!  These “made in Kokomo” stops will leave you in awe of our local flavor, culture, and heritage.

Tour Kokomo Opalescent Glass

Kokomo Opalescent Glass Factory - Ladlers at the table 2

Experience art 127 years in the making at America’s oldest glass art company.  Take a tour of this historic 1888 factory to witness the fine precision of art glass making firsthand, including sheet glass production, hot glass blowing demonstrations, and glass bead making.  Public tours are offered Monday through Friday at 10:00 am and cost $5 per person.  Students $2.  No open-toe shoes, sandals, flip flops, or clogs are permitted on the tour.

Don’t forget to take home a souvenir – KOG’s OP Shop has beautiful handcrafted glass items made in the factory available for purchase. The OP Shop is open Monday-Friday, 9:00 am to 5:00 pm and Saturday from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm.

See Kokomo-built cars at the Kokomo Automotive Museum

1923 Haynes automobileThe Kokomo Automotive Museum is currently hosting part of “Hoosier Made: World Driven,” a three museum event to celebrate Indiana’s automotive heritage. The event runs until Oct. 3, 2016.  “Hoosier Made: World Driven” examines the heyday of Indiana’s automobile industry when some of the world’s finest motorcars were built in the Hoosier state.

The display features five different Haynes and Apperson touring vehicles from the 1920’s.  In addition the museum is home to more than 100 antique and classic automobiles, offering visitors a glimpse of the nation’s automotive history, with an emphasis on local automotive history.  Hours are Tuesday-Sunday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Try local hand-crafted beers at Half Moon Restaurant & Brewery.

Enjoy a meal with the Wildcat Wheat, Stoplight City Red, Cole Porter, Kokomonster, or try the Half Moon Sampler with all their standard and seasonal fresh brew beer selections in 4 oz. samples.  Menu items include steaks, burgers, slow smoked barbeque, and much more.

Grab a Kokomo-made snack or dessert. 

JEdwards Chocolates 2

J. Edwards Gourmet

J. Edwards Gourmet features house-made chocolates, gourmet cakes, unique gifts, dips, and salsas.  Their delicious cakes and chocolates can be purchased by the slice or piece.

From savory to sweet, Kokomo’s Popcorn Cafe offers over 50 flavors of freshly made popcorn.  Kokomo Krunch is their most popular flavor – a mix of popcorn, nuts, candies, and chocolate-drizzled pretzels.  The store also hosts a wide variety of retro and bulk candy.

Blondie’s Cookies is a locally-owned business specializing in freshly baked and handcrafted cookies and brownies. Try the KoKo Swirl Sprinkle and KoKo Kream Sprinkle!

Love donuts?  Try Dan’s Variety Bakery or the Gingerbread House Bakery in downtown for a local and fresh donut fix.  Get them while they last!

Watch a game at Kokomo Municipal Stadium. 

Kokomo Municipal Stadium
Several college baseball games will be held during the month of March at Kokomo Municipal Stadium in downtown Kokomo, all featuring at least one Indiana college team. Check out the Kokomo Jackrabbits’ website to purchase tickets.

 

Savor the local fare.

Enjoy an Italian lunch or dinner at PASTArrific, recently named one of the “13 Restaurants You Have To Visit In Indiana Before You Die” by Only In Your State.  Their menu includes traditional oven baked entrees, such as lasagna and eggplant parmigiana, as well as artisanal pizzas, seafood pastas, and decadent desserts.

 

For more information on things to do in Kokomo or local events, go to www.VisitKokomo.org or call the Greater Kokomo Visitors Bureau at 800-837-0971.

 

 

 

 

Kokomo Municipal Stadium to host soccer, college baseball in 2016

Kokomo Municipal Stadium aerial

In addition to being the home of the Kokomo Jackrabbits Prospect League baseball team, Kokomo Municipal Stadium will be host to many other sporting events and teams this year.

It was recently announced that the newest USL Premier Development League soccer team is the Kokomo Mantis FC, led by coach and team manager Marcelo Santos. They will play all home games at Kokomo Municipal Stadium starting in June 2016. For more information and to see the team’s schedule, visit uslpdl.com.

The Stadium will also host several college baseball games this spring, all of which will feature a team from an Indiana school. Tickets for the college games are available on the Kokomo Jackrabbits website. These games include:

March 12: Manchester University vs. John Carroll
March 13: Manchester University vs. John Carroll
March 18: Purdue vs. Ohio University
March 19: Purdue vs. Ohio University
March 20: Purdue vs. Ohio University
March 22: Kent St. vs. Evansville
May 17: IPFW vs. Purdue

In addition, the American Legion Baseball 2016 State Finals and the Prospect League’s 2016 All Star Game will both be held at Kokomo Municipal Stadium in July.

The Kokomo Jackrabbits’ 2016 season home game opener is May 26.  Season tickets, 1/2 season tickets, and 7-game packs are on sale now at kokomojackrabbits.com.

Kokomo Municipal Stadium is located within walking distance of the heart of downtown with unique shops, restaurants, and art galleries. Don’t miss a minute of the fun – reserve your tickets now. We look forward to seeing you in Kokomo!

Explore Kokomo’s Holiday Light Displays

WeCarePark

Several Kokomo holiday light displays will open starting on Thanksgiving weekend. A great activity to do with friends, family, and kids!

We Care Park lighting ceremony starts at 5:30 p.m. on Thanksgiving night. The lights will stay on nightly from 5:30-9:30 p.m. through December 27, 2015. Street parking is available to walk through the park or stay in your car and drive through to enjoy over 1,000,000 twinkling lights! We Care Park is located at the corner of Gano and Lafountain Streets (on the northside of Kokomo.)

Highland Park’s “City of Lights” will come alive on Thanksgiving night with nearly 50 holiday light displays. Lights will remain on nightly at dusk through the end of the year.  You can also see Santa at Highland Park until December 24. Another fun holiday tradition!

Christmas at the Seiberling” starts Saturday, November 28, 2015 with a lighting ceremony at 6 p.m. followed by music, visits with Santa, and of course, tours of the stunning (and magnificently decorated) Seiberling Mansion. See thousands of lights and dozens of Christmas trees! Visitors 12 and younger can compete for a prize in the “Count the Trees” contest! “Christmas at the Seiberling” continues through December 31.

Downtown Kokomo’s Lighting Ceremony of the Courthouse Square starts Friday, December 4, 2015 (during FIRST FRIDAY!)  Stroll through the downtown district from 5:30-9:00 p.m. to see holiday lights and local businesses competing in the window decorating contest. Kids can visit with Santa, carriage rides will be available, and local businesses will be open for holiday shopping!

In this busy season of shopping, baking, and holiday errands, take some time to relax and enjoy the lights!

Downtown Kokomo Eateries Continue to Grow

Shrimp & Pepper Sauté over Red Beans & Dirty Rice.  Photo credit: Boondocks Food & Spirits in Downtown Kokomo

Shrimp & Pepper Sauté over Red Beans & Dirty Rice. Photo credit: Boondocks Food & Spirits in Downtown Kokomo

The choices for eateries in Downtown Kokomo have continued to grow over the past year, with a variety of culturally diverse flavors and choices available.  Joining anchor restaurants Cook McDoogal’s Irish Pub, Main Street Cafe, and Foxes TrailBoondocks Food & Spirits recently opened on the Courthouse Square offering an authentic Cajun experience. Selections include Po Boy sandwiches, bourbon pecan pie, crab cakes, frog legs, and catfish.  Burgers, steaks, pasta, and chicken are also on the menu, and check out live music on the weekends.

Earlier this year, Oscar’s Pizza and 3 Amigos Mexican Grill opened in the Depot District behind the L.E. & W. Railroad Depot on Buckeye Street.  Other eateries and bakeries recently new to the Downtown’s Historic Depot District include Gabetta’s (with unique burgers, paninis, and breakfast served all day) and the Gingerbread House Bakery, known for doughnuts and sweet treats.

Now is a great time to visit Downtown!  Not only to enjoy a good meal, but also to explore unique shops, art, walking & biking trails, and historic sites.

Heartland Film Festival’s “Best of the Fest” coming to Downtown Kokomo!

Check out Heartland Film Festival’s “Best of the Fest” in Kokomo on September 4-5, 2015 at the newly renovated Central Middle International School Auditorium in Downtown.  Two indie filmmakers are scheduled to attend and will be available to mingle with attendees and provide insight on the filmmaking process.

September 4th is also First Friday with a great variety of arts-based, free, family activities held throughout Downtown Kokomo from 5:30-9:00 p.m.  Click here for a complete schedule of film times, descriptions, and to purchase tickets online.

For more information on Kokomo, go to VisitKokomo.org.

Heartland Best of the Fest flyer

Hit a Home Run with Family Fun this Summer in Kokomo!

This summer is the perfect time to discover all the new and fun, family-friendly activities Kokomo has to offer!

Kokomo’s 2015 Summer Concert Series kicked off last weekend at the Kokomo Arts Pavilion in Downtown’s Foster Park. Enjoy fun festivals and fantastic live music with great performers and bands all summer long!  All concerts are free and family-friendly. Summer headliners include:

June 27 –  The Rat Pack is Back! live from Las Vegas with the Kokomo Symphony Orchestra
July 2-4 – Haynes-Apperson Festival with parade, food, car shows, fireworks, and concerts featuring Pink Droyd with Laser Light Spectacular (July 2), Bret Michaels (July 3), and Here Come the Mummies (July 4)
July 25 – The Mark Farner Band
August 1 – Rhumfest featuring David Cook
August 8 – Weberfest featuring MiniKiss
August 15 – Taste of Kokomo featuring Danny Seraphine, Bill Champlin & CTA
September 25 – Octoberfest featuring The Lovin’ Spoonful on their 50th Anniversary Tour

Kokomo Jackrabbits game

The Kokomo Jackrabbits (named after the Apperson Jack Rabbit, an early automobile manufactured in Kokomo in 1907) play their inaugural season of baseball this summer at the city’s new Kokomo Municipal Stadium. Post-game fireworks, themed game nights, pre-game festivities, Kid Zone for youngsters, and strong community partnerships create a fun game-day experience.  And best of all, the Jackrabbits’ home turf is within walking distance to Kokomo’s revitalized downtown, full of unique dining, shopping, and entertainment options, and adjacent to beautiful walking and biking trails along the Wildcat Creek!  For ticket information, visit www.KokomoJackrabbits.com.

Plan to check out Kokomo Beach Family Aquatic Center, the perfect place to cool off on a hot summer afternoon, with its large leisure pool, high energy water slides, splash pad, kiddie slides, and relaxing lazy river.

Kokomo Beach Family Aquatic Center

Other must-see events this summer include Kokomo Wings and Wheels Air & Car Show on Saturday, July 18, 2015 at Kokomo Municipal Airport, thrilling racing action at Kokomo Speedway, Kokomo Automotive Museum’s new exhibit “The Life and Times of the Ford Thunderbird” on display through October 9, 2015, and First Fridays, held year-round in Downtown Kokomo.

Love history?  Check out the Elwood Haynes Museum, Seiberling Mansion, and Kokomo Opalescent Glass (with glass factory tours offered at 10 a.m. Monday through Friday.)

For more information on Kokomo or to see a full list of summer events, visit our website or download the free Visit Kokomo mobile app!