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.

 

 

 

 

2015 Visitor Profile Study Findings Released

A visitor profile study was conducted in Kokomo/Howard County earlier this year.  The 2015 study found that most travelers visit Howard County to see family and friends, attend local festivals and events, or conduct business or corporate travel and stay for a short trip; and that the community ranks highly with visitors for hospitality, safety, family-friendliness, and affordability.

Artist Alley

Artist Alley in Downtown Kokomo

The study was completed by Certec, Inc., a Lexington, Kentucky-based firm specializing in destination research and market analysis, and found that over one-third of Howard County visitors come to the community to see family and friends, while another 28 percent visit the area to enjoy local events or attractions.

Sixty-two percent of those surveyed say they visit Kokomo for a short trip lasting 1 to 3 days. The findings are also good news for the local economy: in addition to visiting friends and relatives, visitors listed shopping, dining, and attending area sporting and entertainment events as top activities during their stays in Howard County.

Kokomo Municipal Stadium

Kokomo Municipal Stadium

Furthermore, over 85 percent of those surveyed stated that they are either “completely satisfied” or “very satisfied” with their tourism experiences in Howard County; in fact, less than 1 percent were not at all satisfied with their experiences.

Other key findings from the report:

  • Primary markets for Kokomo visitor travel were Indiana (non-Howard County), Illinois, Ohio, and Michigan
  • Typical visitor party includes 3 people who stay for an average of 2.4 days
  • Popular attractions for visitors include Kokomo Beach Family Aquatic Center, Seiberling Mansion, Elwood Haynes Museum, Kokomo Opalescent Glass, and Kokomo Automotive Museum
  • Overall, visitors averaged 4 trips to Howard County in the past 2 years
  • Nearly 87% of visitors say they are likely to return to Howard County in the next 2 years

Learn more about our recent visitor profile study here.

J. Edwards Gourmet & Blondie’s Cookies featured on FOX 59 Hoosier Treats Segment

Fill your table with local foods and treats this holiday season!

Kokomo’s own J. Edwards Gourmet and Blondie’s Cookies were featured last week by Visit Indiana on FOX 59. With Thanksgiving and the holidays right around the corner, the segment highlighted delicious, Indiana made food products perfect for the holiday table. View the segment here.

J. Edwards Gourmet, a local favorite since 2003, specializes in fine chocolates (regular and sugar-free), beautiful gourmet cakes, and housemade cheese dips and spreads.

Here is a sampling of the items you can purchase for your holiday table:

Spinach Artichoke Cheese Dip – A gourmet classic! This 5-cheese blend is packed with spinach, roasted red peppers, and hearty artichoke hearts.

Baby Swiss Cheese Dip – Smooth and savory dip. Garlic, chives, and other spices are paired with this delicious 4-cheese blend.

California Cheese Spread – This one will make your California dreams come true! A 3-cheese cheddar garlic blend that goes perfect with any cracker, pretzel, or baked potato.

cheese dips

Cheese Pinwheel – Can’t decide on which cheese dip is the best to suit your family get together? Satisfy everyone’s taste buds with the Pinwheel, a 4-compartment tray that features all four homemade cheeses.

Cheeseball – A gourmet double chipped beef cheeseball packed with flavor (garlic, chives, and other spices) then rolled in toasted pecan pieces. Sure to satisfy any savory palate!

Spicy Pretzel Balls – A blend of special gourmet spices coated over crunchy pretzel balls, is sure to be a big hit.

Pumpkin Spice Cheesecake – A smooth and creamy cheesecake, with all of the pumpkin spice you can handle! A great way to get your pumpkin fix.

Red Velvet Cheesecake – A bold and creamy combination, this is a red velvet flavored creamy cheesecake topped with J. Edwards’s signature chocolate ganache.

Gourmet Apple – A granny smith apple covered in caramel, rolled in toasted pecans, and then dipped & drizzled in chocolate. Perfect for gifts, celebrations, or devouring the whole thing!

JEdwards Chocolates 2.jpg

 

J. Edwards Gourmet’s homemade fine chocolates are perfect for the holidays – for the dessert table or to give as gifts! Their selection includes caramels, assorted creams, turtles, toffee, and much more.

Orders can be placed on their website at jedwardsgourmet.com or by calling (765) 626-0142.  They also offer a large variety of other unique gifts, gourmet cakes and specialty food products, as well as gluten free items.

Blondie’s Cookies is celebrating 30 years as a locally owned business specializing in freshly baked, handcrafted cookies.  Don’t have time to bake cookies this holiday season? Blondie’s has you covered!

Selections include cookies, brownies, chewies, sprinkles, cookie cakes, party trays, gift tins, gift boxes and towers. They even have take & bake cookie kits (perfect for baking with kids!) and unique items, like Snickers cookies, cheesecake brownies, and peppermint sprinkle cookies.

blondies cookies photo

Consider these indulgent cookies for your holiday table:

Pumpkin Spice Sprinkle cookies – Moist, soft pumpkin shortbread cookie topped with extra creamy cream cheese frosting. Its creamy like a pumpkin pie, moist like a pumpkin bread and oh so decadent like a pumpkin trifle, all wrapped up in a cookie!

KoKo Swirl Sprinkle and KoKo Kream Sprinkle  – The KoKo Sprinkle line is a dark chocolate shortbread cookie topped with dark chocolate ganache frosting or their famous vanilla buttercream icing. KoKo Swirls are soft and very creamy, and may even take the place of your favorite chocolate cake!

To place an order, visit blondiescookies.com or call 1-888-298-6820.

Happy eating this holiday season!

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.

Kokomo on FOX59’s “Your Town Friday”

Photo Credit: FOX59

Photo Credit: FOX59

FOX59’s Kristin Kane and Scott Jones came to Kokomo today for their Your Town Friday segment.  In case you missed it, a recap of their visit and videos can be seen at: http://fox59.com/2014/08/15/your-town-friday-heads-up-to-kokomo/.

Three great local businesses were highlighted, including Kokomo Opalescent Glass, Martino’s Italian Villa, and Kokomo Toys & Collectibles.  They also previewed the Taste of Kokomo, one of Kokomo’s largest events featuring lots of great local food, live music, kid’s activities, and fun food contests and competitions (like the Hot Wing Eating Contest and Taco Throwdown!)  Benefiting the United Way of Howard County, the Taste of Kokomo will be held on Saturday, August 16, 2014 from 5:00-10:30 p.m. in Downtown’s Foster Park.  Admission is free.

Thanks FOX59 for making Kokomo “Your Town Friday!”

August Trip Ideas in Kokomo

Kids are starting to go back to school, but there are still plenty of warm summer days left this month.  Check out these Kokomo trip ideas!

1.  Attend the Taste of Kokomo and see David Cook in concert!  Enjoy local cuisine, fun food competitions, kid’s activities, and great live music all evening including  American Idol winner, David Cook.  Admission is FREE!

2. Get a double dip ice cream cone or fro-yo and indulge in one of the simple pleasures of summer!  Check out our website or mobile app to find ice cream shops in Kokomo.

3. Check out a live comedy show at the Laugh House.  Visit www.laughkokomo.com for a list of upcoming shows and ticket prices.

4. Enjoy a picnic in Highland Park or take a walk or bike ride on the trails in Kokomo.  Have kids?  Make it fun by creating a scavenger hunt!  See who can find the most items on your list.

5. Shop for fresh produce and baked goods at the Kokomo Downtown Farmers’ Market.  Weekly activities also include live music, demonstrations, and kid’s activities.

6. Experience local racing action at the Kokomo Speedway or Kokomo Quarter Midget Racing Club.  (Kokomo Speedway will have fireworks after the race on Sunday, August 31, 2014!)

For more ideas of things to do and great upcoming events, check out our website at www.VisitKokomo.org.  Connect with us on Twitter @VisitKokomo and share your Kokomo summer fun ideas and photos!

 

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!