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.

 

LOVE CHOCOLATE? Don’t miss this sweet event!

2015 Chocolate Celebration 2

Go ahead and indulge during the 14th Annual Chocolate Celebration, an event celebrating all things chocolate!

Double Chocolate Jubilee Cake, Chocolate Mousse Torte, Oreo Cheesecake, Chocolate Cherry Cookies, Chocolate Covered Strawberry Popcorn, Candied Bacon Samoa Cupcakes, and Peanut Butter Chocolate Pie are just a few of the indulgent items that will featured during this year’s event.  My mouth is watering already!  See a full list of items here.

Tickets are 2 for $5, with each ticket redeemable for one delicious chocolate treat of your choice.  You can purchase tickets at the door.  Arrive early for best selection!

Chocolate Celebration will be held at Kokomo’s First Church of the Nazarene, 2734 S. Washington Street, on Friday, February 5, 2016 from 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.  Proceeds will benefit Samaritan Caregivers.  For more information, visit their website or call (765) 453-7611.

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!

Christmas at the Seiberling: A Kokomo Holiday Tradition

Christmas at the Seiberling outdoor photo

There is a “TREEmendous Christmas” coming to the Seiberling Mansion, and the holiday celebration begins on November 28th.

The Victorian elegance of the Seiberling Mansion is a perfect setting for a stunning collection of holiday trees, wreaths and garlands, and more.

The Seiberling will be closed from November 14-28, 2015 to let the decorators do their magic. In the meantime, you can purchase advance tickets and make plans to start the holidays with your family at the Seiberling Lighting Ceremony on November 28th, sponsored by The Wyman Group.

Witness the official arrival of Santa and join the countdown to 6:00 pm, when the glorious display of outdoor lights is illuminated. After the lighting, enjoy live music from the Kokomo Men of Note and the Kokomo Brass.

Christmas at the Seiberling fireplace

Inside the Seiberling, you’ll tour a vision of holiday beauty. Get some ideas for your tree, and marvel at the dozens of trees in twenty rooms on all three floors of the mansion. Vote for your favorite tree and help pick the People’s Choice. Visit the Elliott House to warm up with cookies and wassail and give the kids and grandkids a chance to chat with Santa. Take a picture with Santa and make some memories – but be sure to bring your camera!

Opening night tickets are available in advance for $7.00 or at the door for $10.00. Kids 12 and under are $3.00 and Howard County Historical Society members are free. Purchase advance tickets online at howardcountymuseum.org.

Christmas at the Seiberling staircase

Along with your tour, you can schedule a carriage ride through the Old Silk Stocking District. Reservations are required by calling 765.452.4314. The price is $50 and includes up to six people. Make it a romantic trip for two – or a great memory for the kids and grandkids. Schedule your ride for November 28th between 6:00 and 9:00 pm, following the lighting ceremony.

Christmas at the Seiberling tours will continue through December 31, 2015 from 1-4 p.m. Tuesday-Sunday (closed Dec. 24-26.) Group tours can be scheduled by appointment.

Thanks to local sponsors, the Seiberling will also be open for special evening hours (and FREE admission) from 4-8 p.m. only on the following dates: December 3-4, 10-11, and 17-18, 2015.

The Seiberling Mansion and Elliott House are located in the 1200 block of West Sycamore Street in Kokomo. Parking lots are accessible via Walnut Street, behind the mansion. For more information, call 765.452.4314 or visit their website and Facebook page.

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

Staycation Sunday: Enjoy a Day of Mansions & Museums for FREE on August 9th

Sunday, August 9, 2015 has been chosen for Staycation Sunday at the Seiberling Mansion and Kokomo Automotive Museum, as well as the Elwood Haynes Museum. For one day only, museum admission will be waived for all visitors and everyone can tour and learn about our history for free!

Seiberling Mansion - Howard County Historical Society

The Seiberling Mansion, once home to wealthy industrialist Monroe Seiberling and later to George Kingston, is now home to the Howard County Museum. Visitors will see a restored Victorian home as well as exhibits of Howard County history. The museum will be open from 1:00pm-4:00pm and is located at 1200 West Sycamore. Free parking is available, with access from Walnut Street (north of the mansion). For more information about the mansion and museum, visit their website at howardcountymuseum.org.

Thunderbird Exhibit 3

The Kokomo Automotive Museum is located in the Ivy Tech Kokomo Event and Conference Center at 1500 N. Reed Road (SR 931). It features a selection of early made-in-Kokomo Haynes and Apperson autos. In addition to the more than 100 antique cars, those who appreciate vintage advertising and antiques will enjoy a great collection of signage and a variety of memorabilia relevant to the history of the cars on display. Its permanent exhibits trace the history of the automobile and the rich automotive history of the City of Firsts. The present feature exhibit highlights the life and times of the Ford Thunderbird. The museum is open from 10:00am-4:00pm. Learn more at kokomoautomotivemuseum.org.

The Elwood Haynes Museum is found in Haynes’ former residence at 1915 S. Webster in Kokomo, on the south end of Highland Park. The museum will be open for Staycation Sunday from 1:00pm-4:00pm. Visitors will not only tour the home of a remarkable innovator, but will see exhibits about his role in the great Indiana Gas Boom, his automotive inventions, metallurgical discoveries, and the companies he founded.

For more information on things to do in Kokomo, check out visitkokomo.org.

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!

Fun Holiday Events in Kokomo

Santa will arrive in Downtown Kokomo during First Friday's Hometown Holiday

Santa will arrive in Downtown Kokomo during First Friday’s Hometown Holiday

Enjoy a variety of fun, family events this holiday season in Kokomo!  Here are some highlights:

“Scrooge – The Musical” presented by Kokomo Civic Theatre  will be held on November 21-23, 2014 at IU Kokomo Havens Auditorium.  Don’t miss one of the best musical adaptations of Dickens’ classic “A Christmas Carol.”  Visit www.KokomoCivicTheatre.com for ticket information.

Shop local!  Find locally-made gifts and delicious baked goods at the Kokomo Winter Market, located inside the Historic Train Depot on Buckeye Street.  The Winter Market is open 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. every Saturday through December 20, 2014, and a perfect place to find unique holiday gifts!

Make plans to visit Christmas at the Seiberling – a local holiday tradition.  Explore the Seiberling Mansion, adorned with Christmas trees, wreaths, angels, and thousands of lights – elaborately decorated both inside and out (including 20 rooms on all three floors!)  Opening Night Lighting Ceremony will be Saturday, November 29, 2014 starting at 6 p.m.  Enjoy tours, cookies and wassail, visits with Santa, and carriage rides (reservations required for all carriage rides.)

Experience both day & evening tours during Christmas at the Seiberling

Experience both day & evening tours during Christmas at the Seiberling

Christmas at the Seiberling tours will continue through December 21, 2014.  Hours:  Tuesday – Sunday 1-4 p.m.  In addition, the Mansion will be open several weekends for special evening tours!  These dates include December 4-5, 11-12, and 18-19.  Thanks to local sponsors, free admission will be given on December 4, 18, and 19.  Check out www.HowardCountyMuseum.org for more details.

Join us on December 5, 2014 for Kokomo’s Hometown Holiday during First Friday from 5:30-9:00 p.m.  See the lighting of Downtown Kokomo with caroling, holiday window displays, and a holiday parade to the Historic Train Depot where Santa will be waiting!  For more information, visit www.FirstFridayKokomo.com.

Holiday light display in Downtown Kokomo

Holiday light display in Downtown Kokomo

In addition to Downtown Kokomo, check out fantastic light displays at Highland Park and We Care Park (Kokomo’s largest holiday light display with over one million lights and dozens of animated displays, opening on Thanksgiving night!)

Looking for a way to stay active this holiday season?  Participate in the Rudolph Family Fun Run on December 6th in Downtown (starting at Kokomo/Howard County Public Library) or the Jolly Jingle 5K Run/Walk on December 13th in Kokomo’s Highland Park.

For a list of all events going on in Kokomo, go to www.VisitKokomo.org or download the free Visit Kokomo mobile app.  Happy Holidays!

 

 

 

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!