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Fancy box seats at the Hilbert Circle Theatre can cost up to $75, and they usually sell out. But during Happy Hour at the Symphony shows (next one: January 19), all seats are general admission, and you can sit there for just $25—if you arrive when the doors open and beeline for a box. 45 Monument Circle, 639-4300
Canoes might be called “divorce boats,” but on moonlit silvered waters, things can change. Eagle Creek Marina offers a guided Full Moon Paddle from May through September, on weekend nights closest to the lunar event. 7840 W. 56th St., 327-7130
Equal parts coffee shop, vegetarian cafe, concert venue, and community center, the Earth House Collective in Lockerbie is the kind of place where you can try laughter yoga and attend your first food swap. Evidently, “collective” is code for “lots of free events,” too. 237 N. East St., 636-4060
Remember the days when you had to buy a new dress before going out? They’re back, thanks to Sensu. The menu of Pan-Asian fusion dishes impresses, adding depth to a stylish scene of underlit booths, a 52-foot-wide set of video screens two stories off the ground, and a sexy clientele. 225 S. Meridian St., 536-0036
The Palladium gets all the attention, but its neighbor, The Tarkington, is making a big impact on at least one arts group. When the 96-year-old Indianapolis Civic Theatre opened its first season there in September, the house was packed. If the posh 500-velvet-seat venue can elevate the profile of Civic, that alone would justify all the high-ceilinged grandeur. Thanks for the free garage parking, too. 355 City Center Dr., Carmel, 843-3800
Private Party Room
Catch the game at home, or go out? Privacy versus camaraderie? There’s a third option: the Skybox at the JW Marriott’s High Velocity sports bar. The plush suite for 20 has a trio of TVs: two 42-inchers and an 82-inch monster with full 3-D. Rental starts around $350. 10 S. West St., 860-6500
The New York Times took note when the Center for the Performing Arts in Carmel acquired the Great American Songbook Archive and Gallery, amassed from artistic director Michael Feinstein’s personal memorabilia. Displays in the Palladium have already spotlighted Fred Astaire’s tap-dancing shoes. 1 Center Green, Carmel, 843-3800
Drivers from the Indianapolis Speedrome and other area tracks get their off-season speed fix racing remote-control cars indoors at Indy RC Raceway & Hobbies. (Spottings of NASCAR and IndyCar drivers have been reported, as well.) “Novice class” races cost a few bucks to enter (though a starter car, available in the shop, runs at least $80). Small price to pay for the bragging rights of beating a pro. 5135 S. Emerson Ave., Ste. K, 787-7568
With a colorful castle, a squirting rainbow, and buckets producing cascades in short intervals, The Splash Pad at Billericay Park blows all other spray zones out of the water. 12690 Promise Rd., Fishers, 595-3150
>> BEST SLEDDING HILL: Mulberry Fields Park, 9645 Whitestown Rd., Zionsville, 733-2273
"It was built specifically for sledding. Top that."
—Jay Kenworthy, Zionsville
Follow the classic cars on a Saturday afternoon to Greenwood’s The Suds drive-in, a motorhead hangout since 1957. Here, the Ford people and the Chevy people find common ground, and Corvettes preen in the sun. No wonder Car Craft magazine recognized it as the sixth-best cruising spot in the country. 350 Market Plaza, Greenwood, no phone
Young Chrissie Hyndes (and a few Rachel Berrys) between the ages of 9 and 16 get a taste of the superstar lifestyle during the Girls Rock! summer camp at Park Tudor. Bands are formed, songs are written, and faces melt during a jam session at the end of the week. girlsrockindy.org
Who are you calling domestic? Indy’s chapter of Girls’ Pint Out—the first of five across the country—proves that Beer Club isn’t just a guy thing. GPO events have ranged from a yoga session in the Flat 12 taproom to a sit-down with the pitmaster at Squealers Barbecue. girlspintout.com
After the chamber-rock outfit Slothpop released its self-titled first album of catchy, Feist-like melodies in January, My Old Kentucky Blog—Indy’s expert on such matters—predicted the album would be the best released here all year. Which turned out to be absolutely correct. slothpop.bandcamp.com
Photography by Tony Valainis.
This article originally appeared in the December 2011 issue.