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Lecture Series
IndyTalks, a new series of discussions designed to spark civic dialogue and share big ideas, offers a cool alternative to sleepy auditoriums. At one of this year’s events, presenters talked simultaneously about arts and globalization while their microphones were turned up or down based on audience votes. indytalks.wordpress.com

Bar Trivia Night
Pub trivia nights are sprouting up all around the Indianapolis area, and the competition is fierce. At The Elbow Room, the game is straightforward, and the trivia random enough to keep players engaged. Five rounds of 10-plus questions cover anything from politics to pop culture to Hoosier trivia, including questions that require reasoning, not just recall. Thursdays at 8:30 p.m. 605 N. Pennsylvania St., 635-3354

Mascot
The Triple-A Indianapolis Indians are used to playing third fiddle to the big-league Colts and Pacers. But when it comes to man-sized animals, no mascot can big-time Rowdie. Whether he’s dancing on the dugout or taunting the competition, this bear—that’s right, not a dog—with a baseball for a nose is a true professional. indyindians.com

Skating Rink (Ice)
At the Zotec Partners Carmel Ice Skadium, skaters can find or order the latest hockey and figure-skating equipment from Rink Rats, the pro shop, and take advantage of the new computerized skate-sharpener and—hockey moms rejoice!—hockey-equipment cleaner. 1040 3rd Ave. SW, Carmel, 844-8889

Skating Rink (Roller)
Remember those teenage Friday nights when your parents dropped off you and your Sergio jeans at the skating rink? Relive your glory days at the unintentionally retro Roller Cave. The vibe is family-friendly, and the floor is massive, its grippy surface forgiving enough to make you feel like a kid again. 8734 E. 21st St., 898-1816

Puppet Show
Peewinkle’s Puppet Studio infuses Old World European styles into lively house-written productions. Intricately detailed characters, all handmade and many taller than your toddler, perform productions sophisticated enough for adults and imaginative enough for kids. 25 E. Henry St., 917-9454

Dog Park
Pierson Bark Park is where pups take their people to romp on four acres of farmland-turned-dog-glory. The fenced-in canine country club boasts a pond (with fountain), water bowls, chuck-and-fetch toys, and small trees and brush to check pee-mail. 11787 E. 131st St., Fishers, 577-BARK

Ballet Class for Kids
What makes the Indianapolis School of Ballet so special? Maybe it’s the gentle leadership of artistic director Victoria Lyras. Maybe it’s the panoramic views that look out over the Statehouse. Or maybe it’s the wireless Internet access in the waiting area. Whatever the attraction, this school has a waiting list for some classes—and we know why. 502 N. Capitol Ave., 955-7525

Box CD
At upwards of $80, John Mellencamp’s box set On the Rural Route 7609 isn’t cheap. But the four-disc set contains 17 previously unreleased songs and the writing demo of “Jack & Diane.”

After-Work Refreshment
On the first and third Wednesdays of the month, from 6 to 8 p.m., Mass Ave Wine Shoppe visitors can sip from the by-the-glass menu while getting a $10 chair massage. On the second and fourth Wednesdays, from 5 to 8 p.m., they can choose from a psychic reading or a chakra-balancing session for $20. 878 Massachusetts Ave., 972-7966

Miniature Golf Course
Rustic Driving Range & Miniature Golf (below) isn’t your father’s golf course. It’s your grandfather’s. In operation since 1932, the spread is a glorious natural-grass course with sand and limestone greens. With only a putter, you’ll be asked to navigate 20- to 40-yard holes, around rocks and trees. No windmills or clowns’ mouths—or holes-in-one, for that matter. You gotta earn it at Rustic. 5955 Terrace Ave., 353-6393

Guided Tour
Don’t know Warhol from Whistler? There’s an app for that. Last year, the IMA created TAP (above) for the iPod Touch—a $5 digital tour of special exhibits with audio from the curators, documentary video footage, and polls to comment about the art. 4000 Michigan Rd., 923-1331

Running Trails
Nestled in the woods of Holliday Park & Nature Center are the best beaten paths your running shoes can tread. With more than 3.5 miles of marked trails that wind through the 94 acres, runners of all levels can find their stride. 6363 Spring Mill Rd., 327-7180

Classic Movie House
A recent restoration brought The Historic Artcraft Theatre back to its original 1922 splendor, but what really makes the Golden Age of Hollywood shine again is the buzz on a weekend night. Classic movies come with a pre-show skit (theater employees dress up like characters in the featuredpresentation) and a charming Garrison Keillor–esque preamble. 57 N. Main St., Franklin, 736-6823

Drag Show
Asia La Bouche, Vicki St James, and a full cast of their fabulous cohorts strut their stuff every weekend on the cabaret-style stage at Talbott Street Nightclub. It’s a class act, with choreographed crowd-pleasers (St James does a wickedly spot-on Shelby Lynne) and costuming that would upstage Vegas. 2145 N. Talbott St., 931-1343

Soccer Bar
When the soccer nuts show up for English Premier League games at Mass Ave’s Chatham Tap, the place’s claim to be a “classic English pub” is a little more convincing. Matches draw a crowd of regulars every Saturday and Sunday August through May, and those featuring two of the league’s powerhouses are the closest you’ll get to hooligans in this town. 719 Massa-chusetts Ave., 917-8425

Open Mic
Metric Mondays at Locals Only Art and Music Pub start off with an open mic for up-and-coming poets, comedians, and musicians looking to test the waters. If you’ve got something to say—anything to say—this is the place to be. 2449 E. 56th St., 255-4013

Batting Cages
At Sandlot Indy, boys (and girls) of summer can step up to the plate against the ProBatter pitching machine, which sends fastballs, curves, and sliders from behind a movie screen that depicts a life-size pitcher. The K-Zone simulated catcher calls for a pitch, tells by how many inches the pitcher missed the target, and prints a report. 9220 Harrison Park Ct., 377-1406

Bar Gimmick
Debra Winger made it look easy, but riding the mechanical bull at Cadillac Ranch All American Bar & Grill requires a good amount of skill (the trick is to put your center of gravity right over the center post), quite a bit of courage, and at least two rum-and-Cokes. 39 Jackson Place, 636-0100

Banquet Space
D’Amore on the top floor of the Chase Tower (in what formerly served as the executive office of embattled Indianapolis businessman Tim Durham) offers grand views of the city through floor-to-ceiling windows 48 stories up. 111 Monument Circle, 260-385-7104

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