Weekend fun in central Indiana with a chance to give back

Indianapolis – Whether you’re looking for something fun to do with your family and friends or hoping to find a way to give back to your community…there’s something to check all the boxes in Central Indiana this weekend.

everything is ready! Nickel Plate Express kicks off Saturday, July 16 for the Patriot Express. These family-friendly tour boards at 2 p.m. take a tour of the sights and sounds of Hamilton County. Tickets start at $22 and come with a slice of homemade apple pie from Wilson’s Farm Market and lemonade for all passengers.

“Nothing beats summer like apple pie and lemonade,” said Emily Reynolds, manager of Nickel Plate Express. “So we’re bringing people to Hamilton County to not only ride this train, have this fun summer experience, but also enjoy things from the local restaurants and stores.”

The train switches gears in the afternoon with its 21-plus ride called the “Uncorked Express.” Departure begins at 4 p.m., and guests are greeted at 6 p.m. with a number of libations from Black Hawk Winery in Sheridan.

“Guests will get four samples of wine mixed with chocolate and cheese,” Reynolds said. “It’s great, when you talk about tourist attractions, we get about 20,000 tourists a year or these themed trips and what always amazes me is that they’re coming from outside of Hamilton County.”

Nickel Plate Express is currently enjoying the latest renovation of the Hobbs Station platform, located in Forest Park off Cicero Rd. Where does the train stop? The City of Noblesville provided $1.6 million for site renovation efforts. Started in 2020 but construction efforts have been delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Once you’ve had fun on the train – head to Brownsburg to recreate the Blast Off Playground in Williams Park along S Locust Ln near W Tilden Rd.

The stadium, originally built by volunteers in 2000, is in need of repairs. Now as then, the city relies on the support and generosity of the community to make the park enjoyable for future generations.

“Like all cities, you know, we have a lot of dollars and we have a lot of needs, so we think this is a great way for the community to get involved and help us maximize those dollars,” Brownsburg Parks Chairman Judy Kenninger said. “There is also a great sense of pride when you visit the Blast Off site knowing that you and your family helped build a part of it.”

The Brownsburg Township Parks Department is hosting the Playground Community Building from Wednesday, July 13 through Sunday, July 17.

The town of Brownsburg raised $25,000 through a crowdfunding campaign and will receive a similar grant from the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority’s CreatINg Places Initiative for the project.

The funds will be used in part to build new play equipment with accessible features for children of all abilities.

Organizers say lunch, dinner and childcare services will be provided to all volunteers who register online in advance and are encouraged to do so prior to arrival.

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