Once a sleepy little town of 800 named Mudsock, the town of Fishers, Indiana has grown by leaps and bounds over the past 100 years or so. Located in Hamilton County, on the northeast side of Indianapolis, Fishers is an affluent town of nearly 80,000 that has consistently ranked at or near the top of several high-profile national rankings, such as “America’s Best Affordable Suburb” (BusinessWeek – 2010), “Best Place to Live in America” (Money Magazine – 2005, 2006, 2008 and 2012), “Best Place to Move in the Country” (Forbes – 2013) and “Green Community” (Indiana Association of Cities and Towns, The Learning Channel – 2011).
Fishers enjoys a strong economy, anchored by several top employers, including Sallie Mae, Roche Diagnostics, ADT, US Foodservice, Walmart and Target to name a few. Couple this with a strong real estate market and top-notch school system, and it’s no wonder Fishers is one of the fastest growing areas in central Indiana.
Fishers is known for several of the area’s top attractions, such as the Conner Prairie Interactive History Park, Fishers Train Station and Geist Reservoir. And while many parts of Fishers have modernized, a distinct “old town” feel still exists in the Nickle Plate District, near the Fishers Train Station.
Ben and Ari’s Fun Center
Located at 13875 Trade Center Drive in Fishers, Ben and Ari’s Fun Center is a family-oriented, full-service amusement park and super miniature golf course. Ben and Ari’s is great for a fun-filled day with the “fam.”
It features two challenging miniature golf courses, a game room with a good assortment of games, two lanes of mini pin bowling, and a café. Ben and Ari’s is a viable option for birthday parties, and other group events.
Conner Prairie Interactive History Park
If there is one attraction that Fishers is known for, then surely it is the Conner Prairie Interactive History Park, located at 13400 Allisonville Road in Fishers.
Named for the town’s original settler, William Conner, Conner Prairie is a piece of living Indiana history, where families and friends can discover through live, historic reenactments what it was like to live and play as Conner and his family did, over 190 years ago along side the White River.
But while it is first and foremost about history, Conner Prairie offers so much more.
The Conner Estate is composed of the brick home, the Loom House, Garden, Spring House, Conner Barn and the Nature Trail.
Conner Prairie Gas Balloon
Take a drive north on Allisonville Road in the summer, and you might catch a glimpse of the Conner Prairie gas balloon, which serves as the main attraction in the 1859 Balloon Voyage exhibit. Contrary to popular belief, the balloon operates on helium gas, and not hot air. Guests enjoy a tethered ride aloft, where they can take in breath-taking vistas of the Conner Prairie grounds.
Conner Prairie Lenape Indian Camp
The traditional wigwams on display at the Lenape Indian camp offer a hands-on experience in which guests can perform traditional chores, such as grinding corn and constructing a dugout canoe.
Conner Prairie Red Covered Bridge
The iconic red covered bridge, situated in the 1863 Civil War Journey area, is one of the more distinctive and memorable architectural features you’ll find at Conner Prairie. It has previously served as the site of a gourmet dining experience, hosted by Chef JJ, as part of the “Prairie Plates” series for adults.
Fishers Farmers Market
The Fishers Farmers Market takes place on Saturdays, from 8 am to noon, on the grounds of the Nickel Plate Park, in front of the Fishers Amphitheater. The market runs from May through October, rain or shine.
The Fishers Farmers Market started in 2003, and has since become a favorite spot for locals to browse and buy all manner of locally-grown produce, baked goods, seasonal fruit, handmade jewelry, flowers cured meats and more. The market is also a great place to interact with other members of the community on a nice day, and draws as many as 2500 visitors from Fishers and the surrounding community per day.
There are few attractions more popular in the summer than the Geist Lake. Fed by Fall Creek, this massive, man-made reservoir covers 1,900 acres and spans three counties and five zip codes (46055, 46040, 46236, 46256 and 46037).
The Geist area is home to six upscale, distinctive communities, many of which enjoy gorgeous waterfront views. These communities are Cambridge, Canal Place, Hampton Cove, Marina Village, Sail Place and Lake Clearwater.
The Bella Vita restaurant sits off the Geist reservoir, right next to the Geist Marina, at 11699 Fall Creek Road, in Indianapolis.
The Geist Marina is located at 11695 Fall Creek Road, in Indianapolis, even though much of the reservoir is located in the southeast corner of Fishers. The marina is home to hundreds of boats, and comes to life in the summer months, as Geist residents take advantage of the benefits of waterfront living.
Pinheads Entertainment Center
Pinheads Entertainment Center is one of the more upscale ways to enjoy bowling that you’ll find in the Indy area. Located at 13825 Britton Park Road in Fishers, Pinheads offers 32 open bowling lanes and 2 private bowling suites with 4 lanes each.
In addition, the facility offers pool tables, sand volleyball, air hockey, arcade games, a sports bar, and a Fishers restaurant called Louie’s Bar & Restaurant.
Located at 10080 East 121st Street in Fishers, Sky Zone a fun, indoor trampoline park that offers a massive floor filled with trampolines, all surrounded by a landing pit filled with 10,000 foam cubes for safety.
This is a great place to burn some extra calories, and have a blast in the process. The facility also offers two dodgeball courts and private bouncers for birthday parties and other fun events. Lockers are available for your personal items.
The Artists’ Studio
The Artists’ Studio Center for the Performing Arts is located at 12810 Ford Drive in Fishers. This unique venue is not only a performing theatre that offers shows, but a place of learning, where performers can take a variety of classes, such as dancing, acting and singing. Performances are held on the main stage of The Artists’ Studio Performing Arts Center. The theater frequently casts shows that feature a children’s cast, such as Annie, Aladdin, Wizard of Oz, Oliver and Seussical.
Fishers Train Station
Located at 11601 Municipal Drive in Fishers, the Fishers Train Station is an historic destination and key departure point for the famous Indiana Transportation Museum, in neighboring Noblesville, Indiana. It is located in Fishers’ Nickle Plate District.
Several different themed train rides leave out of the Fishers Train Station at various times throughout the year, perhaps none more popular than the Polar Bear Express, which offers families the opportunity to ride the train with Mr. & Mrs. Clause, and enjoy photo opportunities and tasty snacks. Another popular excursion, called the “Hamiltonian” offers passengers the ride of a lifetime from Noblesville to the Fishers Train Station and back, while they enjoy a fine dining experience aboard the train. In the summer, the Fair Train is one of the most popular modes of transportation for getting to the Indiana State Fair in the summer.
Symphony on the Prairie
Symphony on the Prairie is the perfect backdrop to a warm summer night with a cold bottle of wine and a home-made picnic feast. Led by the über-talented Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, this one-of-a-kind summer concert series presents some of the most amazing renditions of popular songs you’ll ever hear, packaged into neat little themes, like “50 Years of Rock ‘n’ Roll: Music of The Rolling Stones” and “Classical Mystery Tour: Music of the Beatles” to name just a few.
Shortcake, chilled strawberries, vanilla ice-cream and whip cream are the focus at the Fishers Strawberry Festival, which takes place North side of the Fishers Town Complex in Downtown Fishers on the first Saturday of June.
This fun festival, as the name implies, is all about strawberries. There are always fun activities for kids, such as as face painting, colorful balloons, clown tricks and more. The Strawberry Festival is a fun–and tasty–way for people from all over central Indiana to celebrate the start of summer.
Fishers Renaissance Faire
Come ye noble men-at-arms, jesters and ladies, and take a journey into the Elizabethan England, at the Fishers Renaissance Faire. Each year, starting the first Saturday of October, this fun, 2-day festival draws thousands of enthusiastic fare-goers, including many Shakespearean actors, who come to Conner Prairie in Renaissance period costumes for jousting, knightings, armed combat, festive music, and dance. Other fun attractions include a parade, plenty of food, craft beer, arts and crafts demonstrations, and artisans.
You’ve never seen Lucas Oil Stadium like this! That’s because it’s made of Gingerbread! It, along with dozens of other edible creations made of gingerbread, take center stage at Conner Prairie’s Gingerbread Village, an annual event that in which amateur and professional builders from local schools, organizations, and families compete for the distinction of best gingerbread house. The event is open to the public, and typically runs from late November through the first week of January.
Fishers Freedom Festival
The Fishers Freedom Festival is a huge, two-day patriotic celebration that takes place the last full weekend in June in Fishers. The festival packs a lot of fun stuff into two days, including a two parades, live music and entertainment, a cornhole tournament, hundreds of art & craft sites, food and drink vendors, games booths, children and teen tents and more.
This festival began over 20 years ago, and continues to this day, thanks to the efforts of a large group of volunteers, as well as funding from various business sponsors and private donors. Other fun activities from past events have included a basketball shoot, microchipping for dogs, a climbing wall, a water balloon launch a 5K event.
Gray Eagle Golf Course
Gray Eagle Golf Course is located at 12500 Brooks School Road in Fishers, Indiana. This beautiful, 18-hole course features bent grass tees, greens and fairways, and 6,739-yards of gold tees, making it one of the top golfing destinations in central Indiana.
Gray Eagle also offers one of the biggest indoor driving ranges and practice facilities in the area. Amenities include gas-heated practice stalls, golf simulators, practice bunkers and greens, and a practice green that is open all year long. A community of homes surrounds the Gray Eagle course.
Ironwood Golf Club
Ironwood Golf Club is locate at 10955 Fall Road in Fishers. This unique and challenging 27-hole course is comprised of three distinct nine-hole layouts: Lakes, Valley and Ridge. A residential community designed and built by RN Thompson surrounds the course.
Club amenities include a complete pro shop, a driving range, several practice greens and a full-service food and beverage area.
River Glen Country Club
Located at 12010 Clubhouse Drive in Fishers, the River Glen Country Club is one of the best golfing values in the central Indiana area. This semi-private, 18 hole course was designed in 1990 by renowned golf course architect Gary Kern. It features mature trees, elevated, speedy green surfaces, an abundance of natural features, and an excellent view from the clubhouse.
River Glen Country Club homes are surrounded by natural features such as rolling slopes, a natural creek and expansive golf course views.
The Hawthorns Golf & Country Club
The Hawthorns Golf & Country Club is located northeast of Geist Reservoir, at 12255 Club Point Drive in Fishers. This private golf club features an 18-hole course designed by the great course architect Arthur Mills, who has designed over 250 courses to date. This is a large course, with 279-acres and 7,056 yards of golf from the longest tees, and expansive bent grass fairways.
Hawthorns Golf & Country Club residents enjoy access to the private clubhouse, which serves as the center of social life, and offers both formal and casual dining. Clubhouse amenities include private meeting rooms, an outdoor heated pool, a fitness center, basketball court, childcare area, children’s playground, locker rooms, and 6 outdoor tennis courts.
Nickel Plate District
The Nickel Plate District is a major redevelopment project in the area historically known as downtown Fishers. Once complete, this small section of Fishers, which spans roughly one square quarter-mile, will bring together a mix of residential, retail and commercial space to form a unique destination to live, work, dine and shop.
Several key components will go into the redevelopment project, many of which are already complete, or nearing completion.
- The Depot at Nickel Plate houses approximately 242 luxury apartments and over 15,000 square feet ground floor retail space.
- The 3-story “Edge” project (formerly named the “KFC Site/’Yeager Project'”) offers 60,187 square feet mixed-use (3-story) for restaurants, retail stores, a medical office, and office space, plus a 330-space parking garage. Community Health Network will lease a 22,000 square-foot space. This portion of the redevelopment project is expected to be compete by late 2015 or early 2016.
- The 3-story Loftus Robinson Project will offer over 33,000 square feet mixed-use of space for restaurants, retail and office, including 100 luxury apartments.
- The Meye-Najem Building is essentially already complete, and offers 40,000 square feet of office space.
- Pocket park is a fun, little urban “pocket park” that offers a stage, benches, and bike racks, and serves as venue for community art.
Parks in Fishers
The town of Fishers is home to 16 community parks. These include Billericay Park, Brooks School Park, Cheeney Creek, Cumberland Park, Cyntheanne Park, Eller Fields Park, Fishers Heritage Park at White River, Hamilton Proper Park, Harrison Thompson Park, Hoosier Woods, Mudsock Fields, Nickel Plate District Amphitheater, Olio Fields, Pocket Park, Ritchey Woods Nature Preserve and Roy G Holland Memorial Park.
Cheeney Creek Natural Area
The Cheeney Creek Natural Area is located just west of Lantern Roadat 11030 Fishers Pointe Boulevard in Fishers.
This beautiful, 25-acre park features plenty of green space; scenic ponds stocked with largemouth bass, bluegill and channel catfish; a beautiful wooded trail; picnic tables, walking trails, and a children’s play area.
Cyntheanne Park is located at 12383 Cyntheanne Road in Fishers. Hidden away from the busy areas of town, Cyntheanne Park is great destination for a fun day outside.
Park amenities include a huge concession area with picnic areas, parking, trails and restrooms, and fields for lacrosse, rugby and soccer, football field.
Fishers Heritage Park at White River
Located at 10595 Eller Road, Fishers in Fishers, Heritage Park at White River offers a nice mix of outdoor fun and history. The beautifully-restored, Historic Ambassador House and Heritage Gardens offers a glimpse back in time, with its historic architecture and wonderfully-preserved interior features.
The park offers an immaculately manicured green space, a sledding hill, restrooms and asphalt parking. In addition, the multi-use Eller Run loop runs along a natural wooded setting, and is perfect for jogging, biking and walking.
A Little Fishers History
Fishers, Indiana has a rich history, filled with pioneers, important statesmen and women, wars, and civil rights victories. The history of Fishers is shot through with references to William Conner, whose name still graces one of the top living history museums in the United States, Conner Prairie. William Conner was Fishers’ first white settler. He was a true Renaissance man from the 1800’s: a scout, a trader, the founding father of Fishers business, a politician and a leader of his community.
The story goes that he built a cabin along the shores of the White River and opened a trading post there, mainly dealing in fur. Later, as the community which was to become Fishers came into being, Conner’s business endeavors branched out to include land speculation, farming, distillation of spirits and milling. The famous Indianapolis museum of Conner Prairie contains William Conner’s original brick house and farm and is located on Conner’s original property.
During the early 1800’s, nearby Indianapolis was voted the state capital of Indiana, which proved to be an auspicious advantage for the future community of Fishers.
The year of 1824 marks an interesting point in Fishers history. It was during that year that the first white men were hanged for murdering Indians. William Conner, whose wife was an Indian, had an important hand in this turning point of U.S. history.
The construction of the Peru and Indianapolis Railroad in 1849 brought added life and interest to the area, and the Fishers Train Station still brings in tourists from around the state every year. In 1872, Fishers was officially platted. The name of the town at that time was Fisher’s Switch, but it was also called Fishers Station. It was not until 1908 that the name was changed to Fishers.
The population of Fishers in 1963 was only 350, but less than ten years later, it had doubled. Since then, Fishers’ population count has soared exponentially, and now hovers around 65,000, making it one of the fastest-growing communities in the nation.
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