Family Fun Friday Trips and a Tip!

The past two weeks we discovered 2 new day trips. Now mind you the places were not new to us, but the adventure was new.

First Trip – Edinburgh and Franklin

Now most people know Edinburgh for the Outlet Stores. And yes we stopped to look for bright colored shoes – and yes we found some – and on clearance too!

But if you go to Edinburgh make sure to take time to visit the Edinburg Diner.

They have the distinction of serving the largest tenderloin in Indiana and it does not disappoint (notice the slice of cheese for size reference)! Riley and I did are best and we still had leftovers to take home.

After lunch we needed some exercise, so we headed to downtown Franklin. The home of Franklin College and the Historic Artcraft Theatre. If you want to experience the movies the way the used to be … take time to see a film at the Artcraft. But there was so much more in the downtown square of Franklin. So we shopped. And we find a few antique stores as well.

Why Antique stores? You never know what you will find and with imagination you will be entertained all day. And with a keen eye, you might find some treasure to take home. At the least you will walk down memory lane and tell stories.

We enjoyed the Madison Street Salvage in Franklin as they benefited the local NonProfit and they had some great architectural salvage as well as antiques.

But we enjoy the stories we make up along the way as we find little gems. Like Goth Orphan Annie on the left. Apparently even little Orphan Annie had her teenage phase!

We rounded out our day at a toy store downtown and with ice cream store from a shop in the old Franklin Train Depot.

Second Trip – Downtown Noblesville

We actually started the day with some shopping at a few big box stores on 37 on our way and lunch at Zaxby’s which we had not had in over 15 months. But our target was downtown Noblesville and the town square. I have driven by countless times in my life, but honestly never been. This won’t be our last trip. We enjoyed all the shops – antiques, clothes and toys. Met shop owners and enjoyed some great coffee!

Noble Coffee was a great treat and hit the spot late afternoon. And I was excited to learn that they fresh roast small batches of coffee beans from Guatemala. I now have a local spot to get my fix in between trips to Mission Guatemala and Crossroads Cafe. They have more than just coffee (but who cares?) and plenty of seating!

We will keep both these trips in mind because we could have spent plenty more time in both places and we have just scratched at the surface of all there is to do in these places.

Once again … Family Fun Friday was a success! Food, Culture, and Activity. And now you have 2 new selfie spots to find in Noblesville and Franklin.

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BONUS TIP for Family Fun Friday Planning – CALL AHEAD

On both of our trips, I had done some homework online and found a couple of unique stops that were open. A Train Museum in Franklin located in the old train depot and a History Museum in Noblesville located in the old jail that once kept John Dillinger.

We were unable to visit either because they were closed.

Apparently in these COVID days, the information on their Facebook Pages and Websites were not accurate in stating that they were open. So call ahead to verify hours of operation.

While we were disappointed, it gives us an excuse to return soon to explore these spots again.

The Routine of Family Fun Friday

The difficulty of Family Fun Friday Adventures is that is really easy to make them look like Grand Adventures. And some truly are, but the reality is most are just routine. Take for example last Friday.

We had a plan to pick up lunch, eat it at a park, take in the scenery, and then go to a favorite place we hadn’t been to in over a year for some more fun. And then life happened. The place we wanted to pick up lunch – was closed – for good. So onto the same place (did I mention they have great gluten free bread and more than one location?) on the other side of town. We arrive, order, and then they inform us they do not have gluten free bread. Cancel order and change plans – again. We are now dining in.

After lunch, we change parks and head to Holcomb Gardens at Butler instead. A Great Adventure (see the photos above) but now our timing and location are off and it is nearing rush hour. We have some shopping that needs done and we don’t have time to finish our plans.

Did we have a Family Fun Friday? Yes.

Was it the day we planned? No.

Was it more like real life filled with challenges and disappointments? You bet.

But, we were together for the day and we still managed to check off the 3 main ingredients of a Family Fun Friday. Truth is that is what most of our Fridays are really like.

Take for instance these Fun Fridays:

Family Fun Friday – planting flowers and spreading mulch plus dinner out (upper left)

Family Fun Friday – shopping and eating lunch at a new place to us – Fat Dan’s Deli (lower left)

Family Fun Friday – lunch with my Dad at a new place to us – 3 in 1 Restaurant – with fresh made tortilla chips (middle left and middle right)

Family Fun Friday – shopping a simply driving around discovering all that is closed or to hectic to want to go in, but look at the art on the wall as we stop at the light (upper right)

Family Fun Friday – Midland Arts and Antiques spending the day wandering around looking at stuff and discovering the Bat Signal and toy dolls that once were loved? (Lower right)

Those were routine days – not grand adventures.

But they were fun because we chose to spend the day together. And when it seemed mundane, we chose to call it fun anyway.

And it was Fun. We did something. We were together. And somehow we experienced culture.

And now it is nearly Friday once again … will it be new? routine? disappointing? or grand?

Truth is it is our choice.

The story from the day may not grand from your perspective, but it will be for us.

Because we will have spent the day together.

Here’s to more routine days … together.

Family Fun “Fast” Friday – April 16

You know you can live in place all your life and still not really know what is there. Now I have been to countless Indy 500 races and many other times to practice or the Museum, but never actually to Speedway, Indiana. Plus if you are going to get a once-in-a-lifetime vaccine for a pandemic, why not do it in an unique place? Hello Speedway!

From there it was an easy choice to check out Main Street Speedway and the sights. Who knew there was all these cool spots to see? The Dallara Factory, Antiques, Unique Shops – thanks Famous Tomato!, and Great Food and drink – thanks Daredevil Hall! (Don’t be afraid of the SparkPlug – beer and orange soda really do work well together!)

We even took time to check out another unique spot in town the Virginia Fairbanks Art Park at the Museum of Art. This is a fun place for a walk, but very short on Art. Perhaps after 10 years they might have have installed more than a few sculptures – Have I told you about Pyramid Hill in Cincy?

All in all this was a great family day.

So here’s the lesson – some of the best things to do are right in your backyard, your neighborhood, or your city. You don’t have to travel far to find something new or surprising.

As a matter of fact, you don’t have to wait for a race to have fun in the Racing Capital of the World.