Last Monday, Mike and I snuck out for a couple of hours for a “date night” at Garfield Park (that wasn’t really a date because it was about 2 hours on a Monday) but we still had to get home for bedtime. Right before the summer, Mike and I both joined Yelp. I was encouraged to join so I could become *Elite* and then I encouraged Mike to do the same. They host events all over the city and this one was all about the Secrets of Garfield Park in Indianapolis.
Within about a month, I was nominated for *Elite* and got it….Mike is still working on it.
SECRETS OF THE CITY
WHAT IS YELP ELITE?
The Yelp Elite Squad is our way of recognizing people who are active in the Yelp community and role models on and off the site. Elite-worthiness is based on a number of things, including well-written reviews, high-quality tips, a detailed personal profile, an active voting and complimenting record, and a history of playing well with others. Members of the Elite Squad are designated by a colorful Elite badge on their account profile. After being Elite for 5 years, they’ll receive the Gold Elite Badge, and after 10 years they’ll receive the coveted Black Elite Badge.
I wanted to do it for the Elite Exclusive events, even if I haven’t been to one yet. But I thought Yelp events would be something fun to do together with Mike.And if you want to know more about what YELP can do for your business click here.
So last week, we headed out to our first Yelp Event. Yelp holds about 4 events a month that is open to anyone. On top of that, they host Elite events too. But this month they have a series going on called Secrets of the City. Basically it’s a way to get to know some lesser-known details about places/parks/businesses you can find around Indy. The one we got to go to was Garfield Park.
You may remember Garfield Park from our visit to the Conservatory for the Gnome Away From the Home event that happens every spring. Here’s my write up on that! It’s one of our favorite things to do every year now!
But there are actually quite a few facts you may not know about Garfield Park which we learned on this amazing Yelp Tour that was led by Mark, a Friend of Garfield Park, who totally donated his time and shared his passion for this park with us!
GARFIELD PARK CONSERVATORY
Indy’s beloved Garfield Park is almost 150 years old, is on the national register of historic places, was planned by a renowned city planner and used to house wild zoo animals.
Did you know all that?!
Garfield Park is the oldest city park in Indianapolis. It’s a major urban park nestled among historic neighborhoods on the near southeast side of Indy. Have you been? It’s 126 acres and was founded in 1876?
THINGS I LEARNED ON THE TOUR
- The park was originally called Southern Park (for 8 years) and it was the first acquisition of land for this kind of use in Indiana.
- There used to be a horse racing track that went bust in 1876.
- The park was renamed for James A Garfield after he was assassinated.
- There used to be what was called the Inner Urban Train and its last stop was right around the park at Raymond and East.
- The Lawton Statue by the Conservatory was originally downtown at the Courthouse Square in 1907 and moved to Garfield Park in 1917. Lawton grew up in Fort Wayne, forever called Indiana home, he stood with his men as a military governor, and he rode with Teddy Roosevelt and the Rough Riders.
- Garfield Park used to house the animals of the original Indianapolis Zoo in the Winter
- The Friends of Garfield Park has planted almost 1000 trees in the last 4 years as a part of the Reforest Garfield project
- You can go on a FREE Audio Tour by placing your phone in the Gramophones around the park to learn about that area of Garfield
- The conservatory was built and designed by George Kessler in 1916, but in 1955 the aging wood frame was replaced with an aluminum one which was the first aluminum building in the US
- The Sunken Gardens are maintained by the Friends of Garfield Park and the fountains are super finicky, but were working beautifully while we visited!
The park is truly a treasure!
Now it has so many amenities too.
An Arts Center, Community Pool, the Pagoda, Performing Arts Center, and more! It’s got something for everyone…
I love this little workbook I found on the Friends website.
It’s a great way to follow the parks history and major moments.
So…. for a first Yelp event, we were pleasantly surprised.
While we were hoping to visit the tunnels that housed the animals, we still thoroughly enjoyed being outside on a beautiful evening learning things about our city that we never knew.
WE ARE A REAL PLACE. WE MEET EVERYONE WHERE YOU ARE AT. — GARFIELD PARK
After the tour, we headed over to the cutest little neighborhood brewery – Garfield Brewery. This brewery has a great vibe. We were able to sample a couple of brews and snacks on some pretzels before we had to head home to grab the girls. I loved that they used the neighborhood around them as inspiration for naming the brews, there’s even one named after the Sisters of a local church.
While we didn’t get to try too many things, we did enjoy hearing the stories and meeting new people. This brewery should definitely be on your list of places to check out!
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