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what's right for your child?









contents features

10 | DOWNTOWN INDY'S FAVORITE HOLIDAY TRADITIONS Join the festivities downtown this December!

16 | THE RIGHT BABYSITTER FOR THE JOB Finding the best match for your family

22 | DEALING WITH DIFFICULT GRANDPARENTS Handling unwanted advice from well-meaning family members

24 | PRESCHOOL OPTIONS What's right for your child?


/december 2013

commentary + parenting 44 | ASK THE TEACHER 49 | PETE GILBERT... STAY-ATHOME DAD






Holiday prizes YOU can win!

42 | HOMESCHOOLING Social opportunities for your homeschooled student


in every issue












in every issue

Indy’s Child


The Season with the Reason


PUBLISHER December is the month when families bond with activities to share and special moments to celebrate. Calendars burst with church gatherings, open houses, school parties and local happenings. Which so many possibilities it can be hard to discern where to start your planning!

Mary Wynne Cox |

EDITOR Susan Bryant |


CREATIVE DIRECTOR The Indy’s Child calendar is always a good place to find out what seasonal events are happening locally. Here are a few I’m planning to attend – starting with programs my grandkids and special nephews and nieces are participating in. I know I will go to Northview Middle School for their holiday musical as Jane Wynne is in the Gold Rush Choir and I always feel enormous pride in the full symphony orchestra that Northview has. (The choir is also performing at the Indiana State Museum.) Now Piper Murphy, my grandniece, has practiced for months to be in the choir of the Civic Theatre’s performance of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. The Booth Tarkington Civic Theatre is now located at the Palladium and the show runs from December 13 to January 4, 2014. I’m looking forward to seeing this performance!

Katie Clark |





EDITORIAL ASSISTANT Wendy Schrepferman |

Of course The Circle of Lights and Duke Energy Yuletide Celebration are always “must do” activities. The Hilbert Theatre has multiple performances so buy your tickets early for the Symphony’s signature holiday event. A SymFUNy performance on December 8th at 2 p.m. is especially designed for younger children. Other great family events include Christmas at the Zoo and Jolly Days Winter Wonderland at The Children’s Museum. Performances of The Nutcracker, White Christmas, Handel’s Messiah, A Christmas Carol and more are occurring at multiple locations around Indy and programs at local churches keep the spirit of the season in mind. The Christmas Eve services at St. Christopher’s Episcopal Church and the candlelight singing of Silent Night spark years of memories for our family. However you choose to celebrate this special time of year, we hope you keep “the reason for the season” alive and enjoy making memories with your family!

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Barbara Wynne, Carrie Bishop, Sarah McCosham, Michelle Shirk, Katrina Anne Willis, Pete Gilbert, Deb Krupowicz, Melissa Trumpey of The Children’s Museum, Amanda Dorman of Indianapolis Downtown Inc., Michele Saysana, M.D. of Riley Hospital for Children CONTACT US 921 E. 86th Street., Suite 130 | Indianapolis, IN 46240 PHONE: 317.722.8500 | FAX: 317.722.8510 EMAIL:


Barbara Wynne Founding Publisher


Indy’s Child Parenting Magazine is published monthly. Copyright 2013 by Midwest Parenting Publications, LLC. All rights reserved. Reproduction without permission is strictly prohibited. Distribution of this magazine does not constitute an endorsement of products, commentary or services herein. For information on subscriptions, editorial guidelines, advertising rates and more visit www

on the cover noah ardillo-miiller

AGE: 4 years

favs school subject: playtime color: green movie: Toy Story sport: baseball tv show: Curious George food: pancakes restaurant: Cancun ice cream flavor: mint chocolate chip candy: Starburst toy: Rescue Bots super hero: Robin book: anything about trucks or trains!

when i grow up...

I want to be a policeman!

Photo by: Hannah Hilliard Photography Location: The Indianapolis Zoo



in every issue




'TIS THE SEASON FOR CULTURE There are so many ways to support the arts in Indianapolis this time of year! Here is a collection of opera, vocal, theatre and dance performances that will please the entire family.

Amahl and the Night Visitors This story tells of the miraculous night the Three Kings, following the star of Bethlehem, stopped for shelter at the home of a poor, crippled shepherd boy. The production captures the essential spirit of Christmas and is a wonderful way to introduce children to the art form of opera. December 6-15, 2013 Basile Opera House, Indianapolis

CHRISTMAS WITH THE PONIES Visit with Santa and the Christmas ponies in a beautifully decorated, heated barn! Join in reindeer games, make a keepsake frame and enjoy holiday refreshments in this delightful holiday event that benefits Strides for Success, a not-for-profit organization providing equine- assisted learning and therapy for children, adults and veterans. December 13 - 14, 2013 4:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. Strides For Success Center, Plainfield Call (317) 838-7002 or visit for event details A $20 donation per family is recommended

Call (317)283-3470 or visit for show details and tickets

A Christmas Carol This beloved classic of loss and redemption has returned to IRT’s snowcovered stage. Continue the holiday tradition of seeing the show again or begin a new one and catch a performance for the first time this year! Now through December 24, 2013 Indiana Repertory Theatre main stage, Indianapolis (317) 635-5252 |

Handel’s Messiah

LUMINARY WALK IN CENTRAL PARK Spend a relaxing evening taking a walk through a winter wonderland in Carmel’s Central Park. Enjoy carolers and hot chocolate as you take in the ambiance of more than 2,000 luminaries lighting a path through the wetlands, floating over the lagoon and spanning across the boardwalk. Saturday, December 14, 2013 | 6:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m., Free event

Christ Church Cathedral presents its annual holiday performance of George F. Handel’s Messiah. The performance includes the critically acclaimed Choirs of Christ Church Cathedral and the Baroque Orchestra of the Early Music Institute (Indiana University). December 6, 2013 7:30 p.m. at The Palladium, Carmel December 8, 2013 3:30 p.m. at Christ Church Cathedral, Indianapolis Call (317) 636-4577 or visit for ticket information links.

Jingle Arrgh the Way! A Christmas Pirate Adventure

SHOP 'TIL YOU DROP... LOCALLY Head over to Old City Hall on Thursday, December 12th for the third annual “Totally Bazaar” free holiday shopping party hosted by Yelp! Three floors of local food, drinks, shopping and entertainment will delight visitors. If you’ve never been inside the Old City Hall building, you are in for a treat! December 12, 2013 | 6:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m. 202 Alabama Street, Indianapolis, Free event

Based on the bestselling “How I Became a Pirate” books, the music and magic of this delightful tale will keep kids on the edge of their seats. Weekends through January 5, 2014 The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis’ Lilly Theatre, Indianapolis (317) 334-3322 | Free with admission

A Year With Frog and Toad Arnold Lobel’s beloved characters are back! Follow the cheerful, popular Frog and the rather grumpy Toad through the four seasons as they learn valuable lessons of friendship and diversity. December 13 - 22, 2013 Studio Theater in The Center for the Performing Arts, Carmel (317) 843-3800 |


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“Does your child have a nickname? What is it?” Our son is Bug and our daughter is Pinky Pie. – Melanie A. Smelly Ellie! – Deborah F. So many nicknames for my two boys: Boo, Love, Lovebug, Hot Rod, Babe, and the list goes on and on... – Mandy M. Korybear or Karebear (care bear). – Angela G. Stinker Bell! – Samantha A. Michael-Boy! Mariah-Girlfriend! Both kids are the Spawn. – Amanda P. Shell Bell. – Alesia K. We had a Nae Nae (Renae is her middle name), Charlie Bug, and a Lanie bug (twin girls). – Ashley B. The first ultrasound I had when I was 7 weeks pregnant with her, she looked like a peanut. The baby I'm currently pregnant with is nugget. We know she's a girl. We just don't have any names picked out yet. – Bobbi C.

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Tickets to The Polar Bear Express at the Indiana Transportation Museum

Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra Yuletide Celebration DECEMBER 2013 · INDYSCHILD.COM





Traditions Join the festivities downtown this December!

Amanda Dorman, Communications Manager, Indianapolis Downtown, Inc.

Downtown Indianapolis offers a rich selection of holiday events, attractions and shows sure to thrill all ages. Here are some seasonal favorites that Indianapolis residents and visitors have come to love. Continue your family’s holiday tradition or start a new one! • • • City Sidewalks Experience the second annual FREE City Sidewalks presented by BMO Harris Bank on Georgia Street Dec. 13 – 14. More than 20 local artisans will display and sell original artwork, holiday wares and food and beverages in a festive atmosphere. Bundle up, enjoy some hot chocolate (for the kids) or German mulled wine (for the adults) and celebrate the holidays under a festive canopy of lights. Visit Santa, listen to carolers, see a live nativity scene, decorate cookies and ice skate inside Pan Am Pavilion. Visit citysidewalks.cfm.

• • • 12 Free Days of Downtown Indy Enjoy affordable fun for the family over the holidays during 12 Free Days of Downtown Indy. Twelve of Indianapolis’ top attractions, including the Indiana State Museum, The Indianapolis Museum of Art, The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis and more will offer FREE admission on one of 12 days leading up to Christmas, Dec. 13 - 24. For more information on participating venues and the schedule, visit www.indydt. com/12freedays.cfm.

• • • Celebration Crossing The Indiana State Museum’s Celebration Crossing, taking place through Dec. 31, will bring back old memories and create new ones. Enjoy holiday food, sights and sounds. Children of all ages can ride on the Santa Claus Express, make crafts to take home and gaze into the recreated L.S. Ayres store windows.

bridges and tunnels. Watch seven trains pass through replicas of actual Downtown Indianapolis destinations including Monument Circle, Lucas Oil Stadium and Union Station.

• • • Christmas at the Zoo Experience the incredible holiday light display at Christmas at the Zoo through Dec. 30. Visit with Santa, decorate cookies with Mrs. Claus, watch a holiday-themed dolphin show, listen to carolers and more during this annual Indianapolis Zoo tradition. Be on the lookout for up to 10 mistletoes for a chance to win a Dolphin In-Water Adventure.

• • • Jolly Days Winter Wonderland Explore Jolly Days at The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis through Jan. 5 and take a ride down the popular Yule Slide and discover the Ice Castle and fishing holes. Santa will also be making appearances throughout the season, including Breakfasts with Santa Dec. 1, 7, 8 and 15. Enjoy FREE admission to the Children’s Museum on Dec. 24 as part of 12 Free Days of Downtown Indy.

• • • Duke Energy Yuletide Celebration

• • • Jingle Rails

One of Indianapolis’ favorite holiday traditions, the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra’s Duke Energy Yuletide Celebration, is back with

The Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians & Western Art becomes a locomotive wonderland during the annual Jingle Rails exhibit, running through Jan. 19. Jingle Rails – a journey to the Great American West – includes a network of trestles,

27 performances through Dec. 23. "I’ll Be Home for Christmas" takes on a special meaning as this year’s annual holiday production is hosted by Indianapolis native Sandi Patty and The von Trapp Family singers.






The Season of Giving Back Thinking outside the gift box For kids, Christmas is often all about toys and electronic gadgets. But many parents worry that all this focus on material things isn’t healthy for their preteens. According to a poll by the Family and Parenting Institute, 84 percent of parents with children younger than age 18 fear that Christmas makes their children more materialistic. How can you make Christmas magical without spoiling your preteen? Instead of banishing presents altogether, consider one of these options:

Find an animal shelter Kids may be able to help with cleaning, feeding or walking the rescued animals. Volunteering is a great way to build relationships, develop skills and help those in need. Studies show that those who volunteer have increased self-confidence and gain interpersonal and communication skills that can be useful in the workplace later on.

Volunteer Whether it’s at a soup kitchen or a local hospital, encourage your preteen to give his or her time and attention to those who need it most. It’s important to get your children volunteering while they’re still young. According to the United Way, people who volunteer in their youth are twice as likely to continue volunteering in adulthood.

Give charitably Instead of commanding your preteen to give money to charities you might pick, ask your preteen to set aside a portion of his or her weekly allowance for a charity that he or she chooses. You might be surprised at how generous children can be when it’s their decision!

Share the material wealth If you really want to put the emphasis on giving rather than getting, tell your preteen before Christmas day that he or she will have to give one present to the local Toys For Tots drive. As your preteen is choosing which present to give away, ask him or her to consider what a boy or girl of the same age who doesn’t have any toys would be most excited about getting.

Organize a food drive Many communities have local food pantries to help families who are in a tight spot. Have your preteen organize a neighborhood food drive to collect donations of nonperishable food items.

Visit nursing homes Your child may want to prepare cards or small crafts that can be distributed to patients, learn songs to sing, read aloud or play games with residents. Work with the organization to plan special events for the residents.


Give back with St.Vincent Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital at St.Vincent offers plenty of opportunities for your child to give back all year round. Our Capes for Kids program lets you donate costumes and masks to help sick children feel like superheroes. Our Giving Tree program ensures every child at Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital at St.Vincent receives a gift on Christmas Day. Gifts are also used for birthdays, end-of-treatment parties and as rewards of recognition for how well a child has handled a medical procedure. For more information, visit or call 317-338-2268.





Winter Health Avoid a few cold weather dangers to keep your family safe and healthy

Michele Saysana, M.D.

Old man winter brings his own set of risks with him each year. However, with knowledge and precautions, parents can help their children keep illness and injury at bay.

Don’t let colds take hold Colds and the flu inevitably follow winter’s arrival. The age-old advice to wash hands frequently is shared year after year for a reason – it works. You can help limit the spread of viruses by reminding children (and adults!) to wash their hands before and after meals, after sneezing and using the restroom.

Despite these precautions, some children will catch a cold virus. The best way to keep your child from infecting others is to keep him home from school until he is free of a fever and vomiting for at least 24 hours. Until then, comfort your child at home. Ensure he gets plenty of fluids, rest and care. If your child has difficulty breathing, isn’t able to drink or has a fever that stays above 101.5 degrees, it’s probably best to see the doctor.

Winter-proof skin

Fire safety: Prepare, practice and prevent the unthinkable

Cold air can take a toll on skin. Use a heavy moisturizer to protect and treat your child’s skin. And, while it’s easier to remember to use sunscreen in the summer, it’s needed on exposed skin in the winter too. Use lip balm with sunscreen on your child to help prevent dry, chapped lips. Placing a humidifier in your child’s bedroom – particularly if he is susceptible to winter nosebleeds – will also help moisturize skin.

The risk of a house fire increases in the winter. Make sure you have smoke alarms on each floor of your home and in every bedroom. Test the alarms regularly and replace batteries once a year.

Ready, set, get active Make sure your child is dressed appropriately when playing outside – with several layers of loose-fitting clothes under a coat with gloves, hat and slipresistant footwear. While it’s good to remain physically active even when it’s cold outside, it’s important to take regular breaks inside to warm up and rest. Injuries are more likely to happen as children get tired.

If your child is sledding, make sure he is using a proper sled that can be steered. Do not use makeshift sleds such as a plastic bag or garbage can lid. Never use a snowmobile or car to pull a sled. However, sometimes it’s simply too cold to play outside. Think of ways to keep children active indoors. How about designing a scavenger hunt, an obstacle course or a dance contest? YMCAs or indoor playgrounds are also great places to burn off energy. 14 INDYSCHILD.COM · DECEMBER 2013

Be mindful of the dangers of a space heater. Ensure space heaters are at least three feet from furniture, curtains or bedding. Unplug them when you leave the room or go to bed. If you use a fireplace, make sure it has an attached screen. And, don’t overload electrical outlets with holiday decorations and keep the Christmas tree away from all heat sources.

Finally, make sure your family has a fire safety plan. Participate in a practice fire drill so that all family members know what to do and where to meet outside.

While there are many winter safety tips, these are a few – all meant to keep your family healthy and happy while we await warmer, longer days to return again. For more information visit Michele Saysana, M.D., is a pediatric hospitalist and the medical director of quality and safety at Riley Hospital for Children at Indiana University Health.




Michelle Shirk

Babysitter for the Job

Finding the best match for your family Where are the members of the Baby-sitters Club when you need them? If you aren’t lucky enough to have Kristy, Claudia or Mary Anne on speed dial, finding a babysitter you trust to care for your kids can be a challenge. We’re here to help with some tips to finding a sitter that perfectly suits your family’s needs.

Search and seek mission When looking for your dream sitter, “The best place to start is in your own circle of friends, neighbors, co-workers, etc.,” says Sally Herrholz, executive director for Safe Sitter, Inc. Herrholz advises parents to look for sitters who are trustworthy, enjoy being with children and have the attention span to watch and entertain them – as well as the patience and maturity to handle difficult behavior. Safety is also key – sitters should be willing to accept responsibility for the child in their care and be capable of staying calm in an emergency. When determining whether a sitter is a good fit, Herrholz recommends asking about the sitter’s age, babysitting experience with children the same age as your child and whether he or she has taken a class that includes choking rescue techniques for infants and children. She also suggests asking how the sitter would handle various “what if” scenarios, such as a nosebleed or a child’s refusal to go to bed. In an informal poll on the Indy’s Child Facebook page, reader Jenni G. adds that she asks potential sitters about their education, discipline style and how they will spend their time with her kids. In addition, “It’s definitely a good idea to ask for references and actually call them,” says Herrholz. Parents should ask the references if their children like the sitter, if the sitter follows house rules and if there has ever been an unpleasant situation. 16 INDYSCHILD.COM · DECEMBER 2013

The “in house” solution If you have children of varying ages, you may be debating whether an older son or daughter is ready to watch younger siblings. According to Herrholz, there are many factors to consider when making this decision. For example, “Does your child want to start babysitting? Has your child asked to babysit? Does your child seem capable of handling the responsibilities of caring for a younger child? Does your child show good self-control? Would your child feel comfortable home alone with no adults?” For parents interested in helping a young teen become a prepared sitter, Safe Sitter classes are designed for 11 to 13 or 14-year olds, the age most siblings start babysitting their younger brothers and sisters, says Herrholz. Participants will learn basic development and childcare, behavior management, first aid, choking prevention and rescue, sitter safety and more. Enter your zip code at to find a Safe Sitter teaching site near you.

Your part in sitter success Once you’ve chosen a sitter for your family, there are steps you as a parent can take to help ensure babysitting success. “Take care of unpleasant tasks yourself before leaving,” Herrholz says. “For example, if your child typically resists putting on pajamas, have the pajamas on before the sitter arrives.” She also recommends allowing 15-30 minutes to orient a new sitter to your home, children and routines, as well as discussing house rules. Parents should leave the sitter with emergency contact numbers and the home’s street address, says Herrholz. If the home does not have a landline, arrangements should be made to make sure the sitter has access to a phone while parents are gone. Finding the right babysitter for your family can certainly take some effort. However, the peace of mind that comes from leaving your children with someone you trust is truly priceless!



around town


Christmas at the Zoo Enjoy making holiday memories with your family! Thousands of twinkling lights, a cup of hot cocoa and just a touch of snow – it’s the recipe for a wonderful holiday experience. Add in some incredible creatures and you have Christmas at the Zoo presented by Donatos and Teachers Credit Union. The tradition began in 1967 when then-director Earl Woodard had the idea to decorate the Zoo with lights. That year, the Indianapolis Zoo became the first zoo in the United States to hold a holiday lights event, and since then, families have been coming year after year to make holiday memories at Christmas at the Zoo. Now entering its 45th year, guests can experience the beauty and magic of the Zoo at Christmastime Wednesdays through Sundays from Nov. 29-Dec. 29, plus Dec. 23 and Dec. 30. The Zoo is open noon-9 p.m. and festivities begin at 5 p.m. each evening. The Zoo will be closed on Christmas Day. Each year, Christmas at the Zoo brings together the best of the holiday season with a “wild” twist! Many of the Zoo’s more robust animals will be out late to enjoy the cooler weather, including the polar bear, tigers, red panda, brown bears, walrus and many others. Holiday-themed dolphin shows and special animal keeper chats will help guests get into the Christmas spirit. When visitors’ cheeks start to get rosy, they can dash inside to enjoy the animals in the Dolphin Dome and Oceans exhibit or the beautiful scenery inside the Hilbert Conservatory in White River Gardens.


Photo Credit: Jason Wright

As the sun sets, the warm glow of twinkling lights can be seen all over the Zoo, creating a magical nighttime experience. While taking in the lights, guests can warm up with a cup of hot cocoa, sample some delicious holiday treats and enjoy the sounds of carolers singing near the fireside. Plus, lots of family-friendly activities await in White River Gardens inside Santa’s Workshop presented by Chick-fil-A, where the little ones will love decorating cookies with Mrs. Claus, writing letters to Santa and meeting Kris Kringle himself! Christmas at the Zoo is free for Zoo members and included with regular Zoo admission. Discount tickets are available at participating Donatos and Teachers Credit Union locations and guests can save when they purchase tickets at



around town


Holiday Traditions Create a keepsake to remember your favorite activities Melissa Trumpey, Public Events and Family Programs Manager, The Children's Museum of Indianpolis

Drinking hot chocolate, cooking and eating favorite foods, enjoying holiday lights and decorations…are all things families do around the holidays. Think about your most special holiday moments. What traditions are important to your family and why? Most likely, they revolve around something you do with your family each year like taking a trip down the Yule Slide at The Children’s Museum or singing carols together. Traditions with loved ones are what make the holiday season so special and provide reasons to look forward to the holidays each year. Create your own Holiday Traditions memory book and it will become a wonderful place to record everyone’s favorite holiday tradition! The book will be something each member of the family treasures as children get older and traditions change.

Holiday Traditions Memory Book • Visit your local craft or hobby store and pick out a scrapbook, photo album, notebook, decorative box or anything where you can keep pictures, notes, lists or stories of your family traditions. Get your children involved in choosing how to preserve those memories and traditions. • After you have chosen where you will put your memories, have everyone in the family help decorate the album. • Each family member writes or draws a picture or uses a family photo to represent their favorite holiday tradition. Be sure to write down the ages of your children so you can keep track of their favorites from year to year. • Each year, include a list of things the family will do during the holiday season and add pages as your family celebrates the holidays! Don’t forget to include The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis on your list of holiday traditions! The museum has a wide variety of activities, exhibits and programs for families each holiday season. Join the museum at Santa’s Big Arrival on Friday, November 29th. In true Indianapolis style, Santa will arrive via a Dallara IndyCar! Santa will be in the Jolly Days Winter Wonderland exhibit. Come visit him, “skate” in your socks, brush Santa’s reindeer, “bake” goodies in the Cookie Café and create new holiday traditions of your own. The celebration continues through New Year’s Eve. Join the museum for a family-friendly Countdown to Noon on December 31st. Participate in the countdown, enjoy activities and ride the Yule Slide. Jolly Days Winter Wonderland will be open November 23rd, 2013 - January 5th, 2014.




dealinggrandparents with difficult Sarah McCosham

Handling unwanted advice from well-meaning family members


eing a grandparent is one of life’s greatest rewards. This new status lets one enjoy the fun and excitement of a new baby without shouldering all the responsibility. Making a successful transition from “parent” to “grandparent” however, is not always easy and may require time and patience from everyone in the family. Many child-rearing practices have been updated over the years, and grandparents may find it difficult to be corrected on what’s best for baby by their own child – the one they raised who turned out just fine, thank you very much. Add this stressful family dynamic with a dash of mom’s post-partum hormones, and you can have a recipe for some major blow-ups. Here are some common points of contention between parent and grandparent – with tips for how to deal with them peacefully.

you are breastfeeding, and your mom/mother-in-law suggests formula Dr. Dorota Szczepaniak, a pediatrician with Riley Hospital for Children at Indiana University Health, says “One way to kindly explain your choice to breastfeed is to lay out the medical evidence for breastfeeding.” Dr. Szczepaniak adds that, if possible, parentsto-be should determine their parenting choices before the baby is born. “There are many different approaches to raising a child. One of the first things to do is to establish ground rules 22 INDYSCHILD.COM · DECEMBER 2013

before the baby arrives. These rules can then be shared with family members in advance, and can help you explain your reasoning for your choices.”

your in-laws criticize your adherence to a strict bedtime schedule You put your baby to bed at 7 p.m. sharp every night, regardless of whether it’s a holiday or get-together, which creates tension with family members who want the baby (and you) to be a part of the festivities. “Understanding the type of family structure you come from is important with regard to handling potential family conflicts,” says Gloria Hood, a licensed social worker and the executive director of Indiana Center for Children and Families. For example, if group activities are a big deal in your family, your absence at these events could be taken personally. As such, it’s important to emphasize that your parenting decisions aren’t personal in nature, and talk to your in-laws about scheduling family events at more convenient times during the day as a compromise.

you plan to practice time outs for misbehavior, not spanking “This goes back to the whole idea of family structure,” says Hood. “Are you starting a more open family system when you came from a more authoritative background?” If you’re doing something very different from your parents, it’s important to explain to them what your methods are. “That way, everyone will be on the same page, so your child will be disciplined consistently,” adds Hood.

Consistency with kids is critical, agrees licensed clinical social worker Nico Squadroni. “As parents, we need to be consistent with our rules and consequences on a day to day basis.” Squadroni says that the use of groundings and time outs has proven to be more effective than physical punishment; information than can be helpful when explaining your rationale to grandparents.

grandpa puts the baby down on her stomach to sleep, not her back “As with breastfeeding, medical evidence can help support your effort to articulate your parenting style in the area of safety, too,” says Dr. Szczepaniak. She cites the “back to sleep” campaign, which has dramatically helped prevent sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). “Citing facts can aid you as you seek to explain your parenting style,” adds Dr. Szcepaniak. Parents can also guide grandparents to the American Academy of Pediatrics' website or suggest they take an infant care class to get up to speed on the latest best practices for children. Just like any other major life change, adjusting to being a grandparent takes time. “One thing to remember as a parent, is that we have the goal in mind of doing what we think is best for our children. Our parents/grandparents also had the same goal in mind. No one wants to be told what they are doing as a parent is wrong, just as grandparents don’t want to be told what they did as a parent was wrong either,” says Squadroni. Remembering that your parents’ actions are probably motivated out of love, can help you put their advice and comments into a frame of reference that makes it easier to hear their good intentions.



Preschool Options

What’s right for your child? Katrina Anne Willis

ending your child to preschool is a big step not only for him or her, but for you as well. There are a vast number of

preschool options and educational philosophies to explore, and finding the right fit for your child is an essential part of a strong and positive educational journey.

First things first Your first step in the process is to outline the needs of your family – and specifically, of your child. Parents must consider factors such as cost, location, schedule, teacher/child ratio, accreditation and parental involvement opportunities. Additionally, individual children’s needs must also be taken into consideration. Does your child need a nap, and will the school accommodate that need? What are the disciplinary procedures? Is she adept at navigating unfamiliar social environments? Is a play-based curriculum best for him, or would he be better served by an education-based approach? Lisa Arthur, a 10-year teacher at Children’s Learning Program in Zionsville, describes her school’s approach to preschool education: “(Our) environment is characterized by a structured freedom to explore various aspects of a child’s social, physical, emotional, spiritual and intellectual individuality with guidance from educationally qualified, caring professionals. We believe very strongly in a parent/school partnership, so we make communication through newsletters, emails and direct teacher contact a priority.” Arthur adds that their preschool makes it possible for enrolled students to receive small group and individualized instruction through their enrichment program with activities


addressing fine and gross motor delays, reading readiness, letter and sound awareness, beginning math, social skill development and more. Some preschools follow specific educational models, such as Montessori, Waldorf and Reggio Emilia. If you’re considering a preschool with such a philosophy, make sure you fully understand and are aligned with the chosen educational approach.

Ultimately, deciding on the right preschool for your child is a choice best made once you’ve researched all your viable options. Arming yourself with information and insight before beginning this exciting journey will help you find just the right fit for your child… and your family. For more information about Indianapolis-area preschools, begin with these helpful sites: •

Finding a fit When you’re ready to begin your preschool search, it’s important to start early. Allow yourself time to research, make visits and talk with teachers and directors. And on a more practical level, many preschools have limited capacity and available spots fill quickly. Mom of three, Laura, sums up her preschool search this way: “We have three kids very close in age. When the oldest started preschool, we looked for a faith-based curriculum that was within a 10-minute drive from our home. We talked to teachers and observed the classroom to make sure the environment would be a good fit. We were interested in a good balance of play and education, and our ultimate choice was the perfect blend of everything we wanted and needed. Our oldest son thrived there, and so did our middle child. When the youngest was ready for preschool, however, we switched schools. It was a decision based almost exclusively on our schedules at that point. We needed something more closely aligned with a traditional school day. Both experiences, however, were positive for all our kids. There are so many options out there – the most important piece of the puzzle is finding what works best within your own family dynamic.”

• •

Questions to ask a preschool... What is the educational philosophy of the school? Is the school licensed/accredited? What is the student-teacher ratio? What is the staff turnover rate? Can you provide references from parents of children attending the school? What are the qualifications/experience level of your teachers? Are children required to be potty trained? How do you communicate with parents? How do you handle discipline? What is a typical day like?






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Giveaways of



• Wii Turbo Super Stunt Squad • Lalaloopy – Sew Magical! Sew Cute! • Mooshka – Sweet & Huggable, Oh so Loveable • Glitzi Globes – Make them up! Shake them up! • My Little Pony: Crystal Princess Palace – Friendship is Magical • My Little Pony: Rainbow Dash – Equestria Girl • Littlest Pet Shop: Better Now Baby – She tells you what’s wrong , so you can make her better

DAY 2: DECEMBER 3rd • Wii The Crudes: Prehistoric Party • Smithsonian Knowledge Encyclopedia – The World as you’ve never seen it • Micro Chargers – Electric Micro Racing • 3D Interactive Puzzle – Be in the Game • Super Me! Hero Backpack • Power Rangers Super Samurai – A Christmas Wish • Power Rangers Mega Force – Ultimate Team Power • Trash Wheels – they’re wheely gross • Wii Disney infinity – Starter Pack • Motorworks – Driven by fun • Cyber Hoops – Wirelessly connect your iPhone to the hoop 28 INDYSCHILD.COM · DECEMBER NOVEMBER 2013 2013


• $100 Gift Card to United Art & Education • Tinker Toys – Snaps Together, Stays Together! • Hoopersize – Come On! Get your Hoop On! • Clifford the Big Red Dog – Kitchen Science • Hex Bug: Crab – Micro Robotic Creatures • Playskool: Show Cam – Create your own show, Digital Camera + Projector

DAY 4: DECEMBER 5th • I-Mat: My Animal World – Every baby is a creative baby • Super Simple Songs – Video Collection • Leap Frog – The complete Scout & Frog Collection, teaches early reading & math • Roll & Play – Your child’s first toy • Tummy Time Activity Toy – Roll with me • Here, Fishy, Fishy – My very first game

• The Shade – an innovative way to protect baby • Bumbo Play Tray – Keeps toys & snacks within reach • Bumbo Floor Seat – Enables baby to stay up right


• $150 gift certificate to Green Bean Delivery – an online home delivery service that provides organic produce and natural groceries to Midwest members • Touchtone – Portable wireless speaker • Furby Boom – A new generation is hatching • Snow Time Anytime – Indoor snowball fight • Snow Fort Inflatable! – For indoor snowball fights

DAY 6: DECEMBER 9th • $100 Gift Card to Cunningham Restaurant Group • Numi Organic Tea Collection – 45 Tea bags total • Black & Decker: 6 Speed Hand Mixer • Rock Flower Paper – Case for iPhone 5

• George Forman – Removes up to 42% of fat • Inner Balance – Feel better, live better • 21 drops – Focus. Concentration. • Bialetti Moka Express – Expresso Maker • Bialetti: The Original Pasta Pot • Professional Skin Care System – Exfoliates, cleanses, and softens

DAY 7: DECEMBER 10th • Props – Universal tablet case • Pelican Pro Gear – case for ultra laptops • Black & Decker Snake Light • HD Voice – in car speaker phone • iLuv: Syren: portable Bluetooth speaker • HD Voice – in car speaker phone • Throne – over ear headphones • Ouya – Game console and controller • Rush Zone – NFL Board Game • Ranco EX Store Rotisserie – for the person who likes to have it all • No7 Mens energizing hair & body wash

DAY 8: DECEMBER 11th • Bendashix – Bend & Rebuild, shape & make • Blingles Glimmer Glam Styler • Gelarti – Paint & decorate peel off stickers • Lalaoopys Workshop – Sew Magical, Sew Cute. • Playdoh – Ultimate rainbow pack • Wii Brave Game • Jurassic Tree – Grow a living fossil • Make Your Own Gifts (book) • Text-UR Foam Crafts

DAY 9: DECEMBER 12th • K’nex : Thunderbolt Strike Roller Coaster Building Set • Yu-Gi-Oh, The official first season DVD set • Ring Stix – a totally new kind of “catch” that gets kids wanting to go outside • B-Damon Crossfire – Break Bomber Battlefield • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles – Combat Shell and Michel Angelo mask • The Ugglys – Your gross best friend • My First Career Gear – Pit Crew Gear • Lego Marvel Superhero Wii Game • Lego Play Book – Ideas to bring your bricks to life • Pac Man and the Ghostly Adventures for Xbox 360 • Ben 10 Omniverse 2 for Xbox 360

DAY 10: DECEMBER 13th • Animal Planet Wild Life Tree house • Micro Chargers – Electronic micro racing cars • City Invasions – Haunted hideaway • The Extraordinary Adventure of Adele Blanc DVD • Scribblenauts Unmasked Wii Game • Lego Mini Figures, Year by Year – A visual history • Planets 3D book – Explore your solar system • My Mini Golf – Indoor/ outdoor golf putting kit for golfers and non-golfers • Regular Show – Mordecal & Rigby in 8-bit land for Nintendo 3DS

DAY 11: DECEMBER 16th • Zeenie Doll – Saving the planet, that’s our style • My Little Pony DVD • WOW Packs Back Pack • Kindness Kingdom Boardgame • Bratz Doll: My Passion – Unleash your passion • The Zelfs – Love your Zelf • Nerf Rebelle – Step up, stand up

DAY 12: DECEMBER 17th • Lakeshore Learning Adventure Tree House • Sbyke – A FUN way to cruise the city, suburbs, campus, park or boardwalk • Zylie the Bear – join the worldwide adventure • Elf Magic – A Timeless Christmas Tradition • Lolly the Lamb Hat & Mittens • Dreamworks Holiday Collection DVDs • Fairy Garden – an easy, do-it-yourself miniature Garden kit

*Each day we will post the daily giveaway and instructions on how to enter! Winners will be announced via Facebook and Email.


29 29

CREATING harmony in the home

Carrie Bishop

Managing autism within the context of the entire family Autism has a pervasive effect on a family. Mom, dad, siblings, grandparents and others can feel its weight. Is it possible then, to create a harmonious household in the face of such a diagnosis? While no one strategy will work for every family, trying various methods can lead to a more peaceful home. Area experts weigh in: One step at a time

Stick to a routine

Autism Society of Indiana ally Christine Belviy advises parents find a way to handle an autism diagnosis without getting all consumed by it: “It’s really hard to do especially when a child is first diagnosed. The whole world becomes autism and everything else gets pushed out. It’s important to be focused and to keep the family together at the same time.”

Children with autism do best when their days are structured and routine. “Teaching siblings the importance of sameness and predictability in the home for the child with autism is important. Sticking to a routine and schedule tends to help children with autism learn and cope better,” said Dalton, adding that routines for neurotypical siblings can also promote responsibility and accountability.

Work with an expert

Teach empathy

Because the needs of children with autism change as they age, Jim Dalton, president and chief of operations of Damar Services, says a family’s structure and routine may also need to change over time. “A relationship with a developmental specialist or pediatrician who regularly treats children with autism can be very helpful. Families need outside resources to rely on for information and support as the child with autism and the family grows and copes together,” he said.

Wheeler recommends helping the autistic child learn that other people have needs as well, like time to themselves. Teaching all family members to support one another’s needs promotes empathy and unity.

Try proven treatments Parents should access evidence-based treatments for their child with autism. Melany Shampo, clinical director at the Behavior Analysis Center for Autism in Fishers, points to natural environment training that allows therapists to go into homes and instruct families on how to teach and interact with their child who is autistic.

Identify key reinforcers Shampo also recommends parents learn what things or activities their child with autism truly loves. Use these as reinforcers by granting access to them for desired at-home behaviors.

Learn to communicate Marci Wheeler, social work consultant with Indiana Resource Center for Autism, believes family members should prioritize communication skills so everyone at home is working to understand each other. Communication with the autistic child may be verbal, or come by way of a picture system, electronic device, objects or combination of methods. It’s also important to understand what behaviors might come up as a means of communication when an autistic child has no other way to express himself.


Have siblings participate in skills training Dalton says a family’s schedule should include times with specific attention on the child with autism. “It is no secret that these children need extra help and focus on their needs. While certainly not their sole responsibility or activity with a child with autism, siblings need to understand the developmental and behavioral challenges that accompany autism and participate in skills and communication training activities together as a family,” he said.

Spend time apart Just as important, siblings need time away from the home to enjoy their own friends and interests. Likewise, parents need time away from their children. Date nights and time with friends should occur regularly.

Have fun Dalton believes the happiest families are those that have fun together. “Knowing the limitations and particular stressors of your child with autism is important. Within those limitations, be sure to be encouraging and energetic in daily activities. Siblings need to see from their parents that having a child with autism is a unique opportunity and that time together can be fun and is important to enjoy,” he said.

Take holidays in stride Mary Rosswurm, executive director of Little Star Center, recognizes families can feel especially harried in December. “The holidays are crazy. Parents need to take a deep breath and give themselves permission to not be perfect and to have a sense of humor about the season and just make it through,” she said.



special needs calendar tuesdays


December 3rd-17th Times: 6:00 PM Cost: $28 Where: Monon Community Center, Carmel

Times: 6:00 PM - 8:30 PM Cost: Free Where: 2625 N. Meridian St., Indianapolis Phone: Firany Briceno at or call 317-931-9843

Swag Me Out

Ages 16+



Integrating Mobile Technology in the Home and Classroom Times: 6:30 PM - 7:30 PM Where: Easter Seals Crossroads, Indianapolis Participants will learn strategies for using a mobile device to improve organization and to increase effective home-school communication, academics, learning, and communication. Participants will also learn more about the I.Am app, created to reduce the amount of time spent searching through thousands of apps for ones recommended.


Cuenta Conmigo

The Cuenta Conmigo Meeting is a Spanish-speaking group for parents who have a child with Down syndrome.


/december 2013


Karaoke Night

Times: 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM Cost: $10 Where: Monon Community Center, Carmel

Ages 16+

07 & 14


Holiday Crafts

Times: 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM Cost: $25 Where: Monon Community Center, Carmel



Teen Night Out

Times: 12:00 PM - 4:00 PM Cost: Free Where: Monon Community Center, Carmel

Ages 16+

Ages 13-17

Breakfast with Santa


Times: 8:30 AM - 10:00 AM Where: First Presbyterian Church of Noblesville

Enjoy a pancake breakfast with Santa and help support the Special Olympics of Hamilton County.



dsi D.A.D.S. Holiday Party Times: 5:30 PM - 7:30 PM Where: Recreation Unlimited, Noblesville


Bingo Bonanza

Times: 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM Cost: $15 Where: Monon Community Center, Carmel

Ages 15+

parents' night out Price: Free Contact: Nicole at 317-466-2010 East location: Easter Seals Crossroads, Indianapolis

1st and 2nd Friday of every month



Autism Family Resource Center Support Group Holiday Party Times: 5:30 PM - 7:00 PM Cost: Free Where: Easter Seals Crossroads, Indianapolis Phone: Diane Quillico at 317-882-1914, Linda Knoderer at 765-438-4792

Autism Family Resource Center Grandparents’ Support Group and Parents’ Support Group Holiday Party. Children and grandchildren welcome. Childcare support provided.


South location: Indian Creek Christian Church, Indianapolis

1st Friday of every month



TOP TOY TIPS What to buy for kids with autism and other developmental disabilities

Carrie Bishop

Gobs of gifts are lining toy stores just waiting for parents and gift givers to snatch them up. When kids have special needs, who’s to say which gifts get the green light? Parents may be surprised to learn that area experts tend toward suggesting traditional versus tech. Board games, balls and building blocks are tried and still true great activities for kids. Read on for more toy tips.

Pique interest

Many kids with autism and other developmental disorders have deep interests in a particular subject, so focus on finding toys that explore their favorite topic. It may also be important, according to Kristi Jordan, an occupational therapist with the Indiana Resource Center for Autism, to account for a child’s sensory needs. If a child is sensory avoiding for instance, then consider soft or unoffending toys that the child won’t find stressful.

Board games

Board games are a longtime favorite of families and therapists because they facilitate social interactions and teach skills like following directions and taking turns. Angela Seal, an occupational therapist at the Behavior Analysis Center for Autism, likes board games because they require a child to work on fine motor skills. Favorites include Hi Ho Cherry-O and Candy Land for the younger set. Scrabble, checkers, chess and Yahtzee are ideas for older kids.

Handy work

Seal recommends toys that can help physically strengthen a child, like Play-Doh, Moon Sand, putty or modeling clay. “Just pulling it apart, pinching it, putting cookie cutters in it, or hiding things in it will help strengthen hands for fine motor skills,” she said.

Inspired movement

Movement-based toys are great because they promote movement and balance. Gifts like toy golf sets or Bilibo rocking bowls are fun, affordable and quite helpful. Seal even recommends the hula hoop. “It’s so cheap. You can climb through it, go through its center, and pull it up and over your head. You can even give it to a friend to jump rope,” she said. Other popular ideas include back yard zip lines, scooters and balls of all sorts. Sport activities have the added bonus of promoting social skills like eye contact and communication. 36 INDYSCHILD.COM · DECEMBER 2013

Just build it

Legos, Lego Duplos, and Tinker Toys encourage all sorts of play. With these toys kids can build, play matching games, imitate structures a playmate builds, and of course use the toys for pretend play – all great skills that Seal says have the added bonus of building much-needed fine motor muscles.


This list of low-tech toys doesn’t mean there’s no place for electronics under the Christmas tree. It’s true both Seal and Jordan prefer toys that allow or encourage movement; however, there can be academic value to some electronic toys. “A lot of kids learn their ABCs or to count to ten on electronics; you don’t have to stay away from them. They just aren’t my primary choice. They don’t offer a variety of choice or pretend play. You sit and look at the screen and do the same thing over and over,” said Seal. If an electronic toy is chosen as a gift, she says to limit the time spent on it and make the effort to teach the child how to play with it correctly.

Still stumped?

Fortunately, toy stores are getting smart by targeting toys to specific special needs. “One of the things I’ve found helpful is Toys “R” Us and and all of the places you typically shop have gotten savvy about it. You can actually search the Internet for sensory-specific toys and disability-specific toys,” said Jordan. Other good online resources for toys suitable for specific needs include,, and

Happy holiday hunting!





special needs guide ABA Autism Services by Damar

ABA provides proven research-based treatments and interventions for children with Autism and their families, ensuring that children learn, gain confidence and purpose, and engage in meaningful interactions in their everyday lives. 9905 Fall Creek Road, Indianapolis, IN 46256, Contact: Kristin Dovenmuehle, Director, Phone: 317-813-4690, Email:,

Applied Behavior Center for Autism Carmel

The mission of the Applied Behavior Center for Autism is to provide high quality ABA and Verbal Behavior therapy and consulting services to children and their families affected by Autism Spectrum Disorders by using researched based ABA methodology delivered by highly qualified and certified professionals to increase language skills, social skills, academic skills, and reduce problematic behavior. 13431 Old Meridian St, Carmel, IN 46032, Contact: Jenny Lanham, Phone: 317-573-KIDS, Email:,

Applied Behavior Center for Autism Early Childhood Center

This center houses some of our clients ages 2 to 6. At the Early Childhood Center, typical peers are also present, and therapeutic opportunities for interaction are incorporated into many of the children's individualized treatment plans. A program designed to facilitate transition into an on-site behavior analytic preschool program with typical peers is also offered to appropriate candidates. 7857 E. 88th St, Indianapolis, IN 46256, Contact: Jenny Lanham, Phone: 317.849. KIDS ext 112, Email:,

Applied Behavior Center for Autism Greenwood

The mission of the Applied Behavior Center for Autism is to provide high quality ABA and Verbal Behavior therapy and consulting services to children and their families affected by Autism Spectrum Disorders by using researched based ABA methodology delivered by highly qualified and certified professionals to increase language skills, social skills, academic skills, and reduce problematic behavior. Address: 374 Meridian Parke Lane, Greenwood, IN 46142, Contact: Jenny Lanham, Phone: 317-889-KIDS, Email: jennyL@,

Applied Behavior Center for Autism Indy North The mission of the Applied Behavior Center for Autism is to provide high quality ABA and Verbal Behavior therapy and consulting services to children and their families affected by Autism Spectrum Disorders by using researched based ABA methodology delivered by highly qualified and certified professionals to increase language skills, social skills, 38 INDYSCHILD.COM · DECEMBER 2013

academic skills, and reduce problematic behavior. 7901 E. 88th Street, Indianapolis, IN 46256, Contact: Jenny Lanham, Phone: 317-849-5437, ext 112, Email:,

Applied Behavior Center for Autism Indy West

The mission of the Applied Behavior Center for Autism is to provide high quality ABA and Verbal Behavior therapy and consulting services to children and their families affected by Autism Spectrum Disorders by using researched based ABA methodology delivered by highly qualified and certified professionals to increase language skills, social skills, academic skills, and reduce problematic behavior. 6865 Parkdale Place, Indianapolis, IN 46254, Contact: Jenny Lanham, Phone: 317-849-5437 ext 112, Email: jennyL@,

Behavior Analysis (ABA) to teach language, social, academic and life skills to children with autism and other related disabilities. 6704 Central Blvd., Zionsville, IN 46077. Contact: Sheila Habarad. Phone: 317-769-4335. Email:

Children's Dentistry of Indianapolis

Pediatric dentistry for children and special needs patients of all ages. Our main priority is to make every patient & parent/ guardian feel comfortable and deliver the highest quality of care based on individual needs. We treat you like family! 9240 N. Meridian ste 120, Indianapolis, IN, Contact: Tina, Practice Manager, Phone: 317-580-9199, Email: childrensdentistrystaff@,

Integrity Behavioral Solutions Autism Consultation

Individually designed behavior and academic support and intervention strategies for families and children dealing with Autism Spectrum Disorders. With 35+ years experience in special education in public schools I am comfortable attending IEP meetings to advocate for the family and child. Introductory meeting at no charge. Providing service to central Indiana, Contact: Mika Adams, Phone: 866-968-3698, Email:,

Behavior Analysis Center for Autism BACA 1

The Behavior Analysis Center for Autism (BACA) was established by Dr. Carl Sundberg and a group of highly-trained Behavior Analysts who have worked with Dr. Sundberg for years. BACA uses Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) to teach language, social, academic and life skills to children with autism and other related disabilities. 11902 Lakeside Drive, Fishers, IN 46038, Contact: Devon Sundberg, Phone: 317-288-5232, Email:,

Behavior Analysis Center for Autism BACA Prep

BACA Prep is a facility that utilizes the principles of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) to teach essential living skills to young adults with autism ages 8-20. BACA Prep helps strengthen each individual's life by addressing the areas of employment, leisure and living skills, hygiene, self-help and sexuality while decreasing and replacing maladaptive behavior. BACA Prep is under the direction of Dr. Carl Sundberg, Dr. John Esch, Dr. Pat McGreevy and Dr. Peter Gerhardt. 9929 E. 126th St., Fishers, IN 46038. Contact: Devon Sundberg. Phone: 317-436-8961. Email:

Behavior Analysis Center for Autism BACA-Z

The Behavior Analysis Center for Autism (BACA) was established by Dr. Carl Sundberg and a group of highly-trained Behavior Analysts who have worked with Dr. Sundberg for years. BACA uses Applied

Integrity Behavioral Solutions provides early intervention services based on the science of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) for children from infancy to 7 years old. Our goal is to reduce challenging behavior and increase acquisition of skills. We do this through home and community-based Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy, behavioral consultation, parent training and coaching, toilet training, school transition planning, and program management. Contact: Becki Cook, Family Services Coordinator, Phone: 317. 914-3176, Email:,

Little Star Center

Little Star provides intensive applied behavior analytic services to maximize each child’s potential and empower their family. Children in the 5 to 10 age range present with a unique set of needs. These learners often come from other settings in which they were not successful. After careful assessment, individualized programs are developed to ensure progress and growth. 100% not-for-profit, 10 years of service. Serving children 5 – 10 years old. 12726 Hamilton Crossing Blvd, Carmel, IN 46032, Contact: Mary Rosswurm, Executive Director, Phone: 317-249-2242, Email:,

Little Star Center-Early Learner Program (ELP)

The Early Learner Program focuses on intensive intervention for very young children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. The ELP applies the principles of behavior analysis in a warm, nurturing environment. The focus of the ELP is to develop a foundation of skills for the best possible outcome. Individualized programming is geared toward developing language, social, and pre-academic skills for learners as they prepare for the classroom. 100% not-for-profit. Serving children 5 and younger. 12726 Hamilton Crossing Blvd, Carmel, IN 46032, Contact: Mary Rosswurm, Phone: 317-249-2242, Email: maryr@,

Middle Star Center

Indiana’s original applied behavior analytic center based program that focuses on the distinctive needs of tweens, teens and young adults affected by autism spectrum disorder. Started in 2008, Middle Star is an age appropriate environment that allows each learner to practice and learn the skills essential to be as successful and independent as possible at home, in the community, at school and at work. 100% not-for-profit. Serving learners 10 and up. 12726 Hamilton Crossing Blvd, Carmel, IN 46032, Contact: Mary Rosswurm, Phone: 317-249-2242, Email: maryr@,

Special Smiles Pediatric Dentistry

Dr. Satterfield-Siegel is a Board Certified Pediatric Dentist specializing in providing dental care for infants, children and patients that have special needs. We provide routine dental care, fillings, in office sedations and hospital dentistry for all of our patients. We build long-lasting relationships with our families through active listening and understanding. New patients are welcomed! 10801 N Michigan Rd Suite 210, Carmel, IN 46077, Contact: Jennifer Satterfield-Siegel, D.D.S., Phone: (317) 873 3448, Email:,

Unlocking the Spectrum

Unlocking The Spectrum was created with the mission of making ABA Therapy accessible to ALL children with autism by providing high quality ABA Therapy services throughout Indiana. Unlocking The Spectrum specializes in bringing the therapy to the client--in their home and in their community. Client's receive services in a wide variety of settings including their home, school, Unlocking The Spectrum's clinic, and the community to ensure that skills are generalized across all environments. Intensive parent training and collaboration with all members of a client's team are an essential part of every individualized program developed. Contact us for a free initial consultation. 3901 W. 86th St. Suite 397, Indianapolis, IN 46268. Contact: Ilana Hernandez, Director. Phone: 317-334-7331. Email:

want your listing included? CONTACT






Sarah McCosham


Social opportunities for your homeschooled student ootball games, academic competitions, school dances – these are important events in a child’s life. While these opportunities are readily available to children in public and private schools, they’re not necessarily part of the package for homeschooled students. That doesn’t mean these opportunities don’t exist; it just requires parents be a bit more proactive to find these types of social activities.

his peers. If your child enrolls in part-time classes, he or she will probably give many presentations. In fact, this “blended” route is becoming very popular with homeschoolers, allowing them to mix homeschool with more traditional classes.

If you’re an Indianapolis parent who homeschools, or is considering homeschooling, here’s some ideas for getting your children in on the fun.

Social opportunities

Organized sports

“Most homeschooled kids, in a traditional setting, may miss out on opportunities to socialize,” says Moore, “but they don’t have to.” He explains that many groups connect by organizing field trips to places such as The Children's Museum or the Indianapolis Zoo. Dances are generally coordinated by parents, and offered at a local church or other venues. Black adds that homeschooling websites and online forums are great ways for parents and students to find, or even organize, social events.


“One of the biggest areas of concern for homeschooled kids is missing out on the opportunity to participate in organized sports,” says Shawn Moore, principal at Indianapolis’ Northpoint, a school that offers classes two days a week to homeschooled students. While Northpoint itself offers students a selection of varsity sports, Moore says homeschooled kids can also take advantage of community leagues and offerings at organizations like the YMCA.

Academic competitions Spelling bees, debate team, science fairs…all are a quintessential part of the school experience, and many parents might be concerned their homeschooled kids are missing out. “Don’t be,” says Steph Black, director of Indy Homeschool, an online community for families in the Indianapolis area. “Many national competitions are open to homeschoolers as well. Scripps National Spelling Bee and Science Olympiad are two of the many choices available.” In addition, with the number of homeschooled students steadily growing, opportunities geared for them are increasing as well. Explains Moore: “Homeschool is becoming more and more popular, and considered an option for families that may not have thought of this option before. This is creating more students out there to compete with.”

Public speaking Ah, the dreaded class presentation – a vivid memory among many students. Don’t worry – your homeschooled kid can have plenty of opportunities to face 42 INDYSCHILD.COM · DECEMBER 2013

Moore adds that local clubs exist that gather to work on public speaking skills. “These mainly meet at libraries and are usually on a bi-weekly basis or once a month.” Check with your local library for class listings.

Dances, fieldtrips, hanging out with friends – these experiences can be just as important as Biology class. Luckily, homeschooled students can be a part of all these things.

Additionally, if your child attends some type of part-time school, they will likely have access to all of the activities that other students do. “At Northpoint, we offer field trips that are organized with a purpose and a structure. We also offer multiple dances over the course of the year with the intent of the homeschooler to feel like they aren't missing out on any opportunity afforded to them elsewhere,” says Moore. As a parent, the decision to homeschool means a lot of time, energy, and commitment – from you. In order to make sure your child is getting the social time they need, you will have to connect with other parents, be willing to initiate activities and even consider enrolling your child in a class or two. The Internet makes this easy, as many homeschool groups are organized on Facebook, and there are also several websites dedicated to helping homeschooling families get together.

“Parental involvement is the key to making homeschooling work,” say Moore. “Parents need to be as connected as possible to take the learning process to the next level.”



commentary & parenting


Ask the Teacher Homework overload, vocabulary woes and vacation disruptions Deb Krupowicz

I cannot believe the amount of homework that my second grader has. It seems to go on forever. I am constantly having to prod her to get it done. Isn’t second grade too young for hours of homework each evening?


put in place. If, however, the teacher believes this homework load is a necessary component of second grade success, work with him or her and your child to develop a plan that will help your child achieve the desired output as efficiently as possible.


My third grade son has weekly vocabulary tests that he refuses to study for. Even though his grades on these quizzes are terrible, he just will not work on learning the words. What can I do?

To find a reasonable solution to this issue, you must determine if your child is struggling academically or not managing her time well, or if her teacher makes these assignments as work to be completed at home. First collect some data to determine exactly how much homework your child has and in what academic areas. Every night for one week, make a list of the homework tasks your child is responsible for. Write down the subject area and the number of questions your child has to answer. Indicate the type of questions on the assignments (computation, problem solving, short answer, paragraph writing, etc.). Next to every task, record how much time each takes for your child to complete. At the end of the week, review the information you have collected. Determine how much time was spent on homework each evening and whether or not a particular subject area seemed to require more time than others. Look for trends. This information gives you a sound basis for a discussion with the teacher. Set up a meeting with the teacher, but refrain from starting with a judgment statement like, “I think second grade is way too young for two hours of homework every evening.” Instead, explain what you have observed. Ask the teacher if your child is struggling in a particular area or if managing time well at school is a challenge for your child. If either one of these issues is the explanation for the lengthy homework sessions, work with the teacher to develop some strategies to 44 INDYSCHILD.COM · DECEMBER 2013

Q: A:

The key to your son’s success on vocabulary tests is to determine a method of studying that he finds effective. The traditional way of studying vocabulary by putting words and their definitions on index cards still works for some students; for others it is just a frustration. Free websites like or provide an easy way to turn vocabulary study into a game or challenge. allows you to build crossword puzzles, word searches and other games to make study time fun. You can create these, or your child can create them himself. Be sure to proofread his work before submitting the word lists and definitions so that your child is not studying incorrect information! Research shows that the brain retains new words best when associated with a picture. Have your child make a poster or draw pictures that illustrate the words on his vocabulary list. Or, try playing a game of Pictionary with your son, challenging him to guess the words you draw.

their normal routine that the re-start of school becomes a huge struggle, you are doing your child a serious disservice. When you spend the first few days after vacation with a crabby, stressed out child, you have defeated the original purpose of the vacation. Rather than getting your child off to a fresh start, you have sabotaged the beginning of the second semester by disrupting their routine and impeding their coping strategies by not having them well-rested for their return to school.


Our Christmas vacation is always hectic. We want to make the most of every minute, so we travel up until the last possible moment. Should I alert the teacher so that she can adjust the workload for the first few days after the students return to school?


We all love school vacation times, and we are usually ready for a break by the time it rolls around. With the busy schedules of today’s children, it is important that they have sufficient downtime occasionally so they can regroup and feel refreshed. If vacation is so busy that children return to school exhausted and so far removed from

Get the second half of the year off to a good start by ending traveling vacations a few days prior to school resuming. Give your child the chance to rest before getting school underway. If it is simply not possible to return earlier, implement a routine of bedtimes and wake-up times during break that are as close to the schedule of a school day as possible. Having your child readjusted to their normal routine will help minimize the damage of a lastminute return home following vacation.

Ask the Teacher is written by Deb Krupowicz, a mother of four and current teacher. Deb holds a Master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction and has over twenty years of experience teaching preschool, elementary and middle school students. Please send your questions to her at





education + childcare guide schools & education carmel Carmel Montessori Schools, Inc. Carmel Montessori School is located on the beautiful campus at St. Christopher’s Church on the NE corner of Main St. and Meridian in Carmel. Our directress is American Montessori Certified with 13 years headteaching experience. We offer a beautiful, peaceful and positive Montessori learning environment. Extended days available. 1402 W. Main St., Carmel, IN 46032, Contact: Emily & Scott Rudicel, 317-580-0699, info@,

Clay Montessori A Montessori school offering morning, afternoon, and full-day programs. Available for ages 3-6 years old. Call for more information. (Affiliated with Fisher’s Montessori) 463 East Main St., Carmel, IN 46032, Contact: Peggy White, 317-849-9519 or 317-580-1850

indianapolis – north A Children's Habitat Montessori Preschool and Kindergarten For over 40 years, A Children's Habitat Montessori Preschool & Kindergarten has been providing a place where children thrive and discover their love of learning. We offer a traditional Montessori preschool experience for families seeking a half-day preschool and kindergarten program. Habitat is a not-for-profit school based on the principles of Maria Montessori. We have earned and maintained Full Membership in the American Montessori Society (AMS). A Children’s Habitat is a unique learning environment for children ages eighteen months to six years. We offer an early years classroom ages 18 months to 3 years, two 3-to-6 age classrooms, extended day options until 1:30 and Kindergarten. What makes Habitat outstanding is its curriculum, teachers, and close-knit community of families. 801 W. 73 STREET, Indianapolis, IN 46260, Contact: Carmen Nieves, Phone: (317)7265584, Email:,

Arthur M. Glick JCC Starting Line Preschool The Right Start for A Lifelong Love of Learning! Our strong academic-based curriculum prepares and encourages your child to succeed in school while discoving learning is fun! * Develop Social Awareness & Friendships, Build Confidence and Master Academic Skills for Kindergarten. All of our classes focus on an introduction to colors, number and letters with exciting art and science projects. Math, social studies and sight words are taught in the older classes. 110 Third Ave NE, Carmel, IN 46032. Contact: Diane Atkins. Phone: 317-753-9397. Email:

The Montessori Learning Center The Montessori Learning Center offers a Montessori elementary program for grades 1-5. We focus on developing the whole child through interaction with an interdisciplinary curriculum. Our program specifically meets the needs of each child and is aligned with Indiana State Standards. 1402 W. Main St., Carmel, IN 46032, Contact: Elizabeth Williams, 317-846-8182, elizabeth@,

fishers Fishers Montessori A quality learning environment offering preschool, kindergarten and elementary. Certification through American Montessori Society. 12806 Ford Rd and 131st and Allisonville Rd., Fishers, IN 46038, Contact: Peggy White, 317-849-9519 or 317-580-1850 46 INDYSCHILD.COM · DECEMBER 2013

Our loving caregivers and teachers demonstrate by example and encourage children to behave according to these values as the children are learning, playing and socializing with one another. The JCC embraces a learning-through-play teaching method to engage children in activities that promote creativity, accelerate learning and stimulate social interaction, all at each child’s individual pace. 6701 Hoover Road, Indianapolis, IN 46260, 317-251-9467,,

Beth-El Zedeck Early Childhood Center 2013-2014 School Year. OPEN TO THE PUBLIC. Full Academic Curriculum and Innovative Arts’ Enrichment. Our Program recognizes that intellectual, social, emotional and physical development are interwoven. Our children will thrive on exploration, creativity, curiosity, discovery, spontaneity and more important, lots of love! Type of School: Early Childhood, Full Time/Part-Time/ Flexible Hours, Ages: 12 months old+, 18 months old+, 2’s+, 3’s+, 4’s/PreK (3 day or 5 day program) and Full Day Kindergarten (5 full-day program) (8:50 am to 3:00 pm) Before School/After School Care available daily as needed for all ages: Early drop off as early as 7:30 am and late pick up anytime up until 6:00 pm/5:30 pm on Fridays. Call or email for brochure. 600 W. 70th St., Indianapolis, IN 46260, Contact: Joanie Waldman, Phone: 317-259-6854, Fax: 317-259-6849, Email:,

Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory School You are invited to visit the only Catholic Jesuit school in the state of Indiana that has been educating students in the Jesuit tradition for more than 50 years. Brebeuf Jesuit’s Mission Statement: Brebeuf Jesuit, a Catholic and Jesuit

school, provides an excellent college preparatory education for a lifetime of service by forming leaders who are intellectually competent, open to growth, loving, religious and committed to promoting justice. Fostering a culture of understanding and dialogue, Brebeuf Jesuit seeks and welcomes students from diverse religious, ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds. Students at Brebeuf Jesuit are called to discover and cultivate the fullness of their God-given talents as a responsibility and as an act of worship. CORE VALUES: Education of the Whole Person, A Caring and Diverse Community, The Greater Glory of God. 2801 W 86th St, Indianapolis, IN 46268. Contact: Liz Otteson, Director of Admissions. Phone: 317-5247090. Email:,

Bureau of Jewish Education The BJE challenges your child through a nurturing environment that stimulates creativity, community, learning through nature and outstanding academic programming. Highly trained teachers emphasize both group and individualized learning in the classroom with specialized area staff. Active learning and discovery are encouraged throughout. 6711 Hoover Road, Indianapolis, IN 46260, Contact: Elaine Fairfield, Phone: 317-255-3124, Email:,

Children’s Day In Nursery School and Traditional Preschool The Children’s Day In traditional preschool and nursery school program provides a fully inclusive early childhood program with an emphasis on Christian values in a play based setting. It is designed to offer children ages 9 months to 5 years a positive and developmentally appropriate experience in the care of experienced teachers and caregivers. We play and learn! Classes are offered weekdays from 9 am to 2:30 pm. Children attend up to 3 days a week. 5500 N. Meridian St., Indianapolis, IN 46208, Contact: Christy Whaley, 317-253-0472,,

Children’s Circle Preschool at Second Presbyterian Church Children’s Circle Preschool is a developmentally appropriate, activity based, Christian preschool. We offer classes for children ages 9 months to 5 years old. We meet the needs of the whole child in a creative and loving environment. Our experienced staff embraces excellence in education by nurturing the whole child- physically, emotionally, spiritually, and intellectually. Please call for more information or to set up a tour. 7700 N. Meridian St., Indianapolis, IN 46260, Contact: Cara Paul, Director, 317-252-5517,,

Early Childhood Center, The Church at the Crossing Our Mothers Day Out (12-35 mos) and Preschool (3 yrs-PreK’s) programs provide relaxed, playful, secure environments that nurture creativity and encourage the exploration of God’s world, with a wide variety of learning materials & readiness skills woven through each unit. Need longer hours? Try our child care ministry, The Neighborhood, designed for 16 mos-PreK. 9111 N. Haverstick Rd., Indianapolis, IN 46240, Contact: John Drake or Kelly Belt, Phone: 317-575-6508, Fax: 317-5756509, Email: or

Heritage Christian School Established in 1965, accredited through ACSI and NCA. HCS is the choice in college preparatory discipleship Christian education for 1,400 students each year grades Prep K – 12. Advanced, Honors and AP classes. Full Fine Arts and 2A IHSAA Athletics. HCS is training up the next generation of Christian leaders through challenging, Biblically taught curriculum including internships and service to others. Bus transportation available. Schedule a tour today! 6401 E. 75th Street, Indianapolis, In 46250, Contact: Rhyan Smith, Director of Admissions, 317-8493441,,

Meridian Hills Cooperative Nursery School Share your love of learning with your children. Founded in 1960 by involved parents like you, Meridian Hills Cooperative provides a positive, nurturing environment wherein children explore and learn by doing. Spacious classrooms. Beautiful, wooded playground. Caring, experienced staff of trained and degreed lead teachers. Adult/child ratios 1:4 - 1:6. Find us on Facebook. 7171 N. Pennsylvania, Indianapolis, IN 46240, Contact: See Admissions/Tours Info Online, Phone: 317-721-2322,

Montessori Centres Stressing peace and respect for all, we’ve worked with children to develop critical-thinking and timemanagement skills since 1966. Montessori-certified lead teachers serve children aged 3-3rd grade. Our classroom structure and materials allow children to be self-directed and self-paced. Our well-rounded curriculum includes French and Spanish, art, and computer labs. 563

Westfield Blvd. W. Dr., Indianapolis, IN 46208, Contact: Lynn Boone, Director, Phone: 317-257-2224, Fax: 317-254-3034, Email:

The Orchard School The Orchard School, an independent, non-sectarian, progressive school, emphasizing experiential learning. Orchard teachers engage the natural curiosity of children, develop academic excellence, and provide leadership experience through well-rounded education. Orchard’s diverse community and commitment to multicultural education inspires responsible, global citizenship. Founded in 1922. NAIS, ISACS, NAEYS accredited. 615 W. 64th St., Indianapolis, IN 46260, Contact: Kristen Hein, Director of Admissions, Phone: 317-713-5705, Fax: 317-254-8454, Email:,

Park Tudor School Park Tudor School’s exceptional educators and extraordinary opportunities prepare students to become confident and resourceful lifelong learners. The school community creates an inspiring college-preparatory learning environment for highly motivated young people. Two-year Global Scholars program for juniors and seniors; 19 AP classes; full-day kindergarten; Spanish beginning at age 3. 7200 N. College Ave., Indianapolis, IN 46240, Contact: Shants Hart, 317-415-2777, info@,

St. Luke’s Early Childhood Programs St Luke’s Community Preschool is a weekday, developmentally appropriate and experience based program. Two well-trained, degreed teachers are in each

classroom. Parents’ Day Out is a structured play experience that provides parents some time for themselves on a regular basis on M, W, Th, F. We provide a warm and loving Christian environment in which children can learn and grow. Tours available upon request. Visitors welcome. 100 West 86th Street, Indianapolis, IN 46260, Contact: Mollie Smith, Director, 317-844-3399, smithm@,

St. Richard’s Episcopal School SRES strives for academic excellence through its classic curriculum with innovative teaching methods; it also provides preparation and knowledge in areas such as faith, leadership, civic responsibility, and global readiness. St. Richard’s offers a rigorous academic curriculum, three world languages, public speaking and leadership opportunities, a strong fine arts program and organized athletics for continued lifetime success. Our newly redesigned Early Childhood Program uses brain-based research and proven instructional practices that lay the foundation in math and literacy skills. The program features unique field experiences, community partnerships, year-round offerings, and a full-day curriculum along with part-time options. 33 E. 33rd Street, Indianapolis, IN 46205, Contact: Abby Williams, Director of Admission and Communications, 317-9260425 x134, Fax: 317-921-3367, awilliams@,

Sycamore School At Sycamore, teachers trained in gifted education deliver a curriculum designed to challenge and engage gifted learners. Art, music, Spanish, PE and technology are taught at all levels. Extensive field trips, athletics, child care, financial aid, and a wide variety of after school activities



are offered. 1750 W. 64th Street, Indianapolis, IN 46260, Contact: Dr. Susan Karpicke, Director of Admissions. 317-202-2500, Fax: 317-202-2501,. skarpicke@,

indianapolis – northeast Polly Panda Preschool & Bridgford Kindergarten Polly Panda provides a safe and healthy environment which enhances each child’s total growth. Our theme-based hands-on preschool program provides a wide-range of experiences that foster learning, creativity and problem solving in all areas. A child’s sense of self-worth, independence and growth in social skills are developed through positive interaction with peers and our wellqualified and loving staff. 2944 E. 56th Street, Indianapolis, IN 46220, Contact: Gail Hacker and Tammy Clark, Phone: 317-257-9127, Email:, www.

indianapolis – northwest International School of Indiana At the International School of Indiana, we share your wish to prepare your children for the future we cannot imagine, and to give them the foundation and attitude to thrive in a changing world. An education that combines internationally respected academic standards with a truly international outlook. 4330 N. Michigan Road, Indianapolis, IN 46208, Contact: Sarah Harrison or Kate Lock, 923-1951 Ext. 369,,

indianapolis – south The Children's Cottage The Children's Cottage is a privately owned preschool, providing a loving and playful environment for toddlers thru school age children. Our compassionate and experienced staff offers a developmentally appropriate curriculum that stimulates creativity and promotes learning through play. Our small classrooms provide the individual attention your child needs and deserves. We are a paths to quality level three. Please call for more information or to set up a tour. 5935 S. Shelby St, Indianapolis, IN 46227, Contact Ann Derheimer or Echo Shepheard 317-787-2990

multiple locations Indiana Council of Preschool Cooperatives: ICPC Indianapolis Area Preschool and Kindergarten Cooperatives Preschools: great for your child, great for you! Children and parents learn and grow together in the classroom with caring, experienced teachers. Multiple Locations in Indianapolis Area, ICPC Line: 317-767-7596

zionsville Zionsville Community Schools Universal Preschool Universal Preschool provides a hands-on learning experience, focused on the whole child, in an inclusive and supportive environment that ensures maximum child growth, for life-long learning. We will provide a quality program through: Organizing the environment so it is conducive to success, providing specific directions and instructions, acknowledging and encouraging each child’s efforts, creating challenges and supporting children in extending their capabilities. The Indiana Foundations for Young Children will be a resource/framework for UP. Phone: 317-873-1251, Email:, http://


westfield Montessori School of Westfield, Inc. Located on 3 wooded acres in Central Indiana, the Montessori School of Westfield adheres to the academic traditions of Montessori while serving the present day child. The Montessori School of Westfield serves children from Indianapolis, Fishers, Carmel, Zionsville, Westfield,

want your listing included? CONTACT Jennica@


Sheridan, Noblesville, Cicero and Tipton. We serve children ages 18 months to 15 years. 800 E. Sycamore Street, Westfield, IN 46074, Contact: Mary Lyman, Directress, Phone: 317-867-0158, Fax: 317-896-5945, Email:,

Peanut Butter and Jelly 24/7 Childcare PB&J is a childcare that is a safe, nurturing environment where your child will get the attention and care that he or she needs. We are licensed and always working to meet and exceed all health and safety guidelines. You can rest assured that your child will be cared for with the utmost kindness, love and respect . Open late for lots of flexiblity. Stop in for more info. Follow us on twitter @ pbj247childcare. 5501 E. 71st Street #7B, Indianapolis, IN 46220, Contact: Anita Beck. Phone: 317-205-9211, Email:,

Wee Folk Childcare Quality in-home child care serving caring families for 20 years. (CPR, 1st aid certified, and state licensed). Two meals and one snack provided daily along with baby food and regular formula. We provide quality learning through play in a non-smoking Christian environment. Preschool program providing Kindergarten prep is available. Meridian Kessler Neighborhood, Phone: 317-926-3640, Hours/Dates: 7:15 am -5:30 pm Monday - Friday, Ages/ Grades: 4 weeks+, Religious Affiliation: Christian, Specialties: Infants, toddlers and preschoolers


commentary & parenting

A Man with a Van True confessions of stay-at-home dad Pete Gilbert ManVan. MinionVan. Manlyvan. Call it whatever you want. A minivan has been life changing for me, a stay-at-home dad. My kids can open the doors, climb in and two out of three can buckle up – without help from me. When your home by yourself with three kids during the day, this makes the daily trips to Target, Costco and Trader Joe's much easier. Also, when I leave those stores with bags full of groceries, items my kids begged for and unnecessary impulse purchases, I can just push a button on the keychain and the doors open for the kids to pile in, like magic. One problem that's been eliminated, now that I have a van, is my kids touching each other. They are seated in a two-row triangle formation, so there's no ear flicking, licking, poking, pulling or toy stealing. Unfortunately, I do not have a soundproof window between me and the backseats, so I'm still subject to all the screaming and complaining.

to a compromise and now they can still watch movies, but around town they can only watch the Planet Earth documentary series. The noises I have to hear while driving aren't too bad, and my kids now spout off occasional animal facts. For example, did you know camels can carry 500 pounds on their backs? There's so much storage in this thing too. We've stuffed in lawn chairs, strollers, blankets, coolers, diaper bags and still had enough room to fit our kids inside. So, dads, if you are debating between a three-row SUV and a minivan, check your ego at the door and come over to the dark side. There’s plenty of room, power doors, a DVD player and even heated seats for those cold December mornings.

Happy Parenting!

One new option I'm excited to have in the van is a DVD player. At first the kids blared SpongeBob cartoons on it and I almost lost my mind. We came




winter fun guide I NDY'S CH I LD

Beef and Boards [Indianapolis] (317) 872-9664 | Beef = food. Boards = wooden performing stage. Put them together, add a little music, and you’ve got a great way to spend the evening! Along with the two family friendly holiday shows, several children’s productions are planned for 2014. Climb Time Indy [Indianapolis] (317) 596-3330 | Climbers of all ages and ability levels are welcome. The goal is to learn about the sport of climbing, improve strength and have fun. The facility boasts over 4,000 different holds, 30 ropes, over 8,500 square feet of climbing surface and expert instruction. Conner Prairie [Fishers] (317) 776-6006 | There might be a chill in the air, but there is still lots of fun to be had on the prairie! Winter programming includes Outdoor Holiday Adventures, Gingerbread Village, Conner Prairie by Candlelight, Winter Fun Days, and the popular Hearthside Suppers. (visit for a sneak peek of the winter fun!) Garfield Park Conservatory

[Indianapolis] (317) 327-7184 | Enjoy the warm temperature inside while viewing 10,000 square feet of beautiful blooms, plants and other foliage. Adult and youth education events such as workshops, gardening demonstrations and lectures occur throughout the year.


[Indianapolis] (317) 823-9555 | This enormous facility has it all - games, sports, fitness, food, bungee jumping, bowling, rock climbing, laser tag, inflatables and a wide variety of sports fields and courts. It’s a great family destination and an excellent party venue.

Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame Museum [Indianapolis] (317) 492-8500 | Located on the grounds of the famous Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the museum exhibit space includes more than 100 vintage automobiles including the first car to win The Indy 500 and the four cars A.J. Foyt drove to victory. Visitors can also view the famous Borg-Warner Trophy, historic race footage, and take a lap around the track!

Indianapolis Museum of Art

[Indianapolis] (317) 923-1331 | The IMA is a great place for families! The museum offers a variety of experiences and programs every day such as gallery games, drop in art activities, workshops, and art presentations. Arrange for an expert-led 30 minute family museum tour every 2nd and 4th Saturday at 1:30pm and 2:30pm!

The Museum of Miniature Houses and Other Collections [Carmel] (317) 575-9466 | Visitors will be transported into the magical worlds of miniatures. Exhibits include dollhouses, room boxes, vignettes, and miniature clothing collections. Special group programs such as furniture creation, architecture studies and scale drawing are available. Exhibits change quarterly, so there’s always something new and interesting to discover.

Open Skate The Indianapolis area offers a variety of skating experiences for all ages.

Arctic Zone IcePlex

(317) 237-5555 |

Youth Arena at the Indiana State Fairgrounds (317) 927-7622 | ice_skating.html


[Fishers] (317) 773-9988 | Enjoy 32 open bowling lanes, 2 private bowling suites with 4 lanes each, duck pin bowling for younger children and an arcade. Louie’s Pub offers a wide variety of food and drinks to keep guests fueled up between games.

Rhythm Discovery Center

[Indianapolis] (317) 275-9030 | Make music as a family using every kind of percussion instrument imaginable. Learn about the science of sound, see how instruments are made and experience culture from around the globe. Enjoy one of the many interactive music presentations or hit it freestyle!

Sky Zone [Fishers] (317) 572-2999 | [Plainfield] (317) 268-3200 | These indoor trampoline parks offers visitors of nearly every age, size and fitness ability, a fun way to exercise. Jump times are every 30 minutes and online reservations are recommended.

(317) 896-2155 |

Carmel Ice Skadium (317) 844-8888 |

The Forum at Fishers (317) 849-9930 |

Indianapolis Arts Garden [Indianapolis] (317) 631-3301 | monthly-calendar This downtown space is full of ever-changing exhibits, events and excitement including visual arts, dance and music performances. Visit the events calendar, or just grab a snack and stop by for a free lunchtime treat.

Indiana World Skating Academy

Perry Park Ice Rink

Studio Movie Grill

[Indianapolis] (317) 876-3331 Audiences can enjoy dinner and a movie at the same time! When it comes to the movie selection and the menu, there is something for everyone! In addition to the daily schedule, SMG hosts special events such as cartoons, holiday films and screenings for children with special needs.

(317) 865-1833 SPONSORED BY:





/december 2013



Holliday Park Family Nature Club



Holiday Origami Workshop

Times: 1:30 PM Cost: Free Where: Holliday Park, Indianapolis Phone: 317-327-7180

Times: 4:00 PM Cost: Free Where: Eagle Library, Indianapolis Phone: 317-275-4340

Holliday Park and the Indiana Children and Nature Network are helping children connect with nature and their families. Join us the first Sunday of each month to have fun exploring the great outdoors. All ages, no registration required.

Children ages 9 and up are invited to get folding during this program presented by Art With a Heart. They'll learn basic folds and create their own holiday masterpieces.



Lego Mania

Times: 6:30 PM - 7:30 PM Where: Carmel Clay Public Library

For children in grades K-5. Hey, kids, join us for a fun-filled evening of Legos! We’ll provide the Legos; you provide the creativity. No registration is required. Since Legos can be a choking hazard, no younger siblings, please.



Crafts at the Carnegie Times: 3:00 PM - 7:00 PM Cost: Free Where: Spades Park Library, Indianapolis Phone: 317-275-4520

School-age children are invited for a drop-in craft that they can take home. Also on Dec. 10, 17 & 31.



Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey ® Presents Built To Amaze! Through Sunday, December 8th Cost: Kid's tickets start at $11 Where: Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Indianapolis Phone: 317-917-2500

Surprise and wonder delights audiences with over the top feats of strength, agility and courage. As the momentum builds so does the anticipation, anything can happen when Ringling Bros. Presents Built To Amaze! See website for times.




Times: 7:30 PM Where: The Palladium, Carmel Phone: 317.843.3800

The Choir of Christ Church Cathedral presents its annual holiday performance of George F. Handel’s Messiah. The

Max & Ruby bring to life a wonderful tradition this holiday season as they take to the stage their most magical performance yet! Inspired by one of the greatest musical scores ever composed – Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Suite – the beloved bunny siblings star in Koba Entertainment’s brand new musical production Max & Ruby in the Nutcracker Suite.

09 performance includes The Choirs of Christ Church Cathedral, the Baroque Orchestra of the Early Music Institute, the Jacobs School of Music, Indiana University. Also on 12/8 at 3:30 PM at Christ Church Cathedral.



Fishers Parks and Recreation: Snowmen at Christmas Times: 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM Cost: Resident $20/Non-resident $30 Where: Billericay Park, Fishers Phone: 317-595-3150

Story time with the child in mind. Santa will read Snowmen at Christmas. Children will paint a 3D snowman ornament and enjoy some cookies. For ages Kindergarten through 4th grade. Also on Saturday 12/14 from 11-12PM.

Kids Christmas Craft

Times: 10:00 AM - 3:00 PM Cost: free Where: Earth Explorer Toys, Zionsville Phone: 317-873-0200

Kids can make a free Christmas craft while parents do some in-store shopping.



Max & Ruby in the Nutcracker Suite Times: 12:00 PM & 3:30 PM Cost: $25 to $50 Where: Old National Center, Indianapolis Phone: 317-632-7469


Gingerbread House Contest Awards Party Times: 6:00 PM - 7:30 PM Cost: Free Where: Plainfield-Guilford Township Public Library Phone: 317-838-3801

Listen to stories read by Mrs. Claus, make a gingerbread-related craft, then enjoy hot chocolate and gingerbread cookies as you view entries in the library's Gingerbread House Contest. See contest winners and vote for your favorite for the People's Choice Award.



Stuffed Animal Sleepover Times: 6:30 PM - 7:00 PM Where: Carmel Clay Public Library Phone: 317-844-3363

Kids, bring a favorite stuffed animal to the Storytime Room, and we will tuck them all in with bedtime stories and songs. You’ll leave your stuffed animals to sleep over at the library and then return anytime between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. the next day to pick them up, along with a photo of the stuffed friends’ overnight adventures! Registration is required.



Fisher Parks and Recreation: Pictures With Santa Through Thursday, December 12th Times: 6:00 PM - 7:30 AM Cost: Free Where: Fishers Town Hall



Phone: 317-595-3150

Your children can have their picture taken for free with Santa Claus while they share their Christmas list for this year. For all ages.



Yelp's Totally Bazaar

Times: 6:00 PM - 10:00 AM Cost: Free Where: Old City Hall, Indianapolis

You're invited to Yelp’s Totally Bazaar, a free holiday shopping party Over 80 local shops will set up shop at Old City Hall. While Yelp brings the party, vendors will be passing out taste testers and selling local goods.

The Nutcracker Through Sunday, December 15th Where: Indianapolis Museum of Art Phone: 317-920-2659

Children and adults of all ages will be transformed by this heartwarming tale of a young girl and her beloved Nutcracker as she battles off evil and learns the value and resiliency of the human spirit. Indiana Ballet Conservatory's interpretation of the ballet choreographed in Russia nearly 80 years ago, gives you a glimpse of one of the original versions of "The Nutcracker" prior to making its debut in America. See website for performance times.



Christmas with the Ponies and Santa Through Saturday, December 14th Times: 4:00 PM - 8:00 PM Cost: $20 donation per family Where: Strides to Success, Plainfield Phone: 317-838-7002

Christmas with Santa and the Ponies is a fun event for the entire family. Visit


with Santa, have a family photo taken with Santa and a Christmas Pony, make a frame for your photo @ Santa’s Workshop, play Reindeer Games and much more! Strides to Success is a not-for-profit organization, who provides Equine Assisted Learning and Equine Assisted Therapy.

Holliday Park Family Friday Night Campfire: Winter Night Hike Times: 6:30 PM - 8:00 PM Cost: $5/individual Where: Holliday Park Nature Center, Indianapolis Phone: 317-327-7180

Tired of spending your Friday night in front of the TV? Join us for a fun adventure for the whole family! After spending time roasting marshmallows around the campfire, we'll hit the trail to enjoy a hike through the winter woods. Roasting sticks and s'mores are provided, you are welcome to bring hot dogs and make a meal of it. All ages, pre-registration required.



Christmas on the Farm Times: 9:00 AM - 2:00 PM Cost: Free Where: Traders Point Creamery, Zionsville Phone: 317-733-1700

Come join us for Sleigh-hayrides around the farm, music and caroling, craft-making opportunities for the kids, and our Holiday Green Market that is chock-full of fun holiday gifts and stocking stuffers. The celebration is not complete without a visit to Old St. Nick and his live Elk. Take in the beauty of our soaring live Christmas tree and winter greenery as you treat yourself to our organic, 100% grass-fed Eggnog, our creamy Hot Chocolate, and our festive à la carte menu of farm-to-table dishes.

Luminary Walk Times: 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM Cost: Free Where: Central Park Trail, Carmel Phone: 317-573-5243

Spend a relaxing evening taking a walk through the winter wonderland at Central Park. Enjoy carolers and hot chocolate as you take in the ambiance of more than 2,000 luminaries light the path through the wetlands, floating over the lagoon, and spanning across the boardwalk. Come see Central Park in a new light.

The Nutcracker by Ballet Theatre of Carmel at Performer's Edge Times: 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM Cost: $20 for adults and $10 for children Where: Carmel High School Auditorium, Carmel Phone: 317-573-8085

This charming production will be performed by Ballet Theatre of Carmel dancers, along with members of the Carmel High School Ambassadors. The audience will laugh at Mother Ginger’s special dress, delight in beautiful costumes and choreography, and be enchanted by scenery and characters that make this a holiday classic. Contact for info.



Holliday Park Create and Decorate: Treats for the Birds Times: 1:30 PM - 3:00 PM Cost: $5/individual Where: Holliday Park Nature Center, Indianapolis Phone: 317-327-7180

Come anytime between 1:30-3:00 to create some tasty treats for you to take home and share with the birds in your backyard! All materials provided. All ages, pre-registration required.



Star Wars Origami Workshop Times: 5:30 PM Cost: Free Where: Haughville Library, Indianapolis Phone: 317-275-4420

Children ages 9 and up are invited to get folding during this program presented by Art With a Heart. They'll learn basic folds and create their own out-of-this-world masterpieces. Call 275-4420 to register.



Fishers Parks and Recreation: Candy Cane Hunt Times: 5:00 PM - 5:30 PM Cost: Resident $4/Non-resident $6 Where: Billericay Park, Fishers Phone: 317-595-3150

Despite his busy winter schedule, it is rumored that Santa is going to hide hundreds of candy canes around Billericay Park. Join us as we search for hidden candy canes. Afterwards, warm up with hot cocoa. while completing a craft. Cost is per child. For ages 6-10. Registration required.



Twas the Night before Christmas Times: 7:00 PM - 8:00 PM Cost: Free Where: Hamilton East Library, Fishers Phone: 317-579-0300

Description: Join us for a spirited reading of this classic holiday poem! We will also enjoy cookies and milk, holiday carols, and make a craft to take home!



IMA Community Day: Winter Solstice Times: 5:00 PM - 8:30 PM Cost: Free Where: Indianapolis Museum of Art Phone: 317-920-2659

Celebrate the season with the IMA’s annual Winter Solstice celebration. Step outside for an ice carving demonstration, art making and caroling. Meet Sami the reindeer herder and his arctic wildlife friends. Cozy up to a fire with hot chocolate and other

savory treats available for purchase from local food trucks, Scout’s Treats and Mac Genie. Warm up in the Lilly House while viewing early 20th-century decorating traditions, listening to music, and more.



Songs of the Season with Brenda Iacocca Times: 10:00 AM Cost: Free Where: Carmel Clay Public Library Program Room

For families with children of all ages. Children and their caregivers will share the enjoyment of music when they join Brenda for singing, dancing, and making music to songs of the season. No registration is required.



Alina Celeste: A Family Holiday Concert Times: 2:00 PM Cost: Free Where: Wayne Library, Indianapolis Phone: 317-275-4530

Families and young children are invited for a special holiday concert by nationally-acclaimed artist Alina Celeste, who performs in libraries and other venues throughout the country. Clap along to traditional and original songs that are catchy and joyous during this 40-minute program.

7th Annual 5k's of Christmas presented by Carmel Runners Club Times: 9:00 AM Where: Monon Community Center, Carmel Phone: 317-573-5243

Quickly becoming a Central Indiana holiday favorite, the 5K's of Christmas course takes you through Central Park around ponds and into woods with the

second half on the Monon Greenway. The event again benefits the German Shepherd and includes the popular Gift Table and Silent Auction. Over two truckloads of pet food and blankets were collected last year.



Festival of Carols

Times: 3:00 PM and 7:00 PM Cost: $20 To $38 Where: The Palladium at the Center for the Performing Arts, Carmel Phone: (317) 843-3800

Featuring your favorite Christmas carols performed by choir and orchestra, “Festival of Carols” is the Hoosier concert annually creating new holiday traditions for kids from 1 to 92. From “Hark, the Herald” to “We Wish You a Merry Christmas,” one seems to hear words of good cheer, from everywhere filling the air. Featuring the 150-voice Indianapolis Symphonic Choir With the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra and the Circle City Ringers.





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Free Admission at The Children's Museum Times: 10:00 AM - 2:00 PM Cost: Free Where: The Children's Museum of Indianapolis Phone: (317) 334-3322

Spend Christmas Eve at The Children's Museum of Indianapolis...for free! Santa will be on hand for one last visit before his sleigh takes off.







Winter Fun Days Begin at Conner Prairie Times: 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM Cost: $12/adult, $9/youth ages 2-12, Free for members & youth under 2 Where: Conner Prairie Interactive History Park, Fishers Phone: 317-776-6006

Don’t let the post-holiday blues get you down. Come to Conner Prairie and have some fun. Explore the science of baking, test your winter frontier survival skills, and partake in storytelling, puppet shows and musical entertainment. Runs through Jan. 5 (Closed Jan. 1.)



Drop-In Read Aloud Times: 11:00 AM Where: Carmel Clay Public Library

For children ages 0-5 & their caregivers. Meet at the windows. Children and caregivers are invited to join us for a fun, informal read-aloud as a member of the Children’s staff shares a few stories.



Race to the New Year Times: 9:30 AM Where: Cool Creek Park, Carmel Phone: 317-574-1074

Start your 2014 New Year’s resolution to get in shape at Cool Creek Park! The Hamilton County Parks and Recreation Department is once again teaming up with Washington Township Parks and Recreation and Westfield Parks and Recreation to stage the 9th annual Race to the New Year 5K Walk and Run.





Pokemon & Board Games Times: 6:30 PM - 7:30 PM Where: Carmel Clay Public Library

For children in grades K-5. Come to the Storytime Room to play and talk to your heart’s content. We’ve got the board games; you just need to bring your own Pokemon games and cards. No registration is required. Drop in anytime from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.



Countdown to Noon Cost: included with admission Where: The Children's Museum of Indianapolis Phone: (317) 334-3322

Families are invited to participate in the excitement of an early countdown by celebrating the New Year with a Water Clock countdown to Noon! Activities will begin at 10 a.m. with an exciting countdown taking place in the Sunburst Atrium at a reasonable hour for the younger members of the family. Two actual countdowns will take place, complete with confetti, at noon and 1 p.m.

Celebration Crossing: a Family's New Year's Eve Times: 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM Cost: $7 for members/$13 for nonmembers Where: Indiana State Museum, Indianapolis Phone: 317-232-1637

End the year with a bang with a familyfriendly alcohol-free celebration in the Governor Frank O'Bannon Great Hall. Activities include face-painting, arts and craft, games, door prizes and a special musical performance by Indianapolis band The Tides. A balloon drop at 8 p.m. allows the little ones to celebrate the New Year in style. Reservations recommended.

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ongoing A Christmas Carol

Through Tuesday, December 24th Cost: see website for ticket pricing Where: Indiana Repertory Theatre, Indianapolis Phone: 317-635-5252

The beloved classic of loss and redemption returns to IRT's snowcovered stage. Dickens' characters bring new life every season in this faithful, fanciful and frolicsome adaptation. It's Indy's favorite holiday tradition.

Jingle Rails: The Great Western Adventure

Through Sunday, January 19th Times: 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM Cost: General admission ranges from FREE to $10 Where: Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art, Indianapolis Phone: 317-636-WEST (9378)

Where: Conner Prairie Interactive History Park, Fishers Phone: 317-776-6006

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Where: Indiana State Museum, Indianapolis Phone: 317-232-1637

Where: Conner Prairie, Fishers Phone: 317-776-6000

This year’s Celebration Crossing comes alive with holiday merriment from the sounds of bands and choirs, and, of course, Santa and Mrs. Claus who will entertain visitors in their cozy home on Level 3 of the museum through Dec. 31. Children of all ages can ride on the Santa Claus Express, make crafts to take home and gaze into the recreated L.S. Ayres store windows rekindling Christmases past.

Experience a family-friendly daytime winter adventure through Prairietown as we open the outdoor grounds for 1830s holiday fun. This program is ideal for little ones and family members who prefer to move at their own pace.

Christmas at the Zoo

Select days November 29th through December 30th Times: 12:00 PM - 9:00 PM Cost: included with regular Zoo admission Where: Indianapolis Zoo, Indianapolis Phone: 317-630-2001

Enter a locomotive wonderland – a network of trestles, bridges and tunnels with chugging trains and detailed replicas of national treasures, all made of natural materials like twigs, moss and nuts and wrapped up in holiday trimming.

Dating back to 1967, the Indianapolis Zoo was the first zoo in the United States to hold a holiday lights event, and since then, Christmas at the Zoo has become known for its spectacular holiday lights and displays. Guests can visit animals that love cooler weather, walk the Zoo grounds covered in lights and enjoy holiday cheer.

Jolly Days!

A Beef & Boards Christmas

Saturday, November 23rd through Sunday, January 5th Cost: included with admission Where: The Children's Museum, Indianapolis Phone: 317-334-3322

Continue your family’s holiday tradition or start a new one at Jolly Days! Enjoy favorites such as the Yule Slide, Jingles the Jolly Bear, and visits with Santa. Explore “outdoor” fun at the Snow Castle and Ice Fishing holes. Warm up your imagination with lots of "baking" fun in the kitchen, and help Santa’s reindeer prepare for their flight!

Celebration Crossing Friday, November 29th through Tuesday, December 24th Cost: included with admission

Friday, November 29th through Monday, December 23rd Cost: $37.50 to $62.50 Where: Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre, Indianapolis Phone: 317-872-9664

Conservatory Crossing

Friday, November 29th through Tuesday, December 31st Times: 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM (Sun, 1-5PM) Cost: $3 per person or $8 per family Where: Garfield Park Conservatory, Indianapolis Phone: 317-327-7184

Come enjoy our annual winter wonderland. See the Conservatory decked out in its holiday best with a brilliant display of poinsettias and enjoy running model trains, a train village and thousands of twinkling lights. Open extended hours until 8 p.m. December 19, 20, 21, 27, 28.

Backwards Dinner

Sunday, December 1st through Sunday, December 29th Times: 4:00 PM and 6:00 PM Cost: $35 for 2 people; $60 for 4 people; $80 for 6 people + tax & gratuity Where: The Indianapolis Propylaeum, Indianapolis Phone: 317-638-7881

Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre’s annual production, A Beef & Boards Christmas, will have a fresh feel this season as an allnew quartet presents close to a dozen new arrangements in a glittering celebration of the season. See website for show schedule.

Have some fun and let your family or friends learn some new etiquette lessons. This dinner starts with the invitation to wear your clothing backwards, tour our Victorian house... you guessed it, backwards...and enjoy a three course meal and the 30 points of etiquette...backwards. Reservations required, 638-7881.

Holiday Adventure

Conner Prairie by Candlelight

Select days November 29th through December 21st Times: 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM Cost: $12/adult; $9/youth (ages 2-12); members free

Fridays and Saturdays, December 6th through December 21st Times: 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM Cost: $15/adult ($13/member); $13 youth ages 2-12 ($11/member)

This family-friendly, 90-minute guided tour takes you back to more than 175 years ago to Prairietown, where it’s the night before Christmas. Meet a variety of characters in their homes and help them with holiday preparations. This program is ideal for guests who prefer a more structured program in the evening hours. Recommended for ages 7+.

Christmas at the Puppet Studio

Tuesday, December 10th through Saturday, December 28th Cost: Tickets $12 Under 2, free Where: Peewinkle's Puppet Studio, Indianapolis Phone: 317-917-9454

Put your entire family in the holiday spirit by attending this popular puppet show! Lots of audience participation, music and fun.

Amahl and the Night Visitors

Friday, December 6th through Sunday, December 15th Cost: tickets start at $25 Where: Basile Opera Center, Indianapolis

The Indianapolis Opera becomes part of the testament to the power and beauty of American opera this holiday season with the presentation of Gian Carlo Menotti’s Amahl and the Night Visitors. At approximately 50 minutes long, performed in English and with a young boy in the starring role, perhaps no opera is more family friendly than Amahl and the Night Visitors.


Select days November 29th through December 28th Times: 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM Cost: Free (activities and Indiana Experience) Where: Indiana Historical Society, Indianapolis Phone: 317-232-1882

On Saturdays in December and the days following Thanksgiving and Christmas, IHS will offer free admission and featured activities. Step into a scene from A Christmas Story for a fun photo op with the infamous leg lamp—with or without bunny suits—and enjoy Eli Lilly Hall’s holiday transformation into a white winter wonderland featuring beautiful handmade star lanterns. Travel back to places and times with the Indiana Experience and find perfect holiday gifts in the Basile History Market.

At INDY'S CHILD, we work hard to ensure our calendar and guide information is accurate. Occasionally, event specifics change after we go to press. Therefore, we encourage our readers to call locations or visit them on the web to verify information. DECEMBER 2013 · INDYSCHILD.COM


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Indy's Child December 2013  
Indy's Child December 2013