‘Your Town Friday’ visits Brownsburg, Hendricks County

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(Dec. 5, 2014) - This morning “Your Town Friday” is heading to Brownsburg in Hendricks County!  And while it’s close to downtown Indy, only about 17 miles away, it’s definitely possible to get away from the hustle and bustle and really enjoy nature out in Brownsburg.

For the last 10 years people from all over Central Indiana have been visiting Natural Valley Ranch in Brownsburg.

“We just wanted to provide something where people could just come and be and not be electronic on all those things that people need to be entertained with,” said owner Marie Damler.

So put down your phone and your laptop because you don’t have to wait until spring time to visit!

“We are open all year long.  We have an indoor facility for riding and we do birthday parties in the winter time, too,” said Damler.

Whether you’re avid rider or you’ve never been on a horse before, the ranch is a safe and comfortable place where you can have a lesson, go on a group trail ride or just “horse around” with the animals.

“We have our amazing potbelly pig, bunny rabbits, cats, goats, miniature horses, kids love the miniature horses and our horses are good for just pony rides for the kids, they can pet them, give them some hay and hang out with them and that doesn’t cost anything,” said Marie.

And if you’re like me, you never grew up around horses and you’re a little bit nervous, you’re encouraged to come and watch the animals, pet them, feed them, ask questions and when you feel ready to hop on, you’ll sign a waiver.  Marie and her staff will be ready to help you up; they’ll guide you and won’t leave your side.  Once you’re done--a new-found confidence and smiles all around!

The ranch is holding a cookies and cocoa event with Santa on Saturday, Dec. 6.

For $5 a person you can enjoy pony rides, visit with the animals, see Santa, hear a story and make a Christmas cookie and a craft.

Now just because many people think of Brownsburg as the “country” doesn’t mean they don’t have great shopping!  If you’re looking for a unique gift for any age this holiday season, listen to this!

Melissa Blackshear, owner of Finer Things, tells us about recycled office windows and jewelry made from recycled Christmas ornaments.  The Brownsburg resident and art lover realized her town needed a place where people could find a unique gift without driving miles and miles away.

“We have a lot of Hendricks County artists and a lot of Brownsburg artists that bring their art in.  I think it’s cool to come in and know this is the one and only thing that’s ever going to be made exactly like this, that you can give to somebody you love,” said Melissa.

Inside “Finer Things” you’ll find hand crafted items for all ages.

“A lot of truly upcycled items and repurposed items, not just repainted but something made into something brand new, trash or pieces or parts made into something brand new,” she said.

She shows us bags made out of recycled men’s ties and handbags made out of leather boots.  And in the back she holds a number of art workshops like clay work, painting and jewelry making.

Just a few miles away is one of Brownsburg’s hidden gems:  Wilbur’s Lincolnwood Toy Store owned by Abraham Lincoln look alike, Wilbur Tague.

“That’s why we named the toy store Lincolnwood and then we decided we better add Wilbur to it because people would probably wonder what Lincolnwood meant,” said Wilbur.

Wilbur opened the shop 6 years ago because he thought Hendricks County needed a unique toy shop and boy does he have a lot!

“The first time someone walks in they’re pretty amazed because it looks like a tiny little farm house from the outside which is what it used to be, but it’s packed full of toys,” he said.

But it’s not the kind of stuff you’ll find at Toys “R” Us.

“We’re looking for mainly non-battery powered toys, we want kids to use their imaginations, the toys are tools to understand their world,” Wilbur said.

And just because the toys are pretty much for kids, doesn’t mean the adults can’t have a little fun, too!

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