Southern Indiana Living

JAN-FEB 2018

Southern Indiana Living magazine is the exclusive publication of the region, offering readers a wide range of coverage on the people, places and events that make our area unlike any other. In SIL readers will find beautiful photography, encouraging s

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Jan/Feb 2018 • 15 Tucked in the hills of Hoosier National Forest in Orange County, French Lick West Baden is a classic tourist destination with a rich and colorful history. the elephants and an educational semi- nar in which guests will learn about the animals and get to touch them and take photos. Also, Wilstem has announced a kangaroo encounter Jan. 2 through Feb. 25, and there are year-round giraffe expe- riences. The ranch also features horseback riding, ziplining and ATV riding. Lodging is available. For the schedule and prices, call 812-936-4484, or see wilstemranch. com. An entertainment venue opened this fall with shows in the style of Branson, Missouri, according to Painter. The shows are held at Abbydell Hall at the Legend of French Lick (the former Larry Bird es- tate). There is also a dinner option. The next production will be "Twist the Night Away," featuring music of the 1950s and '60s. Performances are set for March 24 and 31; April 7 and 14; June 28; July 12 and 19, and Aug. 12. For information, call 812- 936-5300 or see Another popular event is the 10th annual Chocolate Fest, held at the French Lick Springs hotel on Feb. 10, Painter said. Guests will experience a spectrum of all things chocolate in a 1920s theme. Typi- cally, the fest features 15 types of choco- late and more than 50 unique chocolate creations. A variety of packages are of- fered, including one for ages 6-12. The fest will be held in the Hoosier Ballroom from 1 to 4 p.m. For information, see frenchlick. com/node2030. The French Lick West Baden Springs community is home to a variety of enter- prises, both unique and traditional. "For instance, Hinshaw Rock 'N Gems is a neat place," Painter said. "It is a family-owned business since 1961. They make one-of-a-kind jewelry and will dem- onstrate the art of cuĴing and polishing stones." Janis Hinshaw, who owns the busi- ness with her husband, Merrill, explained the process. "We just take what Mother Nature made and make it preĴier." Mer- rill Hinshaw has been recognized as one of the top 10 stone polishers in the nation. "This is Merrill's business," Janis Hin- shaw said. "He is the silversmith, the art- ist. The rest of the family just pitches in as needed. "We do a lot of custom work, but we have jewelry in all price ranges," she said. "We want our products to be afford- able." All of the items are handmade. The facility has been on County Road 650 West since 2003. "We were locat- ed in Randolph County, but needed more room," Janis Hinshaw said. "We found this place and really like it."

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