A little activity, a little shopping and a little dining, Indy style
by Kenny Norman
When it comes to Indianapolis, quite a few options exist for leisure time, in shopping, dining and activities. However, were I to pick just one of each, then I would pick Greenwood Park Mall, Sapporo and Greatimes, respectively.
What I love about Greenwood Park Mall is that not all of its stores are women’s clothing. While Castleton Square has more square footage, it has fewer stores with an emphasis on women’s clothing stores (and its own directory supports me in this). Greenwood Park Mall has more stores, albeit smaller, with a wider variety of stores. I also find younger people of both sexes frequenting this mall more, as opposed to the older women at Castleton Square.
Therefore, the environment is more appealing. Also, the employees are wonderfully friendly, outgoing, cheerful, helpful and thoughtful. I’d like to think they’re naturally this way, but maybe they’re just really good at their jobs. Either way, I approve of the employees and staff at all the stores. As far as what to do in Greenwood Park Mall, I visit Old Navy, Aeropostale, Blondie’s Cookies, and Maggie Moo’s. Greenwood Park Mall is the last mall in the Indy area to have an Old Navy, and it is my favorite store. I can find a lot of things for under $20, especially on the clearance rack. The same goes for Aeropostale, although its sales are less frequent and less generous.
Maggie Moo’s has a moderate selection of ice cream with approximately 16 flavors, but its flavors are rich and creamy. A small ice cream in a waffle cone costs $3.20. And Blondie’s has the “rich and creamy” cookie equivalent. They charge by weight, but non-iced cookies cost $1.40-1.60 each and iced cookies cost about $2.20 each. Best of all, they have frequent user cards, so after eight visits, the ninth will be free. There are several more restaurants and shops inside the mall, but those four are the ones I frequent.
Sapporo is across Indianapolis on the north side, off east 82nd street and Knue Road in Castleton. This former Old Country Buffet was convincingly converted into a Japanese steakhouse. Servers put on quite the show thoroughly cooking your food and making it delicious. It’s quite apparent they take great pleasure in their job and approach it with genuine enthusiasm. The food itself is remarkably delicious, covered in soy sauce, lemon juice, and teriyaki sauce. Best of all, two sauces, ginger and mustard, are provided, and the ginger sauce will give both chicken and shrimp a kick in flavor while keeping it sweet. A wide variety of entrees is offered, including chicken, steak, shrimp and scallops, and each entree comes with white or fried rice, though the fried rice costs an extra $2.50.
I get it every time though, because I have yet to find rice with the same hibachi flavor as Sapporo’s fried rice. There is also a bowl of soup that is flavored with mushrooms and onions that tastes somewhat like chicken. I find it zesty and savorable. The only caution I can give is that dinner can be between $18 and $30 for one person, so Sapporo is best used for special occasions and not weekly dinners. It’s worth the price to go there once in a while though.
Greatimes markets itself as a “family fun park”, so it’s suitable for all ages. Though at 24 years old, I still visit once in a while for the thrill of go-karts, bumper boats and miniature golf. Tickets are required for said rides, though there is a discount if you buy multiple tickets. On the inside are a whole bunch of arcade games, including skee ball, air hockey, motorcycling, zombie hunting, Pac-Man, basketball and more.
There’s also a pizza place with sodas, a redemption counter in the center to get prizes from tickets, and a few party rooms for birthday parties. For smaller children, a bounce house and indoor playground is located on the first floor behind a wall of arcade games. Children can have fun with the arcade games and playground, but even older kids and teenagers can enjoy the outdoor activities.
Word to the wise: there is a height requirement for the outdoor activities and they are seasonal, so they close at some point in the fall and reopen the following spring, so don’t come here in the dead of winter expecting go-karts and miniature golf. However, when all attractions are in season, my friends and I can easily amuse ourselves here for a few hours.
All in all, while there are several options for activities, dining, and shopping in Indianapolis, I’ve chosen to focus on these three favorite places of mine. Don’t let my article discourage you, however- there’s a whole city to explore.