The Indiana Insider Blog

Hamilton County Staycation, part II

Earlier this week, I wrote about our girls’ morning out in the Carmel Arts and Design district. It was actually part I of a day-long family staycation in Hamilton County.

After we wrapped up our visit to the Museum of Miniature Houses, we headed to Noblesville where we were scheduled to meet the boys (my husband and two sons) at Alexander’s on the Square for lunch, courtesy of the Hamilton County Convention and Visitors Bureau. Annie and I arrived a little ahead of the boys, so we had a chance to do a little window shopping around Noblesville’s historic square.

The sight of a big cat sleeping in the window made us stop at The Wild, an independent children’s book store. Turns out the cat’s name is Pages and she lives in the bookstore along with a bunny named, appropriately, Bunny.

Once Mike, Robbie and Charlie found us, they joined us at The Wild, enjoying the intriguing store that sells everything from children’s books to puzzles and puppets (including one of famed Sesame Street reporter Guy Smiley, which Mike absolutely loved). All that persusing made us hungry so we walked a few storefronts over to Alexander’s, an old fashioned ice cream soda shop and restaurant, where the food was family friendly — both in appeal and price — and where it could take you all day to choose a flavor of ice cream from the menu of 34 different flavors (take that Baskin Robbins!).

The kids wanted to eat at the counter so they could play with the pop guns and blinky sunglasses while waiting for their food.

We were so full from lunch that we decided to take in some other sites and come back to Alexander’s for dessert later. It was worth coming back for:

It was such a beautiful day that we decided to walk around the Square to see what else there was to see. The kids, as kids will do, made their own fun in trying to balance on the wall ledge around the grounds of the old Hamilton County Courthouse.

Our last stop on the Square (besides a return to Alexander’s for dessert) was the Hamilton County Musuem of History and Old Sherriff’s Residence and Jail.

Built in 1875, it is located just behind the old courthouse in the center of the square and is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. While the kids were disappointed not to see any actual jail cells, they were intrigued by the old sheriff’s uniforms on display, as well as a gun carved from a bar of soap that some prisoners were planning to use in an escape attempt. The building functioned as the sheriff’s home and jail until 1977.

Our self-guided tour through the museum was relatively quick and priced right. Admission is free, though donations are appreciated.

There were plenty of shops I wanted to visit, but didn’t have a chance to, which gives me an excuse to return to Noblesville sometime soon. If you want to plan a visit, check out the resources available at

Stayed tuned for the wrap-up of our Hamilton County Staycation, a step back in time at Conner Prairie.

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Written by : Amy moved to Indiana for college in 1988 (Go Bulldogs!) and has never left. Married with three children, she's always on the lookout for fun and affordable things to do in Indiana. Elsewhere on the web, you can find Amy at The Fourth Frog Blog and All Things Aging. Amy receives compensation from the Indiana Office of Tourism Development for blogging. For more information, see our FTC Disclosure page.