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2014 marks Indy's biggest year for family travel stemming from two massive exhibit openings in May:
World's Most Important Zoo Exhibit: The Indianapolis Zoo will debut the $26 million International Orangutan Center featuring eight orangs that will interact with visitors through computer games or 40' up high in a tram ride along the recreated natural habitat of the Hutan Trail. Nightly, an orang will climb to the Beacon of Hope and flip on a light that can be seen from downtown Indy.
Greatest Archaeological Find of our Lifetime: The world's largest children's museum will present an in-depth look at China's first emperor and his painted warriors. This is the first time the Shaanxi provincial government is allowing this particular exhibit with eight of the Terra Cotta Warriors and over 100 artifacts out of the country.
New transportation options are coming to Indy with the launch of the nation's largest all-electric car sharing program. Bollore Group, out of France, is set to replicate the success of its Paris car share program, Autolib, with a $35 million investment in 500 electric vehicles, 1,200 charging stations and 200 car-share locations. Simultaneously, Indy will welcome its bike share program with 250 bikes and 25 stations.
This $63 million, eight-mile urban bike trail now connects all six of Indy's cultural districts. Flanked with $2 million in public art, the Trail leads visitors and residents to the front door of many of Indy's greatest restaurants and attractions. In fact, Project for Public Spaces declared this project "the biggest and boldest step by any American city."
Indianapolis is home to the world's largest single-day sporting event, the Indianapolis 500 and the world's second largest single-day sporting event, the Brickyard 400. On May 10, 2014, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway welcomed a new race, Grand Prix of Indianapolis, marking the first-time an IndyCar road course race has ever been conducted at the iconic track.
Indy is on the cusp of launching a new food and beverage innovation hub with the recently announced Tinker Flats incubator. Artisans from chocolatiers to mixologists to start-up restaurateurs will join forces to open a district that breeds opportunity for creation and collaboration of better food systems, access to local food, and a culture that celebrates farm-to-table ideas to urban living.
2014 will also mark the opening of Indy’s first 100% non-profit restaurant, Public Greens.