By Devynn Barnes
On Oct. 4, downtown Zionsville will resemble less of a quaint shopping district and more of a real-life Candy Land. HANDS in Autism will be hosting the first-ever Treat Trail, and many delicious local shops plan on participating.
The start of the trail begins at check-in at A Space to Create on Cedar St. After that, participants are free to roam through shops like Earth Explorer Toys, Inga’s Popcorn, Boutique 33, Darrin’s Coffee Company and more. Treats from different bakeries and restaurants can be enjoyed at each shop along the way, including confectionaries from Vanilla Bean Bakery or pizza from Greek’s Pizzeria. Each shop offers a different treat, and after purchasing a ticket for only $25, participants are invited to try them all.
Organizer of the Treat Trail and Special Education Specialist with HANDS, Megan Stevenson, says a colleague got the idea for the Trail based on a similar concept done in Brown County. When they decided to start planning their own version all they needed was a place, and Zionsville was the perfect spot.
“We thought of Zionsville because we know that not many towns have little shops that are walkable. There’s not a lot like that other than Brown County,” Stevenson said. “Our group used to go eat at Serenity (on Main St.)… We thought, ‘Zionsville would be a good spot for this.’”
The money raised will go directly towards providing scholarships to kids with autism to attend programming put on by HANDS, which is an extension of the Christian Sarkine Autism Treatment Center at Riley Hospital at IU Health and the IU School of Medicine. HANDS provides numerous services to help kids with autism, especially after leaving the treatment center.
“Instead of people just coming here to the hospital and leaving, and there being no resources and support going out into schools, we try to bridge that gap. We go out into schools… supporting teachers, and other school personnel, and these kids in their school environment,” Stevenson said.
The Treat Trail will take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Anyone can attend during that time, and tickets can be purchased beforehand at http://donate.rileykids.org/site/Calendar?id=100761&view=Detail.
If you’ve ever wondered what it would be like to make your own trip through the Gumdrop Mountains or Lollipop Woods, come out and experience Zionsville’s very own version of Candy Land Oct. 4.