Living here in Indianapolis is really just awesome. I love that we always have something going on and many times too many things to get to that we have to carry certain happenings over to the next years list! Over the last couple years, we have been very fortunate to visit a wide variety of holiday celebrations around town and some we love so much that we checking them off the list year after year. This year, we’ve rounded up a few faves, a few that we still want to go to, and a few that are new to us! We’ve got indoor and outdoor, lights and shows, and more!
Celebration Crossing is a great combination of vintage holiday and new traditions! We love how they bring Santa in from the North Pole in a red helicopter and that Mrs Claus is always with him while he’s visiting the museum! Here’s a recap we did last year… and a fun video I found on the holiday fun at the Indiana State Museum.
A new (and hopeful fave) event this year is Merry Prairie Holiday at Conner Prairie. We’ve heard good things, but haven’t made it yet. However, tubing hills, candlelight Prairietown, lighted hayrides, and more are sure to please everyone in the group! Heading there this weekend, but if you want a sneak peek check this video out below!
Oh, and did I mention they brought in a carousel for this event?!!? Winning Winter Wonderland!
Another event around Indy is Winterlights at Newfields. This light display is A M A Z I N G. Nothing in this beautiful place disappoints. Warming stations, lights dancing to the Nutcracker, a beautifully decorated Lily Mansion, and much much more… You are sure to enjoy your time at Newfields!
*TIP: It does sell out and you do have to reserve by nights. We like to go after Christmas so our whole family can go!
CHRISTMAS NIGHTS OF LIGHTS
We had a chance to sneak peek this light show at the Fairgrounds new to Indy this year and WOW. With just over two miles of lights that you curve through, you are going to love this drive with your family! Set to music, you start by heading under the tunnel into the infield and from there you are completely surrounded by twinkling lights!
CHRISTMAS AT THE ZOO
Another family favorite is to go check out the lights at the Zoo! Did you know the Indianapolis Zoo was the first zoo in the nation to hold a holiday lights event?! A walking tour that includes a visit to Santa’s Village and lights all around and pose with your family and friends at one of the many featured photo displays around the grounds!
FESTIVAL OF TREES
While we haven’t been to this one yet, it consistently makes our list! There’s family friendly activities and events plus a tree-filled wonderland the whole family is sure to enjoy! With over 90 uniquely themed holiday trees, you must visit this holiday tradition!
A unique find around town is the Eiteljorg’s Jingle Rails. We love this one for its throwback feel. Who doesn’t love old trains running circles around them and trying to find where they’ll pop out next?! With over eight different types of trains running throughout, you are sure to fall in love with this exhibit. Plus, all the natural elements surrounding really suck you in!
The Children’s Museum is a force here in Indy. Living here, we know we are lucky to have this place in our backyard. Jolly Days is their holiday celebration that includes visits with Santa, snowball fights, slides, and special holiday characters.
CIRCLE OF LIGHTS
The Circle of Lights is the world’s largest Christmas tree with nearly 5,000 lights and so many strands of garland! Soldiers circle the 284-foot-tall Soldiers and Sailors Monument. It’s so fun to just drive around any time you are downtown Indy. My kids request a ride around the circle (lights or not).
And with that roundup, you should be good to go for a holiday visit to Indianapolis! If you need more, we have a few more up our sleeves… but for now, these are the best we think you should check out first!