In Central Indiana we are very lucky to have so many great options and great small towns around to visit. Carmel Indiana is one of those cute little (not so small) towns. I grew up coming to Carmel for ice skating competitions… and am lucky now that it’s only 20 minutes from my home. But it’s still a destination… especially in the wintertime! So I wanted to outline a few spots you could check out if looking for a cute day or weekend getaway.
A couple years ago, the Carmel Christkindlmarkt opened and has received amazing recognition and raves from locals and others alike! This makes the wintertime the perfect season to visit Carmel. So let’s start there…
It can get cold so make sure to bundle up appropriately!
Day One Itinerary (Fri/Sat/Sun):
*Christkindlmarkt is only open Nov/Dec*
12pm: Christkindlmarkt Opens
Plan to spend a few hours here. Walk around and visit the adorable vendor huts where you’ll find holiday inspired gear, toys, and more! Take your time with this… grab a hot chocolate or maybe mulled wine to sip on while you walk.
Take a photo at the Angel Wings for your Instagram Account…
If you have kids, make sure to pick up a Passport and plan to spend a little while in Kindereke (Kids Corner). Sometimes you’ll even find Father Christmas in here.
And keep an eye out for the Christkind who is often walking around among the huts!
Kids and adults alike will love the train display in the Christkindlemarkt Express!
Feel free to grab a Jumbo Pretzel, Sausage, Belgium Waffle or Raclette while there, but don’t feel like you have to fill up… Maybe snack on things and plan for a late lunch later.
And new this year (2019) is the Kulturecke where you can see exhibits of German Christmas traditions – which I’ve heard doesn’t include the pickle ornament — and German history in Indiana.
2pm: Time to Ice Skate
Make sure to plan ahead for this. Skating at The Ice at Center Green is scheduled on the hour and does tend to sell out so if you plan on skating, make sure to hop online before you go!
Don’t forget to grab a boot before you go! Every year, the Carmel Christkindlemarkt comes out with a new Gluhwein Mug and you don’t want to miss out! These are amazing for the kids! They love them! And also a fun tradition/collection to start!
Walk up to the City Center and shop around! With gorgeous shops like Oliver’s Twist, Beauty + Grace Boutique, Nine & Roxy, and Bath Junkie there’s sure to be something for everyone! Plus you should be able to check off some unique gifts from your holiday list if you wanted!
You might also drive down to Main Street to visit the Carmel Arts & Design District where you can shop antiques, arts, and local goods!
*If you don’t have time for this today, consider staying a second day!
Since you just snacked at the Christkindlemarkt, you are probably getting hungry by now. Pop over to Matt the Miller for dinner and a drink. They have some really great options on their menu for all ages but we love their Stir Fry Edimame and Pork Tenderloins! Everything on the menu is delicious thought!
Finish the night out with a stop into the gorgeous Cake Bake Shop by Gwendolyn Rogers. Known by all kinds of celebrities for her delicious cakes, you will step into a wonderland of sparkles and parisian chic. You won’t be able to stop looking around… If you’d prefer to sit down, a reservation is suggested, but if not, you can walk through and grab cake by the slice. We love the Raspberry Champagne and Earl’s Court Chocolate Cake. You. Will. Die. And pieces are big enough to share… Don’t like cake?! Don’t worry, there’s coffee, pies, and other desserts too!
9pm: Head Home.
You’ve spent a whole day in Carmel around the City Center and Center Green. If you have time to stay, there’s so many other things to do within walking distance!
For another day in Carmel, consider a visit to the Musuem of Miniatures and a walk on the monon! We’ll come back to Carmel in the spring for another day away!