There’s one thing we can always count on when it comes to winter weather here in Indiana: It’s unpredictable. And that can make it challenging to find fun activities the whole family will enjoy, especially when everyone has a little extra time off for the holidays.
Lucky for you, there’s plenty to do during the holiday season here in Central Indiana. From train rides and light shows to museums exhibitions, you’ll definitely find something everyone can agree on. Here are a few of our favorite, family-friendly holiday events in and around Indianapolis this year:
Circle of Lights. If you’ve been around the city for a while, you’ve probably seen the beautiful holiday lights that decorate Monument Circle every year. But many people don’t know there’s an annual lighting ceremony—and this year’s kicks off is on November 29th just before 8pm. There’ll be entertainment, food, fireworks, and more than 56,000 lights on display, so don’t forget to bring along your whole crew!
Christmas at the Zoo. Do your kids love animals and the holidays? If so, it’s going to be tough to beat Christmas at the Zoo. From November 23rd to December 30th, the Indianapolis Zoo becomes a holiday wonderland where you can visit Santa, check out Mrs. Claus’s kitchen, explore the tunnel of lights, and even have a meet and greet with the penguins. The best part about Christmas at the Zoo is that admission is free with a standard ticket.
Holidays on the Prairie. Connor Prairie is one of the best places in Central Indiana to have a great time while learning more about our state’s fascinating history. And it gets even better during Holidays on the Prairie, when the experience includes candlelight walking tours, a gingerbread village, lots of homemade holiday food, and much more. It’s all happening from November 23rd to December 30th. And don’t worry, Santa will be there, too!
Winterlights. If the Circle of Lights isn’t enough, we highly recommend checking out Winterlights, a spectacular holiday exhibition at Newfields. With more than a million lights decorating the museum’s grounds and the Lilly mansion, it’s easy to see why the display is a big hit. Many of the lights are also synced to music, which is truly an amazing spectacle. This will be the third consecutive year for Winterlights, and it runs from November 23rd to January 5th—tickets go fast, so grab them ASAP.
Sullivan Santa Express. Who doesn’t love a train ride to see Santa? Starting on November 1st, you can reserve your spot on the Sullivan Santa Express, which will take you and your whole family on a 30-minute trip to the North Pole to see St. Nick himself. Rides go until December 23rd, so you should have plenty of time to make a reservation. Keep in mind that the Sullivan Santa Express is an open-air train ride, so be sure to dress warm!
Lights at the Brickyard. If your family is into fast-paced activities, you might want to head to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for Lights at the Brickyard from November 27th to January 5th. This event includes a nearly two-mile driving course decorated with millions of lights, so it’s a great chance to see festive decorations while staying warm. There’s also lots to do once you get to the finish line!
Jingle Rails – The Great Western Adventure. One of our premier local museums, the Eiteljorg is known for showcasing our country’s rich Western culture. That tradition continues with Jingle Rails – The Great Western Adventure, a sprawling miniature landscape full of decorations and tiny locomotives that really bring the holiday cheer. Watch as these diminutive trains zip through some of our country’s most famous landscapes, including the Grand Canyon, the Las Vegas Strip, Yosemite Falls, and a few local attractions you’ll surely recognize. This event is indoors, so no need to bundle up. It happens November 23rd through January 20th.
We’re excited to be part of a community with so much to do this holiday season—and we love how so many local activities have something for everyone. We go to many of these events with our own families, so maybe we’ll see you out there!
When we’re not busy enjoying time with our friends and families this holiday season, we’re at work making sure our clients’ landscapes are the envy of the neighborhood. If you’re interested in snow removal, designing a new landscape, or some new flowers and shrubs for your property, we’d love to talk!