Christmas is a magical time of year – one in which it is fun to do special things with family and friends, as well as see many holiday sights and traditions. We are so fortunate to live where there are so many things to see and do at not only this time of year, but throughout the year. I have put together some of my favorites as well as some that I don’t really know much about yet (but hope to experience them) to share with you. I hope this is helpful and whatever you see and do this year I hope it is a great time for you and those you are with.
Remember – below is just a small sampling of what is out there. If you would like to share with me some of your favorites that I did not list, I would really enjoy that.
Please feel free to share this with others who may enjoy the information and want to make memories with those they care about.
Merry Christmas and enjoy the season!
City-County Councillor District 6
Newfields Winterlights – 4000 Michigan Road. Until Jan. 5th including Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve, and New Year’s Day from 5 p.m. – 9 p.m. This walk through the grounds at what most of us think of as the Art Museum is well worth the price of $12 – $25 per person for non-members. It has over 1.5 million lights and you marvel at how this was all put together. The Lilly Home is also decorated and a delight to walk through as well as the lights out front. There are also other things to do, such as making s’mores over a fire pit and sipping hot chocolate. For more information go to: discovernewfields.org/winterlights.
Indiana State Fair Grounds – Enter gate 12 on 42nd Street. This new display is a 30 minute musical drive of lights synchronized to your car radio. It runs through Jan. 1st from dusk to 10 p.m., with extended hours on weekends. Admission is $7 per person or $30 per car up to nine passengers. I found more information at Indiana State Fair Grounds Christmas Nights.
Lights at the Brickyard – Indianapolis Motor Speedway, enter off W. 16th Street (4790 W. 16th St.). This drive through exhibit has been a huge success the past few years. You get to drive on the track and cross the yard of bricks. It runs until Jan. 5th from 6 p.m. – 9 p.m. Sunday – Thursday and until 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturdays. Until December 24th you may also enjoy the Pagoda Plaza. It is decorated for the season including trees. There are fire pits, s’mores kits, seasonal food and beverages, and Santa! Speedy Pass holders can also enjoy the Pagoda Experience, which goes to the top of the Pagoda for a wonderful view. Standard Lane tickets may upgrade to the eighth floor of the Pagoda for $5 per adult (over 15). Standard Lane admission is $25 per vehicle Mon. – Wed. and $30 per vehicle Thurs. – Sun. at the gate. The Speedy Pass can be purchased online at IMS.com and at the gate. It is $50 per vehicle Mon. – Wed. and $60 Thurs. – Sun.
Christmas at the Zoo – Indianapolis Zoo, 1200 W. Washington Street. This is a great time to see the zoo at night all decorated with lights. While all the animals are not on display, plenty are including the ones inside buildings where it is warm! There is a mirror maze (it is really fun!), a tunnel of lights, reindeer, Santa and Mrs. Claus, and sometimes the penguins are outside where you can see them up close. They are open until Dec. 30th (closed Christmas Eve and Christmas Day) from 5 p.m. – 9 p.m. Sun. – Thurs. and until 10 p.m. on both Fri. and Sat. Admission ranges from $7.70 – $15.20 per person.
Ellis Park’s Winterland Holiday Light Show – 49 N. Wayne Street (off Rockville Road – U.S. 36) in Danville. This is a really lovely display close to home and reasonably priced. It runs through Dec. 28th and hours are 6 p.m. – 9 p.m. during the week and until 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. They are closed Christmas. Admission ranges from $5 – $10. It is worth the drive.
Merry Prairie Holiday – 13400 Allisonville Road in Fishers. This is the Reynolds Lights display that used to be at Reynolds Farm Equipment off of I-69. There are lots of things to see and do at Conner Prairie during this time. This is a walking experience, not a drive through display, but really sounds like a truly unique experience. They are open Dec. 20 – 22, Dec. 27 – 29, and Dec. 31 from 6 p.m. – 10 p.m. On New Year’s Eve there will be fireworks at 9 p.m. This is $20 per person, members are $10 per person.
Log Run Lights – This private residence makes the list. It runs through Jan. 2nd and is located 9209 Log Run S. Dr. It is free to drive through and is really a fantastic display right here in our area! Drive past when you are out and about. You will really be amazed.
Monument Circle – If you have not been downtown to see the “World’s Tallest Christmas Tree”, make sure you do visit before the end of the Christmas Season.
Museums Christmas Exhibits:
Jingle Rails – Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art, 500 W. Washington Street. Runs through Jan. 20th. This magical holiday model train exhibit is titled “The Great Western Adventure”. This year’s new addition is “The Indianapolis Motor Speedway” and “historic Spanish Colonial missions of the Southwest”. The hours are 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, from noon – 5 p.m. on Sunday, and on Mondays through December until 8 p.m. Admission is $15 for adults, $12 for seniors, and $8 for students and youth.
Celebration Crossing and L.S. Ayers Tea Room – Indiana State Museum, 650 W. Washington Street. Runs through Jan. 5th. Perhaps you remember going to the L.S. Ayres Tea Room or riding the train to visit with Santa when L.S. Ayres Department Store was downtown. You can still see the train (and children may ride it) at the Indiana State Museum. Through Jan. 5th the L.S. Ayres reproduced Tea Room offers full service lunch from 11 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. Reservations are highly recommended and you should call 317-232-1637 to make them. Make some new memories this year. They are open from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. The only day they are closed during this season is Christmas.
Festival of Trees – Indiana Historical Society, 450 W. Ohio Street. Now through Jan. 4th. The holiday trees in this exhibit get better each and every year. This year there are 92 (one for each county?) uniquely thought out and decorated trees throughout the building. While the hours are usually Monday – Saturday 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m., until Dec. 23rd they will be open to 8 p.m. A great way to see them at night! The Historical Society will be closed on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve, and New Year’s Day. This is really an event you don’t want to miss if you enjoy seeing the creativity that is put into all of these trees. Admission is $15 for adults, $12 for seniors, and $5 for youth. There is special weekend programing as well.
Special Christmas Programs:
Yuletide Celebration – The Hilbert Circle Theatre, 45 Monument Circle. This runs through Dec. 23rd. The Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra along with singers, dancers, aerialists, and more put on a terrific show. This is something I enjoy year after year – and hope you will as well. Well worth attending. Tickets range from $25 – $116. Go to indianapolissymphony.org or call 317-639-4300 for more information and availability.
A Christmas Carol – Indiana Repertory Theatre, 140 W. Washington Street. Last performance this year is Dec. 26. What is Christmas without Scrooge, Tiny Tim, and the ghost set it Victorian London? Very well done each and every year. Tickets range from $28 – $90. For more information go to irtlive.com or call 317-635-5252.