Indiana’s Best: Holiday Happenings 2017

With the growth of local pride and demand for “homegrown” products, there are many opportunities to experience true Hoosier culture. Whether it’s restaurants, attractions, shops or anything in between, we’ll showcase some of our favorite gems that make Indiana a great place to live and work.

It’s time for another installment of Holiday Happenings! As always, the season starts with a big spark at Monument Circle, the Circle of Lights. This tree-lighting tradition starts the day after Thanksgiving and ends on January 7, 2018. While the Soldier & Sailors Monument isn’t an actual tree, it does a great job of creating cheer for visitors throughout the holiday season.

There are plenty of other exciting holiday sites to see in the city, keep reading for a few new and traditional must-see events. Some of these organizations are offering internships (search on our site to find out)!

1 . Winterlights

Take a walk through a wonderland of Winterlights at Newfields! There are two show times each night (5 and 7 p.m.) until January 7th. Enjoy dazzling light displays, S’mores, warm cider and hot chocolate (alcoholic and non-alcoholic) as you make your way through The Garden. Tickets can be purchased online for 20% less than purchasing at the door.

Photo courtesy of Newfields.


2 . Carmel Christkindlmarkt

This traditional event has roots in Germany and is recreated in towns throughout the world. Visit Carmel’s market to experience traditional German food, gifts and entertainment. You can also take a spin on the outdoor ice skating rink! The market is open Wednesday-Sunday, and admission is free.

Photo courtesy of Carmel Christkindlmarkt.


3 . Christmas at the Zoo
This is holiday must for many people! Check out the shining lights and exotic animals at the Indianapolis Zoo. Be sure to visit Santa’s Village to pet reindeer, walk through a mirror maze, decorate cookies and more! Ticket prices vary by day, but you can save a few dollars by booking in advance online.

Photo courtesy of Indianapolis Zoo.


4 . Lights at the Brickyard
For this event at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, you won’t want to race through the track. Take your time driving through the marvelous lighting displays and revel in the holiday cheer. Ticket prices are per car and vary by the day.

Photo courtesy of Indianapolis Motor Speedway.


5 . Festival of Trees
The Indianan Historical Society has 80 themed trees at this year’s Festival of Trees. Other activities include daily sing-a-longs, Elf on the Shelf locating and more activities. For more information on the schedule and tickets, click here.

The Indiana INTERNnet visited the Festival of Trees!


6 . L.S. Ayres Tea Room
Warm up with nice cup of tea at the L.S. Ayres Tea Room in the Indiana State Museum. This is a recreation of the original tea room that was housed in the department store before L.S. Ayres closed in 1990. Come try the famous chicken velvet soup, and take a step back in time. View their menu for prices.


7 . Jingle Rails: The Great Western Adventure
Visit the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art to see nine model trains pass by local and national attractions. The represented attractions include Lucas Oil Stadium, Monument Circle, Las Vegas Strip, Hoover Dam and more. The cost for this festive event is included in the price of admission.

Photo courtesy of Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art.


8 . Jolly Days Winter Wonderland
Bring your inner child to this fun and festive time at The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis. Ride down the two-story Yule Slide, take photos with Jolly Days characters, skate around in your socks and more! The cost for this fun-fill event is included in the price of admission.

Photo courtesy of The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis.


9 . Holiday Adventures at Conner Prairie
There is an abundance of holiday festivities at Conner Prairie. Visit the Gingerbread Village to look at ornate, prize-winning gingerbread creations. Many activities require reservations, and spots go quickly. Click the link above to learn more and purchase tickets.

Photo courtesy of Conner Prairie.

We hope you have a chance to visit one of these wonderful attractions. Happy holidays!

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