The holiday season is officially upon us! Indianapolis is filled with so many holiday-themed events this year for you to enjoy. Check out our round-up of Indianapolis holiday events for your family to enjoy this season both in and around our city. Happy holidays to you and yours!
Conner Prairie – Merry Prairie Holiday
Where: Conner Prairie | 13400 Allisonville Rd, Fishers, IN 46038
When: Friday through Sunday, November 24th–December 17th and Thursday & Friday, December 21st & 22nd
About: The annual Merry Prairie Holiday at Conner Prairie has experiences for everyone in your family. Enjoy all of the regular activities you love – the historic Prairietown, the beautiful lights displays, Trinket Puddingmoon with Santa’s official naughty or nice list, Kringle’s Carousel, and the 150-foot Polar Bear Plunge tubing hill with a new light tunnel to guide you through. And returning this year – the William Conner House will become a 3D projection mapping holiday show, featuring “Twas The Night Before Christmas,” bringing you all the holiday feels. Also, don’t miss the Winterland stroll, with a new set of holiday lights illuminating your walk from the 1836 Prairietown to the 1863 Civil War Journey.
Christmas Nights of Lights
Where: Indiana State Fairgrounds | Indiana State Fairgrounds, 1698 E 42nd St., Indianapolis, IN 46205 — PLEASE USE ENTRANCE AT GATE 12 ON 42ND STREET
When: November 10th–December 31st
About: Christmas Nights of Lights is returning to Indianapolis for the 2023 holiday season! Families will drive their cars through a magical experience and can see over one million lights synchronized to traditional and newer, rocking Christmas music that is played right through your car stereo. Admission is $30/carload and needs to be reserved online.
Sullivan Hardware & Garden – Sullivan Express
Where: Sullivan Hardware & Garden | 6955 N Keystone Ave, Indianapolis, IN 46220
When: November 24th–December 23rd
About: A very popular holiday staple in Indianapolis, the Sullivan Express takes you on a fun train ride with your family to see Santa at the North Pole. Check-in at Central Station and travel to the North Pole on a narrated train ride with surprises along the way. You and your kiddos get to play in Santa’s workshop and visit and snap a picture with Santa Claus himself as he prepares for his big Christmas Eve present delivery. There are still time slots available on their website!
Where: Between The Palladium and The Tarkington Theater | 10 Carter Green, Carmel, IN 46032
When: November 18th–December 24th
About: Carmel’s Chriskindlmarkt (say that five times fast!) is back this year and bringing the holiday cheer. Their dedicated German market is loaded with products sourced from Germany and other German-speaking European countries. You won’t feel like you’re in Carmel, Indiana when you are enjoying traditional German foods and gifts being sold from small wooden huts. And make sure to enjoy the beautiful outdoor ice skating rink! Check out their schedule here, and note they are closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas Day.
Indianapolis Zoo – Christmas at the Zoo
Where: Indianapolis Zoo | 1200 W Washington St, Indianapolis, IN 46222
When: November 18th–December 30th
About: Christmas at the Zoo has been delighting guests since 1967 – isn’t that amazing? Included in general admission, you can visit “Santa’s Village” in the Bicentennial Pavilion and enjoy the following: a visit with Santa Claus, a visit to Mrs. Claus’ Kitchen, checking out Santa’s infamous sleigh and reindeer at Santa’s Barn, the Penguin Encounter, their Polar Pathway, and Tinsel Tavern for the adults. You can download their event map to enjoy all the exhibits and beautiful Christmas lights.
Indiana State Museum – Celebration Crossing
Where: Indiana State Museum | 650 W Washington St, Indianapolis, IN 46204
When: November 24th–December 31st
About: Experience the magic of the holidays with Celebration Crossing at the Indiana State Museum! This year, experience the Snowfall Express, a fun ride you can take to discover “a forest populated by charming, whimsical characters celebrating the coming winter and the first snowfall.” Along with that, enjoy the favorites of Celebration Crossing – visits with Santa, caring for Santa’s Reindeer in the Reindeer Barn, Magical Mornings, Santa’s Holiday Breakfasts, Winter Wonderland Workshops, and more.
Monument Circle – Circle of Lights
Where: Monument Circle | 1 Monument Circle, Indianapolis, IN 46204
When: November 24th, 2023–January 14th, 2024
About: When you think of the holidays in Indianapolis, you think of the Circle of Lights on Monumental Circle in downtown Indianapolis. The lights are illuminated every year the day after Thanksgiving and this year is the 61st annual lighting! During the traditional televised program on WTHR, there will be performances and musical acts leading up to the grand finale. Then Santa Claus will “flip the switch” on the monument, and those lights will remain glowing until January 14th.
Eiteljorg Museum – Jingle Rails
Where: Eiteljorg Museum | 500 W Washington St, Indianapolis, IN 46204
When: November 18th, 2023–January 15th, 2024
About: Another fun tradition for your family to enjoy in Indianapolis is Jingle Rails: The Great Western Adventure at Eiteljorg Museum. Jingle Rails is a “G-scale model train wonderland” with nine model trains that wind through a miniature holiday landscape. The landscapes traveled by Jingle Rails include the Eiteljorg Museum, Monument Circle, Union Station, and Lucas Oil Stadium. They even travel by miniature Mt. Rushmore, Grand Canyon, Yosemite Falls, Old Faithful, the Las Vegas Strip, Hoover Dam, and more! Your train-loving children will go crazy for this exhibit.
Newfields – Winterlights + Latkes and Lights
Where: Newfields | 4000 N Michigan Rd, Indianapolis, IN 46208
When: November 19th, 2023–January 7th, 2024
About: Enjoying Winterlights at Newfields has become a tradition for my family and we can’t wait to visit again this year. Winterlights features over a million and a half lights glittering in The Garden, and you have to see it in person because photos and videos do not do it justice! And we are even more excited to check out the Jewish Federation of Greater Indianapolis’ takeover for Latkes and Lights on December 10th. The Lilly House will be lit up with Menorahs and Stars of David. We’ll see you there!
Children’s Museum – WinterFaire
Where: Children’s Museum | 3000 N Meridian St, Indianapolis, IN 46208
When: November 18th, 2023–February 11th, 2024
About: WinterFaire is brand new this year! It is a magical indoor world featuring a festive, carnival-like atmosphere, fun-filled games, loveable critters, and hands-on activities. Play, laugh, and make lifelong memories together in this one-of-a-kind indoor winter experience. To learn more, visit the event website. And make sure not to miss Santa’s Big Arrival at Winterfaire! Head to the museum’s Sunburst Atrium at 9:30 am on November 24th for a welcome party that will be sure to get your toes tapping and bring a sparkle to your holiday season.
Indiana Historical Society – Festival of Trees
Where: Indiana Historical Society | 450 W Ohio St, Indianapolis, IN 46202
When: November 10th, 2023–January 6th, 2024
About: The Festival of Trees features more than 75 beautifully decorated trees in a winter wonderland “representing individuals, families, and organizations from around Indiana.” Take part in a fun scavenger hunt for the Elf on the Shelf or the Weihnachtzgurke (10 pickle ornaments hidden in trees throughout the building) throughout the Indiana Historical Society. And if you need some hints on where they are located, check out their social media!
The Lighted Trail
Where: Greenwood Amphitheater Park | 300 S Washington St, Greenwood, IN 46143
When: Beginning December 3rd
About: Walk through the Amphitheater Park and take in the holiday lights! Take festive pictures and make it a new holiday tradition. The lights will be on from dusk until dawn. Features include 85 Trees of lights, 12 Arch Candy Cane Tunnel, 3600 Lights on the Bridge,
Danville Winterland Holiday Lights
Where: Ellis Park | 600 E Main Street, Danville, IN 46122
When: Beginning November 17th
About: The Winterland Holiday Light Show in Ellis Park in Danville is a drive thru experience that showcases thousands of lights in hundreds of displays to celebrate the holiday season. Admission is $10/car on the weekend and $5/car during the week.
Downtown Noblesville – Holidays at the Hill
Where: Federal Hill Commons | 175 Logan St, Noblesville, IN 46060
When: Coming Soon!
About: You won’t want to miss Holidays at the Hill this holiday season! The city of Noblesville is pulling out all the stops at Federal Hill Commons. Some of the things you can enjoy are: reserving a private carriage ride, ice skating on Market Plaza, checking out the walkable light display, and dropping off a letter to Santa at a special mailbox at the Christmas Cottage. And you won’t go hungry – there will be snacks and drinks available for all to enjoy.
Where: Mulberry Fields Park | 9645 Whitestown Rd, Zionsville, IN 46077
When: Coming Soon!
About: Zionsville’s Mulberry Fields Park is turning into a winter wonderland for their Winterfest. You can enjoy ice skating like in the olden days and then walk through the holiday village to enjoy food while listening to live performances. You also get a chance to build a wreath and go sledding! Stay tuned for an updated link and more information.
Share with us! Where are your favorite Indianapolis holiday events you enjoy with your family?