Make Downtown a part of your holiday experience!
During the winter months, Downtown Indianapolis tranforms into a joyous wonderland full of holiday activites, spectacles and fun for family and friends of all ages. This year is no exception! The holiday season Downtown will not disappoint with an abundance of opportunities to create special holiday memories.
Millions of sightseers take in the brilliant spectacle of Circle of Lights® presented by the Contractors of Quality Connection and Electrical Workers of IBEW 481 throughout the holiday season. The decoration of Monument Circle is one of Central Indiana’s favorite annual traditions, drawing generations of families each year to share in the spirit of the season. Live holiday entertainment that everyone will enjoy kicks off the celebration on Friday, Nov. 29 from 6 – 8 p.m. The lighting of the Indiana Soldiers and Sailors Monument takes place at 7:45 p.m., with a fireworks show directly after! FREE! Visit www.qc-indy.com, www.indydt.com/COL.cfm or call 317.237.2222 for more information.
The Indianapolis Museum of Art (IMA) will celebrate many exciting holiday events including Christmas at Lilly House Nov. 16 – Jan. 5. The home’s architecture will be decked out with ribbons, wreaths, garland and other holiday decor reminiscent of the 30s and 40s. Enjoy a spectacular evening of holiday shopping and festivities at Holiday Hullabaloo Dec. 5 from 5 – 9 p.m. The evening features special IMA promotions only available that night and complimentary gift wrapping. The IMA is also offering a Succulent Christmas Tree decorating class Dec. 7 from 10 – 11:30 a.m. Celebrate the longest day of the year with a Winter Solstice gathering at the IMA Dec. 19 from 5 – 8:30 p.m. Dress warmly as the chilly night will bring ice carvings, music, bonfires, hot chocolate and holiday treats! FREE! Check out www.imamuseum.org or call 317.923.1331.
The Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians & Western Art is transformed into a locomotive wonderland! Travel to the Great American West on Jingle Rails: The Great Western Adventure Nov. 23 – Jan. 19. Immerse yourself in a network of trestles, bridges and tunnels with seven ultra-sized model trains that wind past the great landmarks of Indianapolis including the Soldiers and Sailors Monument and Lucas Oil Stadium. Continue your journey to the magnificent sights of the west, including the Grand Canyon, Mt. Rushmore and Old Faithful. Also check out the sights and sounds of Winter Market Dec. 7. Find unique gifts from a collection of pieces from more than 40 regional artists. Warm up with Southwestern fare at the Sky City Café. Jingle Rails and Winter Market are included with museum general admission. For more details, visit www.eiteljorg.org or call 317.636.9378.
Simply have a wonderful Christmas time at Jolly Days Winter Wonderland Nov. 23 – Jan. 6 at The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis. Take a ride down the popular Yule Slide and discover the Ice Castle and fishing holes. Santa will appear throughout the season, including Breakfasts Dec. 1, 7, 8 and 15. Visit Lilly Theater for the interactive musical of Jingle Arrgh the Way! A Christmas Pirate Adventure Nov. 29 – Dec. 1; Dec. 7 – 8; Dec. 14 – 15; Dec. 21 – 22; Dec. 26 – 29; Dec. 31 – Jan. 5. Enjoy a Target FREE Family Night Dec. 5 from 4 – 8 p.m. Also get in your last-minute request to Santa on Christmas Eve with FREE admission from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Visit the SpaceQuest® Planetarium Nov. 23 – Jan. 5 for special holiday offerings, including Season of Light, a special journey through the winter holidays and its many cultural traditions. Finally, celebrate the final day of 2013 with Countdown to Noon Dec. 31, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. Five, four, three, two, one . . . Happy Noon Year! To learn more about these merry museum events, visit www.childrensmuseum.org or phone 317.334.3322.
Join in the holiday fun at the Indianapolis Zoo’s annual Christmas at the Zoo presented by Donatos and Teachers Credit Union Nov. 29 – Dec. 30 on Wednesdays - Sundays and Dec. 23. The Zoo opens at noon with holiday activities from 5 – 9 p.m. Experience the Zoo during the most magical time of the year as you decorate cookies, enjoy the sounds of the season and visit the animals! Visit Jolly Ol’ Saint Nick Nov. 29 – Dec. 23 in his workshop in White River Gardens. Visits with Santa are included in regular Zoo admission. Guests can also meet Mrs. Claus and decorate cookies in her holiday-themed kitchen in White River Gardens. And don’t forget to finish your holiday shopping at the Zoo and Gardens Gift Shops to find the perfect gift for the animal lover on your list. For further details, call 317.630.2001 or visit www.indianapoliszoo.com.
Celebrate Hoosier holiday traditions through wintery scenes and decorations with the Indiana Historical Society all season long. The popular A Christmas Story living room is back, allowing you to step right into a classic movie scene. Have your photo taken next to the famous leg lamp (in a pink bunny suit if desired). Add some holiday cheer to your winter season with FREE activities at Winterfest Nov. 29 and 30 and Dec. 7, 14, 21 and 26 – 28. Enjoy hands-on activities, performances and more! Fellow book lovers and gift givers will want to attend the 11th annual Holiday Author Fair Dec. 7 from noon – 4 p.m. The event features more than 75 Indiana-related authors.
Check out the Destination Indiana - a recently added exhibit at the Indiana Historical Society - and the unique segment about the Circle of Lights 50th anniversary. Travel through time using innovative digital technology, touch screens and immersive displays of historical images and documents to explore the story of Indiana’s past. Tickets are $7 for adults, $6.50 for seniors, and $5 for youth ages 5 – 12. Hours are Tuesday - Saturday from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. through the holiday season. For more information, call 317.232.1882 or visit www.indianahistory.org.
Visit Celebration Crossing at the Indiana State Museum Nov. 29 - Dec. 31 for great family fun. Santa will arrive in style via helicopter to kick-off this annual tradition Nov. 29 at 1 p.m. Take part in annual festivities by taking a ride to holidays past on the original L.S. Ayres Santa Claus Express train and don't miss the 92 County Tree in the Atrium. New this year: remote-control helicopters will take over the Frank O'Bannon Great Hall! The Academy of Model Aeronautics will showcase tables of model helicopters and paper-folded helicopter contests. Don't miss Santa's Imagination playground for some holiday-themed science, technology, engineering and math-based activities. Lastly, join the Legacy Theater Troupe as they celebrate the holidays with "Hoosier Radio Hour: A 1940s Christmas" during the first, second and fourth weekends of Celebration Crossing. Visit www.indianamuseum.org or call 232.1637.
The Polar Express: The IMAX 3D Experience returns to The IMAX Theater in the Indiana State Museum beginning Nov. 29. Starting the night after Thanksgiving, the IMAX will host Polar Pajama Parties for the public each Friday and Saturday evening at 7:30 p.m. until Christmas. Visit www.imaxindy.com or call 233.4629.
Timeless Traditions Tree Farm and Shoppes is making it easy to get your Christmas tree this year! Bring the family to the Indianapolis City Market for An Old Fashioned Holiday Marketplace Friday, Nov. 29 from 4 – 8 p.m. Complement your tree with wreaths, garland and a huge selection of ornaments. Artisan shoppes will be located on the mezzanine level, accompanied by holiday music and décor. Trees will be sold Nov. 29 from 3 – 10 p.m. and Nov. 30 from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. www.indycm.com
Brighten your holiday season while benefiting Indianapolis Downtown beautification at the movies! The IMAX Theater at the Indiana State Museum is showing It’s a Wonderful Life Thursday, Dec. 5 starting at 6:30 p.m. There will be a silent auction from 5 – 6 p.m. Tickets for the evening are only $6. For more information, check out www.indydt.com.
Experience the second annual holiday event on Georgia Street, City Sidewalks presented by BMO Harris Bank Dec. 13 & 14. More than 20 local artisans will display and sell original artworks, holiday wares, food and beverage in a festive atmosphere. Bundle up, enjoy some hot chocolate and celebrate the holidays under a magical canopy of lights. Start a new family tradition and enjoy a weekend of carolers, santa, cookie decorating, live nativity scenes and ice skating inside Pan Am Pavilion. Visit www.georgiastreetindy.com.
Enjoy the performance Christmas at the Puppet Studio Dec. 10 – 28 at Peewinkle’s Puppet Studio. Get in the holiday spirit by attending this popular music-filled Christmas production. Mozart and Ludmilla, the ritzy rodents who live in the piano, host a variety of holiday characters...Rag Dolls, Frosty, Rufus the Magic Elf, a live ballerina and much more! Visit www.peewinklespuppets.com/ or call 317.917.9454.
Visit the Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site for a LIVE Family Christmas at the President’s Home Dec. 14 from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. Bring the family for a unique Christmas tour of the Harrison family home. Take a trip back in time to1888 with the president and his family as they are home for the holidays to spread Christmas cheer. Enjoy a Candlelight Evening on Delaware Street for an elegant holiday night out with family or friends on Dec. 27 from 5:30 – 9:30 p.m. The evening includes a progressive dinner and tour of the historic mansions on Delaware Street including the Harrison Home. Check out www.bhpsite.org or call 317.631.1888 for more details.