Bundle up and head Downtown to check out our November top picks!

Shining a Light Premiere

Usher in Veteran’s Day and recognize those who have and continue to serve in the U.S. Armed Forces at the Shining A Light Premiere. Brand-new, high-tech video and lighting projections, new staging and surround sound elements will be activated for the first time Saturday, Nov. 9.

The public is invited to attend this free event from 4 – 7 p.m. featuring entertainment from Clayton Anderson, veteran-owned food and beer garden and vendor activations.

As evening falls, attention will be drawn to the buildings of the Southeast Quadrant as the debut of Indy’s Signature Salute captivates and inspires all who gather. The five-minute program will bask the Soldiers and Sailors Monument in spectacular lighting with a synchronized original score from the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra written by Emmy Award winner John Colby. Coordinated video and light projections featuring images of historic significance will unfold across the surrounding building facades and statues on the Monument will be illuminated. As the music crescendos, four intense beams of light will soar skyward from each quadrant illuminating Victory (atop the Monument), signaling Indianapolis as the Crossroads of America.

Mass Ave Midnight Shopper

Jump-start holiday shopping with friends, a week before the big rush at Midnight Shopper: Sip & Stroll. Be sure to check out Silver in the City, The Best Chocolate in Town, Rooster’s Kitchen, CSz Indianapolis and Indy Reads Books for fun gift ideas Nov. 15 from 5 p.m.until midnight. 

Holiday attractions

Many of our museum holiday exhibits begin in November. Indulge in a winter wonderland of 92 beautifully-decorated trees and special programs at the Indiana Historic Society’s Festival of Trees starting Nov. 15. Take a journey through a locomotive wonderland as trains wind past icons of Indianapolis and the American West at Jingle Rails at the Eiteljorg Museum. Enjoy this year’s new addition: The Indianapolis Motor Speedway and historic Spanish Colonial missions of the Southwest starting Nov. 23.

Also starting Nov. 23, watch lights dance to the music on the Lilly House lawn and stop to take photos at the Snowflake Bridge, Frosted Forest and other illuminated displays throughout Newfields’ grounds at Winterlights. The Children’s Museum will kick off the Jolly Days Winter Wonderland exhibit the same day, where families can ride the Yule Slide, participate in holiday activities and a family sing-a-long, and visit with Santa.

Discover Santa’s Study, Mrs. Claus’ Kitchen, Mistletoe Kisses Gazebo and much more at Christmas at the Zoo beginning Nov. 23 at the Indianapolis Zoo. Lights at the Brickyard will return Nov. 27 and will feature dozens of colorful displays totaling more than three million bright lights on a 2-mile course through the Indianapolis Motor Speedway infield and historic oval. Finally, soak in pure holiday magic at the Indiana State Museum’s holiday experience, Celebration Crossing starting Nov. 29. 

Holiday performances

What better way to ring in the holidays than with a festive show! Celebrate the joy of the season and the spirit of giving at the Indiana Repertory Theatre beginning Nov. 16 with the Christmas classic, A Christmas Carol. Enjoy A Very Phoenix Christmas at Phoenix Theatre starting Nov. 29, where winter traditions have been irreverently and hilariously broken for the past 13 years. Finally, get ready to ring in the holidays at the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra’s annual Yuletide Celebration with first-time host Frankie Moreno starting Nov. 30.

Downtown Indy, Inc. Circle of Lights presented by IBEW 481

For 57 years, thousands of spectators have gathered Downtown at Monument Circle to see the most spectacular holiday display illuminate. The Downtown Indy, Inc. Circle of Lights® presented by IBEW 481 will take place the day after Thanksgiving, Nov. 29. Festivities begin at 6 p.m. with the live televised show running from 7 – 8 p.m. on (NBC) WTHR-13. The Monument light-up will occur at approximately 7:55 p.m.

Monument Circle will look much different this year thanks to the Shining a Light on Indianapolis initiative. (See above.) Visitors will see enhanced holiday activations and new video and lighting elements at Circle of Lights, as well as a new event series, Holidays on the Circle, each Saturday between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

The actual decorations on the Soldiers & Sailors Monument will look familiar – 52 garland strands with 4,784 LED colored lights, strung from the top of the Monument to its base. The Monument will continue to be surrounded with 26 larger-than-life toy soldiers and sailors and 26 peppermint sticks. Entertainers chosen from statewide auditions will share the stage with performers from the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra’s IPL Yuletide Celebration.

Jennifer Hanson

Jennifer Hanson

Senior Director of Communications, Downtown Indy, Inc.