Make Downtown Indy a part of your holiday experience

During November and December, Downtown Indianapolis transforms into a joyous wonderland full of holiday activities, spectacles and fun for family and friends of all ages. Don’t forget your camera, as this season includes many opportunities to create memories with your loved ones!

Circle of Lights

One of Central Indiana’s favorite annual holiday traditions, the Downtown Indy, Inc. Circle of Lights® presented by IBEW 481 returns for its 57th year. Generations of families will gather to share in the spirit of the season while watching 4,784 colored LED lights on 52 garland strands illuminate the Indiana Soldiers and Sailors Monument. See enhanced holiday activations and new video and lighting elements thanks to Shining A Light . This free event starts with live holiday entertainment Friday, Nov. 29 from 6 – 8 p.m. The lighting of the Monument occurs around 7:55 p.m. and concludes with a spectacular fireworks finale. FREE! Visit downtownindy.org or call 317.237.2222.

Indiana State Fairgrounds

Head to the Indiana State Fairgrounds for its new drive-through Christmas Nights of Lights experience Nov. 8 – Jan. 1. This family-friendly event features a 2-mile car ride through more than a million LED lights powered by 50,000+ computer channels. Visitors of all ages will be awed by the larger-than-life trees, glowing snowflakes, dancing candy canes and enchanting tunnels of lights. In the warmth of your own vehicle, you can sing along to the sounds of the season’s synchronized to holiday light displays. Go to www.indianastatefair.com/ for more information.

Indiana Historical Society

Witness holiday trees decked out in ways you've never seen at the Indiana Historical Society's Festival of Trees Nov. 15 through Jan. 4. The event features 92 uniquely designed and decorated trees. Enjoy the nighttime tree glow by visiting Trees by Night until 8 p.m. Dec. 16 - 23. Weekend programming includes story time with Santa, special Saturday themes such as A Christmas Story and more. Check out www.indianahistory.org or call 317.232.1882.

Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians & Western Art

All aboard! One of Indianapolis’ most popular family holiday traditions returns. Experience the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art’s magical holiday model train exhibit Jingle Rails: The Great Western Adventure.Take a journey through a locomotive wonderland as trains wind past icons of Indianapolis and the American West Nov. 23 through Jan. 20. Enjoy this year’s new addition: The Indianapolis Motor Speedway and historic Spanish Colonial missions of the Southwest. To learn more, visit www.eiteljorg.org or call 317.636.9378.

Newfields

Celebrate the season at Newfields with the return of Winterlights, a multi-sensory, outdoor light spectacle featuring more than one million lights in the Garden at Newfields Nov. 23 through Jan. 5. Create memories with friends and family as you stroll through the spectacular Winter Wonderland, sip apple cider or hot chocolate (spiked options are available for adults) and make s’mores over a fire pit. Winterlights will also continue the holiday tradition of Christmas at the Lilly House, with the lawn coming alive with beautiful floral displays and holiday decor. For more information visit www.discovernewfields.org or call 317.923.1331.

The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis

It’s the most wonderful time of the year at The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis as Jolly Days Winter Wonderland returns Nov. 23 – Jan. 5. Enjoy holiday family favorites including the Yule Slide, visits with Santa after his grand arrival in a two-seat IndyCar, the ice castle and of course the Jolly Days exhibit. See if you’re on Santa’s naughty or nice list at Breakfast with Santa Dec. 1, 7, 8 & 15 (additional fee). Visit the Lilly Theater for The Magic Snowman from Nov. 29 through Dec. 28. Finally, ring in the New Year 12 hours early with Countdown to Noon Dec. 31 from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. For more information, visit www.childrensmuseum.org or call 317.334.3322.

Indianapolis Zoo

Surround yourself with the beauty of the holiday season as the Indianapolis Zoo returns with the 51st year of Christmas at the Zoo presented by Donatos and Teachers Credit Union. This year’s celebration kicks off Nov. 23 and continues daily through Dec. 30, closed only on Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and Day. Stop by Santa’s Village under the Bicentennial Pavilion, decorate cookies with Mrs. Claus, visit with Santa in his study and get up close and personal with penguins. Come early to visit with wintertime animals, tigers, bears, seals and more. Then stay late to watch as the Zoo transforms into a winter wonderland covered in lights. For more details, visit www.IndianapolisZoo.com or call 317.630.2001.




Lights at the Brickyard

Take a trip to The Racing Capital of the World this holiday season for Lights at the Brickyard at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Attendees will take part in a 2-mile driving experience that includes dozens of colorful displays totaling more than three million bright lights. The event is open Nov. 27 through Jan. 5. Visit www.indianapolismotorspeedway.com or by call 317.492.8500.

Indiana State Museum

Experience the joy of the holidays at the Indiana State Museum, complete with Santa’s arrival via helicopter on the museum’s front lawn at noon Nov. 29. Celebration Crossing comes alive with holiday merriment Nov. 29 through Jan. 5. Ride the Santa Claus Express train and enjoy a nostalgic lunch in the L.S. Ayres Tea Room™. Visit Santa’s Workshop, where you can strategize to pack Santa’s sleigh with different sized presents, assist our new reindeer recruits as they practice their take offs, take a break by Chimney Corner to read a story and more. Plus, enjoy a variety of programming and storytimes in Santa’s house and front yard, and get a picture with Santa himself. Visit www.indianamuseum.org or call 317-232-1637.

The Alexander

The Alexander will open a pop-up holiday cocktail bar Nov. 29 – Dec. 28. “Miracle on South Street” pop-up bar will be located off South Street in The Alexander’s art gallery where it will offer seasonally-themed cocktails in a festive setting. Hours are Monday - Thursday 4 - 11 p.m.; Friday & Saturday 4 p.m. – midnight; Sunday 4 – 10 p.m. Visit www.facebook.com/MiracleonSouth for more details.

 

Festive Films

Witness timeless holiday classics as Downtown Indy, Inc. partners with the Athenaeum Foundation and Indy Film Fest for Festive Films. Enjoy four holiday movies at the Athenaeum's Basile Theater on four Mondays in December at 7 p.m. Tickets to each show are $10 and proceeds benefit Downtown holiday décor and the Athenaeum Foundation. See Scrooged Dec. 2; Elf Dec. 12; It’s a Wonderful Life Dec. 16 and National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation Dec. 23. www.downtownindy.org/event-collection/147/festive-films/

Yelp's Totally Bazaar

More than 150 local businesses will come together for Yelp’s Totally Bazaar holiday shopping party Saturday, Dec. 7 from 6:30 – 10 p.m. (Yelp-Elite-Squad-only hour at 5:30 p.m.) at Central Library. While shopping, enjoy some of your local favorite food and drink. With over ten local vendors to choose from and a whole lot of Hoosier hooch, this bazaar is one of Indy’s best, complete with festive entertainment and music. All attendees must RSVP. www.yelp.com/events/indianapolis-yelps-totally-bazaar-2019

IMAX Theater

The Polar Express: An IMAX 3D Experience returns to Downtown’s IMAX Theater on select dates Dec. 6 - 13. Relive this epic holiday adventure re-mastered in proprietary IMAX DMR technology and state-of-the-art surround sound. Visit www.imaxindy.com to purchase your tickets.

Indianapolis City Market

Indianapolis City Market is celebrating with the return of 12 Chefs of Christmas. Come out for the food and beer pairing event on Saturday, Dec. 14 from 2 – 5 p.m. featuring 12 local chefs and 12 Indiana craft breweries working together to provide food dishes created to be enjoyed with specific brews. Attendees will be able to enjoy sample-sized portions of the food and drink. Visit www.indycm.com for tickets or call 317.634.9266.

 

Christkindl Village

The Christkindl Village Dec. 12 - 15 is a celebration of the holiday with a traditional Christmas Village, presented by St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church. The free festival includes a live animal Nativity, kids’ activities, photos with St. Nick, German foods, beer and wine garden and musical performances including caroling. The Christmas Market provides gifts as well as arts and crafts to purchase. The festival will take place in the St. John parking lot, along the west block of Georgia Street and in the old Pan Am Ice Rink. For more information, visit www.stjohnsindy.org/christkindl-village.