Things to Do in Indianapolis this Holiday Season

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Happy Thanksgiving! I’m currently chilling out west for the rest of the day! Therefore, I thought it was a great time to share some holiday-themed events that are happening around town. I always look forward to the holiday festivities around the holidays here in Indianapolis! There are so many holiday things to do that it’s easy to get overwhelmed with all of the options, so pick a few that will mean something to you. There’s literally something for everyone and something new you could try every day if you wanted to! Get some of these events on your calendar to help you and your loved ones celebrate the season. Basically, ALL of these are family friendly, so bring kids along for the fun. Here are some of my favorites and a couple I’m looking forward to trying soon!


Indiana Repertory Theatre’s A Christmas Carol


IRT Christmas CArol

This is that well-known tale brought to life onstage at Indiana Repertory Theatre each and every year! Ebenezer Scrooge, Tiny Tim, and the Christmas ghosts – everything you’d expect from the Charles Dickens classic. IRT does this show the right way – a plethora of options for every schedule, a great price point (starting at $25!), and sensory-friendly options so you can bring every member of your family. In addition to the performance, join the IRT with at one of their “Holiday Hoopla” events when you see the show. This year, they’re offering family photographs, cast autograph sessions, storytime, reindeer visits (!!!!), and more!


Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra’s IPL Yuletide Celebration


ISO Yuletide

Yuletide Celebration always makes me smile – it never matters who the host is! I’ve seen it almost every year since I’ve lived in Indy and it never disappoints! I even got to work on the show last year, so it’s even more special now that I’ve been a part of all the hard work that goes into it. Join Maestro Jack Everly, the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, and this year’s hosts, Angela Brown and Josh Kaufman, to ring in the holiday season! Tickets often move quickly for this Hoosier holiday staple, but definitely keep your eyes on the website as you’re planning your visit – there may still be seats! Also, plan to attend some of the pre-concert festivities or the Colts Symfuny Sunday!


Nickel Plate Express – Reindeer Ride Express



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Looking fresh for the Reindeer Ride this Friday👏🏼🦌

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This one is new to me, but it sounds super exciting for the whole family! From visits with Santa to enjoying your 75-minute ride on the train, this excursion seems like so much fun for all ages! Perfect for the kiddos and other train enthusiasts in your family! Plus, check out the Bright Night experience to see the entire exterior of the train lit up for the holidays! Located a little north of Indianapolis, but not a far drive if you’re creating a new family tradition!


Downtown Indy’s Circle of Lights

Circle of Lights
Photo Credit: Credit Downtown Indy

This is always such a treat! If you like to be out and about with all of the grounds to kick off the holiday season, I always suggest checking out the lighting of the tree on Monument Circle LIVE! You can also watch at home, but sometimes it’s super fun to be there in the crowd as they light the tree. The event starts at 6 pm with different musical and talent acts from around the state, but the actual lighting doesn’t happen until almost 8 pm. You should also keep an eye out for Santa – I know him! 😉


Christmas Gift and Hobby Shows – Happening ALL THE TIME!

Seriously, Indianapolis has no shortage of holiday shopping events! Some of the big ones have already passed, but don’t worry there are still plenty to check out coming up!

Seriously, so many choices to shop small and support makers instead of shopping in big box retail! It’s a win-win for everyone!

Lights at the Brickyard

This is a fun evening activity for the holiday season! It’s great for families with kids or car enthusiasts who want to drive their cars on the track for two miles – including over the famous “Yard of Bricks” start-finish line. Enjoy more than 3-million lights in over 40 different scenes as you drive through the track. The whole ride takes about 20-30 minutes if you drive through at the recommended 5 MPH. They also have a radio station to tune into as you drive through the experience.

Winterlights at Newfields


The grounds of Newfields are transformed for the holidays with over 1 million lights during Winterlights! The Lilly House is also decked out for the season with decorations inspired by Mr. Lilly’s book collection. While you’re there, make sure to buy the Sun King & Newfields exclusive holiday brew called Electric Reindeer – only available onsite! Bring comfy shoes and warm clothes, this is a walk-through experience outdoors!

Jingle Rails



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The holidays are fast approaching and if you’re looking for a great holiday tradition to share with the family, might I suggest #JingleRails?? . I was invited to attend a VIP preview with @thecitymoms today and I loved seeing all the kiddos get excited about the trains and lights! So many choo-choos of excitement were heard as I was walking through and admiring the super detailed work! As a #museumgeek, I’m all about those details! Model trains weave around scenes from #Indy, #LasVegas, and along #route66! Also worth noting, every scene is created with all-natural materials (tree bark, pine cones, acorns, etc.) and decorated with lights! The #holiday exhibit runs today through January 21, 2019! Aside from the exhibit, make sure to check out some other holiday offerings @eiteljorgmuseum – train tables, art, showings of “The Polar Express,” and storytellers! Dates/info on their website. Such a great morning! Thanks for inviting me! . #indy #shareindy #indyblogger #indyblogsociety #visitindy #downtownindy #chooseindy #whiteriverstatepark #christmas #thanksgiving #h2gindiana #trains #modeltrains #modeltrainstagram #MuseSocial

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I got to check this out on opening day and I loved seeing all the kiddos get excited about the trains and lights! Model trains weave around scenes from Indy, Las Vegas, and along Route 66! Also worth noting, every scene is created with all-natural materials (tree bark, pine cones, acorns, etc.) and decorated with lights! The holiday exhibit runs through January 21, 2019! Aside from the exhibit, make sure to check out some other holiday offerings at the Eiteljorg– train tables, art, showings of “The Polar Express,” and storytellers!

Broadway in Indianapolis’ Winter Show – How The Grinch Stole Christmas

Every year, Broadway in Indianapolis usually offers some sort of family-friendly holiday show! This year, it’s Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas! Narrated by Max the Dog, popular hit songs that we all know & love are peppered throughout! Opens November 27th at the Murat Theatre at Old National Centre!


What are some of your favorite holiday-themed things to do in Indianapolis? Plan on checking out any of these?

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