If you’ve been around the Indy with Kids Facebook page or website for any amount of time during the holidays, then you KNOW that when Santa lands in a helicopter on the front lawn of the Indiana State Museum, we go NUTS! We love the anticipation, we talk about it at bedtime on Thanksgiving night and then we bundle up on Black Friday and head downtown for THE BEST tradition! Okay, Indianapolis in general has about 100 of the BEST holiday traditions in the entire country, but there really is no better way to kick of Christmas than Santa’s arrival at Celebration Crossing at the Indiana State Museum.

Later during the season we head back to the State Museum one morning and enjoy one of the best breakfasts we’ll eat all year. It’s a wonderful buffet of deliciousness and Santa and Mrs. Claus and many of their friends join us.

After breakfast we head upstairs to Santa’s temporary home where Celebration Crossing is in full swing!

We ride the train, we take a picture with Santa, we ride the train again, and again. Oh, and probably again. How can you resist when you get to see THIS FACE?

My kids love building and playing games with other kids at Santa’s Imagination Playground — this area focuses heavily on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM)-based activity area. This year we had our first formal tea experience in the L.S. Ayers tea room!

Celebration Crossing takes place at the Indiana State Museum now through January 6th. Santa will return to the North Pole until 2019 on December 24th. Visit Celebration Crossing during museum hours Monday thru Saturday 10am to 5pm and Sunday, 11am to 5pm. Celebration Crossing is included in museum admission, brunch and breakfast with Santa as well as photography packages are extra. In most cases, reservations are required for Breakfast with Santa and lunch in the LS Ayres Tea Room.

Our family was hosted for part of this experience. All thoughts and opinions are true and not influenced by our hosted experiences.