Best Christmas Events and Activities in Indy

Christmas in Indy is the best time of year — the lights, the trains, the trees, the snow. My children can’t wait to visit with Santa and go ice skating. I’m looking forward to the tree lightings and holiday theater shows. We’ve listed tons of the best Christmas events in Indianapolis and the surround areas.

We’ll be adding updates all season long!

Please note that we’ve tried to update event changes due to COVID, but please expect things may look a little different than the experiences we’ve shared in the past.

Indianapolis Area Christmas Traditions

Jingle Rails: The Great Western Adventure at the Eiteljorg. Model trains make their way through miniature landscapes representative of Indianapolis and the American West. Nearly 1,200 feet of track fill the gallery as nine trains pass by 30 different landmarks. Don’t miss Old Faithful when it erupts!

Jolly Days at The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis. Ice skate indoors on a synthetic ice floor, slide down the famous Yule Slide, have a snowball fight and find all of your friends at Jolly Days! Special events and programming take place throughout the season and Santa is available to visit with children on select days.

Celebration Crossing at the Indiana State Museum. Visit with Santa, ride the L.S. Ayres train, build something and create crafts, visit other popular exhibits and enjoy special holiday programming and meals.

The Indiana Historical Society’s (IHS’s) annual Festival of Trees holiday exhibit. 80 elaborately decorated trees are on display at the Eugene and Marilyn Glick Indiana History Center. As visitors tour the winter wonderland, they also can take part in scavenger hunts for The Elf on the Shelf or the Weihnachtzgurke, 10 pickle ornaments hidden in trees throughout the building. When legs get weary, guests are invited to take a break in the Cole Porter Room, where a singer leads guests through holiday-themed songs, as well as popular Porter standards.

More Christmas Activities in Indy: Christmas Light Displays | Christmas Tree Farms | Pictures with Santa | Ice Skating | Live Nativities | FREE Christmas Events | Breakfast With Santa | The Nutcracker | Black Santa | Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremonies

Circle of Lights on Monument Circle. Circle of Lights illuminates Monument Circle in a large festival and then remains lit through the New Year with lots of fun things to do on the Circle.

Fishers Winter Wonderland. Celebrate the start of the holiday season at Fishers’ Nickel Plate Amphitheater! Stop by anytime during the season to see the perfectly alight display.

Christmas Lights

Christmas Nights of Lights is a returning fan favorite! We can’t get enough of this drive thru holiday light display at the Indiana State Fairgrounds.

You’ll love driving around and checking out holiday light displays all over central Indiana, here’s our list of the best Christmas lights houses. Also, you can leave the car and walk around to see some walk thru light displays.

Winterlights at Newfields. Stroll through the gardens at the Indianapolis Museum of Art beneath the glow of one and a half million lights. This popular event sold out last year so get your tickets right now.

{Canceled for 2020} Lights at the Brickyard at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Enjoy a two mile driving course through over 500 displays made up of three million Christmas lights. Santa will visit on scheduled nights and on Tuesdays, motorcycles are invited to drive the course to see the lights.

Polar Express Trains

Santa Express at Sullivan’s Hardware. This trackless train runs through intricately decorated winter and Christmas scenes and ends at the “North Pole” to visit with Indianapolis’ most popular Santa Claus. Children can participate in activities while they wait. Beverages are available for purchase at the “train station.”

{Returning in 2021} Reindeer Ride at Nickel Plate Express. Hop aboard the Nickel Plate Express, departing from Atlanta, Indiana! Visit with Santa, sip hot chocolate, and enjoy the holiday lights aboard the Reindeer Ride Express.

Polar Express at Whitewater Valley Scenic Railroad. Board the train at Grand Central Station in Connersville to pick up Santa Claus at the North Pole. Once on board, Santa will come and visit with each child on the train to give them the special first gift of Christmas. Hot chocolate and cookies are served on board.

{Returning in 2021} French Lick Scenic Railway Polar Express Train Ride. Once the train is underway, the conductor will punch your ticket as the book, The Polar Express, is read aloud and enhanced with song and dance by our crew, with a special Cookie & Hot Chocolate presentation, just like in the movie! When the train pulls into the North Pole, Santa Claus himself jumps on board and he presents each child with their own “first gift of the season”, a shiny silver sleigh bell. You will also be entertained by Santa’s elves with interactive songs and dance that everyone can participate in.

Fine more holiday train rides here.

Holiday Concerts and Shows

Christmas Events

May 6, 2024

Charlotte's Web
Charlotte's Web
6:30 pm — Clowes Memorial Hall
A creative spin on a classic tale! This reimagined production features bluegrass music and a [...]

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  1. Pingback: Christmas Activities Northwest Indiana - MerryChristmas

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