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 2018 updates all season long!

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.

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 Tree Lighting and Winter Wonderland. Celebrate the start of the holiday season at Fishers’ Nickel Plate Amphitheater! Free children’s activities, ice carving demonstrations, a petting zoo, live music from Fishers Music Works, and more. Stop by anytime during the season to see the perfectly alight display.

Christmas Lights

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.

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.

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.”

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.

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.

Holiday Concerts and Shows

The Nutcracker in Indianapolis. There are so many wonderful interpretations of the Nutcracker (hip hop, short, full length, ballet). Find the one that’s right for your family.

A Christmas Carol at Indianapolis Repertory Theatre. Watch a classic on stage at the IRT. A great show for the whole family.

A Christmas Carol at Beef & Boards. If you’re looking for dinner and show, visit Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre for an award winning buffet and a performance of a Christmas Carol.

It’s a Wonderful Life at the Palladium in Carmel. This live radio play will ring this holiday classic to life on stage through traditional radio show storytelling.

Carmel Symphony Holiday Pops at the Palladium. This annual concert is a favorite for locals of all ages. The afternoon performance features Santa and Mrs. Claus as special guests.

Handle’s Messiah at the Palladium. The Indianapolis Symphonic Choir performs the greatest story ever told.

Festival of Carols at the Palladium. The Midwest’s beloved holiday tradition includes your favorite carols and Christmas music featuring the Indianapolis Symphonic Choir, Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra and musical surprises for kids from 1 to 92.

Peanut Butter & Jam: Holiday on Strings at the Center for Performing Arts. Children ages 1 – 7 will love the fast paced, entertaining cabaret of hand-crafted marionettes. Children and adults will delight in the hilarious antics of the marionettes and the skill of the puppeteers. Everyone will want to sing along with the holiday classics and favorites.

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Musical at Clowes Memorial Hall. Based on the animated television special “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” and the stage production directed and conceived by Jeff Frank and First Stage. Come see all of your favorite characters from the special including Santa and Mrs. Claus, Hermey the Elf, Bumble the Abominable Snow Monster, Clarice, Yukon Cornelius and, of course, Rudolph, as they come to life.

NOËL the Musical at Clowes Hall. a heartwarming tale of a little girl (Noël), who is preparing for her starring role in a school Christmas play when her mother suddenly disappears. To avoid being taken into care, Noël keeps her mother’s disappearance a secret and embarks alone on a quest to find her.

Littlest Angel at Schrott Center for the Arts. The Christmas Spirit and the Beauty of Dance in three Magical performances.

 

Christmas Events

December 7, 2018


Holiday Movie Series | Georgetown Cinemas
All Day — Georgetown Cinemas
Georgetown Cinemas Holiday Movie series. November 30th: Home Alone December 7th: ELF December 14th: The [...]

December 11, 2018


Christmas at the Zoo
5:00 pm - 9:00 pm — Indianapolis Zoo
Enjoy the warm glow of twinkling lights and the magical nighttime experience that is Christmas [...]


Make and Take Ornaments | New Palestine Library
5:00 pm - 6:00 pm — New Palestine Branch Library
Kids in grades K-5, create Christmas cheer with your inner craftiness! Make festive ornaments to [...]


Winterlights at Newfields
5:00 pm - 9:00 pm — Newfields (Indianapolis Museum of Art)
Return to Winterlights this November 18 through January 6. The lights will dance again on the [...]

December 12, 2018


A Christmas Carol | Beef and Boards
12:00 am — Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre
A Christmas Carol at Beef and Boards Dinner Theater Location: Beef and Boards Date: Select [...]


Danville Winter Wonderland Light Display
12:00 am — Ellis Park
The Greater Danville Chamber of Commerce and The Danville Parks Department Present: 2018 Winterland Holiday Light Show A drive-through [...]


Jingle Rails: The Great Western Adventure
12:00 am — Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians & Western Art
Be one of the first to experience the Eiteljorg Museum’s Jingle Rails: The Great Western Adventure, [...]


Art Workshop: Family-Friendly Traditions and Folklore of Christmas | Greenfield
3:30 pm - 5:30 pm — Elmore Center Art Studio
Ho, ho, ho! Come share the excitement of the Christmas season! Naturalist Joe Whitfield will [...]


Christmas at the Zoo
5:00 pm - 9:00 pm — Indianapolis Zoo
Enjoy the warm glow of twinkling lights and the magical nighttime experience that is Christmas [...]


Winterlights at Newfields
5:00 pm - 9:00 pm — Newfields (Indianapolis Museum of Art)
Return to Winterlights this November 18 through January 6. The lights will dance again on the [...]

December 13, 2018


A Christmas Carol | Beef and Boards
12:00 am — Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre
A Christmas Carol at Beef and Boards Dinner Theater Location: Beef and Boards Date: Select [...]


Danville Winter Wonderland Light Display
12:00 am — Ellis Park
The Greater Danville Chamber of Commerce and The Danville Parks Department Present: 2018 Winterland Holiday Light Show A drive-through [...]


Jingle Rails: The Great Western Adventure
12:00 am — Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians & Western Art
Be one of the first to experience the Eiteljorg Museum’s Jingle Rails: The Great Western Adventure, [...]


Christmas at the Peewinkles Puppet Studio
10:30 am — Peewinkle’s Puppet Studio
The whole family will enjoy this music-and-puppet-filled Christmas variety show. Mozart & Ludmilla, the mice [...]


Christmas at the Zoo
5:00 pm - 9:00 pm — Indianapolis Zoo
Enjoy the warm glow of twinkling lights and the magical nighttime experience that is Christmas [...]


Winterlights at Newfields
5:00 pm - 9:00 pm — Newfields (Indianapolis Museum of Art)
Return to Winterlights this November 18 through January 6. The lights will dance again on the [...]


Christmas in the Village | Zionsville
6:00 pm - 9:00 pm — Downtown Zionsville
Celebrate Christmas in the Village with the Zionsville Chamber of Commerce on Dec. 1, 2, [...]

December 14, 2018


A Christmas Carol | Beef and Boards
12:00 am — Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre
A Christmas Carol at Beef and Boards Dinner Theater Location: Beef and Boards Date: Select [...]


A Christmas Carol | Indiana Repertory Theatre
12:00 am — Indiana Repertory Theatre
Location: Indiana Repertory Theatre Date: Select Dates Nov. 17 – Dec. 26 Time: Varies Price: [...]


Danville Winter Wonderland Light Display
12:00 am — Ellis Park
The Greater Danville Chamber of Commerce and The Danville Parks Department Present: 2018 Winterland Holiday Light Show A drive-through [...]


Hendricks Civic Theatre presents A Christmas Story
12:00 am — Hendricks Civic Theatre
Location: Hendricks Civic Theatre Date: Dec. 7, 8, 9 and 14, 15, and 16 Time: Fri [...]


Holiday Movie Series | Georgetown Cinemas
All Day — Georgetown Cinemas
Georgetown Cinemas Holiday Movie series. November 30th: Home Alone December 7th: ELF December 14th: The [...]


Jingle Rails: The Great Western Adventure
12:00 am — Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians & Western Art
Be one of the first to experience the Eiteljorg Museum’s Jingle Rails: The Great Western Adventure, [...]


The Nutcracker Presented by Indianapolis Ballet | The Murat
12:00 am — Murat Theatre at Old National Centre
Location: The Murat at Old National Date: Dec. 14-16 Time: Varies Price: Varies Purchase tickets [...]


Christmas at the Peewinkles Puppet Studio
10:30 am — Peewinkle’s Puppet Studio
The whole family will enjoy this music-and-puppet-filled Christmas variety show. Mozart & Ludmilla, the mice [...]


Storytime with Santa | Franklin Library
4:00 pm - 4:45 pm — Franklin Branch – Johnson County Public Library
Santa Claus is coming to town! Stop by your favorite JCPL branch for a special [...]


Christmas at the Zoo
5:00 pm - 9:00 pm — Indianapolis Zoo
Enjoy the warm glow of twinkling lights and the magical nighttime experience that is Christmas [...]


Winterlights at Newfields
5:00 pm - 9:00 pm — Newfields (Indianapolis Museum of Art)
Return to Winterlights this November 18 through January 6. The lights will dance again on the [...]

December 15, 2018


A Christmas Carol | Beef and Boards
12:00 am — Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre
A Christmas Carol at Beef and Boards Dinner Theater Location: Beef and Boards Date: Select [...]


A Christmas Carol | Indiana Repertory Theatre
12:00 am — Indiana Repertory Theatre
Location: Indiana Repertory Theatre Date: Select Dates Nov. 17 – Dec. 26 Time: Varies Price: [...]


Christmas at the Peewinkles Puppet Studio
All Day — Peewinkle’s Puppet Studio
The whole family will enjoy this music-and-puppet-filled Christmas variety show. Mozart & Ludmilla, the mice [...]


Christmas in the Village | Zionsville
12:00 am — Downtown Zionsville
Celebrate Christmas in the Village with the Zionsville Chamber of Commerce on Dec. 1, 2, [...]


Danville Winter Wonderland Light Display
12:00 am — Ellis Park
The Greater Danville Chamber of Commerce and The Danville Parks Department Present: 2018 Winterland Holiday Light Show A drive-through [...]


Indiana Historical Society Festival of Trees (And Santa Visit)
12:00 am — Indiana History Center
Indulge in a winter wonderland at the History Center's Festival of Trees, open Saturday, Nov. [...]


Jingle Rails: The Great Western Adventure
12:00 am — Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians & Western Art
Be one of the first to experience the Eiteljorg Museum’s Jingle Rails: The Great Western Adventure, [...]


Breakfast with Santa | Conner Prairie
9:00 am - 11:00 am — Conner Prairie
Eat a delicious breakfast, share some laughs and meet Santa Claus in person! Sit in [...]


Breakfast With Santa | Jordan YMCA
9:00 am - 11:00 am — Arthur Jordan YMCA
Santa and his elves are coming to visit the Jordan YMCA and will bring breakfast [...]


Breakfast with the Grinch | Fishers
9:00 am - 10:30 am — Saxony Hall
Families will enjoy a breakfast of Grinch inspired goodies while listening to a reading of [...]


Santa in the Park | Waverly
2:00 pm - 5:00 pm — Old Town Park at Waverly
The Morgan County Parks and Recreation Board invites you to the first ever SANTA in [...]


The Nutcracker Suite | Theater at the Fort
2:00 pm - 3:30 pm — Theater at the Fort
Dance Magic Performing Arts Center and Arts for Lawrence present The Nutcracker Suite General Admission [...]


Christmas at the Zoo
5:00 pm - 9:00 pm — Indianapolis Zoo
Enjoy the warm glow of twinkling lights and the magical nighttime experience that is Christmas [...]


Winterlights at Newfields
5:00 pm - 9:00 pm — Newfields (Indianapolis Museum of Art)
Return to Winterlights this November 18 through January 6. The lights will dance again on the [...]

December 16, 2018


A Christmas Carol | Beef and Boards
12:00 am — Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre
A Christmas Carol at Beef and Boards Dinner Theater Location: Beef and Boards Date: Select [...]


A Christmas Carol | Indiana Repertory Theatre
12:00 am — Indiana Repertory Theatre
Location: Indiana Repertory Theatre Date: Select Dates Nov. 17 – Dec. 26 Time: Varies Price: [...]


Danville Winter Wonderland Light Display
12:00 am — Ellis Park
The Greater Danville Chamber of Commerce and The Danville Parks Department Present: 2018 Winterland Holiday Light Show A drive-through [...]


Jingle Rails: The Great Western Adventure
12:00 am — Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians & Western Art
Be one of the first to experience the Eiteljorg Museum’s Jingle Rails: The Great Western Adventure, [...]


Breakfast with Santa | Conner Prairie
10:00 am - 12:00 pm — Conner Prairie
Eat a delicious breakfast, share some laughs and meet Santa Claus in person! Sit in [...]


Christmas Concert with the Greater Greenwood Community Band
2:00 pm - 3:30 pm — Greenwood High School
GREENWOOD, IN Greater Greenwood Community Band is concluding its 25th Anniversary season with the annual [...]


The Nutcracker Suite | Theater at the Fort
2:00 pm - 3:30 pm — Theater at the Fort
Dance Magic Performing Arts Center and Arts for Lawrence present The Nutcracker Suite General Admission [...]


Christmas at the Zoo
5:00 pm - 9:00 pm — Indianapolis Zoo
Enjoy the warm glow of twinkling lights and the magical nighttime experience that is Christmas [...]