It’s no secret that we’re some of the biggest fans of the Children’s Museum in Indianapolis. My favorite time to take my kids is during CHRISTMAS! Jolly Days, the holiday exhibit at The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis is such a treat! There’s nothing better than watching your kid just have a BLAST figuring out new stuff and doing something year after year and loving it still.
However, the Children’s Museum has announced that 2022 will be the final season for your family to enjoy this local tradition of more than 25 years. Take advantage of one last chance to play and explore in this beloved exhibit. While we’ll all miss our favorite Jolly Days activities, we can’t wait to see what the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis comes up with for WinterFaire, the new holiday exhibit coming in 2023.
Santa at The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis
Santa is scheduled to arrive at the Children’s Museum via horse-drawn carriage on Friday, November 25. Those who arrive early can enjoy music and grab a free cup of creamy hot cocoa in the plaza. It all begins at 8:30 am and the outdoor festivities surrounding Santa’s big entrance are free and open to the public. Family and friends can gather to wave to the museum’s jolliest celebrity.
Afterward, visitors will be invited to head inside to help guide Mr. Claus down the festive red carpet to the 47-foot-long Yule Slide and join the Chorduroys singing group for a holiday sing-along. Get into the holiday spirit and create magical memories that will last a lifetime. Photos with Santa are available for a fee but you are also welcome to take your own photos without making a purchase.
Jolly Days Holiday Exhibit at The Children’s Museum
Guests can visit Jolly Days this year from November 25, 2022 – January 1, 2023. I really love that Jolly Days provides opportunities for YOU to play right alongside your kids. The Yule Slide is just something you HAVE to experience. Lulu was a year and a half old when she slid down with her daddy for the first time and she LOVED it. Now, you’ll find all six of us sliding down, racing one another.
The Yule Slide is just one of many magical experiences awaiting your family at Jolly Days. Kids and their grown-ups can also:
- Make it snow in the Giant Snow Globe
- Meet extraordinary Jolly Days characters, from Scrooge to Ms. Claus
- “Ice skate” in your socks
- Explore the Ice Castle
- Go “ice fishing” in a pretend pond
- “Bake” wintertime goodies and share memories with your family and friends
- Tell Santa your wish list and get a photo with the jolly elf himself through Dec. 24!
Ice skating indoors (warm ice skating) on a synthetic ice floor was such a treat. There were snowball fights, ice fishing (Lulu’s favorite), the ice castle, the kitchen, and all of the great year-round exhibits at the Children’s Museum made our Jolly Days visit such fun! Visit with Santa on select days.
The Snow Queen in the Lilly Theater
From November 25, 2022-January 1, 2023, you can see a performance of The Snow Queen in the Lilly Theater. Admission to the performance is included with museum admission. Join Gerda on her journey to rescue her friend and neighbor. Kay has disappeared with the Snow Queen after getting a piece of her evil magic mirror stuck in his eye, causing him to no longer care for his friends and family. Gerda travels through all four seasons and meets a variety of characters whom she befriends while seeking Kay and the Snow Queen. This performance occurs at 1 pm and 3 pm on select days throughout the holiday season. The show is recommended for ages 4 and up.
Free Admission to The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis
The museum offers free admission to children and families on December 24, 2022. Please note the museum is open from 10 am–2 pm on Christmas Eve. Earn your elf ears, participate in “snowball” fights, sing along with The Mistletoes, and talk to animated winter characters!
Open on Mondays in December
No matter how many times you tell me that The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis is closed on Mondays during the winter, I’ll make the error of driving there at least once on a Monday, only to be turned away. However, the museum will be open the following Mondays from 10 am-5 pm each day: December 19 and 26; January 16; February 20.
Jolly Days takes place at the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis from November 25 – January 1, 2022 during regular museum hours. Admission to Jolly Days is included in the price of your ticket or free for members. Families who qualify may receive discounted admission to The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis through the Indiana Access Pass.
Christmas Activities at The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis
Breakfast with Santa
Families are invited to enjoy a cheery breakfast with Santa and various holiday activities on December 3, 2022. Continue the excitement with a ride down the Yule Slide and make sure to take a moment to visit with Santa! Ticket prices range between $26-$41.25.
North Pole PJ Party
9:30 am and 1:00 pm on December 10, 2022
Put on some festive PJs, and get up close and personal with jolly friends from the North Pole. Guests are invited to wear their pajamas, make an ornament, create a one-of-a-kind elf hat, and more. Ticket prices are $20 for member youth and $25 for non-members. Adults join their children for just $4 (members) or $5 (non-members).
9:30 am and 1:00 pm on December 17 and 18, 2022
Join the elves in the workshop as you create your very own toy! Guests can choose to work with leather, wood, or plaster as they pick up some new skills and build something special to bring home. Pricing is the same as the North Pole PJ Party.
Countdown to Noon
10:00 am-1:30 pm on December 31, 2022
Celebrate the New Year just a little early with your kids. The museum will have special activities, live music, and countdowns at noon and 1 pm. This event is perfect for little ones who need to head to bed way before midnight. The countdown activities are included in admission and free for members.
See the museum’s website for details regarding dates and times and tickets.