It’s no secret that we’re some of the biggest fans of the 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.

Santa at The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis

For years, Santa’s big arrival in Indianapolis has been by way of a race car at The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis. The elves rappel from the rooftop of the museum and join in the fanfare that welcomes Santa Clause to Indy. This year, his big arrival will take place on Friday, November 29th. Those who arrive early can grab a yummy treat from the Gingerbread Café or a free cup of creamy, hot cocoa in the plaza. It all begins at 8:30 a.m. Family and friends can gather to wave to the museum’s jolliest celebrity and his sleigh-driver, Tony Kanaan, owner of #14 Foyt Racing IndyCar provided by Indy Racing Experience. 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

This year, the Jolly Days galley will open a week earlier than usual. Visit November 23rd, 2019 – January 5, 2020. I really love that Jolly Days provides opportunities for YOU to play right along side your kids. The Yule Slide is just something you HAVE to experience. Lulu was a year a half old when she slid down with her daddy for the first time and she LOVED it and now you’ll find all six of us sliding down, racing one another.

  • Make it snow in the Giant Snow Globe
  • Ride down the Yule Slide
  • 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
  • Don’t forget to 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 such a treat. There were snowball fights, ice fishing (Lulu’s favorite), the ice castle, the kitchen and all of the great year round fun made our Jolly Days visit such fun! Visit with Santa on select days.

The Magic Snowman in the Lilly Theater

From November 29-December 28, 2019 you can see a performance of The Magic Snowman in the Lilly Theater. Admission to the performance is included with museum admission. A mysterious stranger arrives at a village where everyone is grumpy, gloomy, and just plain glum. The stranger’s arrival marks one of the most magical days of the year-winter’s first snow. But the freshly fallen snow fails to cheer up any of the grumpy villagers until the stranger decides to make a magic snowman. This interactive musical offers an abundance of warmth, spirit, and goodwill that will delight children of all ages.

Free Admission to The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis

The museum offers free admission to children and families on December 24, 2019. Please note the museum is open from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. on that day. 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 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day: December 16, 2019, December 23, 2019, December 30, 2019.

Jolly Days takes place at the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis November 23rd, 2018 – January 6th, 2019 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 and various holiday activities. 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 $18.50- $30.00.

North Pole PJ Party
2:00 p.m.-3:30 p.m. on December 7, 2019 and December 14, 2019
Put on some festive PJs, and get up close and personal with jolly friends from the North Pole— even Santa himself. Guests are invited to decorate cookies, make a bird feeder, and create a one of a kind scarf. Ticket prices range between $12.00-$20.00.

The Magic Snowman written by Stephen Murray
This interactive musical is sure to make families feel merry and bright. Visitors to the Lilly Theater within The Children’s Museum will find out if the magic snowman can turn the villagers’ frowns upside down! This one of a kind experience debuts on November 29th, 2019 and runs all season long.

Holiday Dinner Theater December 15, 2019, 2:45 p.m.-6:30 p.m.
Experience the holiday theater show, The Magic Snowman, from the best seats in the house! After the show, enjoy a buffet dinner, meet and greet the actors, and listen to a special musical performance by The Mistletoes. Jolly Days, the Yule Slide, and visits with Santa will be available exclusively for program participants from 5:15 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Ticket prices for the event range from $27.00 – $38.75.

See the museum’s website for details regarding dates and times and tickets.

Find even more Indianapolis Christmas events here.