Guide to Christmas in Indianapolis: Festivals, Events, Things to Do

The Christmas Tree at Monument Circle.
Serge Melki / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY 2.5

The Indianapolis area will be hopping with holiday events and activities during the month of December. From shows to museums to elaborately decorated mansions and much more, you'll find plenty of ways to celebrate the yuletide season in Indy.

01 of 06

Get Your Jolly On at the Children's Museum

Jolly Days Winter Wonderland

Jolly Days Winter Wonderland

The Jolly Days Winter Wonderland runs from November 23, 2019 to January 6, 2020. Kids can make it snow in the Giant Snow Globe and ride down the Yule Slide at the Children's Museum Indianapolis and meet the Jolly Days characters, from Scrooge to Mrs. Claus, "ice skate" in their socks, explore an ice castle, go “ice fishing” in a pretend pond, “bake” wintertime goodies, take part in a “snowball fight" using soft yarn pom-poms, and have their picture taken with Santa. 

02 of 06

Walk Through the Festival of Trees

Indiana Historical Society

Indiana Historical Society

Walk through a holiday forest at this Indiana History Center event, featuring over 80 elaborately themed trees. From November 15, 2019 to January 4, 2020 the festival includes weekend visits from a vintage Santa, craft-making and more. Bring the kids and grandkids to the Sugarplum Breakfast to meet characters from The Nutcracker, imbibe craft brews at Good Beers and Ugly Sweaters, and see if you can find one of the ten "Christmas Pickles" hidden in the trees. 

03 of 06

Wander Winterlights

Newfields winter lights

Newfields winter lights

At Newfields, November 23, 2019 through January 5, 2020, enjoy Indy’s newest holiday tradition, Winterlights. Guests will stroll the grounds of Newfields as millions of dazzling lights dance through the garden paths and Oldfields-Lilly House lawn. Sip your favorite hot beverage, create s’mores by the fire, and listen to classic holiday tunes.

04 of 06

Enjoy Christmas at Lilly House



During Christmas at Lilly House, take a short walk through a path lit by holiday light from the Newfields' (formerly Indianapolis Museum of Art) main building to the nearby Oldfields-Lilly House, which will feature an array of winter bulbs and holiday floral arrangements—poinsettias, amaryllis, cyclamens, and paper-whites. Your olfactory senses will be awakened with the scent of pines, cedar, and spruce. Lighted branches make the house dance with light while each room offers a different experience—from spiraling vertical gardens climbing up the grand staircase to landscaped herbs in the kitchen.

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05 of 06

Celebrate the Season With Beef & Boards Christmas

The Beef and Boards Dinner Theater has been presenting its annual holiday variety show for about a quarter-century. In addition to plenty of well-performed Christmas classics, the show also features a superb orchestra playing holiday favorites and terrific choreography. Beef and Boards also hosts other Christmas holiday shows during the winter season and in 2019, you can catch performances of A Christmas Story from November 21 to December 31 or A Christmas Carol from December 3 to 23.

06 of 06

Donate Blood and Have Fun Too

The Indianapolis Colts and Indiana Blood Center invite you to Indy’s largest single-day blood drive, co-sponsored by CBS4, Indiana University Health, ATI Physical Therapy, the Indiana State Department of Health, and the 20/20 Institute. At the Bleed Blue Blood Drive and Holiday Fest, taking place on December 15 from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., you can give the gift of life by donating blood and then enjoy the activities like tours of the field and the Colts' locker room, chances to win prizes, and appearances by the Colts cheerleaders and the team's mascot.

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