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15 Ways to Kick off the Holidays in Hamilton County

While we have just turned our calendars to November, there is no denying that the holidays are just around the corner. If you are not quite feeling it yet, no worries. We are here to help. From tree lighting ceremonies to a heartwarming holiday concerts, below we list 15 events in Hamilton County that are sure to get you in the holiday spirit!


  1. Kick off the holiday season at Hamilton Town Center’s Annual Holiday Fest on Nov. 19. This event, now in its 7th year, features a performance by Country Music Artist Jerrod Niemann presented by Hank FM with an opening performance by Not Your Average Boy Band, Santa’s Arrival to Hamilton Town Center, and the Annual Tree Lighting presented by L&M Gardens. While you are there, be sure to visit with local businesses, including The Flats at Fishers Marketplace and Sky Zone, enjoy free face painting and balloon art, plus visit with Live Reindeer and dance with the Zooperstars!
  2. Children in 4th grade and younger can drop their wish list in Santa’s Mailbox at Fishers City Hall or Fishers Parks & Recreation Office beginning Nov. 14 through Dec. 12. Be sure to include a self-addressed, stamped envelope with letters if you are wanting a reply!
  3. Witness the holiday lighting ceremony, visit with Santa, see live reindeer and shop the Holiday Farmers’ Market at Carmel’s Holiday on the Square on Nov. 19 from 3:30-6:30pm. This year, you will also be able to help fill Santa’s sleigh with donated items that will go to the Carmel Fire Department’s Christmas Assistance Program.
  4. Bundle up and experience an 1836 winter season with a visit to the homes and businesses in Prairietown during Holiday Adventures at Conner Prairie, taking place select days beginning Nov. 25.
  5. While you are there, stop by to view the works of both amateur and professional gingerbread architects at the annual Gingerbread Village at Conner Prairie, included in the price of admission to Holiday Adventures.
  6. Take part in Noblesville’s annual Tree Lighting ceremony on Nov. 25. Families will enjoy special holiday music, a reading of “The Night Before Christmas” by Mayor John Ditslear, and of course, the lighting of the beautiful downtown lights and Christmas tree. No need to bundle up too tightly – the ceremony will take place inside the Hamilton County Judicial Center, with the tree lighting on the courthouse square.
  7. Get a jump start on your holiday shopping and support local businesses on Nov. 26 during Small Business Saturday at Nickel Plate Arts District. Free gift wrapping stations are an added plus.  New this year: At the Holiday Art Bar ($5 suggested donation) you can create greeting cards, gift tags and more to personalize your gifts. Get artsy yourself, and add a personalized touch to your one-of-a-kind gifts! Plus artist Kat Ho presents a holiday marketbath goods pop-up station with cookies and hot chocolate.
  8. Go see “Christmas at Home” at the Westfield Playhouse, select days, Dec. 2-18. This production by Hoosier playwright, Joseph Hayes, is sure to stir up sentimental feelings for Christmases past.
  9. Enjoy a cheerful, chilly celebration in the Nickle Plate District during Frost Fest on Dec. 2 from 6-7:30pm. The free family-friendly event features an ice carving demonstration, photo booth, petting zoo including live reindeer and much more. The kid’s tent will offer free games and activities while families wait for the arrival of Santa Claus in Fishers. Light refreshments will be available on a first come, first served basis, and the event will conclude with the lighting of our holiday tree and a story from Santa himself.
  10. See Carmel’s Central Park in a whole new light on Dec. 3 when it will be transformed into a winter wonderland set aglow with thousands of luminaries during the Luminary Walk. Between 6 and 9pm, you can take a walk through the winter wonderland and enjoy carolers, cookies, and hot chocolate as you take in the ambiance around the lagoon, over the bridge, and through the park.
  11. Also on Dec. 3, you can go for a carriage ride, get your photo taken with Santa and Frosty the Snowman, see a live reindeer show and more at Westfield in Lights. This free, family event begins at 3pm and culminates with the annual Tree Lighting at 7pm.
  12. On Dec. 6 and 7 from 6-7:30pm at Fishers City Hall, kids can pose for pictures with Santa. Each family will receive one free photo, including a photo frame. While they wait their turn in line your children can see and take photos with a live reindeer and enjoy light refreshments.
  13. Get in the holiday spirit on Dec. 10 with a heart-warming holiday concert when the Carmel Symphony Orchestra presents IU Health Holidays with Ann Hampton Callaway at the Palladium. This fun-filled concert blends pop, jazz, and classical music, including Winter Wonderland, I Wonder as I Wander, and Ann’s own Christmas Lullaby. This family-oriented concert also includes an audience sing-along!
  14.  Have Breakfast with Santa at Conner Prairie, select days beginning Nov. 26. Kids can decorate cookies and visit with jolly St. Nicholas himself! New this year: Join Santa in song and listen to his beloved rendition of “Twas the Night Before Christmas.”
  15. Or, put a new spin on things this season and try Breakfast with the Grinch at Roy G. Holland Park on Dec. 10, complete with Grinch fingers, Cindy Lou’s sausage, Green Eggs and Ham. Photo opportunities with the Grinch will also be available.
There is truly something for everyone this season in Hamilton County. Now get out there and get in that holiday spirit!
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