17 Free Things to do in Indianapolis this December

The holiday season is here — and there is no shortage of good tidings or cheer in Indy! As we perused our Online Calendar in search of free family fun for December, we were overwhelmed by the sheer volume of holiday activities! Quite simply, there was just too much to choose from.

So, consider this our holiday gift to you: 20 free things to do in Indianapolis this December:

Reynolds Farm Equipment John Deere Free Christmas Lights Display

Nov. 17 – Jan. 1

Drive through the display to see thousands of twinkling lights and catch some holiday spirit!

Sharpsville Lights

Nov. 25 – Dec. 30

Sharpsvillelights is a FREE computerized Christmas show where lights flash to the sound of music. The show has 120,000 lights spread over 2 acres and is controlled by 352 computer circuits.

“Stutz Starry Night” Artists Holiday Open House

Dec. 1

More than 40 Indianapolis artists will open their studios to showcase one-of-a-kind artworks and gift items during the annual Stutz Artists Association’s Holiday Open House

December First Friday

Dec. 1

Explore our latest exhibit Gifted. Gifted is our annual holiday exhibit-turned-gift-market and your one-stop shop for the arts enthusiasts on your holiday shopping list.

Holidays in the Art District

Dec. 2

Experience the wonder of the holidays in the Arts & Design District with elves, reindeer, carolers from local choirs, trolley rides to & from Bub’s and the most unique Santa house in Indiana.  Santa (and Mrs. Claus) will arrive by fire truck at 3 p.m.

Meijer Tailgate Party on Georgia Street

Dec. 2

The Meijer Tailgate Party on Georgia Street includes a Major League Eating contest, contests, games, a live band and DJ, college football action on video screens, a beverage garden, food, merchandise, photo ops and much more to offer the ultimate tailgating experience.

Carmel Holiday Trolley

Dec. 2, 9, 16, 23

Enjoy your holiday shopping! Ride the festive Carmel Holiday Trolley as you shop unique, local boutiques and galleries in our Arts & Design District, Indiana Design Center and City Center. Riders will receive free gifts and that warm glow that comes from knowing you have supported our local merchants.

Swim with Santa

Dec. 3

Join Stony Creek Swim Center for pictures with Santa, open swim, & a bake sale! Open swim and pictures with Santa are free with a donation to the Noblesville Fire Department Christmas Food & Toy Drive. Help make Christmas a special time for families in our community!

Broad Ripple Lights Up! Holiday Parade and Festival

Dec. 3

Broad Ripple Lights Up! features a Kids Wonderland activity village, live entertainment, Indianapolis’ only twilight parade, and a holiday light display lighting ceremony along the brand new Canal Esplanade.

Yelp’s Totally Bazaar 2017

Dec. 7

Dancing Pottery is thrilled to be part of Yelp’s annual FREE Holiday Shopping Party featuring over 150 local businesses. ALL Yelp Bazaar attendees must RSVP! It is a free event, but you need to follow this link and click the RSVP button.

Victorian Christmas Open House

Dec. 9

It’s time again for the James Whitcomb Riley Museum Home annual Victorian Christmas Open House! This year will feature free walk-throughs of the entire Museum Home, decorated for the holiday season

Holly Jolly Jamboree

Dec. 9

Come be merry with Mrs. Claus and the Jolly Old Elf himself, Santa Claus. The Claus’s will be available for pictures throughout the program. Silly Safaris will be presenting their Indiana Reindeer Reserve program, which includes a live reindeer!

Christmas at Garfield

Dec. 9

Visit the Garfield Conservatory to meet Santa and see Conservatory Crossing, the holiday train and poinsettia show.  You can also visit the Arts Center to make toys with Santa’s elves and head to the Family Center for more festive fun.  All activities are free.   Bring your own camera to take photos with Santa.

Rowdie Claus

Dec. 9

Get FREE photos taken with the Indianapolis Indians mascot, Rowdie! Rowdie will make his annual appearance as Rowdie Claus in the Victory Field suite lounge. Create arts and crafts and enjoy free hot chocolate and snacks.

Christkindl Village

Dec. 15 – 17

The Christkindl Village is a celebration of the holiday with a traditional Christmas Market, presented by St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church. The festival includes a canopy of lights, live animal Nativity, kids’ and teen activities, photos with St. Nick, German foods, beer and wine garden, musical performances including caroling and the sights, sounds and smells of Christmas.

FREE Admission to The Children’s Museum Christmas Eve

Dec. 24

Happy Holidays!  Come talk to Santa, enjoy Jolly Days Winter Wonderland and explore the world’s largest children’s museum with FREE Admission to on Christmas Eve. 

Downtown Indy Inc.’s New Year’s Eve on Georgia Street

Dec. 30

Georgia Street is the place to be this New Year’s Eve! Come for an exciting entertainment line-up, stimulating sights, plenty of food and drink and a unique midnight extravaganza.


Indy's Child
Indy's Child
For 40 years, Indy's Child has been the trusted source for Indianapolis families seeking fun, educational, and enriching experiences. Our award-winning magazine and website are dedicated to providing expert advice, insider tips, and up-to-date information on everything from the best local attractions and events to parenting resources and support. As local experts deeply rooted in the central Indiana community, our passionate team at Indy's Child is dedicated to uncovering the best family-friendly experiences and resources our city has to offer. Whether you're new to parenting or looking for new ideas, Indy's Child is here to help you enjoy the adventure of raising a family in central Indiana.

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