We are all about tradition, but it is also fun to mix things up from time to time and try something new! Here are 5 brand spanking new outings to try this holiday season + an update to an old favorite:
Put on your festive best to head to the newest holiday breakfast in town, featuring a breakfast buffet among a winter wonderland. Meet your favorite Nutcracker character, create your own ballet-themed crafts, and grab an early peak of Festival of Trees before the crowds. Don’t forget your cameras to capture the magical morning! After breakfast, stay to see The Dance Refinery perform snippets from the Nutcracker at 1 p.m. and 2:15 pm. Plus, enjoy access to the Festival of Trees with 80 elaborately decorated trees and a 30-foot show-stopper.
Date: Sunday, November 26, 9:30 am-noon
Location: Indiana History Center, downtown Indy
Cost: $30 for adults, $23 IHS member adult; $22 for children 4 to 12, $17 member children 4 to 12. Purchase tickets here.
The brand new light display at Newfields will brighten up your holiday season with more than one million twinkling lights. Bundles up and enjoy the lights that illuminate the gorgeous grounds, grab a hot beverage and warm up at one of the many outdoor fireplaces located along your walk. The highlight is the synchronized light show on the Lilly House lawn. Afterwards, be sure to take a tour of interior of the historic mansion.
Dates: Tuesday-Sunday, November 19 through January 7 with two shows at 5 and 7 pm. Open Mondays on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.
Location: Newfields (IMA campus), 38th Street and Michigan Road
Cost: Purchase tickets in advance here. Price ranges from $8-$20/pp
Take a spin on Hamilton County’s newest outdoor ice rink located at Federal Hill Commons in Noblesville. All ages are welcome to participate and rental ice skates range from kid to adult sizes. Concessions also will be available for purchase during rink hours. Special themed evenings include:
November 24 – Frozen
November 25 – Small Business Saturday
December 1 – Elf Party & NFD Toy Drive
December 8 – Flannel Frost
December 15 – Grinch and Ugly Sweaters
December 22 – Cake & Skate
December 29 – Public Safety Night
Dates: Daily, November 24 through January 8 (closed Christmas Day). Click here for hours.
Location: Federal Hill Commons, Noblesville
Cost: Admission rates are $12. Guests may bring their own skates if they prefer, but renting skates is included in the admission fee.
Bundle up and experience a traditional German Christmas Market located in the heart of Carmel. Browse the shops of vendors offering a spectacular blend of traditional German foods and gifts, including a wide variety of imported German crafts and gifts. After a stroll through the market, take a spin on the beautifully adorned outdoor ice skating rink, that serves as the centerpiece of the market.
Dates: Wednesday through Sunday, November 18 through December 24. Wed & Thurs., 4-9 pm; Fri & Sat., 1-10 pm; Sun 1-9 pm
Location: 10 Center Green – Carmel, IN (Between The Palladium and The Tarkington Theater)
Cost: Free admission to the market; Skate sessions on Wednesdays and Thursdays are $6 for adults and $6 for children ten and under.
Friday, Saturday, and Sunday skate sessions are $9 for adults and $6 for children ten and under.
Skate rental is just $3 per person.
Try something totally new this season and head to the Indiana Chinese Lantern Festival, which is making its debut in Indy. View 33 sets of larger-than-life lantern displays and more than 1000 LED light components in this vibrant display, including a 100 ft. long Chinese dragon and a 30 ft. tall traditional Chinese arch. The festival also features nightly performances by Chinese acrobats, traditional Chinese handicraft demonstrations, and the flavors of traditional Chinese cuisine.
Dates: Daily, November 24-January 7, 5:30 pm – 10:00 pm
Location: Indiana State Fairgrounds & Event Center – Celebration Park *Visitors will enter the venue through Gate 1 (off 38th street) or Gate 6 (off Binford Blvd.) and follow directional signs to Celebration Park.
Cost: Prices are $15 per adult, $10 per child (children five and under are free) with discounts for seniors, military and college students. They also offer a Family Four Pack for $40. Purchase tickets online here.
Plus: A new twist to an old favorite
The beloved Christmas at the Zoo returns, but with an update that is sure to delight regular visitors. The all-new, enchanted Santa’s Village under the Bicentennial Pavilion features magical scenes of wonder and light where you can decorate delectable cookies in Mrs. Claus’ Kitchen, visit with Santa in his charming study and see Santa’s reindeer in his barn. Those looking for a challenge can try their luck in the The Snowflakery mirror maze. Outdoors, enjoy thousands of LED lights including the All-A-Glow Light Show at the Kroger Splash Park, carousel and train rides, visits with the animals (weather permitting) and much more.
Dates: Nov. 24-26, 29-30; Dec. 1-3, 6-10, 13-23, 26-30, 5-9 pm. And NEW extended hours on Friday and Saturday until 10 pm.
Location: Indianapolis Zoo, downtown
Cost: Christmas at the Zoo is included with regular admission and free for Zoo members!