The holiday season is nearly upon us – a time when expenses can add up quickly. We are here to help with a list of Free Things to Do this Holiday Season. From pictures with Santa to tree lighting ceremonies, free museum admission days to holiday workshops, you’ll find something for everyone.
Free Things to Do this Holiday Season in Indianapolis:
Nov. 10 | Central Library
Children of all ages and families are invited to get a taste of an Indy holiday tradition during this Indianapolis School of Ballet “Nutcracker Sweets” preview performance. This short and “suite” performance will feature many popular scenes and songs from The Nutcracker to be presented December 14 – 16 at Old National Centre.
Nov. 17 | On the Lawn of the Palladium
Holiday at Center Green is the perfect kickoff to the season, with the holiday lighting ceremony, a visit from Santa, live reindeer and other animals to pet, holiday entertainment and children’s activities. Come see your neighbors and friends and get in the holiday spirit.
November 17 – December 23 | 10 Center Green, Carmel, IN
Visitors to Carmel’s Christkindlmarkt can bundle up and explore the quaint 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. There is no entrance fee for the Christkindlmarkt. Fees are incurred if you choose to purchase items at the vendor huts. There is a nominal fee for The Ice at Center Green skating sessions and skate rental.
Nov. 20-Jan 1 | Reynolds Farm Equipment in Fishers
Annual FREE Christmas Lights Display located at Reynolds Farm Equipment in Fishers, Indiana. It’s always an absolutely FREE Christmas Lights Display!
Nov. 23, Dec. 7, 14, 21 | Clay Terrace
Enjoy complimentary Sleigh Rides Sponsored by Charles C. Brandt Construction at Clay Terrace this Holiday Season! Add something special to your Friday Nights from 5:30 PM to 7:30 PM.
Nov. 23 | Monument Circle
Indy’s Favorite Holiday Tradition. For 56 years, thousands of spectators have gathered Downtown at Monument Circle to see the most spectacular holiday display illuminate. Central Indiana’s most beloved tradition is here again. The Downtown Indy, Inc Circle of Lights® presented by IBEW 481 will take place the day after Thanksgiving, Nov. 23, 2018.
Send a letter to Santa
All over Indy, you can find mailboxes that deliver letters straight to the North Pole. *More location information coming soon.
- Fishers Santa’s Mailbox: Nov. 19 – Dec. 10
Nov. 24 | Main Street Zionsville
This family-friendly parade begins at 5:00 pm featuring the Zionsville High School Marching Band, reindeer, and of course, Santa. This years parade theme is Let It Snow! The parade begins at Eagle Elementary, and ends at Old National Bank at approximately 5:30 pm. Santa will then light the tree for the Christmas season on the corner of Pine and Main Streets in Zionsville! Stay on Main Street for horse-drawn wagon rides, live entertainers on stage, S’mores, photos with Santa.
Dec. 1 | Nickel Plate District AMP
Celebrate the start of the holiday season at Fishers’ jolliest event of the year! Families of all ages will delight in free children’s activities, ice carving demonstrations, a petting zoo, live music from Fishers Music Works, and more. Stick around for the highlight of the evening, the annual tree lighting taking place at 6 p.m., and enjoy the beautiful twinkling light displays around the Municipal Complex. A Sensory Friendly Area will also be available at the event for children and families with special needs. *Children can visit and take a free photo with Santa at Winter Wonderland by signing up in advance
Dec. 1 | Downtown Westfield
Join the city of Westfield for a fun Holiday Celebration Downtown! FREE activities for the whole family include Pictures with Santa, Train Rides, Pictures with Frosty the Snowman, a Gingerbread House Display, Live Reindeer Petting and Show, Live Musical Entertainment, Food & Retail Vendors, and the Annual Tree Lighting Celebration! Don’t miss all the fun!
Dec. 1 | Museum of Miniature Houses and Other Collections Inc.
Take this rare opportunity to see the Museum of Miniature Houses at night, with their displays lighted by candlelight. Enjoy our collection of fine-scale miniatures, holiday decorations, and special holiday exhibits.
Dec. 1 | Indiana Historical Society
More than 70 Indiana authors will pack the William Henry Smith Memorial Library for this fun-filled day of mixing, mingling and book signing. Author Fair is a day of fun for all ages. Join in the Festival of Trees fun, including photos and storytime with Santa and book-themed crafts for kids and kids at heart. Be sure to enter to win an Author Fair gift basket, too! Free admission to the Indiana Historical Society includes the Indiana Experience and Festival of Trees.
December 1, 8, 15, 22; 2 – 9 p.m. | Carmel Arts & Design District
Enjoy a spin around our city entertainment districts or brave the elements with a brisk stroll along the Monon Greenway. The free Holiday Trolley will stop in the Arts & Design District, Carmel City Center, the Indiana Design Center and Center Green for the Christkindlmarkt and Ice at Center Green.
Dec. 4-17 | Indianapolis Public Library
Individuals of all ages are invited to enjoy a performance of chamber ensemble music featuring holiday classics and carols by members of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra. This program is made possible by Friends of the Library through gifts to The Indianapolis Public Library Foundation.
- Dec 4, 2018 12:00pm, Warren Branch
- Dec 10, 2018 3:00pm, Wayne Branch
- Dec 10, 2018 6:00pm, Irvington Branch
- Dec 12, 2018 1:00pm, College Avenue Branch
- Dec 12, 2018 3:00pm, Pike Branch
- Dec 13, 2018 12:00pm, Glendale Branch
- Dec 13, 2018 2:00pm, Nora Branch
- Dec 15, 2018 12:00pm, Central Library
- Dec 17, 2018 12:00pm, Michigan Road Branch
Dec. 8 & 22 | Clay Terrace
Meet Santa’s Reindeer at Clay Terrace this Holiday Season! Come say hello to Sant’a Reindeer they will be in front of Santa’s house! Maybe you’ll see one fly!
Dec. 8 | Central Library
Yelp’s annual Totally Bazaar is a free pop-up holiday shopping party! Come for food, drink, shopping, and entertainment! In addition to local businesses selling everything from wooden stamps to homemade crayons alongside mulled wine, beer, a gift wrapping station, live wreaths, and so much more. All attendees must RSVP online.
Dec. 8 | Garfield Park Conservatory and Gardens
Visit the Conservatory to meet Santa and see Conservatory Crossing, the holiday train and poinsettia show. You can also visit the Arts Center to make holiday-themed crafts and head to the Burrello Family Center where Mrs. Claus will have some tasty treats. All activities are free. Bring your own camera to take photos with Santa.
Dec. 9 | Biltwell Event Center
Indy VegFest presents the 2018 Holiday Market! This pop-up market is family-friendly, free and open to the public. Small businesses will be selling vegan and cruelty-free handmade products, apparel, body care, household products, and prepackaged vegan food – perfect for gift giving. Vegan food vendors will offer brunch-themed dishes. While this is a free event, donations are appreciated.
Dec. 14-16 | West Block of Georgia, Pan Am Ice Rink, St. John’s Parking Lot
The Christkindl Village (“Christ Child” Village) is a celebration of the holiday with a traditional German Christmas Market hosted by St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church. This event is designed to be a lasting tradition for the people of Indianapolis and visitors to the city, including a canopy of lights, live animal Nativity, kids activities, alpine slide, German foods, beer and gluhwein garden, musical performances including caroling, and the sights, sounds and smells of Christmas.
Holiday Events at the Library
Your local library is a great place to find free entertainment. Here are just a few of our favorite FREE activities coming up this Holiday season.
|12 Days of Winter||Central Library (Central)||Nov. 27, 29, Dec. 1, 4, 6, 8, 11, 13, 15, 18, 20, 27 (2-4 pm)|
|Holiday Concert with Emily Ann Thompson||Fishers Library: Fishers East/Center/Stage||Dec. 1 (2-3 pm)|
|Sweets and Snowballs with Buddy the Elf||Hussey – Mayfield Memorial Public Library||Dec. 6 (6:30-7 pm)|
|Family Movie Night: Grinch Holiday Special||Fishers Library: Fishers East/Center/Stage/Kitchen||Dec. 7 (5:30-7:30 pm)|
|Holly Jolly Holiday Party||Noblesville Library: Noblesville South Meeting Room||Dec. 11 (6:30-8 pm)|
|Holly Jolly Holiday Party||Fishers Library: Fishers East/Center/Stage||Dec. 12 (6:30-8 pm)|
|Warm up to the Holidays ( STEAM-based storytime with songs and a seasonal craft.)||Carmel Clay Public Library||Dec. 13 (4-4:45 pm)|
|Gingerbread STEAM||Carmel Clay Public Library||Dec. 17 (10-10:45 am)|
|StoryFlix and Craft: Holiday Fun!||Carmel Clay Public Library||Dec. 18 (10-11:30 am)|
|Jingle Bell Rock Dance Party||Franklin Road Branch (South)||December 18 (1:30 pm) & 19 (10:15 am; 11:15 am)|
Dec. 24 | The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis
Celebrate Christmas Eve at The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis with free admission.
Dec. 31 | Georgia Street
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. Downtown Indy, Inc.’s 5th Annual New Year’s Eve Celebration promises to be the best party in the city.