Lights at the Brickyard

As Meredith Wilson wrote in her classic Christmas carol, “It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas. Everywhere you go.”

Christmas decorations are popping up all around town and The Indianapolis Motor Speedway is no exception. Lights at the Brickyard combines Indiana’s love of racing with the love of Christmas to create a unique experience that has “tradition” written all over it.


Like many, my family has a tradition of piling into the car for a Christmas-light drive. It is something we look forward to every year.

The feeling that comes from seeing the houses dressed in their bright, twinkling attire is unique to Christmas. It amazes me how differently it feels to see the lights on the days leading up to the holiday, as opposed to when the holidays are over (I realize this is kind of depressing considering the season just started – so I will stop there.)

My Christmas-enthusiasm meter seems to have a direct correlation to the number of lights I see. As more and more houses become adorned in their holiday splendor, my anticipation and excitement for the holiday increases.


It was with this anticipation of seeing Christmas lights, that we piled into the van and headed to the race track for Lights at the Brickyard. We met up with some friends in the parking lot across the street from the speedway and smooshed everyone into one vehicle. This would be illegal for street driving, but we thought it would be okay for a short, slow drive around the track. The more the merrier, right?


For parties of 15 or more, they do offer a special passenger vehicle pass for an extra fee. We had less than 15, so we went the “cram everyone into one car” route – and the kids loved it!



We had a speedy pass, which meant we did not have to wait in the long line that had formed. Instead, we went to a separate shorter line that allowed us very quick access onto the track. The man at the gate did tell us that the current wait time for the other line was roughly an hour.

If you have small children who can be a bit on the impatient side, I recommend bringing a favorite holiday movie or some other form of entertainment just in case you happen to have a long wait. Or, to ensure you will get in quickly, they have speedy passes available for an extra fee.


To add some excitement and a cozy feeling to the evening, consider doing a Christmas light pajama night. Have everyone put on their pjs, grab a blanket and pile into the car to see the beautiful lights. Pop some popcorn and bring little cups of hot cocoa (don’t forget the lids) for an added touch of joy.

Another idea to consider – begin with your usual Christmas light route and end on the track as a festive surprise for the kids. Talk about a grand finale!


Whether you go in your pjs or in your regular attire, you and your family are sure to enjoy the unique experience of Lights at the Brickyard. Being on the track in and of itself pays special tribute to hoosier heritage in a really fun way. At one point all of the kids in our car were loudly chanting “228” because they wanted us to go 228 mph. Makes perfect sense. We were on a race track after all.



Lights at the Brickyard is open from December 1 – 31. Hours are 6:00-9:00pm Sunday through Thursday and 6:00-10:00pm Friday and Saturday. For additional information, including ticket pricing, visit

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