Must do: Christmas at The Lilly House

Christmas At Lilly HouseIt didn’t FEEL like the holidays last Sunday when we boarded a tram outside the Indianapolis Museum Of Art. In fact it was 62 degrees and sunny.
We were in search of a 50-foot Christmas tree on the front lawn of Lilly House, crafted entirely out of toys. TOYS. {Incidentally that was all the kids needed to hear to get motivated for our visit.} It’s called Playtime In Indy and you better believe it’s a sight. 
The darn thing greeted us like a beacon of progressive holiday hope in front of the Lilly House. All decked in toys of pinks, blues and purples, the conceptual ‘tree’ is a literal contrast of youthful fun vs. the stately white mansion and green lawn in the background. The kids immediately lamented not having a Christmas tree like this at OUR house {Karl Unnasch – consider yourself on standby.}.
And because pictures are worth a thousand words, here’s a closeup of the magnificent tree:

Christmas At Lilly House - Indy's Child


After much oogling, we headed indoors for Christmas at the Lilly House.
This is the first time I’ve taken my monkeys through the House. I’ve been hesitant given the pristine decor and oh-so-adult feel of Lilly House but the kids did great. We checked in with the attendant – she invited us to watch a short film of background which we opted to skip. But we did have time to inspect the gorgeous trees in the lower lobby:

Christmas At Lilly House - Indy's Child

The upstairs house is decorated in what is being called a 1930s “Silver Christmas” theme. Poinsettas line the circular stairwell, garland is draped in nearly every room and the large tree in the main sitting area is covered in gorgeous silver ornaments. We spent time walking through the House, refreshing ourselves on its history {thanks to the guided tour we could eavesdrop on}, and looking at the decorations. I made note of an audio tour available and vowed to return when I could spend more time listening.

Christmas At Lilly House - Indy's Child

There’s a beautiful display of silver on the 2nd floor of the House. I decided to skirt through this quickly. The monkeys were more interested in looking out the windows than in display cases so our time on Floor 2 was short-lived.
We ended our visit on the back terrace of Lilly House for… a good ole’ fashioned wrestling match. Not very holiday-ish or Silver Christmas-ish but necessary to get the wiggles out. {Plus I assume this isn’t the first sibling wrestling squabble the Oldfields estate has seen.}.

Christmas At Lilly House - Indy's Child

A few words of caution if you do bring little ones:
  • – Strollers are allowed – to access the first floor from the lobby you’ll need to take a small elevator – but I’d recommend wearing babies if possible. Much easier!
  • – There are small wooden rails up throughout the House to keep people on main walkways. Be advised these are not well constructed and crash to the floor if you even breathe on them.
After our visit, we swooped through the IMA to f-i-n-a-l-l-y invest in a family membership. With all the Museum has on their schedule for the year ahead, it was time… and maybe will put us in Karl Unnasch’s favor to construct our own Playtime In Indy tree on our front lawn.


MORE INFO: It will be Christmas at the Lilly House until January 3, 2016. Admission is included with general admission and FREE for IMA members. Playtime In Indy will remain mostly in tact until December 17 {the IMA Winter Solstice celebration!} when sections will be dismantled and toys donated to local charities. The tree sculpture will be on display through January 3. The Indianapolis Museum Of Art is located at 4000 Michigan Road. Call {317} 923-1331 or visit


Are you loving the holidays at the Lilly House and the Indianapolis Museum Of Art? Let us know in the comments or tweet us at @indyschild. And don’t forget to bookmark the Indy’s Child 2015 Holiday Fun section for all the scoop you’ll need on holiday events and happenings around Indianapolis this season!

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