There are plenty of great places to visit in Indianapolis all year around, but there is something about the winter and the holiday season that makes it even more magical. Whether you want to visit one of the Hoosier State’s many museums or enjoy the arts, here are so many different things to keep you busy all winter long!
The Indiana State Museum
The Indiana State Museum is located in White River State Park in downtown Indianapolis and is just the place to explore Indiana’s past, present and future — from mastodons and dire wolves to contemporary art by some of Indiana’s best artists. You can uncover some unique exhibits and hands-on experiences that showcase the stories, events and characters that have helped shape the Hoosier state.
The Lighting of the Christmas Tree
Well, maybe it’s not a Christmas Tree, but it is filled with with over 4,000 Christmas lights, 52 strands of garland and stands 242 feet tall! The Circle downtown gets turned into an amazing festival called the Circle of Lights. Thousands of people come to watch the tree light up with Santa, listen to music on the stage, and to enjoy some hot cocoa. Even if you are not able to make it for the lighting of the tree, you absolutely must make it down to see the circle all lit up! The lights stay lit until January 11th.
Hearthside Dinner at Conner Prairie
Just north of Indy is a really amazing place called Conner Prairie. It’s an amazing step back in time where you can experience what life was like in the 1800’s. Throughout the year there are so many great events put on that are great for adults and children both. However, one of their events that I have fallen in love with is called Hearthside Suppers. Suppers will begin in January and run through March. When you go, you will be instantly transported back in time. The staff stays in character all evening and will even ask you to help them prepare a dinner by doing things like churning butter or helping to make biscuits. Then, everyone sits to feast by candlelight. This is a really great event to go to, especially for any history buffs out there!
Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra Presents: IPL Yuletide Celebration
One of our favorite events to attend each year is the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra and their Yuletide Celebration. This is their 29th year on the Hilbert Circle Theater Stage and every year you can expect an amazing show. Come see Tap Dancing Santas, the Yuletide Jukebox featuring songs of Christmas past as well as new songs! The whole show is so well put together and incredibly entertaining. This is an event for the whole family to enjoy together.
Visit the Indiana Museum of Art
When it’s cold outside, sometimes the best place to be is indoors. The Indiana Museum of Art is full of great exhibits and beautiful works of art to look at. This museum is actually one of the oldest and largest museums in the country. The exhibits are regularly rotated so there is always something new to see. If the weather isn’t too bad, a walk around the gorgeous gardens is also a must! If you are looking for a great place to spend your New Years Eve, they also throw a wonderful party to ring in the new year!
Hot Chocolate at the Chocolate Cafe
If you ask anyone in Indianapolis where to go for the best chocolate, they will tell you the Chocolate Cafe. This has been in Indianapolis for longer than I can remember. When I was little I remember walking by and they had a big teddy bear in the window. Now, when you go in, they still have the big bears, but they also have grown to carry not only chocolates but also ice creams. The ice cream is amazing and even when it’s cold out might be tempting, but you really need to be sure to get a nice hot chocolate during the winter. It’s hands down the best you will ever have!
Watch a Hockey Game
Did you know that Indianapolis has a hockey team? Catch an Indy Fuel hockey game in the Coliseum at the Indiana State Fair Grounds. Tickets are priced right and there are a lot of games to choose from! Go to a game and cheer on the home team! (Photo Credit: Zach Rosing)
A Christmas Carol at IRT
Every year IRT puts on an amazing show of the holiday classic, A Christmas Carol. The cast is absolutely amazing and the show is so well put together. It is very cleverly done. Every single performance is done to the highest caliber. The theater is gorgeous inside and makes for a really wonderful night out.
Take a Toboggan Run
If you are willing to head outside the city, Toboggan Run at Pokagon State Park is an ABSOLUTE must. Operating only from November 28th through March 1st, about 9,000 people take a ride on the fun toboggan run. You start at the top of a 30 foot tower and quickly slide to the end, about a quarter of a mile total. You go pretty quick! It only takes about 20-30 seconds, but you can always head back up for another ride!
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