The Most Wonderful (Holiday) Events of the Year


Check out this list of 10 holiday events to keep your winter merry and bright!

Straight No Chaser

Originally formed over a dozen years ago while students together at Indiana University, the group has reassembled and reemerged as a phenomenon – with a massive fan base, more than 20 million views on YouTube, numerous national TV appearances, and proven success with two holiday releases, 2008’s HOLIDAY SPIRITS and 2009’s CHRISTMAS CHEERS as well as WITH A TWIST, released this spring. In an era when so much pop music is the product of digital processing and vocal pro-tooling, Straight No Chaser is the real deal – the captivating sound of ten unadulterated human voices coming together to make extraordinary music that is moving people in a fundamental sense… and with a sense of humor.

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The Carmel Chriskindlmarket 

The Carmel Christkindlmarkt is bringing the old world charm of Christmas in Germany to beautiful Carmel, Indiana. The Christmas market tradition stretches back to Saxony, Germany during the middles ages. The Christmas market has food and drinks, local shops with unique gifts and collectibles, an ice skating rink, and a fun scavenger hunt! The market is open Wednesday and Thursday from 4 PM-9 PM and Friday-Sunday from 1 PM-9 PM now through December 24.

Learn more about the Carmel Christkindlmarket 

IPL Yuletide Celebration

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The Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra and Jack Everly are joined by the beloved Sandi Patty as she returns for the 32nd IPL Yuletide Celebration! Broadway’s best singers and dancers, from New York to right here in Indiana, will bring the Yuletide magic and music to life on the Hilbert Circle Theatre stage. Don’t miss 21-year-old dancing sensation Kyle Van Newkirk, fresh from NBC’s hit World of Dance, as he joins the cast to perform holiday favorites.

Buy IPL Yuletide tickets

Christmas at the Zoo

A visit to Christmas at the Zoo is unlike any other time of the year as we bring together the best of the holiday season with a “wild” twist! As the sun sets over White River State Park, enjoy the warm glow of twinkling lights, creating a magical nighttime experience. Several of the Zoo’s hardiest will stay up late to enjoy the cooler nights, including seals and sea lions presented by Carrier Corporation, walrus, tigers, red panda, brown bears and more! Plus, see all of the animals in our indoor exhibits, including Oceans, the Dolphin Dome, Deserts, and the Simon Skjodt International Orangutan Center (Note: Desert animals and orangutans may go to sleep once the sun sets). Come early to visit the beautiful Hilbert Conservatory from noon-5pm.

Learn more about Christmas at the Zoo

TCC Jingle Jam


The Chainsmokers, Backstreet Boys, Zedd, Hey Violet, and Why Don’t We at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on December 12 at 7:00 PM

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Stroll Winterlights at Newfields from November 19th through January 7th amid the glow of a million bulbs—you know the song Walking in a Winter Wonderland? Now you can actually do it, ambling side-by-side with family and friends through memorable holiday light displays, in forest, field and gardens—from “whimsy trees” to the Snowflake Bridge to the grand Allée.

Learn more about Winterlights at Newfields

A Christmas Story 

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Ralphie Parker wants only one thing for Christmas: an official Red Ryder® Carbine-Actions 200-shot Range Model Air Rifle. A Christmas StoryThe Musical is the hilarious account of Ralphie’s desperate quest to ensure that this most perfect of gifts ends up under his tree this Christmas. Honored with 3 Tony Award nominations for Best Musical, Best Book of a Musical and Best Original Score, A Christmas Story is directed by Tony Award-winner John Rando and choreographed by Warren Carlyle. This new musical based on the classic 1983 movie, which itself was based on stories by legendary radio humorist Jean Shepherd, features funny and heartfelt songs by Benj Pasek & Justin Paul and a faithful yet inventive book by Joseph Robinette.

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Lights at the Brickyard

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Lights at the Brickyard, the popular, drive-through holiday display that debuted last year at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, will return from Nov. 17 through Dec. 30 this year with a longer route and over 2.5 million bright lights illuminating an expanded lineup of colorful displays. The Lights at the Brickyard course will expand to more than 2 miles from last year’s 1.7 mile layout. As in 2016, the route—which travels through the IMS infield and along the front stretch of the historic oval—will cross the world-famous Yard of Bricks start-finish line.

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Conner Prairie by Candlelight

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Tours begin at 6 p.m. and run every 12 minutes until 9 p.m. Candlelight tours last 90 minutes.

Meet a variety of characters in their homes and learn how new settlers to Indiana’s frontier carried on their family traditions.

  • Meet the Ullmans who are celebrating Hanukkah.
  • Discover who Belznichol is at the Golden Eagle Inn.
  • Visit with the Curtis family to hear about Santa Claus and who he might visit that night.
  • A new visitor to Prairietown will surprise the schoolmaster and add her own story about the holiday.
  • Join Dr. Campbell at his home for dancing and singing as he and his family ring in the holidays!

You can end your night by joining the rowdies outside for a song or story around the bonfire.This program is recommended for ages 7 and older and is ideal for guests who prefer a more structured program in the evening hours.

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Jolly Days at the Indianapolis Children’s Museum

Jolly Days

Celebrate family traditions and holidays with Jolly Days Winter Wonderland! Enjoy favorites like the two-story Yule Slide, Jingles the Jolly Bear, and visits with Santa.

  • Make it snow in the Giant Snow Globe
  • Ride down the Yule Slide
  • Meet extraordinary Jolly Days characters, from Scrooge to Ms. Claus
  • “Ice skate” in your socks
  • Explore the Ice Castle
  • Go “ice fishing” in a pretend pond
  • “Bake” wintertime goodies and share memories with your family and friends
  • Don’t forget to tell Santa your wishlist and get a photo with the jolly elf himself!

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