Plenty of holiday events on schedules in Indy


Danielle Shumar, staff writer

As the holiday season approaches, you might be searching for things to do with family and friends. Indianapolis and surrounding areas are full of fun holiday-themed events, and these are some of the best ones.


At the Indianapolis Zoo, a featured event called Christmas at the Zoo lasts from November 19 through December 30. Christmas at the Zoo dates back to 1967, making the Indianapolis Zoo the first zoo in the nation to hold a holiday lights event.


Christmas at the Zoo continues to grow every year, and this year it’s back and better than ever. Featuring glowing lights, fun displays, and decorated exhibits, this event is fun for all ages. It’s definitely a place to visit with younger siblings, family, or friends.


A classic Christmas event is Downtown Indy’s Circle of Lights. The lighting of the tree at the Soldier’s and Sailor’s Monument will take place on Friday, November 25, the day after Thanksgiving. On average, over 100,000 people attend this event, making it a beloved tradition in Indy. The large and vibrant tree will stay lit throughout the Christmas season, up until New Year’s Day.


If you don’t feel like braving the crowds downtown, another tree lighting to think of attending is Christmas on the Square in Danville. On Friday, November 25, Danville will partake in its annual lighting of the Old Oak Tree in downtown Danville at the square. This event has a homey and cozy atmosphere and is sure to put you in the Christmas spirit.


In addition to the tree lighting, there will be plenty of entertainment, shops, hot beverages, and Christmas treats. This is always a fun holiday event for families and groups of friends. 


The Carmel Christkindlmarkt is a German-inspired holiday market lasting from November to late December. This Christmas market is a popular outdoor event throughout the Christmas season. Located in Carmel, there is something for everyone at the Christkindlmarkt. Enjoy ice skating, hot chocolate, and holiday-themed cuisine from popular vendors. You can also try popular German foods to get into the spirit of the market! This is an attraction that is sure to up your spirits during the holiday season.


A cozy and laid-back event to attend is the Winterlights located at Newfields. Winterlights is a tradition coming back for the sixth year. Starting on November 20, The Garden at Newfields will be lit up with over a million and a half lights. There will be plenty of entertainment and beautiful light displays as you take a walk through the garden. In addition, there will be much fun treats served including hot chocolate, hot apple cider, gingerbread popcorn, and warm chocolate chip cookies. Walking through the Winterlights at Newfields is an amazing experience for all, and something fun for family and friends to partake in.


Anyone who loves looking at Christmas lights will also enjoy Christmas lights displays at Conner Prarie, Ruoff Music Center, and the state fairgrounds. 


If you’re someone who loves a classic holiday tradition, think about getting tickets to Butler Ballet’s performance of the Nutcracker. Running December 1-4, this holiday tradition is great for families. Located at Clowes Memorial Hall, Butler Ballet produces one of the best Nutcracker performances out there. Full of entertaining choreography and costumes, you are sure to be hooked from the first scene to the final curtain.


Indy is full of fun holiday events, and there are many for you to choose from this season. The holidays should be an exciting and happy time for all friends and family, and participating in these activities and events is a sure way to put you in the spirit this year.