Winter events happening in and around Indianapolis, IN

Check out winter and holiday-themed events happening in and around Indy in this seasonal guide.

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The 2022 Athenaeum Christkindlmarkt was the site’s first time hosting the German holiday market.

Photo by INDYtoday team

Table of Contents

Get your fuzzy socks and hot cocoa ready, Indy. From light displays to holiday performances and festive parties, winter is where the Circle City thrives.

Gather the family and friends and celebrate what makes the holiday season special with this guide featuring 30 winter events happening between December and January.

Light displays:

  • Circle of Lights | Friday, Nov. 25-January | 6-8 p.m. | Monument Circle | Free | See Indy’s most honored holiday tradition on the Circle with 4,784 colored lights strung on the monument to create a tree.
  • Dasher’s Lightshow | Friday, Nov. 25-Saturday, Dec. 31 | 5:30-10:30 p.m. | Castleton Square Mall parking lot, 6020 E. 82nd St., Indianapolis | $29.95 | Drive through this holiday display and watch the roughly one million lights dance and blink in sync with holiday music favorites.
  • Christmas Nights of Lights | Friday, Nov. 11-Sunday, Jan. 1 | 6-10 p.m. | Indiana State Fairgrounds | $30 per car | Drive through this new light display with even more music for your family and friends to enjoy.
  • Winterlights at Newfields | Sunday, Nov. 20-Sunday, Jan. 8 | 5-9 p.m. | Newfields, 4000 Michigan St. | $29 | See more than a million and a half lights aglow for the sixth season of this holiday tradition at Newfields.
  • A Merry Prairie Holiday | Friday, Nov. 25-Thursday, Dec. 22 | 5:30-9:30 p.m. | Conner Prairie, 13400 Allisonville Rd., Fishers | $22 | Explore the holiday displays across acres of grounds and surround yourself amongst thousands of lights and capture that perfect moment.
  • Magic of Lights | Friday, Nov. 18-Sunday, Jan. 1 | 5:30-10:30 p.m. | Ruoff Music Center, Noblesville | $30 | Check out this second annual, family-friendly drive-thru holiday lights festival.
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Who doesn’t want to see dancing Santas?

Photo provided by Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra

Holiday performances:

  • AES Indiana Yuletide Celebration | Friday, Dec. 2-Friday, Dec. 23 | Times vary | Hilbert Circle Theatre, 45 Monument Circle | $40+ | Emmy-nominated singer Frankie Moreno is coming back to light up the stage with his piano and vocal talents.
  • Butler Ballet presents: Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker | Thursday, Dec. 1-Sunday, Dec. 4 | Times vary | Clowes Memorial Hall, Butler University, 4602 Sunset Ave. | $25 | The brilliance of Tchaikovsky’s music will be brought to life by the Butler Ballet Orchestra and the Indianapolis Children’s Choir under the direction of Richard Auldon Clark.
  • Pentatonix: A Christmas Spectacular | Tuesday, Dec. 6 | 7 p.m. | Gainbridge Fieldhouse | $49.50+ | Season 21 winner of “The Voice” Girl Named Tom will open the night for Pentatonix biggest show yet.
  • Straight No Chaser - The 25th Anniversary Celebration | Saturday, Dec. 10-Sunday, Dec. 11 | Times vary | Old National Centre | $79+ | Get in the holiday spirit with Straight No Chaser as they perform at the Murat for the a capella group’s 25th anniversary.
  • Music at Butler: Rejoice! | Friday, Dec. 9-Saturday, Dec. 10 | 7:30 p.m. | Clowes Memorial Hall, Butler University, 4602 Sunset Ave. | Free | See this holiday tradition that’s 30 years in the making with over 150 singers, readers, and instrumentalists decked out in festive regalia.
  • Indianapolis Ballet presents The Nutcracker | Friday, Dec. 16-Sunday, Dec. 18 | Times vary | Old National Centre | $24.50+ | Indianapolis Ballet presents the grandest staging of this Christmas classic, performed by the city’s only professional ballet company, alongside the talented students of Indianapolis School of Ballet.
  • Josh Kaufman: Live at Feinstein’s | Friday, Dec. 2 | 7:30-9 p.m. | Feinstein’s At Hotel Carmichael, 1 Carmichael Square, Carmel | $25-$50 | See our Hoosier Season 6 winner of NBC’S “The Voice” live.
  • Disney on Ice: Find Your Hero | Wednesday, Jan. 18-Sunday, Jan. 22 | Times vary | Gainbridge Fieldhouse | $20+ | Disney On Ice presents an adventure filled with tales of heroism from your favorite Disney stories.

Holiday pop-up bars:

  • Miracle on South | Friday, Nov. 25-Saturday, Dec. 24 | 5-11 p.m. | The Alexander, 333 Delaware St. | Cost of purchase | The Alexander Hotel and Plat 99’s iconic holiday cocktail bar is returning after two years away.
  • Tinseltown | Wednesday, Nov. 30-Friday, Dec. 30 | Times vary | Nevermore, 39 W. Jackson Place | $21 | Check out this holiday-themed pop-up bar where everyday is Christmas — ticket includes Christmas-themed drink.
  • Hotel Tango’s Salute to Santa | Friday, Dec. 2-Friday, Dec. 23 | 4-11 p.m. | 670 Virginia Ave. | $10 | Kick off the holidays with limited-edition festive cocktails by Hotel Tango and pay it forward at this official dropoff location for the Marine Corps Toys for Tots program.
  • Sippin’ Santa | Wednesday, Nov. 30-Saturday, Jan. 7 | Regular business hours | Almost Famous, 721 Mass Ave. | Cost of purchase | Check out this tiki Christmas escape on Mass Avenue this holiday season.
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The new rink at Holliday Park offers rental skates and lessons.

Photo by @indyparks

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A miniature replica of the Indianapolis skyline is just one scene you can see recreated in Jingle Rails at the Eiteljorg Museum | Photo via INDYtoday team

For the kids:

  • Christmas at the Zoo | Saturday, Nov. 19-Friday, Dec. 30 | 5-9 p.m. | Indianapolis Zoo, 1200 W. Washington St. | $16.25+ | Check out this holiday tradition at the zoo dating back to 1967 with holiday lights, penguin encounters, and a visit to Mrs. Claus’ kitchen and Santa’s barn.
  • Jolly Days | Friday, Nov. 25-Sunday, Jan. 1 | Times vary | Children’s Museum of Indianapolis | Included with admission | Make memories one last time during the farewell to this family favorite holiday experience at the Children’s Museum.
  • Reindeer Express | Now-Friday, Dec. 23 | 701 Cicero Rd., Noblesville | $49+ | All aboard a magical Christmas experience — Take an hour and fifteen-minute train ride with Santa.
  • Ice Rink at Holliday Park | Friday, Nov. 25-Sunday, Jan. 29 | 11 a.m.-9 p.m. | Holliday Park Nature Center, 6363 Spring Mill Rd. | $13 | Get on the ice and practice your skating skills on this new rink.
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A miniature replica of the Indianapolis skyline is just one scene you can see recreated in Jingle Rails at the Eiteljorg Museum | Photo via INDYtoday team

Get in the holiday spirit:

  • Broad Ripple Lights Up Festival | Sunday, Dec. 4 | 3-5:30 p.m. | Broad Ripple Village | Free | Kick off the holidays with Broad Ripple’s annual festival with children’s activities, live musical performances, and a tree lighting.
  • Jingle Rails | Saturday, Nov. 19-Monday, Jan. 16 | Times vary | Eiteljorg Museum | $10+, Free for members | Explore among a G-scale model train wonderland containing nine working model trains that wind through a stunning miniature landscape featuring local and national landmarks.
  • Festival of Trees | Friday, Nov. 11-Saturday, Jan. 7 | Times vary | Indiana Historical Society | $15 | Enjoy a winter wonderland with more than 75 elaborately decorated trees.
  • Carmel Christkindlmarkt | Saturday, Nov. 19-Friday, Dec. 30 | Times vary | 10 Carter Green, Carmel | Cost of purchase | Check out this traditional German holiday market that’s been voted the best in America by USA Today’s 10 Best.
  • Athenaeum Christkindlmarkt | Now-Sunday, Dec. 18 | Times vary | 401 E. Michigan St. | Cost of purchase | The Historic Athenaeum is bringing the traditional German holiday market to downtown Indy in this inaugural festival featuring food, drinks, local vendors, and live entertainment.
  • Conservatory Crossing | Friday, Nov. 25-Saturday, Dec. 31 | Times vary | Garfield Park Conservatory | $5 per person | See the conservatory decked out in its holiday best with a brilliant display of poinsettias, model trains and a village among thousands of twinkling lights.

NYE celebrations:

  • CÎROC The New Year 2023 - “MAGICAL” | Saturday, Dec. 31 | 8 p.m.-2 a.m. | Regions Tower, 1 Indiana Square | $130+ | Countdown to the new year with the biggest NYE party in Indy, featuring open premium bar cocktails, gourmet hor d’oeuvres, live performances, music, dancing, and a special champagne toast at midnight with a few other surprises.
  • NYE 2023 | Saturday, Dec. 31 | 9 p.m.-1 a.m. | Indiana Roof Ballroom, 140 W. Washington St. | $139+ | Ring in the new year with this 7th annual all-inclusive NYE party complete with several open bars, gourmet appetizers, live entertainment, casino and arcade games.
  • Bridgerton New Year’s Eve Party | Saturday, Dec. 31 | 8 p.m.-3 a.m. | 2849 Shelby St., Indianapolis | $60 | Come dressed in your best Bridgerton attire for this exclusive party in a speakeasy.
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