The holidays wouldn’t be the same without enjoying our favorite traditions. In Festival Country, that means gazing at sparkling light displays, finding the perfect gifts at a craft market, visiting Santa and choosing your own tree from a local farm. Here’s how to make your holidays merry and bright just south of Indy.
- Ice Skating at the Franklin Amphitheater
- The Holiday Stroll
- Holiday Lighting & Winter Market
- The Lighted Trail
- Movies at the Artcraft
- Live Musical Tribute to Charlie Brown
- Santa Train and Christmas Market
- Edinburgh Holiday of Lights
- Christmas at the Farm
- Christmas Acres
- Visits with Santa
- Christmas tree farms
- Holiday concerts
Ice Skating at the Franklin AmphitheaterBack to Top of List
There’s a brand new way to experience the season in downtown Franklin. A 1,000-square-foot synthetic ice skating rink will be open at the amphitheater from Nov. 16 to Dec. 9. Hours are 5 to 9 p.m. Thursdays (closed Thanksgiving); 5 to 10 p.m. Fridays (with extended hours of noon to 10 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 24); noon to 10 p.m. Saturdays; and noon to 8 p.m. Sundays. Bring your own skates or use the ones provided. Experience this winter oasis for just $5 for an hour of skating (skate rental included).
The Holiday StrollBack to Top of List
Head to Kelsay Farms to stroll through the farm for a magical holiday experience. See larger-than-life decorations, relax amongst twinkling lights and sip cocoa by a cozy campfire from Dec. 1 through 23. There will also be a live Nativity and other fun features. Tickets are required and we recommend purchasing them in advance.
Movies at the ArtcraftBack to Top of List
The holiday season wouldn’t be complete without seeing a classic film at The Historic Artcraft Theater in downtown Franklin. They show favorites like White Christmas, A Christmas Story and Elf; serve local popcorn and have fun, interactive activities before the show to make it an experience like no other. Tickets sell quickly, so we recommend purchasing them in advance.
Santa Train and Christmas MarketBack to Top of List
On Dec. 1, Santa, Mrs. Claus and their helpers will come rolling into downtown Bargersville on the Santa Train. Kids can have the chance to meet and take a photo with Kris Kringle himself. There will also be live reindeer, a choir, a winter market and free hot chocolate and cookies.
Edinburgh Holiday of LightsBack to Top of List
Downtown Edinburgh will celebrate the most wonderful time of the year on Dec. 9 with carriage rides through their historic downtown, a visit with Santa, a parade, a holiday market, a Christmas show and shopping at downtown stores. Carriage rides require tickets in advance, but the rest of the event is free.
Dec-a-TreeBack to Top of List
Stop by the Johnson County Museum of History to see dozens of beautifully decorated trees and vote for your favorite. The trees will be on display on the top floor of the museum from Nov. 28 through Dec. 29. The museum is open 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays. Santa will also be visiting the museum on Dec. 2 and 9.
Christmas at the FarmBack to Top of List
Hop in the car and head to Christmas at the Farm on Dec. 16 for a drive-thru experience with a light show set to music, holiday characters and hot chocolate. There is no cost, but they will be accepting non-perishable food items to donate to Johnson County Senior Services. Another great drive-thru experience on Dec. 16 is the Festival of Lights and Live Nativity in Bargersville with decorated homes, photos with Santa, carolers and more.
Christmas AcresBack to Top of List
Another fun way to enjoy lights from the car is with a stop by Christmas Acres in Franklin. This private residence decks the halls with more than 60,000 lights from Nov. 22 to Dec. 25. It’s free to enjoy, but they will be accepting canned goods for the local food pantry.
Christmas tree farmsBack to Top of List
Stroll through the farms to find that perfect Christmas tree. Cut your own tree starting in late November at Peiffer Tree Farm, Trees from DeHart and The Wildes (open only on Nov. 25). Find pre-cut trees and decorations at Welch’s Holiday Farm and Jenkin’s Farm Market. Learn more about local Christmas tree farms here.