While French Lick, Indiana, is beautiful any time of year, during the winter holidays, its beauty is jaw-droppingly gorgeous. With every proverbial hall decked out in ornaments and lights, there’s definitely no shortage of fun experiences for families. Here are seven ideal things to do in French Lick during Christmas. 

1. Take a Polar Express Train Ride

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French Lick Scenic Railway

With several trips per day, you can get dressed up in your holiday finest or, like many families choose to do, wear your Christmas pajamas! Just like the original book, each person on board the French Lick Scenic Railway will get hot chocolate and cookies served by dancing chefs during the 80-minute round trip. Additionally, the conductor comes through the train cars to punch tickets and Santa and his elves board to give each guest their first Christmas present of the year (a silver sleigh bell) while the story of The Polar Express is playing overhead. 

2. Enjoy Hourly Activities at French Lick Springs Hotel

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French Lick Christmas Tree

One of my favorite resorts in Indiana, French Lick Springs Hotel, brings its Activities Center to a giant ballroom for Christmas weekend activities. The fun includes decorating cookies and listening to stories with Mrs. Claus, exploring the resort on a scavenger hunt with a goodie bag prize, and even getting a photo with Santa himself. If that wasn’t enough, make-and-take crafts, a gingerbread decorating contest, and a reindeer hunt are fun for both guests staying on the property or visiting for a few hours. 

Additionally, feel free to walk around the hotel and resort areas and view the Christmas displays, including Santa’s reindeer stables, countless ornate Christmas trees, and a child-size bakery at the North Pole. 

3. Catch a Nightly Projection and Music Show

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Beginning at 7 pm each night, French Lick Springs Hotel highlights popular Christmas tunes with a fun projection show. Located at the main entrance to the hotel, it’s a few minutes of colorful, lively entertainment. Complimentary to watch, make sure you grab a good viewing spot on the lawn or sidewalk opposite the main staircase. 

4. Visit Adorable Animals and Drive-Thru Lights at Wilstem Wildlife Park

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Wilstem feeding llama and emu

Sure, Wilstem Wildlife Park has plenty to do during its peak summer season, but a visit during the colder months is my idea of fun, especially for its Winter Fest. Not only are the crowds far less, but the park offers a holiday lights drive-thru (a 1.5-mile driving trail with over two million lights!), animal encounters, and the Roo Barn that houses adorable sloths, birds, monkeys, and, of course, kangaroos. 

5. Listen to Carolers Sing Traditional Christmas Songs

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At French Lick Springs Hotel’s Sister property, West Baden Springs Hotel, on select Sunday afternoons, carolers, complete with old-fashioned Christmas garb, perform in the Atrium near its massive Christmas tree. If you’re feeling in the Christmas spirit, feel free to sing along and join in on the fun. 

6. Take a Horse-Drawn Carriage Ride

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French Lick Horse Drawn Carriage

Also, at West Baden Springs Hotel, on beautiful holiday nights, you can bundle up with your family and take a horse-drawn carriage ride around the property to see the stunning holiday lights and listen to the the horses clippity clop along the brick-paved roads. 

7. Make Your Own Toys

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For a nominal fee, you can head to French Lick Springs Hotel and create your own toys. Feel free to keep them for your family or give them as gifts to friends and loved ones.