Top 25 Holiday Happenings IN Indiana

December 2022

From holiday light shows to festive Christkindlmarkts and even a recreation of a holiday classic, it’s time to Make Your Season Bright IN Indiana this holiday season.

Location: West Baden

Dates: 11/11-12, 11/18-19, 11/25-26, 12/2-3, 12/9-10, daily 12/16-23, daily 12/26-31

Be welcomed by Santa, Elves, and Mrs. Claus as you enter the magical winter wonderland at Wilstem Winter Fest! Venture through the beautiful covered bridge adorned with lights, a Victorian Holiday scene, multiple animal families, Candy Factory, and more! Wilstem Winter Fest will be "ONE OF THE LARGEST LIGHT SHOWS IN AMERICA!" The one-and-a-half-mile-long drive-thru light display will feature 2.5 million lights, a live nativity, and a chance to see Santa Claus!

Location: Hammond

Dates: 11/12-12/30

Many of us have seen “A Christmas Story” more than a dozen times. It’s iconic, it’s a tradition, and it plays for 24 hours leading up to Christmas. The Indiana Welcome Center transforms into our very own Cleveland Street, depicting scenes from the movie. Seven scenes will have you reliving the movie as you stroll through the exhibit.

Location: Danville

Dates: 11/18-12/24

The mother of all holiday light shows in Hendricks County opens at Ellis Park in Danville. The Winterland Holiday Light Show provides a great way to wrap up your evening of Christmas lights. Winterland features more than a million lights, a 30-foot-tall lit Christmas tree synchronized to music that you can listen to on your car radio and a fun photo opportunity. Santa Claus is also at the Train Station in Ellis Park on the weekends. Take as many laps around Ellis Park as you want, once you gain admission.

Location: Shipshewana

Dates: 11/18-12/31

With the 2020 & 2021 expansions of Shipshewana's Lights of Joy, the drive-through light display experience is now home to more than 2 million LED Christmas lights displayed in an almost mile and a half long symphony of colorful light scenes for this upcoming holiday season. When you arrive, tune your radio to our Christmas music broadcast and soak in the Christmas Spirit!

Location: Fair Oaks

Dates: 11/18-1/1/23

Come walk the magical trail in the Forest of Lights! Changing scenes of lights and interactive color displays make for perfect memories and photo opportunities for families and friends. Along the trail will be bonfires for making s’mores, and stations to purchase warm drinks and adult beverages. When you’re done with your stroll, warm up in a private Farmhouse Igloo! The Farmhouse Igloos, overlooking the spectacular Forest of Lights will be open for a full-service, restaurant experience this season.

Location: Noblesville

Dates: 11/19-12/23

All aboard for a magical Christmas experience! Take an hour and fifteen-minute Christmas train ride with Santa himself. See Santa’s workshop and cross over beautiful Morse Reservoir while singing Christmas carols and sipping hot chocolate. The Polar Express train ride also includes a cookie and gift from Santa!

Location: Indianapolis

Dates: 11/19-12/30

Dating back to 1967, the Indianapolis Zoo was the first zoo in the nation to hold a holiday lights event. Year after year, Christmas at the Zoo continues to grow. For our 54th year, we’re adding beautiful new décor to enhance your holiday experience. And the best part is it’s all included with regular admission!

Location: Carmel

Dates: 11/19-12/30

Experience the old-world charm of Christmas in Germany right here in Indiana at the Carmel Christkindlmarkt. With the festive ambiance of an authentic German market, guests can peruse various products sourced from Germany and other German-speaking European countries. A blend of traditional German foods, drinks, and gifts are sold from small wooden huts, and a beautiful outdoor ice skating rink forms the center of the market.

Location: Marion

Dates: 11/19-12/31

Marion, Indiana's history as Christmas City USA dates back to 1965 when an Indianapolis television station visited Marion to film the city's elaborate holiday decorations. Marion adopted Christmas City USA as a nickname, and ever since, the entire community has celebrated Christmas in a big way. Our dazzling holiday display spans over two continuous miles and features more than 2.5 million lights. Over 120 individual displays run side-by-side along the Mississinewa Riverwalk from Riverview school to Matter Park. The Walkway of Lights is one of the longest-running and largest light displays in the Midwest.

Location: Fort Wayne

Dates: 11/19-1/8/23

Little Mouse sneaks into the Botanical Conservatory looking to cozy up for the smallidays. Enjoy the fun “tail” of Little Mouse along with plenty of other Christmas activities at the Conservatory: Suzuki Strings Performance, Breakfast with Santa, make your own Succulent Christmas Tree or Evergreen Centerpiece, Santa & Reindeer Saturdays, Days of Holly Shopping, and the beautiful lights throughout!

Location: Indianapolis

Dates: 11/19-1/8/23

Little Mouse sneaks into the Botanical Conservatory looking to cozy up for the smallidays. Enjoy the fun “tail” of Little Mouse along with plenty of other Christmas activities at the Conservatory: Suzuki Strings Performance, Breakfast with Santa, make your own Succulent Christmas Tree or Evergreen Centerpiece, Santa & Reindeer Saturdays, Days of Holly Shopping, and the beautiful lights throughout!

Location: Fort Wayne

Dates: 11/20-12/31

Fantasy of Lights is one of northeast Indiana’s favorite winter holiday events. This drive-thru holiday light display is held at Franke Park in Fort Wayne and is transformed into a spectacular winter wonderland. There's something new each and every year, including 8 new displays for the 2022 season. See how many you can spot! Don't forget to find "Permy" the Giraffe, hiding somewhere on the route. Let the person in the Candy Cane Cottage at the end of the route know where you saw him for a special treat!

Location: Indianapolis

Dates: 11/20-1/8/23

The Garden at Newfields is aglow with more than a million and a half lights for the sixth season of Winterlights presented by Bank of America. The tradition continues, bringing wonder and warmth to the holiday season. Old favorites return and new additions shine bright.

Location: Santa Claus

Dates: 1/24-1/1/23

Returning favorites. New celebrations. The 2022 Christmas season is packed with family-friendly events happening all throughout the Santa Claus, Indiana, area! The festivities begin Thanksgiving weekend with the return of popular events, including visitor favorites like Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire at Santa’s Candy Castle and the Live Reindeer Exhibit at Santa’s TOYS. And the fun continues in December! Write a letter to Santa, shop the huge Santa Claus Arts & Crafts Show, experience a Candlelight Evening at the Farm… and so much more!

Location: Evansville

Dates: 11/24-1/1/23

The 29th annual Ritzy’s Fantasy of Lights continues an exciting holiday tradition for the Tri-State community! Garvin Park will be transformed into a “fantasyland” with more than 70 spectacular light displays up to 25 feet tall, many of which are animated, including flying reindeer, dancing bears, a waving Santa, and more!

Location: Charlestown

Dates: 11/25-12/21

Every year, Charlestown hosts the largest Christmas display in all of southern Indiana. Dubbed Christmas City, this incredible Christmas village is the place to be during the holiday season. With the return of the Charlestown Express and the Winter Holiday Market, along with seemingly endless light displays at Greenway Park, the City Square, and the Family Activities Park, Christmas in Charlestown is sure to be jam-packed with all the holiday fun!

Location: Fort Wayne

Dates: Weekends 11/11-12/17

The Polar Express™ Train Ride is a magical re-creation of the classic children's story. Passengers are served hot chocolate and a treat by dancing chefs, enjoy a reading of the book by Chris Van Allsburg, and receive the first gift of Christmas (a silver sleigh bell) after Santa and his elves board the train at the North Pole. During the trip, the conductor will punch everyone's golden ticket, and Santa will briefly visit with each family.

Location: Conner Prairie

Dates: 11/25-12/18

Join us for Central Indiana's most beloved holiday festival and make the season magical at A Merry Prairie Holiday. Across acres to explore, surround yourself amongst thousands of lights and capture that perfect moment. There’s something for everyone to enjoy this year.

Location: Kokomo

Dates: 11/26-12/31

The Victorian elegance of the Seiberling Mansion is a perfect setting for a stunning collection of beautifully decorated trees, wreaths and garlands, and more. Inside, take in all the holiday beauty, get some ideas for your own tree, and marvel at the dozens of trees in 20 rooms on all three floors of the mansion. Vote for your favorite tree and help pick the People’s Choice! This year’s theme is “A Symbolic Christmas.”

Location: Muncie

Dates: 12/2 & 12/3

Kick off the holiday season with family and friends! Enjoy sweet treats, a winter craft, holiday shopping, and enchanting lights to celebrate the season. Embrace the sounds and spirit of the holidays at this free community event.

Location: Michigan City

Dates: 12/3

Enjoy the parade, watch the lighting of the official Michigan City Christmas Tree, visit Santa at his Michigan City Workshop (710 Franklin St.) and drop off your wish list to the big man himself, help pick the Chili Challenge champions, and support Meals on Wheels LaPorte County and Toys for Tots.

Location: Parke County

Dates: 12/2-12/10

From unique art, gifts, crafts, decorations, live music, plenty of good food, vendors and local shops open and full of gifts in Bridgeton, to visiting with Santa, Mrs. Claus & Elves while enjoying a cup of hot chocolate and caroling in Rockville, Christmas in Parke County is the place to be!

Location: Madison

Dates: 11/25-26 & 12/2-3

Enjoy an old fashioned Christmas during our 40th Annual Nights Before Christmas Candlelight Tour of Homes. You’ll see multiple public historic sites, private homes, and a local church, most of which are in Madison’s National Historic Landmark District. All of the sites capture the spirit of the holidays, each in their own unique way.

Location: Elkhart

Dates: 12/2-4, 12/9-11, 12/16-23

Wellfield Botanic Gardens’ Winter Wonderland Holiday Lights, presented by Welch Packaging, will transport you to a magical setting with lights, sound and beauty, perfect for families to enjoy during the holiday season. Enjoy this special opportunity to see Wellfield after hours in a wintry paradise! Featuring professional light displays accentuating the natural beauty of Wellfield, the ½-mile Promenade Pathway is aglow with color and texture, framing our Garden spaces as you’ve never seen them before!

Location: Martinsville

Dates: All Season (check link for daily hours)

Established by Greek immigrant Jimmy Zapapas in 1919, the confectionery is known for its candy canes, still made from Zapapas’s recipes and hand-crafted using his original wall hook, copper kettle, marble table, wood paddles, and Vulcan gas stove. The candy canes come in a variety of flavors, including fruity, clove, cappuccino, and butterscotch, with peppermint and cinnamon dominating during November and December. Lucky customers who visit the business at the right time may get to see candy canes being poured and shaped. Check their Facebook page for more details!