December is full of holiday fun – especially here in Hamilton County. I’m lucky to live here as there are so many unique holiday and Christmas events near me. Take your pick of holiday lights, special events, shopping, and more! If you live in the Indianapolis area and are looking to make holiday memories, there are plenty of fun things to do.
Ready for my favorite ideas for Hamilton County holiday fun?
A Merry Prairie Holiday
In the last few years, Conner Prairie has added a fun new event called A Merry Prairie Holiday. Conner Prairie is already one of my favorite places to visit, so I was super excited to get to check out the Media night this year.
Although the event is a bit pricey, it is amazing and so well done! And for museum members, it’s well worth the cost – especially if you have younger kids. My teens enjoyed it but I know that when they were younger it would have been their favorite holiday outing.
From sock ice skating to a carousel, there is something for everyone. We particularly enjoyed the tubing and the holiday lights. It was wonderful to walk through thousands of twinkling lights with music in the background! The bridge was especially fun – we grabbed decadent coffees at The Java House and spent quite a bit of time enjoying the various light shows!
Another highlight includes the holiday celebrations in Prairie Town. The town residents share their Christmas Eve traditions in various homes throughout town. We visited the Doctor’s house and enjoyed Christmas carols, laughed at the residents camped out across the street that weren’t invited to the doctor’s celebration, shared the first Christmas with another family, and checked out what was going on at the Inn. It was also fun to watch the “Holidays from around the World” show in Prairietown – we were singing along by the end!
Pick a nice night and plan to spend several hours enjoying this holiday event – you’ll create fun memories for the whole family!
Lights at Ruoff
A new holiday event this year is at the outdoor concert venue in Noblesville, IN. Ruoff has added a holiday light drive-thru with the lights synchronized to music called “Magic of Lights”.
I haven’t had the chance yet to check this one out, but have driven by the area a few times and it looks like there are a LOT of lights. If it’s too cold to do something outdoors, it would be fun to pick up a few hot chocolates and stay warm enjoying the display from your car.
This holiday event has been around for a few years and just keeps getting better and better!
We’ve already been once and have tickets booked for ice skating later this month. Hopefully, the weather will cooperate.
I’ve done an entire blog post on the Carmel Christkindlmarkt so I won’t go into too much detail here, but suffice it to say if you like ice skating, delicious food, tasty adult beverages, and unique holiday crafts, this is one to add to your schedule. Plus, admission is free – you’ll just pay extra for food/drinks and ice skating.
Related post: Carmel Christkindlmarkt
Santa and skating
Federal Hill Commons in Noblesville is home to a holiday light walking tour (perfect for selfies), a Christmas Cottage, and ice skating. Combine all three and you’ve got a perfect holiday trifecta!
The ice skating rink is super popular with teens, but families also enjoy it. There is a hot chocolate truck nearby to help you warm up, and skate rental is included in the cost. On the weekends you’ll often find food trucks too, but regardless of the day you choose to skate, your rental is for all day so you can leave to grab a bite to eat and then go back and skate again later.
The lights are free to enjoy anytime, and children are welcome to drop off letters to Santa at the Christmas Cottage!
There are more holiday lights just a few blocks away in Seminary Park. Last year we did a little holiday lights tour by visiting both parks in the same evening and walking around. It was a fun and free evening.
Small Town Shopping
All of the Hamilton County cities have wonderful places for holiday shopping, but my favorite has to be Noblesville. Located around a traditional downtown square are plenty of small, locally-owned businesses full of holiday gift ideas!
Every year we spend Small Business Saturday supporting our local stores and finding goodies perfect for everyone on the holiday list. In addition to terrific boutiques, you can also enjoy a tasty lunch at a local restaurant, sip on a delicious coffee from Noble Coffee & Tea, or an afternoon beer and snack at Primeval Brewing.
It’s easy to spend an afternoon or entire day shopping, dining, and enjoying the festive atmosphere!
So what is your favorite holiday event?
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