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KUIG Holiday Hot List 2023

Holiday activities take up a lot of my families time on the weekends in November, December, and even January! The Indianapolis area has some absolutely amazing activities that are great for people of all ages, whether it be family friendly or the perfect date night for you and your special someone.

So without further or do here is the first ever KUIG Holiday Hot List. There are going to be some overlap between the Holiday Hot List by Chelsea at Keeping Up In Carmel, but you're going to see a lot of actitvies here Indy's South Side that are worth celebrating!

*Each of these activities I have either visited personally, or they have been reccomended by you in KUIG audience.

Budget Friendly

Franklin Holiday Lighting & Winter Market 

When: Dec 2nd

Enjoy festive activities all day, including a winter market featuring handmade and hand grown products from 2 to 8 p.m. on North Main Street, a lighted parade along Jefferson Street at 5:30 p.m., and the lighting at the courthouse at 7 p.m. Free to attend. Find more info here.

Greenwood Lighted Trail

When: Dec 2nd - 31st. 

Come to the Greenwood Amphitheater to enjoy a lighted trail. This is free, and it can be accessed via the community center parking lot. It is illuminated from dusk to dawn. December 2nd through the 31st. FREE. 

Location: Greenwood Amphitheater Park

Holiday of Lights Winter Wonderland Edinburgh

When: Dec 9th 

It's the most wonderful time of the year! The Town of Edinburgh invites you to join them for the annual Holiday of Lights. Enjoy carriage rides through their historic downtown (click the website link for ticketing details), and enjoy other activities, like a parade, a visit with Santa, a holiday market, a Christmas show, and shopping at downtown stores. 4-9pm. Free to attend.

Location: 100 E. Main Cross Edinburgh, Indiana 46142

Dec A Trees at the Museum 

When: Nov 28 - Dec 29 

Go to Johnson County Museum to see all of the decorated Christmas trees. Cast your vote for your favorite. Open 9-3pm Tuesday - Friday and 10am-3pm on Saturdays. Free to attend.

Location: 135 N Main St. Franklin, IN


Grover Center Museum Festival of Trees Shelbyville

When: Opens Nov 11th 

Visit this historical museum in Shelbyville. Free admission. Check out the scavenger hunt ans vote for your favorite tree. Free to enter and open Tuesday through Saturday from 10am-4pm.

Location: 52 W Broadwat St. Shelbyville, IN

Ice Skating at Franklin Amphitheater at Young's Creek Park

When: Nov 16 - Dec 9

Enjoy ice skating on the 1,000-square-foot synthetic rink set up at the Franklin amphitheater from Nov. 16 to Dec. 9. Hours are 5 - 9 p.m. Thursdays (closed Thanksgiving); 5-10 p.m. Fridays (with extended hours of 12 - 10 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 24); 12 - 10 p.m. Saturdays; and 12- 8 p.m. Sundays. Bring your own skates or use the ones provided. The cost is $5 for an hour of skating and includes skate rental. A signed waiver is required of each participant.

*Confirm hours for each day here. 

Location: 161 W Monroe St. Franklin, IN

The Holiday Stroll

Dec 1st - 23rd

Kelsay Farms invites people to stroll through their farm for a magical holiday experience. Bring your cameras for larger-than-life decorations. Relax amongst the lights and the trees while sipping your hot cocoa by a warm campfire. Also enjoy their live Nativity. This attraction is open 6 -  9 p.m. Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. Click the link to purchase tickets. It is also open weekdays Dec. 18 to 22 from 6 - 9 p.m. Get your tickets here. 

Location: 6848 N. 250 East Whiteland, Indiana 46184

Christmas at the Farm

Dec 16th 

Enjoy a drive-thru light exhibit, see your favorite characters, get some hot chocolate. There is no cost, but they will be accepting non-perishable food items to donate to Johnson County Senior Services. 6-9pm. 

Location: 7591 W. 600 South Morgantown, Indiana 46160

Indianapolis Activities

Winter Lights at Newfields

Nov 19th - Jan 7th 

Stroll the garden at Newfields all holiday season starting November 18th through January 7th. Admire beautiful, bright lights with family and friends. This is a stroller friendly event and perfect for the family or if you want to go for a night out with your special someone. Tickets can be purchased here. 

Location: 4000 Michigan Rd. Indianapolis, IN

Christkindlmarkt (Indianapolis) 

Nov 24th - Dec 17th 

Celebrate the holiday season and German Heritage, to be held in the Rathskeller Biergarten in late-November through mid-December. The Christkindlmarkt will feature 12 vendor huts, which will be occupied by local artisans and merchants. Each hut will sell holiday-specific items, local memorabilia, gifts and more. FREE admission 

Location: Athenaeum 401 E Michigan St. Indianapolis, IN 

Christmas Nights of Lights: Drive-through Light Show

Nov 10th - Dec 31st


Put on your Christmas jammies, pack the fam in the car, and drive through a magical light show synced to music. Online ticket reservations required, no tickets are sold at the gate.

Location: Indiana State Fairgrounds: 1202 E. 38th St. Indianapolis, IN

*Ruoff Music Center will not host a drive through light show this year.

WinterFaire at the Children’s Museum 

Nov 18 - Feb 11

Your trips to the Children’s Museum will be a little more festive during the holiday seasons with the new WinterFaire exhibit. Take a trip down the two story yule slide, make the fountain change colors with your friends, explore the new activities like ski bal and snow boarding, and check out the rest of the museum during your visit! 

Location: 3000 North Meridian Street, Indianapolis, IN

Pick out a real Christmas Tree

Peiffer Tree Farm

Now until they sell out.

Choose and cut your own Christmas tree. The farm is open from 10 a.m.- 5 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day, then 9:30 a.m. - 5 p.m. on Black Friday, as well as Saturday and Sunday while supplies last.

Location: 6101 S. Nineveh Road Trafalgar, Indiana 4618

Christmas at the Wildes 

Dec 3rd

Find the Christmas tree that is perfect for your family while enjoying live music, warm drinks and more. You can also shop from the Wildes Mercantile. Tickets are $125 (including a tree) and can be purchased by clicking here. There are also $55 tickets which do not include a tree.

Location: 4919 W. 300 South Trafalgar, Indiana 46181

Where to see Santa

Santa visits at Toodleyloo Toys

Nov 27th - December 14th

Visit Santa in a private environment, take family photos and get a kids craft. Click here to see the dates and times, and to reserve a spot. 

Location: Toodleydoo Toys, 1 W. Jefferson St. Franklin , Indiana 46131

See Santa at Greenwood Park Mall 

Nov 12th - Dec 24th

Come see Santa at the Von Maur entrance at Greenwood Park Mall daily from Nov. 12 to Dec. 24 for pictures with Santa. Check the website for times or to reserve your spot. Bring your pet to pose with Santa from 6-7 p.m. on Dec. 11th. Caring Santa, for kids with special needs, is Dec. 4th from 9 - 10:30 a.m. 

Location: Greenwood Park Mall

Carmel’s Christkindlmarkt - This is shared directly from Keeping Up In Carmel's Holiday Hot List.

Nov 18th - Dec 24th

Nationally ranked as one of the best German Christmas Markets in the country, our very own Carmel’s Christkindlmarkt is a must visit for the whole family, as a date night, or a night out with friends. 

If you’re bringing the kids, you’ll want to stop at Kinerecke and Spielhaus. You’ll find hands-on activities, crafts to take home, and special guests throughout the season. Be sure to grab a Kinder Club passport! Take your passport to 5 different participating huts to be stamped and turn it in at guest services for a special prize! 

Check out the schedule to see which bands are performing, special guests are attending, and food options will be on the menu the day you are visiting.

Location: 1 Carter Green, Carmel, IN 46033


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