Indiana Christmas Activities and Events for 2016

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Indiana Christmas Activities and Events for 2016

A Christmas Story Leg Lamp

Kick off Christmas the right way! No, not with A Christmas Story Leg Lamp, but with one of these Indiana Christmas tree lighting ceremonies, festivals, and holiday parades.

Hunting for Indiana Christmas lights? If you’ve been looking for things to do in Indianapolis this weekend or maybe things to do in Richmond, Fort Wayne, or any one of a number of Indiana towns and cities, you are in the perfect place. When you want holiday fun, this website is where you need to be.

This list is packed full of tree lighting ceremonies, Christmas parades, live nativities, and Christmas festivals. You won’t want to miss a minute. It’s a Hoosier good time.

Did I miss one? Please kindly let me know in the comments below. A list this size takes a fair chunk of time. There’s thousands of cities and towns in the state–so I am always grateful for any help you can provide.

After all, we all know that some small towns aren’t the best about advertising their special events. Let’s make it obvious, shall we? Take a look at my list for a fresh Christmas tree near you so you know just where to go when you are ready to deck the halls.

Indiana Christmas FUN! Parades, Tree Lightings, Festivals, and MORE

Auburn

The Christmas Parade and Lighting of “Frosty” are Tuesday, November 22, 2016, at 7 PM. Find all kinds of family fun (and even live reindeer) at the Downtown Auburn Courthouse Park.

It’s the 2nd Annual Holiday Festival at the National Military History Center, 5634 C.R. 11-A, in Auburn. Craft vendors galore. But this one isn’t only for the grown-up shoppers, there’s also live entertainment, food, and a visit from the jolly old elf himself.

The 13th Annual Miracle on Main offers a wealth of activities. Look for a schedule of activities every Saturday and Sunday beginning November 27, 2016, to December 18, 2016.

Avon

Ready for the Christmas Tree Lighting in Avon? It’s December 3, 2016, from 6 PM – 7 PM. Santa will arrive at 6 PM. You can find more parking at the Avon United Methodist Church. Otherwise, enjoy the live music, food, kids crafts, Vortex Tunnel, and train rides (to name a few).

Bloomington

Light up the night at the Canopy of Lights in Bloomington on November 25, 2016, at 7 PM. See Santa flip the switch and watch in wonder as the Square transforms.

Bremen

Santa is ready. Are you? Join in the fun at Bremen’s Annual Christmas Lighting Wednesday, November 23, 2016, at 6:30 PM downtown.

Broad Ripple

Who can resist Broad Ripple Lights Up Parade and Festival? No one. Join the fun on December 3, 2016, from 3 PM – 7 PM at Fire Station #32 (6330 Guilford Ave.). Make sure to be around for the city’s ONLY twilight parade! It starts at 5:30 PM. Kids can receive free glow bracelets.
It’s family fun at the

It’s family fun at the Cambridge City Winter Wonderland. There’s snowball fights, carolers, hot chocolate, carriage rides, and a moonlit parade that heads down Main Street (of course) and the Christmas Wonderland of Lights in the park. It’s on November 26, 2016. The parade line-up begins at 6:30 PM.

There’s nothing like driving through a park filled with thousands of twinkling lights. Make the trip to the Christmas Wonderland of Lights in Cambridge City this year and start a new family tradition. It’s at Creitz Park on West Parkway Dr. from 5:30 – 9:30 PM beginning each Friday, Saturday, and Sunday for three weeks. Call 765.478.6170 for more info.

Carmel

Carmel’s Holiday Lighting Ceremony on the Lawn of City Hall is November 19, 2016, from 3:30 PM- 6:30 PM.

Christmas Tree Farms in Indiana

There’s more to the season than picking out a fresh tree. Just look at all of the Indiana Christmas events and festivals of 2016.

Chesterton

It is the Hometown Holiday Celebration! and Twilight Christmas Parade. Following the free carriage rides, the parade begins at 5:15 PM. It’s all at Thomas Centennial Park and Downtown Chesterton from 2 PM – 8 PM.

Corydon

Light Up Corydon is November 26, 2016, with free carriage rides from 12 PM – 4 PM, children’s crafts from 1 PM – 6 PM, the Bicentennial Candlelighting and Song at 6:40 PM, and Santa lighting up the Square at 6:45 PM.

Covington

Who’s excited for the 9th Annual Hollydaze? Starting on December 2, 2016, with the 8 – 10 PM Float In Holiday Movie, December 3, 2016, is the day that’s jam full of fun. The Reindeer Dash check-in begins at 8 AM, with the race to start at 8:30 AM. Fill up at the pancake breakfast from 9 AM – 12 PM, then take a peek at the craft bazaar at the elementary school fro 9 AM – 4 PM. Donate blood from 12 PM – 3 PM at the Fred Myers, then shop downtown until it’s time to join in the fun at 4 PM at the Don Henning Roundabout for the tree lighting ceremony at 5 PM. Santa will arrive at 5:30 PM.

Crown Point

Do Christmas like no one else–it’s a tree and TANK lighting ceremony in downtown Crown Point! It’s from 5:30 PM – 6:30 PM at the east side of the courthouse steps.

Danville

Head to the Hendricks County Courthouse Square for one adorable holiday celebration: Christmas on the Square. See the fun on Friday, November 25, from 4 PM – 6 PM. There’s a live nativity, face painting, train rides, and Santa Claus lighting up the town.

Elkhart

See the city as you’ve never seen it before at the Christmas Walk thru Eckhart Park. Look for it Dec. 2, 3, 4, 9, 10 & 11, 2016 from 6 PM – 8 PM.

Farmland

Visit the Farmland Christmas Walk down the main street.

Fortville

Lights on Main Fortville Winter Festival will glow again on December 3, 2016. Times were not posted on the page but they will hopefully update soon.

Fortville Winter Festival in Fortville, Indiana

Fortville Winter Festival in Fortville, Indiana

Fort Wayne 

Fort Wayne Night of Lights occurs downtown November 23, 2016, from 5:15 PM to 8:00 PM.

Franklin

The Franklin Holiday Lighting kicks off at 8 AM with a day absolutely packed with fun things to do. Start with the 5K walk or run or the one-mile family walk at 8 AM. There’s a gingerbread baking contest, a cookie contest, and even a live nativity from 1 PM – 3 PM. Look for the organ concert at 4 PM at First Presbyterian Church, then the Melchior Marionettes at Tabernacle Christian Church. The holiday parade begins at 5:30 PM with the courthouse display lighting at 7 PM. Shop the local shops and fit in a visit to Santa too.

French Lick

50 Days of Lights begins at French Lick Resort. Holiday trees, music, and treats will put anyone in the holiday spirit from December 1 – December 31, 2016.

Hagerstown

Hagerstown Hometown Christmas includes a bazaar, crafts, carolers, a cookie walk, and even the big guy in red. Go Saturday, December 3 from 9 AM – 8 PM right on the main street.

Hamilton

Enjoy the sights and sounds of the holiday at the Old Time Horse-drawn Christmas Parade on Saturday, November 26. The parade will begin at 6 PM. Don’t miss it!

Hammond

The Hammond Holiday Parade  begins at Gavit High School and runs north on Indianapolis Boulevard to end at 169th Street. It starts at 10 AM.

Highland

Santa’s March and Tree Lighting Ceremony begins with a parade with the big guy through the Highland downtown. It ends at the Main Square Gazebo. This year, it starts at 4:30 PM on November 26, 2016.

Huntingburg

The Huntingburg Christmas Stroll is Thursday, November 10 from 6:15 PM – 7:30 PM. The tree lighting begins in front of City Hall. Afterward, head to story time at the library.

Indianapolis

If you are in central Indiana, there is no way you haven’t heard about Downtown Indy, Inc.’s Circle of Lights. It all starts at 6 PM at Monument Circle on November 25, 2016, with the live televised show running from 7 PM – 8 PM on (NBC) WTHR-13. Feel the wonder at 7:55 PM when it is all lit up.

Knox

The Knox Peppermint Parade takes place on December 3, 2016. The tree lighting ceremony starts at 5 PM for a heartwarming celebration.

Kokomo

Christmas at the Seiberling will put you in the holiday spirit as you tour the holiday decor. Saturday, November 26, 2016, Santa will arrive for the tree lighting at 6 PM. He will be available at the Elliot House from 6:30 PM – 8:30 PM. The museum will be open until 8 PM.

Lowell

You’ll love Holiday Magic in Lowell. The candy cane hunt starts at 2 PM at Liberty Park. The Parade of Lights begins at 6 PM. Don’t be late.

Martinsville Candy Kitchen in Indiana Where You Can Watch Candy Canes Get Made

Martinsville Candy Kitchen in Indiana Where You Can Watch Candy Canes Get Made is a holiday tradition for many. Look for it here on Little Indiana by searcing “Martinsville.”

Marion

It’s one of the oldest and the biggest displays you’ve seen yet. There are more than 2.5 million lights involved in the Marion Christmas City Parade and Walkway of Lights on November 19, 2016.

Michigan City

The Michigan City Snowflake Parade is back–and this time, it is returning to Franklin Street downtown.  The parade will begin at 10th Street and head north to 4th Street on Sat, Dec 3, 2016, starting at 3 PM. After the parade, head to Washington Park for the tree lighting ceremony.

Nashville

See the twinkling floats that spread holiday cheer during the Holiday Lights Parade December 3, 2016, at 6 PM.

The Tree Lighting Ceremony will be at the Brown County History Center on Friday, November 25 at 6 PM. Is there anything more merry and bright? I think not.

New Harmony

Have a holly jolly good time at the 13th Annual Christmas Tree Lighting on the front courtyard of New Harmony Resort. Roasted chestnuts are served. It all starts at 5 PM.

Noblesville 

Join in the magic as the Noblesville Tree Lighting Ceremony kicks off the season in front at the Noblesville Courthouse Square. November 25, 2016.  View the Ice Festival sculptures situated around the square at 5 PM. The tree lighting ceremony will take place from 7:00 PM – 8:00 PM.

Orleans

It’s Orleans Christmas on the Square. Let the kiddos gets hands-on with children’s crafts. There are horse and train rides and even a children’s train ride. Isn’t that cute? With a live nativity, storytelling, plus Santa and the Mrs., it’s one action-packed holiday celebration on December 10.

Rensselaer

The annual Rensselaer Chrismas Parade will be December 3, 2016, at 4:30 PM. It begins on West Grove Street, then will turn on North College Avenue, and head down Washington Street, passing by the Jasper County Courthouse.

Christmas Parades, Festivals, and Events in Indiana 2015

The Rensselaer Christmas Parade many years ago helped me to develop the idea for Little Indiana.

Richmond

It’s that time again! Time for the yearly Celebration of Lights at Glen Miller Park at 2200 National Road East in Richmond. Pathways are lined with thousands of luminaries. Carriage rides take the scenic route around the lake. You know Santa won’t miss this one either.

They call the Richmond Festival of Trees “A fabulous forest of trees, vendors, entertainment and food.” I call it a great way to shop local artisans. Find it every Tuesday until December 13, 2016.

The 12th Annual Old- Fashioned Christmas Festival occurs November 29th, December 6th and 13th from 5 PM – 9 PM. Santa is waiting. There are even train rides. It all happens at the Richmond Furniture Gallery.

Roanoke

Kids will love to see Santa by fire truck around 6 PM on December 2, 2016. It’s Christmas in the Village. Santa will then meet and greet the kiddos. Everyone sings carols. It’s all the charm you love about a small town wrapped into one event.

Rockport

What’s not to love about a town with so much talent? It’s The City of Rockport Christmas Festivities–and there’s plenty of them. Saturday, December 3, 2016, marks the big day. You can find the list of events (and when they happen) right here. For a quick rundown, the pancake breakfast begins at 7 AM -10 AM. The Christmas Pageant is at 11 AM, the Christmas Parade is at 2 PM, and the Christmas Program (a MUST SEE) is at 6:30 PM. The alternate date is set for December 17, 2016.

Rockville

Is there anything more picturesque than a covered bridge in the winter? I didn’t think so. Visit Parke County Covered Bridge Christmas December 2-4, 2016.

Santa Claus

Of course, a town named after Santa Claus will offer up a wonderful way to celebrate. The Santa Claus Christmas Celebration is everything you would expect: head through Lake Rudolph’s 1.2-mile ‘Santa Claus Land of Lights, roast chestnuts over the fire at Santa’s Candy Castle, write a letter to Santa at the Santa Claus Museum, or dine with the big guy at Santa’s Lodge. Beginning December 2, 2016, find it every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday leading up to Christmas (it will end December 18, 2016).

Santa Claus Museum in Santa Claus, Indiana

Santa Claus Museum in Santa Claus, Indiana lets children write their letters to Santa. “Yule” love it.

Shipshewana

The Lighting of Shipshewana – Holiday Light Parade and Lighting Ceremony begins at dusk (6 PM). You’ll love the floats, the carolers, and the live entertainment.

South Bend

You’ll want to catch the 28th annual lighting of the City’s Christmas Tree at the Jon Hunt Plaza/Performing Arts Center at 5:30 PM, Friday, December 2, 2016. Starz Academy children will entertain with holiday music until Santa lights the tree.

Valparaiso

Holly Days is centered around the courthouse square. Live nativity, ice carving, carolers, train rides for free, and so much more. Get your holly jolly on at Holly Days in Valpo December 2, 2016, from 5 PM – 8 PM.

Winter Lights Night is at Sunset Hill Farm November 26 – December 31, 2016, from 5 PM – 9 PM. Many displays are custom-made by the maintenance staff. Cost is $5 per car.

Vevay

The Vevay Festival of Lights run the whole month. Hop in the car and drive through the lighted displays. It’s at the Paul Ogle Riverfront Park (100 Ferry Street).

Zionsville

On Saturday, November 26, 2016, everyone will head downtown for the Christmas in the Village Parade and Tree Lighting. As stated on their website (linked prior) “Noon: Trolley Service Begins 2 p.m.: Horse & Carriage Rides 3:45 – 4:45 p.m.: Petting Zoo 4:30 p.m.: Pony Rides, S’more Station, Live Entertainment 5 p.m.: Christmas Parade Immediately following parade: Tree lighting, Live Entertainment, Barrel Train Rides, Photos w/ Santa, Photos w/ Live Reindeer.”

Indiana Christmas Events and Festivals

Annual Rockport Christmas Program in Rockport, Indiana

The Annual Rockport Christmas Program in Rockport, Indiana is one of many fabulous Indiana Christmas events.

There you have it. The largest list of Indiana holiday happenings is now in your hot little hands. Do something different this year. Look to your community or those around you to stir up that Christmas spirit.

Take a look at where to find your Christmas fun. This list will be updated as I receive new information from tourism reps, readers, or my own research. Thanks–and a holly jolly Christmas to you and yours.

I’m Jessica Nunemaker and THIS is Little Indiana. Small towns–destinations, not drive-thrus. Just don’t forget to tell them that Little Indiana sent you.

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By |2017-01-11T09:44:46+00:00November 23rd, 2016|Creating Community, Extras, Little Towns|0 Comments

About the Author:

Jessica Nunemaker is the Owner of Little Indiana.com. More than a website, Little Indiana is a book, "Little Indiana: Small Town Destinations" (IU Press) awarded first place in the "Best in Indiana Journalism for a Nonfiction Book" by the Indiana Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. Little Indiana is also a bi-monthly newspaper column in a local paper and a PBS segment on the former Emmy award-winning program, "The Weekly Special."

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