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Local Christmas events that are socially distant

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Posted at 1:29 PM, Nov 24, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-24 13:29:54-05

INDIANAPOLIS — Currently, events and gatherings are still permitted to happen with capacity limits and properly enforced distancing between groups.

Businesses and events planners around the city have been working to creatively bring the community events that will keep you safe with reservations, distance enforcers, and more.

Here are things that can get you and the family out of the house safely this holiday season:

Celebration Crossing at the Indiana State Museum

Visit with Santa, ride the Santa Claus Express Train, dine in the L. S. Ayres Tea Room and experience the redesigned Santa’s Front Yard and brand-new Reindeer Barn when Celebration Crossing returns to the Indiana State Museum on Nov. 27 through Jan. 3.

COVID-19 restrictions will be in place as all spaces will have limited capacity determined by the square footage of the room and the seating capacity of the train will be lower than in previous years.

Christmas at the Zoo

The Indianapolis Zoo added more lights and extra nights for 2020. This year's event opens Saturday, Nov. 21, and continues daily through Dec. 30. Festivities run 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday and Sunday, and 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

Reservations are required.

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Christmas at the Zoo.

Home for the Holidays Tour - Noblesville

Noblesville's Christmas Parade and Christmas Cottage have been canceled and replaced with “Home for the Holidays Tour” featuring Santa Claus.

The city is creating seven routes that cover the areas that comprise Noblesville’s public elementary schools. The exact routes are still being determined, but the first route will take place on Saturday, Dec. 5.

Indiana Historical Society's Festival of Trees

From November 13 through January 9, visitors of the Eugene and Marilyn Glick Indiana History Center, located at 450 W. Ohio St. in Indianapolis, can see 50 elaborately decorated trees representing individuals, families and organizations from around Indiana.

This year's theme is "Life is a Gift."

The IHS will allow up to 200 guests inside the Eugene and Marilyn Glick Indiana History Center at any one time during the Festival of Trees. Two-hundred guests represent less than 7% of capacity for the History Center (165,000 square feet), which can accommodate more than 3,000 people.

Indiana State Fairgrounds’ Christmas Nights of Lights

This family-friendly event features a two-mile car ride through more than a million LED lights synchronized to traditional and more modern Christmas music at the Indiana State Fairgrounds.

In the warmth of their own vehicle, guests can tune their radio dial to a dedicated signal and sing along to the sounds synchronized to holiday lights.

Tips for an adequate visit and to purchase tickets visit christmasnightsoflights.com.

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Christmas Nights of Lights

The Jazz Kitchen

The Jazz Kitchen is selling tickets to its holiday show in its recently renovated space. You can reserve tickets online now.

Jingle Rails at Eiteljorg

"Jingle Rails: The Great Western Adventure" is open from Nov. 21 to Jan. 18. at the Eiteljorg Museum in downtown Indianapolis.

The train display features nine G-scale model trains that ramble past whimsical reproductions of the landmarks of the American West and the skyline of downtown Indianapolis. The trains chug along 1,200 feet of track, winding through tunnels and over trestles, passing miniatures of Monument Circle, Lucas Oil Stadium, Mount Rushmore, Yellowstone, Las Vegas, the Grand Canyon and other iconic sites.

Each group visiting Jingle Rails must reserve their entrance time slot online in advance. Timed tickets are available in 15-minute increments, with the last entrance at 4:45 p.m. each day. So that families and groups can maintain social distancing while inside Jingle Rails, a one-way path is marked to guide visitors to and through the attraction.

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Jingle Rails at Eiteljorg Museum

Jolly Days at the Children's Museum

Jolly Day at the Children's Museum will be different this year but will still have several activities — some new — for children.

Its open Nov. 21 through Jan. 3.

Santa Parade in Fishers

Weekdays, Dec. 7 through Dec. 18 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Fishers Parks plans to host a Santa parade through Fishers’ neighborhoods.

Santa's Mailbox

Send Santa a letter through Santa's Mailboxes now at Monument Circle, Fishers City Hall, and Federal Hill Commons in Noblesville.

Indianapolis: From Nov. 27 through Dec. 2 kids can drop off their letter to Mr. Claus every day from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. on the east side of Monument Circle.

Fishers: Nov. 30 through Dec. 15 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. children can drop off their letters to Santa at 1 Municipal Drive and receive a reply from St. Nick a return mailing address is included. Kids can also email Santa at santa@fishers.in.us through Dec. 23 and receive a reply.

Noblesville: Residents can drop off letters to Santa at the Christmas Cottage at Federal Hill Commons. Explicit times and dates not initially made available.

Tropical Holidays at the Garfield Park Conservatory

The Conservatory will present a festive display of poinsettias and lights every Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sundays from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. and every Monday through Thursday 10 a.m.–5 p.m.

All visitors will need to purchase timed admission reservations in advance. Reservations can be made online or by phone from Nov. 27 through Dec. 31.

Winterlights at Newfields

This years' experience is an entirely outdoor, one-way walking path for guests to enjoy a socially distant celebration of Winterlights at Newfields. Guests over two years old are required to wear masks while at Winterlights.

Tickets can be purchased online from Nov. 21 through Jan. 3. The exhibit is open from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.