INDIANAPOLIS — Santa arrived at the Children's Museum of Indianapolis on Friday, but the ceremony looked much different than in years past.
Rather than arriving to a crowded museum filled with children and their families, Santa arrived to a very limited capacity, socially-distanced Santa Holiday Parade because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Unlike previous years, Santa did not arrive in an Indycar two-seat race car. But two Indycar drivers — Tony Kanaan and Ed Carpenter — drove Indy-style pedal cars down the ramp that wraps around the large Chihuly glass sculpture. Families followed behind them.
The Santa Holiday Parade was led by museum dinosaur mascot REX and had magical elves and characters such as Scrooge and Patty Cakes, the Jolly Days baker.
Santa's sleigh is packed and for the first time, families will get to pose for photos in front of the sleigh in Jolly Days Winter Wonderland. Santa will sit at a safe distance.
There will also be a special mailbox where children can drop off letters to Santa.
Jolly Days Winter Wonderland runs through Jan. 3. The museum is closed most Mondays but will be open on Monday, Dec. 21 and Monday, Dec. 29 during winter break.
Due to the ongoing pandemic, visitors also won't be able to ride down the Yule Slide, but they can pose for pictures next to it.