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The best holiday things to do with kids in Carmel, Fishers, Noblesville and beyond


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The open-air German Christmas market returns to the city’s Center Green.
Stephen J. Beard and Amy Bartner and Joe Tamborello, Indianapolis Star

Do not wait until the winter break, bundle up and prevent the kids from shouting, “I’m bored!”

There’s ice skating, snow tubing, breakfast and dinner with Santa Claus, music festivals, train rides and more.

More things to do: Taking the kids ice skating in Carmel and Noblesville? Here’s when, where and the cost.

You’ll want to bookmark this list or pin it to the fridge. Here’s the rundown:

Things to do with kids in Carmel

The Lighting of the Village Center

Nov. 24, 5:30-8 p.m., 12884 Broad St., Carmel 

The free event will feature music, food, carriage rides and the lighting of the Village Center. 

Christkindlmarkt and The Ice at Center Green

Nov. 17 through Dec. 23 on the Center Green at the Center for the Performing Arts, 1 Center Green, Carmel.

Carmel’s Center Green is transformed into an Old World German Christmas market, with several varieties of Glühwein, or mulled wine, and this year, a 33-feet-tall, German-built Glühwein pyramid. 

The market also features 47 vendors, an ice skating rink, crafts, German-themed activities for children, woodworking demonstrations, food and music. 

More: Carmel Christkindlmarkt: The 33-foot German-built pyramid and everything you need to know

Holiday Trolley

2 to 9 p.m. Dec. 1, 8, 15 and 22, Carmel Arts and Design District, East Main Street at North Rangeline Road.

Ride the festive Carmel Holiday Trolley to shop at boutiques and galleries in Carmel’s Arts & Design District, Indiana Design Center, City Center, the Christkindlmarkt and the Ice at Center Green. Riders will receive gifts for supporting local businesses. 

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Holiday PorchFest

Dec. 8, 4-6 p.m. on 2nd Avenue NE between 3rd and 5th streets, at the Carmel Arts and Design District.

The Carmel Holiday PorchFest will feature carolers and acoustic performances. Vendors will be onsite offering warm beverages and snacks. 

Holiday Decorating Workshop for Children

Dec. 8, 1-3 p.m. at the Museum of Miniature Houses and Other Collections, 111 E Main St., Carmel.

Children can participate in an ornament-making workshop, tree-decorating and more. The museum will provide the materials needed. 

Cookies with Mrs. Claus

Dec. 9, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Clay Terrace, 14390 Clay Terrace Blvd., Carmel.

Complimentary milk and cookies with Mrs. Claus will be available for children at Whole Foods Market food court at Clay Terrace.

Pet Photo night with Santa

Dec. 2, 6-8 p.m. at 14390 Clay Terrace Blvd. #165, Carmel.

Because our furry friends can do Christmas, too! Take your pet to see Santa at Clay Terrace. 

Things to do with kids in Noblesville

Tree Lighting

Nov. 23, 6-8 p.m. on the Square in downtown Noblesville.

Head to Main Street in Noblesville for the annual Tree Lighting ceremony, which will feature carolers. 

Noblesville Christmas Parade

Nov. 25, 2 p.m. 

The parade starts at 16th and Harrison streets and will move south on 16th Street to Logan Street, west on Logan to Ninth Street, then north on Ninth to Monument Street, and east on Monument to 16th Street. The parade will feature Santa Claus’ arrival to town, too. 

Snow Tubing

Opening day is Dec. 15 at Koteewi Run Seasonal Slopes, 11800 Koteewi Drive in Noblesville

Slide 700 feet down snow lanes in custom-made snow tubes to the landing and then ride the tow line back to the top at Strawtown Koteewi Park.

To purchase tickets go to: https://www.koteewi-adventures.com/

More: Taking the kids ice skating in Carmel and Noblesville? Here’s when, where and the cost.

Things to do with kids in Fishers

Santa’s Mailbox

Children in the fourth grade or earlier can drop off their letters to Santa inside Fishers City Hall, 1 Municipal Drive, and Parks and Recreation office, 11565 Brooks School Road, from Nov. 19 to Dec. 10, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

All letters must be dropped off by 4:30 p.m. Dec. 10 to ensure Santa has enough time to reply. Letters should include a self-addressed, stamped envelope with the letter. 

Gingerbread Village

Nov. 24 to Dec. 30, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday-Sunday at Conner Prairie, 13400 Allisonville Road, Fishers.

Pay general admission to the museum to see a variety of gingerbread houses and savor all the sweet smells!

Tickets and information: http://www.connerprairie.org/

Winter Wonderland

Dec. 1, 2-8 p.m. at Fishers’ Nickel Plate District,  6 Municipal Drive, Fishers

This year’s Winter Wonderland will feature live music, a tree lighting, ice carving demonstrations, reindeer, children’s activities and more.

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Conner Prairie by Candlelight

Dec. 7-22, 8:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays at Conner Prairie, 13400 Allisonville Road, Fishers.

This event will take you back to the night before Christmas in 1836 Prairietown. A tour of Conner Prairie will allow guests to learn how new settlers to Indiana’s frontier carried on their family traditions.

Tickets and information: http://www.connerprairie.org/

Pet Pictures with Santa 

Dec. 8, 1-5 p.m. Nickel Plate District, 6 Municipal Drive, Fishers

You know, Santa, your pets — cuteness overload. 

Things to do with kids in Westfield

Westfield in Lights

Dec 1, 3-7 p.m. 130 Penn St, Westfield

Westfield in Lights this years will feature pictures with Santa, train rides, a gingerbread house display, actual reindeer, live music, tree lighting, food and vendors.

Things to do in Atlanta

Reindeer Ride Express

Nov. 23-Dec. 23, Nickel Plate Express, 107 W. S. St., Atlanta

More: Everything you need to know about the Nickel Plate Express

Enjoy Christmas carols, arts and crafts and see Santa and the Nickel Plate Express train lit up with Christmas lights during the Reindeer Ride Express. 

 For train ride schedules and tickets: https://nickelplateexpress.com/

IndyStar reporter Natalia Contreras writes about things to do in Hamilton County. She can be reached at 317-444-6187 or natalia.contreras@indystar.com. Follow her on Twitter, @NataliaECG

Keep up with all things Hamilton County. Get the latest news, things to do and more delivered right to your inbox. Sign up for the IndyStar North newsletter.

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