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The Indiana Daily Student

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COLUMN: Day trip holiday activities to explore in Indianapolis

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Whether you believe post-Halloween is the time to start listening to Christmas music or you wait until after Thanksgiving, November is the perfect time to transition to the Christmas spirit, activities and cheer. If you are looking for a day trip to Indy, here are some of the fun Christmas activities Indianapolis is hosting this month.  

Festival of Trees 

You may have attempted to include a Christmas tree in your holiday decor this year whether you are in a dorm, apartment, house or sorority/fraternity house. But if it did not live up to expectations, you can view some of the beautifully crafted trees at Indy’s Festival of Trees. This year will be the 10th Anniversary of the Indiana Historical Society’s Festival of Trees, and it will be located at the Eugene and Marilyn Glick Indiana History Center at 450 W. Ohio St., Indianapolis, IN.

According to their website, there will be 78 elaborately decorated trees created by individuals, organizations and companies from around Indiana. Eli Lilly's tree will be 30 feet tall and the centerpiece of the event. You can buy tickets online at Indiana Historical Center’s website or at the door.  

Circle of Lights 

What is more fun than driving around looking at Christmas lights? Each year, downtown Indianapolis hosts the Circle of Lights event, gathering people around Monument Circle. During this festive occasion, the Soldiers and Sailors Monument lights up with festive decorations. This year, the Circle of Lights will be 5-8 p.m. Nov. 24. 

Besides the tree lighting, there will also be a DJ, talented vocalists, musicians, entertainers, performances and vendors. If you cannot make it to the lighting, you will still have a chance to see the monument lit up from Nov. 24 to Jan. 12.  

Winterlights 

If you want to travel to a winter wonderland, the Winterlights is a must see. The twinkling trail through the garden at the Indianapolis Museum of Art at Newfields leads you through beautifully adorned Christmas lights covering 100-year old trees. While you explore the garden paths, the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra will be playing Christmas classics.  

There will also be holiday-themed foods and drinks throughout the experience like Electric Reindeer brew from Sun King Brewing Co., hot cocoa topped with vanilla bean whipped cream or hot apple cider and exclusive gingerbread popcorn from Just Pop In! This magical world will be open from Nov. 19, 2023 to Jan. 7, 2024. Tickets range in price from $24-$34 dependent on whether it is a value, regular or peak night. You can check ticket prices and learn more about the event at their website.  

Whether you are traveling home for Thanksgiving or not, there are still opportunities near Bloomington to get in the festive spirit. Indianapolis is only an hour away from campus and provides a plethora of places to explore, especially during the holiday season.

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