Celebration Crossing

Nov. 24, 2017 through Jan. 7, 2018

Located in Ford Gallery on Level 3

This year’s Celebration Crossing comes alive with holiday merriment from the sounds of bands, bell and vocal choirs and of course Santa and Mrs. Claus, who will entertain visitors in their cozy home through Dec. 24. Early risers may join Mrs. Claus, Raggedy Ann and Santa’s Elves for breakfast and late sleepers may join Santa for supper. Children of all ages may ride on the Santa Claus Express, make crafts to take home and take advantage of a playscape for pre-school and primary elementary aged children in Santa's Playground. Take a trip back in time by gazing into the recreated L.S. Ayres store windows rekindling Christmases past. 
This exhibition is contributed to by Meijer.

Celebration Crossing Opening Day
Nov. 24, 2017, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Included with museum admission; Free to members

Celebration Crossing, featuring the L.S. Ayres Santa Claus Express train, opens at 10 a.m. anticipating the arrival by the Man in Red at noon. Santa lands by helicopter on the museum’s front lawn where he is greeted by hundreds of guests anxious to be the first to tell him their wishes for the coming holiday. The Indianapolis Children’s Choir performs in the museum’s Great Hall from 11 to 11:45 a.m. The museum remains open until 5 p.m. The official greeters this year are Indiana State Museum and Historic Site members and Zionsville residents, Jay and Lisa Bhatt and their children Nick, Sam and Ana.

The Santa Claus Express Gallery
Nov. 24, 2017 through Jan. 7, 2018
Included with museum admission; Free to members

We’re unveiling an exciting component to the Santa Claus Express Gallery with a new 20-foot mural featuring Santa’s Workshop, The Reindeer Barn and Mrs. Claus’ Kitchen, titled Santa’s Celebration Christmas Crew. Created by noted Nashville, Ind. artist M. K. Watkins, the mural is a compilation of traditional holiday themes integrated with Indiana history, resulting in a unique Hoosier holiday treat. How many elves can you find? Can you spot the Indiana symbols? New to the gallery this year is the L.S. Ayres façade animated window. 

Celebration Crossing: Santa’s Playground 
Nov. 24 through Dec. 31, 2017
Monday through Saturday, 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Sunday, 11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Included with museum admission; Free to members

Set up in School No. 5, Imagination Playground, games, coloring sheets and more are available for play when the weather makes indoor play a great idea.

Peewinkle’s Holiday Cabaret
Nov. 25, 2017, 1 p.m., $8 per person
Nov. 28, 2017, 9:30 and 11 a.m., $5 per person
Nov. 29, 2017, 9:30 and 11 a.m., $5 per person
Children ages 2 and younger are free

This 45-minute production is the perfect kickoff to the holiday season for elementary school age children in Pre K-4th grade. They will not only be entertained and educated by the variety of puppets, but will also learn about some of the many multi-cultural winter festival customs of Diwali, Hanukkah, Chinese New Year, Christmas and Kwanzaa. The 36-ft. glittering set will host a live ballerina as well.

Santa’s Holiday Breakfast
Nov. 26, 2017
Dec. 2, 3, 9, 10, 16, 17 and 23, 2017
Saturday seatings at 8, 8:30 and 9 a.m.
Sunday seatings at 9, 9:30 and 10 a.m.
L.S. Ayres Tea Room and Farmer’s Market Café
Member Adult (ages 13+): $22.50, Member Child (ages 4-12): $13.75
Non-Member Adult (ages 13+): $31, Non-Member Child (ages 4-12): $22.25
Children younger than age 4 are free.
Reservations required; Call 317.232.1637           

Join us for a delicious breakfast buffet featuring live music and roving holiday characters. The menu includes a fresh fruit medley with yogurt dip, warmed assorted breakfast muffins with butter, scrambled eggs with toppings that include shredded cheese, chopped bacon, sautéed mushrooms, salsa and catsup, Potatoes O’Brien, Applewood smoked bacon, tater tots, southern style biscuits and sausage gravy, French toast sticks and your choice of assorted beverages. Each child receives a goody bag after their meal on their way to visit Santa. Price includes breakfast, admission to the museum and a visit with Santa in his house.

Holiday Sounds
Nov. 27 through Dec. 9 and Dec. 12 through 17, 2017; Other dates as scheduled
Monday through Friday, 10:30 a.m. to 1:15 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday, 12:15 to 3 p.m.
Free to all

Hear the sounds of the holiday echo throughout the building as school and community groups from around the state perform in the museum’s public spaces.

Preschool Fridays
Dec. 1, 8, 15, 22, 29, 2017 and Jan. 5, 2018
9 to 10 a.m.
Included with museum admission; Free to members

The museum opens at 9 a.m. to welcome preschool-age children and their families for an hour of special programming and access to the Santa Claus Express and other holiday fun.

Christmas at Peewinkle’s Puppet Studio
Dec. 2 through 28, 2017
$12 per person. Ages 2 and younger are free.
Dates and times vary. Visit www.peewinklespuppets.com for the full schedule.

Come start a new tradition with a visit to Peewinkle’s Puppet Studio to see their annual Christmas show. Join Peewinkle and friends for this treasured holiday tradition.

Girl Scouts Holiday Sing
Dec. 9, 2017
Noon to 1 p.m.
Free to all
$5 Admission for participating Girl Scouts and chaperones.
To register your group, call Kendra Nowell at 317.924.6811.

This event features Girl Scouts from Central Indiana singing holiday carols in the museum’s Great Hall. The program has become a tradition over the years with the original event held on Monument Circle in downtown Indianapolis.

MEMBERS ONLY: Supper with Santa & Friends
Dec. 14, 2017
5:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Adult (ages 13+): $30, Child (ages 4-12): $16; Children younger than age 4 are free.
Reservations required by Dec. 8; Call 317.232.1637

Join Santa, Mrs. Claus and all of their friends at the family friendly buffet supper just for museum members! Ride the Santa Claus Express train around Toy Mountain, hear from Mik the Music Man, play in Santa’s Playground and decorate the special members-only holiday tree. The first 100 member families to register will receive a free keepsake photo with Santa.

Wacky Winter Wonder Radio Waves
Dec. 29 and 30, 2017
1 p.m.
Included with museum admission; Free to members

Join the Indiana State Museum’s Legacy Theater Troupe in a crazy mash-up of Christmas melodies, soap operas, sci-fi and more, as the radio show cast performs according to the audience-controlled dial. Is the time era 1942? 1776? Who knows! It all depends on the spin of the dial! Join us for this family friendly live theater presentation.

Tea with Raggedy Ann
Dec. 30, 2017
2 to 3:30 p.m.
Museum admission not included; Guests order from the tea room menu
Reservations required; Call 317.232.1637

Bring your favorite doll and have high tea in the historic L.S. Ayres Tea Room. Enjoy delicious finger sandwiches, pastries and more, all served on elegant tiered stands. Get a tableside history of your doll and learn more about the history of dolls and toys in America.

Family New Year’s Eve
Dec. 31, 2017
6 to 9 p.m.
Members: $9, Non-Members: $15; Children younger than 4 are free
Reservations are recommended, and will be taken until noon on 12/31; Call 317.232.1637

End the year with a bang with a family friendly, alcohol-free celebration in the Great Hall. Activities include face painting, riding the Santa Claus Express train, visiting Santa’s playground, milk bottle toss, go fishing game, and clown car races. See magicians and enjoy music (DJ) throughout the evening. A balloon drop at 8 p.m. allows the little ones to celebrate the New Year in style! Guests will be given a $5 parking voucher. Farmers Market Café will be open until 8:30 pm (tentative).