Experience the magic of the holidays
Hop on the Snowfall Express to journey through the forest populated by animals celebrating the coming winter and first snowfall. Late autumn and winter scenes come alive with charming, whimsical characters, movement and music. After your magical train ride, you’ll enjoy more annual favorites including visits with Santa, activities in Santa’s Front Yard, the newly decorated 92 County Tree, Santa’s Holiday Breakfast, Winter Wonderland Workshops and more. Entry to Celebration Crossing is included in the price of museum admission.
Nov. 25, 2022 – Jan. 1, 2023
Beginning Dec. 7, the Indiana State Museum is open every day (with the exception of Dec. 25) until Jan. 1, 2023.
Made possible by
OPENING DAY IS FRIDAY, NOV. 25
Celebrate the joy and wonder of the holiday season, and watch in awe as Santa lands in front of the museum in a bright red helicopter at 11 a.m.! Then, make your way inside to warm up as Santa lights the 92 County Tree. Enjoy one of the first visits of the season to Santa’s house, explore Santa’s Front Yard and Reindeer Barn, plus take a ride on the Snowfall Express.
Visits and Family Photos with Santa
Select days through Dec. 24
Share your holiday wish list and visit with Santa inside Santa’s House, and have your photo taken. Click below to view the Santa Schedule and photo package details.Learn more
ALL ABOARD OUR TRAIN!
Journey through the forest populated by animals celebrating the coming winter and first snowfall. Late autumn and winter scenes come alive with charming, whimsical characters, movement and music. You’ll encounter critters putting on their warm winter clothes, baking cozy meals and enjoying winter sports. Our new, ADA-accessible train allows everyone in the family to enjoy the nearly five-minute trip together.
HELP CARE FOR SANTA'S FURRY FRIENDS
Get on board the Snowfall Express for a trip to the North Pole and holiday fun in Santa’s Front Yard! Don’t miss the Reindeer Barn where you can learn all about Rudolph and his famous friends as they get ready to take flight on Christmas Eve. Your little ones can even groom a stuffed reindeer!
A CALMING EXPERIENCE
9 – 10 a.m. on Dec. 2, 9, 16, 23 and *30
During this early-opening on Friday mornings for families with young children, you can visit with Santa, engage in interactive story times (9:15 and 9:45 a.m.) with North Pole elves, and experience Santa’s Front Yard. Check out the Reindeer Barn to learn more about these four-legged wintry friends, plus take a ride on the Snowfall Express! View our Santa Schedule to see which Santa will be attending these events here.
*Santa will be back at the North Pole and not present on 12/30.
GET INTO THE HOLIDAY SPIRIT
10 to 10:30 a.m., 10:45 to 11:15 a.m. and 11:45 a.m. to 12:15 p.m., Nov. 30, Dec. 1, 7, 8, 14-16
Enjoy the sounds of the season in a spectacular holiday atmosphere as school and community choirs, bands, ensembles and soloists perform holiday music in the Great Hall.
DINE WITH SANTA IN THE GREAT HALL
Nov. 27 and Dec. 3, 4, 11 and 17, 9 to 9:45 a.m.
$35/adult (ages 13+), $25/youth (ages 3-12), free for children ages 2 and younger; 25% discount for members
IF YOUR DATE IS MARKED AS SOLD OUT, PLEASE CALL 317.232.1637 TO BE ADDED TO OUR WAITLIST.
Enjoy a delicious buffet breakfast among the holiday splendor in the spacious Great Hall. Relax with family and friends while listening to holiday music throughout your meal, plus children will receive a special holiday gift from Santa’s helpers! View our Santa Schedule to see which Santa will be attending each breakfast here. Reservations required 24 hours prior to event date.
JOIN SANTA IN THE L.S. AYRES TEA ROOM™
Nov. 26, Dec. 10 and Dec. 18, 8:30 to 9:15 a.m., 9 to 9:45 a.m. or 9:30 to 10:15 a.m.
$40/adult (ages 13+), $30/youth (ages 3-12), free for children ages 2 and younger, 25% discount for members
If your date is marked as sold out, please call 317.232.1637 to be added to our waitlist.
Experience an elegant buffet breakfast full of holiday nostalgia in the L.S. Ayres Tea Room. Enjoy live holiday music and décor, plus children will receive a special holiday gift from Santa’s helpers and may choose a surprise from the toy chest! View our Santa Schedule to see which Santa will be attending each breakfast here. Reservations required 24 hours prior to event date.
HANDS-ON HOLIDAY ACTIVITIES
Dec. 3 and 8, 11 a.m. to noon
$14/child, 25% discount for members; museum admission not included
Celebrate winter festivities with this hands-on, STEAM-inspired workshop. Step into a winter wonderland as kids design and engineer their own inedible cardboard gingerbread homes. Recommended for children ages 4 to 6. Each child must be accompanied by an adult.Register
GO BACK IN TIME
Dec. 4, 3 to 4:30 p.m. and Dec. 11, 3:30 to 5 p.m.
Relive holiday traditions and stories from days gone by as you experience (and taste!) the history of the L.S. Ayres Tea Room™. Soak in nostalgia as museum staff share items from our collection associated with the original department store Tea Room. Enjoy a festive dessert buffet including mini pecan ice cream balls, lemon berry mascarpone cake and miniature pastries, plus add a Clown Cone or Snow Princess option. Registration required three days prior to program.Register
THE POPULAR MEMBERS-ONLY EVENT IS BACK
Dec. 8, 5:30 to 8 p.m.
$30/member (ages 13+), $16/youth (ages 3-12), free for children ages 2 and younger
Join Santa, Mrs. Claus and friends during this festive and family-friendly holiday buffet. Visit with Santa, play in Santa’s Front Yard and enjoy a ride on the Snowfall Express to see and hear the sights and sounds of a winter wonderland. The first 100 families to register receive a free keepsake photo with Santa. Space is limited. Registration required by Dec. 4. View our Santa Schedule to see which Santa will be attending this event here.Register
SENSORY FRIENDLY AFTERNOON
Dec. 11, 3 – 5 p.m.
Included with museum admission
Experience the magic of the holidays in a sensory-friendly environment for families with children and adults with autism, or individuals with other sensory or developmental needs. During this time, Celebration Crossing will be made more welcoming by reducing overhead music, dimming lights and providing sensory-based activities throughout the experience. The Autism Society of Indiana will be present to assist families as needed. Download our Social Narrative here. This program is presented in partnership with the Autism Society of Indiana.Purchase admission
The Snowfall Express train is ADA-accessible and has individual cars that hold two to four people. The trip is 4 1/2 minutes long and while you wait, you can build an animal habitat or play with the train table. The experience features moving lights, movement, sound effects including train whistles and bells, smells of pine and chocolate and overhead music. If your child is sensitive to sounds it is recommended you bring headphones.
Dec. 13, 6 to 8 p.m.
For ages 6 and younger
$12/person, 25% discount for members, $5/Access Pass members, free for children younger than age 2
Explore Celebration Crossing during a night full of fun just for the little ones at the Indiana State Museum. Take a ride on our Snowfall Express and see woodland animals preparing for wintertime. Plus, get a special photo moment and one free printed photo with Santa – all while dressed in your PJs during this evening filled with wonder. There will be plenty of hands-on holiday activities too! Santa Josiah and Mrs. Claus will be here for the Snowflake Pajama Party. Recommended for children ages 6 and younger.Register
LUNCH AT OUR HISTORIC TEA ROOM
Open Wed. through Sun. Nov. 25 – Jan. 1, 2023, and Dec. 12 & 13, 19 & 20, 26 & 27
$28.50/adult (ages 13+), $16.75/youth (ages 3-12), free for children younger than age 3
Treat friends and family to a decadent and nostalgic lunch buffet in the beloved L.S. Ayres Tea Room™ at the Indiana State Museum, where you can indulge in favorites including chicken velvet soup, tea-time sandwiches, miniature desserts and more. Seating at 11 and 11:15 a.m., 12:30 and 12:45 p.m. Gift certificates available for purchase.Reserve
RING IN THE NEW YEAR
Dec. 31, 6 to 9 p.m.
$18/person (ages 3+), 25% discount for members, $8/Access Pass members, free for children younger than age 3
Ring in the New Year and welcome 2023 with glittering tattoos, music, a dance party and more! Explore all three levels of the museum and visit activity stations in the galleries. Strike a pose at one of the photo ops, get your face painted, ride the Snowfall Express and so much more. End the night with a balloon drop and countdown celebration at 8 p.m.! This is an alcohol-free event.Register
Looking for festive at-home fun?
We’ve got you covered, with our online experience for families looking for some festive fun this holiday season. Check out the Jingle Hangout — your online headquarters for holiday activities, games, trivia and yummy recipes you’re sure to enjoy!Play Today
GIVE THE GIFT OF EXPERIENCES
The gift of an Indiana State Museum and Historic Sites membership provides a full year of unlimited free admission at 12 amazing locations, invitations to family-friendly members-only events, IMAX® vouchers, gift shop discounts and free admission to more than 300 museums and science centers worldwide.
SAVE $10! Receive $10 off the purchase of a gift membership until Jan. 1, 2023. Gift memberships can be purchased at the museum ticket counter, Information Station or online by using code GIFT2022 at checkout. All orders made after Dec. 7 will be received by mail after the holidays.
Holiday programming across the state
Posted December 15, 2022
The Song Remains the Same
Gene Stratton-Porter reminisced in one of her chapter books about some of the activities and preparations from Christmas holidays during her years.
Posted November 14, 2022
LOCAL ARTISTS DESIGN NEW ORNAMENTS
The Indiana State Museum’s 92 County Tree is getting a facelift.
Posted December 20, 2021
The Ayres Tea Room: It’s a Family Affair
Read about four generations enjoying family time over a lunch that included (of course) chicken velvet soup; five generations overall.