Released November 16, 2016

10 reasons to celebrate the holidays at the State Museum


Contact: Paige Southerland, 317.234.5078, [email protected]

INDIANAPOLIS — We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, “Nobody does the holidays like the Indiana State Museum.” This year promises to be more exciting than before as visitors enjoy food, fun, sights and sounds.

Beginning Nov. 25, the Indiana State Museum will open its doors to the immensely popular annual Celebration Crossing exhibit. The exhibit will remain on view through Saturday, Dec. 31, bringing back old memories and creating new ones. Below are this year’s top 10 reasons not to miss the exhibition.

Celebration Crossing Opening Day
On Friday, Nov. 25, the celebration kicks off with holiday merriment from the sounds of bands and choirs to the arrival of Santa and Mrs. Claus on the front lawn by helicopter. Children of all ages are invited to ride the Santa Claus Express, make crafts and rekindle memories of holidays past as they gaze into the highly animated recreated L.S. Ayres store windows.

Santa’s House
Santa and Mrs. Claus home has beautiful gingerbread house features to keep the Christmas magic alive. This year the home will once again be filled with the smell of gingerbread and pine, while twinkle lights glow by the windows. Children will take photos with Santa and whisper Christmas wishes in his ear.

Peewinkle’s Puppet Studio
NEW! –  Peewinkle’s Puppet Studio has relocated to the Indiana State Museum just in time for the holidays. Kids of all ages will enjoy this music-filled variety Christmas show. Mozart and Ludmilla, the ritzy resident mice, will host the many marionettes singing and dancing to your favorite holiday tunes. All tickets are $12. Children ages 2 and under will be admitted free of charges. Tasty popcorn will be complimentary.

L.S. Ayres Tea Room™
The historic LS Ayres Tea Room™ will once again be converted into the perfect holiday place for your special holiday meal with friends and family. From Friday, Nov. 25 through Saturday, Dec. 31, walk-in diners will be invited to celebrate the season and select from a menu of amazing appetizers to devilish desserts, all while enjoying festive decorations, music and scheduled entertainment. Reservations encouraged.

Santa’s Holiday Breakfast
During the last week in November and the first 3 weeks in December, guests will get to start their morning off with delicious holiday breakfast as Mrs. Claus, Raggedy Ann and other holiday characters entertain the young ones before they visit Santa Claus and ride the Santa Claus Express. Reservations required.

Core Galleries
We’re thrilled to invite the public to see three brand-new galleries, the redesigned Natural Regions gallery on Level 1 as well as the expanded and renovated Contested Territory and 19th State galleries on Level 2.

Santa’s Playground
Throughout the month of December, guests will be treated to Santa’s (Imagination) Playground in the Earl Goode Education Center on Level 2. In addition to the STEM-based activity area, there will also be crafts and a place for caregivers to sit and relax while children play.

Holiday Sounds
School and community choirs, bands, ensembles and soloists perform holiday music in the museum’s Governor Frank and Judy O’Bannon Great Hall each day. Enjoy holiday sounds in a spectacular atmosphere.

Celebration Crossing: A Family New Year’s Eve
End the year with a bang with a family-friendly, alcohol-free celebration in Governor Frank and Judy O’Bannon Great Hall on Saturday, Dec. 31 from 6 to 9 p.m. Activities include face-painting, arts and craft, games, door prizes and a special musical performance. A balloon drop at 8 p.m. allows little ones to celebrate the New Year in style. Reservations recommended.

Tea with Raggedy Ann
On Sunday, Jan. 1 doll enthusiasts are invited to bring their favorite doll to the museum and enjoy the serenity of teatime at Tea with Raggedy Ann, an exciting holiday affair in the historic L.S. Ayres Tea Room™. Holiday characters such as Rudolph the Reindeer and others will be in attendance. Reservations required.

Celebration Crossing admission will include variable ticket pricing. For a detailed list of prices, please visit Pricing details available after 11/17/16.

For specific dates, times and costs associated with programming, or to make reservations, please call 317.232.1637 or visit

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The Indiana State Museum is located in White River State Park in the heart of downtown Indianapolis. It is Indiana’s museum for science, art and culture, offering a place where you can celebrate, investigate, remember, learn and take pride in Indiana’s story in the context of the broader world. Even the building is a showcase of the best Indiana has to offer in architecture, materials and sculpture. Easy and convenient parking is available in the attached underground garage.