Released November 5, 2020

Celebration Crossing returns

INDIANAPOLIS (Nov. 5, 2020) – Visit with Santa, ride the Santa Claus Express Train, dine in the L. S. Ayres Tea Room™ and experience the redesigned Santa’s Front Yard and brand-new Reindeer Barn when Celebration Crossing returns to the Indiana State Museum Nov. 27, 2020 through Jan. 3, 2021.

Among the major events during the five-week celebration are:

  • Celebration Crossing Opening Day; Santa Lights the Tree, Nov. 27. Celebrate the joy of the holidays as Santa turns on the 92 County Tree and other decorative lights to kick off this season’s Celebration Crossing. Cost: included with museum admission. Festivities are expected to begin at 11 a.m.
  • Celebration Crossing: Santa’s Holiday Breakfast, 8:30-9:30 a.m., Dec. 5-6, 12, 19 and 20. Enjoy a delicious and festive buffet breakfast amidst the holiday splendor of Celebration Crossing featuring holiday music, decorations and Santa’s helpers in the Great Hall. Guests will be seated accordingly for social distancing and a touch-free beverage and buffet service will be provided. After breakfast, pick up a goodie bag for the kids, visit Santa in his (socially distanced) sleigh, explore Santa’s Front Yard and Reindeer Barn and take a ride on the Santa Claus Express train. Registration required 24 hours prior to each breakfast date at or by calling 317-232-1637. Cost: Adults: $33, Children: $24.25; 25% discount for members. Children younger than age 3 are free, children: age 3-12, adults: 13 and older. Maximum 100 people per seating.
  • Magical Mornings (for families with children 8 and younger), 9-10 a.m., Dec 4, 11, 18 and Jan. 1. During this hour, families can visit Santa, engage in two interactive story times (9:15 a.m. and 9:45 a.m.) with North Pole elves and experience our redesigned Santa’s Front Yard. This space features an interactive Reindeer Barn where families can learn more about these amazing wintery animals. In addition to the Front Yard fun—make sure you ride the Santa Claus Express train and check out Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood: A Grr-ific Exhibit. Cost: included with paid museum admission.
  • The L.S. Ayres Tea Room™ will be open Wednesday through Sunday, with seatings at 11 a.m. and 12:15 p.m. We will make every effort to accommodate walk-ins, but reservations are strongly encouraged by calling (317) 232-1637. Upon confirmation of your reservation, we will ask for your credit card payment. Pre-pay ensures there is a minimum amount of contact during the dining experience. Refunds are made if reservation is cancelled. Prices are $22 for adults, $14 for children ages 3-12, and free for children younger than age 3.
  • Snowflake Pajama Party, 6-8 p.m., Dec. 8. A night filled with wonder and play in your PJs. Your little one can explore “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood: A Grr-ific Exhibit” and meet Daniel Tiger (for a special photo moment)! In addition to Daniel Tiger, families can play together in ISM’s multi-level holiday experience, “Celebration Crossing,” and our level 1 exhibits. (Photo times: 6-6:20 p.m., 6:50-7:10 p.m., 7:30-7:50 p.m.)
  • A Grr-ific Breakfast, 8:30-9:30 a.m., Dec. 31 and Jan. 2. Enjoy a delicious buffet breakfast, have a special photo moment with Daniel Tiger and visit the “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood: A Grr-ific Exhibit” to celebrate the New Year! Registration required 24 hours prior to each event online at or by calling 317-232-1637. (Photo times: 8:30-8:50 a.m., 9:30-9:50 a.m., 10:30-10:50 a.m.)

Among this year’s new attractions are the Reindeer Barn, where visitors can explore Santa’s flight path, meet some members of his team of reindeer, groom a (stuffed) reindeer and learn about what reindeer eat, why their hooves change shape from season to season, how their eye color changes and more.

Also this year, Santa will be on-hand Fridays through Sundays and on Christmas Eve to pose for pictures and hear children’s wish lists—from his socially distanced sleigh. When Santa is busy elsewhere on Wednesdays and Thursdays, state museum visitors will be able to create their own festive photo from a variety of backgrounds and three-dimensional props such as elves, trees and woodland creatures. Visitors are required to wear masks when having their pictures taken with Santa, who will also be wearing a mask.

COVID-19 restrictions will be in place to keep visitors safe while maintaining the holiday experience families love. All spaces will have limited capacity determined by the square footage of the room and the seating capacity of the train will be lower than in previous years.

And for those who can’t get to the museum this year, Celebration Crossing will have an interactive online component called the Jingle Hangout. Visitors can join the holiday fun, from classic Indiana recipes they can make at home to coloring books and games. Visit the Jingle Hangout at

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The Indiana State Museum and Historic Sites is a statewide museum system with 12 locations, offering visitors a chance to engage with Indiana’s past and present and see how their actions help shape the future. At each location, visitors are invited to explore big questions and create lasting experiences that will resonate long after each visit ends. Whether interested in art or architecture, history or science, there’s something for everyone and every interest. The Indianapolis museum is located in White River State Park in the heart of downtown Indianapolis. The historic sites are located statewide, stretching from Rome City in northeastern Indiana to Evansville in the southwest.