Saturday, December 18, 2010

Keep the kids entertained during the holiday vacation –inexpensively

Bring the family Downtown during school break

Things to do Dec. 18 – Jan. 3

Most school-aged children are on vacation for two weeks and the budget’s blown on holiday gifts…What’s a parent to do? Downtown Indianapolis is keeping the holiday fun in full-swing with tons of pocketbook-friendly events. Listed below are several ideas to keep the kids busy (and the parents happy) without spending a fortune.


· Bundle up and take a walk around The Canal and White River State Park or Monument Circle admiring the Circle of Lights® presented by the Contractors of Quality Connection and Electrical Workers of IBEW 481 (until Jan. 8) – FREE.

· Go swimming at the Natatorium on the campus of IUPUI.

· Go duckpin bowling at Action Duckpin Bowl or Atomic Bowl Duckpin in Fountain Square.

· Take a twirl around the ice skating rink at the Indiana/World Academy Skating Academy in Pan Am Plaza.

· Test your skills at the Amazing Games arcade at Jillian's or try cosmic bowling in the Retro Hi Life lanes. Grab a bite to eat in the Video Café.


· Take a guided memorial tour and visit the Colonel Eli Lilly Civil War Museum, located in the basement of the Indiana Soldiers & Sailors Monument (open Wednesday through Sunday) – FREE.

· Take a tour through the Indianapolis Museum of Art or check out Christmas at the Lilly House through Jan 2. – FREE (parking included.)

· Kids will love the hands-on approach at The Children's Museum of Indianapolis, where kids of all ages are encouraged to touch and let their imaginations take over! Don’t miss The Children’s Museum Jolly Days Winter Wonderland through Jan. 9. This event features a Snow Castle, Yule Slide and photos with Santa. Polar Bears to Penguins exhibit is also on display through Jan. 2.

· Visit the Indiana State Museum’s Celebration Crossing through Dec. 31 and Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition through Jan. 16.

· View the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians & Western Art’s new exhibit, Jingle Rails: The Great Western Adventure, on display through Jan. 9. (IUPUI students and staff and kids under 4 get in FREE.)

· Visit holidays past at the beautifully decorated Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site, dressed up in all the trappings of holidays past at the White House. He was the first president to decorate a tree in the White House.

· Visit the past at the Morris Butler House Museum and the James Whitcomb Riley Home.

· It’s tea time! Take the family to the Indianapolis Propylaeum’s Holiday Children’s Tea "Peter Pan and the Pirates" Dec. 29, complete with scones, tea sandwiches, sweets and flavored teas.


· The Indiana Historical Society hosts Winterfest Dec. 27 -30. Engage your creative spirit and roll up your sleeves for family-friendly, hands-on activities and more!

· Visit the Indianapolis Zoo for Christmas at the Zoo & White River Gardens' Woodland Wonderland presented by Wells Fargo Advisors until Dec. 30. Stroll through the Zoo covered in lights to see animals, indoor exhibits, the holiday dolphin show, Santa’s Village presented by Community Health Network, carolers, Santa’s Sweet Shop, the All A-Glow Light Show presented by Macy’s and more!

* Don’t miss Christmas at the Puppet Studio! This Downtown tradition takes place Dec. 10 - 27 at Peewinkle's Puppet Studio.
* Follow the yellow brick road to The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis’ Lilly Theatre for “Dorothy Returns” holiday production Dec. 18 - 19, 21 – 24, 28 - 31 and Jan. 1 – 2.
* Have “Tea with Mrs. Claus” Dec. 19 & 26 in the Indiana State Museum’s L.S. Ayres Tea Room. Mrs. Claus and Raggedy Ann greet guests as they enjoy dainty sandwiches, scones, pastries and tea.
* Take in the spectacular Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra Yuletide Celebration through Dec. 23.


· See the Indianapolis Colts in action vs. the Jacksonville Jaguars Dec. 19 or Tennessee Titans Jan. 2 at Lucas Oil Stadium.

· Cheer on your Indiana Pacers as they take on the New Orleans Hornets Dec. 20, Memphis Grizzlies Dec. 26 or Washington Wizards Dec. 31 at Conseco Fieldhouse.

· Check out the Indiana Ice vs. Dubuque Fighting Saints at Conseco Fieldhouse Dec. 26.

For more information about Downtown or the holidays, call Indianapolis Downtown, Inc. at 317.237.2222 or visit

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