Columnists

Christmas ballet, last days to see Santa, Prairie lights

Only eight days until Christmas, and there are still so many things to do to get ready for the holidays.

Visit Santa and give him your Christmas list. Go see a holiday ballet. Go ice skating at Federal Hill Commons. Take a carriage ride. See the Merry Prairie lights. Take a train ride.

Mark your calendars for these upcoming events with The Times’ list of 25 holiday things to do:

1. The Hamilton County Historical Society’s Santa House on the downtown Square is open for visitors 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. today; noon to 5 p.m. Saturday; noon to 3 p.m. Sunday; noon to 5 p.m. Dec. 24.

2. Reserve a 15-minute private carriage ride for up to six people, plus children on laps, through downtown Noblesville during Holidays at the Hill, reserve from 4 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. today and Sunday. Carriage rides with Santa Dec. 20-23. Departure from the Green Room at Federal Hill Commons.

3. En Pointe Indiana Ballet in Noblesville presents “An En Pointe Christmas” ballet at 7 p.m. today and 2 p.m. Saturday at Noblesville High School, with tickets $15 and $20 at https://enpointeindiana.com. The ballet features a mix of classical and contemporary ballet, jazz, tap and more. Act 1 dancers will enchant audiences with the elegance of classical ballet honoring the true meaning of Christmas set to some of the greatest classical music including Bach, Handel, and Tchaikovsky. Act II will charm audiences with contemporary jazz-inspired dance set to traditional Christmas favorites like Louis Armstrong, Elvis Presley, Bing Crosby. Artistic directors Pollyana Ribeiro and Robert Moore are creating a performance they say “will make you fall in love with Christmas all over again.”

4. Enjoy free Friday Night Sleigh Rides, sponsored by Heritage Christian Schools, 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. today at Clay Terrace in Carmel.

5. A Merry Prairie Holiday is open today through Sunday and Dec. 21 and 22 at Conner Prairie in Fishers. New for 2021, the William Conner House is transformed into a magical 3D projection mapping holiday show and also a sock skating rink, plus the annual Reynolds lighting display with new displays, visit Prairietown for Christmas Eve traditions of the 1800s and a look at holidays around the world, stop in at North Pole Village to visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus, visit Trinket Puddingmoon, Santa’s official list keeper, plus stop by the cafe or sing along at Blitzen’s Bandstand, ride Kringle’s Carousel or zoom down a 150-foot Polar Bear Plunge tubing hill.  Order tickets in advance at www.connerprairie.org

6. Main Street Productions presents Irving Berlin’s “White Christmas,” today through Sunday at Westfield Playhouse, directed by Andrea Odle with musical director Brenna Whitaker of Noblesville, with all performances sold out.

7. Enjoy Breakfast with Santa at Conner Prairie at 8:30 and 11 a.m. Saturday and Sunday at the Fishers history park, with buffet, visit with a socially distanced Santa wearing a mask. Make reservations at www.connerprairie.org

8. The Christmas spirit comes to Fishers YMCA with Cookies & Cocoa with Santa from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Saturday, offering a fun morning of crafts, games, refreshments and photos with Santa. Seatings at 9 a.m. and 10 a.m. for $5 for Y members, $7 nonmembers, by calling 317-595-9622 or go online at indymca.org/fishers

9. See a large model train layout and collection at Mr. Muffin’s Trains in Atlanta, open 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday with free admission.

10. Meet Santa’s Reindeer at 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at Clay Terrace in Carmel. Flag decorating at 11 a.m., welcome Santa at noon, visit Santa’s Reindeer, face painters, letters to Santa and vendors in the Village Green 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., with the official countdown to light the Christmas tree will begin at 1:45 p.m.

11. Enjoy Sip & Shop Saturday at Mercantile 37, from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the rural Noblesville shop , with bourbon tasting sponsored by Indiana Small Batch, Ever Grace Designs making hand-lettered custom tree ornaments, make your own gift box, last-minute holiday shopping.

12. Experience a free Living Christmas drive-thru from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Saturday at Emmanuel United Methodist Church on Cumberland Road in Noblesville.

13. Tis the season to rock your ugly Christmas sweater, the uglier the better, in this Ugly Sweater Christmas Party with live music from Mank & Sass, at 9 p.m. Saturday at Murphy’s Pubhouse on Olio Road and 116th Street in Fishers.

14. Enjoy Dickens-style Christmas carolers strolling 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday in The Yard Fishers District Shopping Center.

15. Drive through Ruoff Music Center, which is open for the Magic of Lights: Drive-Through Holiday Lights Experience, nightly through Jan. 2 at the Noblesville venue. The themed light displays will use the latest LED technology and digital animations, including a Blizzard Tunnel as well as returning favorites, 12 Days of Christmas, Winter Wonderland and The Night Before Christmas. Hours are 5:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. Monday-Thursday, until 11 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, by entering Gate 4 at 146th Street and Bergen Boulevard.

16. Visit Nickel Plate Arts’ “Gifted,” an annual holiday-exhibit-turned-gift market for one-stop shopping for the arts enthusiasts on your shopping list, with holiday cards, ornaments, gits and more in Nickel Plate’s Judge Stone House, also chose from pottery, woodenware, jewelry, hand-knit items, home decor, holiday art, and more, through Dec. 31 at the Nickel Plate Arts Campus at Maple and Eighth streets in in downtown Noblesville,

17. Enjoy Holidays at the Hill at Federal Hill Commons as the temporary Federal Hill Ice Plaza opens for the season in Noblesville. Hours are 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturdays, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sundays and 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesday-Friday, through Dec. 22; 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday-Saturday and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sundays, Dec. 23-Jan.9; with special holiday hours, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Jan. 1; 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 24 and 21; closed Christmas. Admission is $12, $11 for ages 12 and younger with Punch Passes available.

18. Enjoy a Holiday Walking Light Tour, part of the Holidays at the Hill, every evening through the holiday season, with ornaments, wreaths and trees lighting up the event lawn at Federal Hill Commons.

19. Enjoy the fourth annual Lights Over Seminary Park with a stroll through the city park’s new lighting displays in December at 10th and Division streets in downtown Noblesville.

20. Board the Reindeer Ride Express for a magical Christmas experience through Dec. 23 on Nickel Plate Express’ historic train with Santa. See Santa’s workshop, courtesy Gaylor Electric, and cross over Morse Reservoir while singing Christmas carols and sipping hot chocolate. Ride includes a cookie and gift from Santa, with adult beverages available on board. Also a Holiday Cheers ride at 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday and Dec. 23 for ages 21 and older. Train boards in Forest Park and travels through Cicero and Arcadia. Gaylor has also decked out the train in 2,000 Christmas lights.

21. Enjoy the live music of Craig Thurston at 6 p.m. Dec. 30 at Grindstone Public House in Noblesville.

22. Noblesville Parks’ Christmas Cottage at Federal Hill Commons has a special mailbox to accept letters to Santa.

23. Shop small all month long to celebrate small, local businesses.

24. Save the dates for Hamilton County Parks’ Winter Break 11 a.m. programs at Cool Creek Park in Westfield, with Animals of the North with Silly Safaris on Dec. 27, Reptiles with Rex Morrell on Dec. 28, Mark Booth and Owls of Indiana on Dec. 29 and Beth Wood with Indiana Wild on Dec. 30. Registration is free at myhamiltoncountyparks.com

25. Join the 121st Christmas Bird Count and celebrate the holidays 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Jan. 1 at Cool Creek Nature Center, by helping Hamilton County Parks and the National Audubon Society conduct the annual Christmas Bird Count. Adults and older children may join other birdwatchers for a morning of hiking and birding, with lunch for participants provided by Hamilton County Parks. Preregister at 317-774-2500 to visit myhamiltoncountyparks.com.

-Contact Betsy Reason at betsy@thetimes24-7.com.