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‘Nutcracker,’ Deck the Downtown, Holiday Market in 35 things to do

The Times photo by Betsy Reason
A Merry Prairie Holiday, featuring the Reynolds Farm Equipment lighting display (above), is open through Dec. 19 and Dec. 21 and 22, at Conner Prairie in Fishers. There is lots new for 2021 holidays. Visit www.connerprairie.org

It’s already December, and that means all kinds of holiday events fill this list of things to do in and around Noblesville.

Mark your calendars for these upcoming events with The Times’ list of 35 holiday things to do:

1. Make plans to Deck the Downtown during the Noblesville Main Street holiday event from 5 p.m. to midnight today, coordinated with shopping, Lights Over Seminary Park, ice rink open at Federal Hill Commons, Midnight Madness, visiting with Santa on the Square and window decor judging and more.

2. The Hamilton County Historical Society’s Santa House on the  downtown Square is open for visitors from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. today; noon to 5 p.m. Saturday and Dec. 11 and 18; noon to 3 p.m. Sunday and Dec. 12 and 19; 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Dec. 9 (virtual); 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Dec. 10 and 17; 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Dec. 16 (virtual); noon to 5 p.m. Dec. 24.

3. Enjoy free Friday Night Sleigh Rides, sponsored by Heritage Christian Schools, 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. today and Dec. 10 and 17 at Clay Terrace in Carmel.

4. Visit First Friday from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. today at Nickel Plate Arts Campus in downtown Noblesville. It’s a fantastic time to check off all of those hard-to-shop-for people on your holiday list while hobnobbing with artists, musicians and creative locals. There will be music, snacks, a cash bar with local wine and beer and holiday surprises.

5. Put on your cutest pair of pajamas, grab your favorite teddy bear, pack up a blanket and head for Pajama-Rama at 7 p.m. today at Cool Creek Nature Center in Westfield. Free with registration at myhamiltoncountyparks.com.

6. Enjoy Fishers High School Choirs Winter Spectacular, themed “Stories of the Season,” at 7 p.m. today and 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Saturday at Fishers High School Auditorium, with $15 tickets; virtual tickets also available, at https://fhschoirs.com/news/winter-spectacular-tickets/.

7. 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.

8. Holidays at the Hill has returned to Federal Hill Commons as the temporary Federal Hill Ice Plaza open 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 31; closed Christmas. Admission is $12, $11 for ages 12 and younger with Punch Passes available.

9. 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.

10. A Merry Prairie Holiday is open through Dec. 19 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

11. 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. Train boards in Forest Park and travels through Cicero and Arcadia. Gaylor has also decked out the train in 2,000 Christmas lights.

12. With the end of the year rapidly approaching, get rid of all of the documents you’ve been wanting to shred during the Hamilton County Household Waste Center’s Free Shred Day for county residents, from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. Saturday at the Hamilton County 4-H Fairgrounds off Clover Road. On-site paper shredding will be available so patrons can watch their documents be destroyed before their eyes.

13. Enjoy Breakfast with Santa at Conner Prairie at 8:30 and 11 a.m. Saturdays and Sundays, through Dec. 19, at the Fishers history park, with buffet, visit with a socially distanced Santa wearing a mask. Make reservations at www.connerprairie.org

14. Santa will be the featured guest as part of Noblesville’s Home for the Holidays Tour, (in place of this year’s Noblesville Christmas parade) and will travel through neighborhoods the first two weekends in December, with routes listed online at https://www.cityofnoblesville.org/

 15. Meet Santa’s Reindeer at 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday and Dec. 11 and 18 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.

16. Shop Holidays at the Hill’s Holiday Market from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at Federal Hill Commons with local holiday artisan vendors and food trucks. To become a vendor, visit https://www.noblesvilleparks.org/

17. Meet artists as they create new art, learn about their mediums and find the perfect gift for your special someone,  during a Winter Wonderland of Art, from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday at The Art Gallery at Fishers City Hall. 

18. Join Fishers Parks from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday for Winter Wonderland, the annual celebration of the season at Nickel Plate District Amphitheater in downtown Fishers, with a tree lighting at 6 p.m., carriage and train rides, fire pits and s’mores, cookie decorating, live ice carving, Winter Wonderland storywalk, Fishers Arts Council’s Winter Wonderland of Art exhibit inside City Hall, food, drinks, music and more.

19. During Holidays at the Hill, reserve a 15-minute private carriage ride for up to six people, plus children on laps, through downtown Noblesville from 4 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Sunday and Dec. 10, 12, 17, 19. Carriage rides with Santa Dec. 20-23. Departure from the Green Room at Federal Hill Commons.

20. Cherish a timeless evening or afternoon as you attend White River Ballet Co.’s production of “The Nutcracker” ballet with performances at 7 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday at Noblesville High School, with tickets $10 for adults and $5 for kids available by calling Ms. Diana at 317-557-3368 or at the door.

21. Find Deer in December during a special event to learn about deer behavior and how to observe deer at 1 p.m. Dec. 7 and 10:30 a.m. Dec. 15 at Cool Creek Nature Center in Westfield.

22. Main Street Productions presents Irving Berlin’s “White Christmas,” Dec. 9-19 at Westfield Playhouse. Music and lyrics by Irving Berlin. Singers Bob Wallace and Phil Davis join sister act Betty and Judy Haynes to perform a Christmas show in rural Vermont in this fun-filled musical extravaganza, directed by Andrea Odle with musical director Brenna Whitaker of Noblesville. Tickets are $19 adults, $17 ages 62 and older and students with ID, free to active military and vets with ID.

23. Hum along to your favorite holiday songs during Noblesville High School’s annual All Choir Holiday Concerts at 7 p.m. Dec. 10 and 2 p.m. Dec. 11 at NHS Auditorium. Each concert will feature all choirs but different student soloists. Tickets are $15 and $10 and are on sale now.

24. Meet from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Dec. 11 at Coxhall Mansion at Coxhall Gardens in Carmel for Hamilton County Parks’ Mini Merry Decorations workshop to make decorations in miniature to get your miniature house ready for the holidays. A Governor’s Palace Miniature Replica will be open for viewing and inspiration. Best for ages 8 and older. Registration required at myhamiltoncountyparks.com.

25. Help welcome Mrs. Claus and the jolly old elf himself, Santa Claus, during a Hamilton County Parks event 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 11 at Cool Creek Nature Center in Westfield. The Clauses will be available for pictures throughout the program. Silly Safari presents an Indiana Reindeer Reserve program that features a live reindeer (2:30-3:30 p.m.), also enjoy crafts and cookies. Admission is free, with registration required at myhamiltoncountyparks.com

26. Enjoy holiday music during the Holiday Porchfest from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 11 in Midtown Plaza in Carmel, with musicians, food and beverage vendors and a visit from a surprise guest at this family-friendly event. Midtown Plaza is on the Carmel Holiday Trolley route, which will run from 2 p.m. to 9 p.m.

27. Visit a drive-thru Living Nativity scene from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Dec. 11 at Cornerstone Lutheran Church in Fishers, admission with a nonperishable food item for the pantry.

28. Take in the splendor of the season while touring private residences in Old Town Noblesville during the Noblesville Preservation Alliance Together Again! Holiday Home Tour 2021 from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Dec. 11, with four tour homes: Bell residence, 398 N. Ninth St.; Doubt residence, 354 N. 10th St.; Richardson residence, 1083 Logan St.; and Coyle residence, 1436 Clinton St. Caroling and fellowship at Preservation Hall from 6 to 9 p.m., with hors d’oeuvres, sides, beverages and desserts served. Tickets are $30 at https://preservationhall.org/

29. Join the Christmas Festival of Music & Art on Dec. 12 at the Noblesville First United Methodist Church, featuring the church’s Chancel Choir, Janus Choir, piano, organ and orchestra. Janus art sale at 5:30 p.m., prelude begins at 6:40 p.m., with a concert at 7 p.m. in the church sanctuary (door 1). Janus Developmental Services clients have been creating art for purchase at the event, and the Janus Choir has been practicing festive songs for guests to sing along. A freewill offering will benefit Janus-Inc.org.

30. En Pointe Indiana Ballet in Noblesville presents “An En Pointe Christmas” ballet at 7 p.m. Dec. 17 and 2 p.m. Dec. 18 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.”

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

32. Enjoy the live music of Craig Thurston on Dec. 16 and 30 at Grindstone Public House in Noblesville.

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

34. 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

35. 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.