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Santa House, Home for Holidays, NPA Home Tour in 35 things to do

Only 15 days until Christmas, and there are so many things to do before then.

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

1.  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. today and Sunday and Dec.  17, 19. Carriage rides with Santa Dec. 20-23. Departure from the Green Room at Federal Hill Commons.

2. The Hamilton County Historical Society’s Santa House on the  downtown Square is open for visitors 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. today and Dec. 17; noon to 5 p.m. Saturday and Dec. 18; noon to 3 p.m. Sunday and Dec. 19; 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. 17 at Clay Terrace in Carmel

4. Hum along to your favorite holiday songs during Noblesville High School’s annual All Choir Holiday Concerts at 7 p.m. today and 2 p.m. Saturday at NHS Auditorium. Each concert will feature all choirs but different student soloists. Tickets are $15 and $10 and are on sale now at https://nhscpo.seatyourself.biz/.

5. Main Street Productions presents Irving Berlin’s “White Christmas,” through Dec. 19 at Westfield Playhouse, directed by Andrea Odle with musical director Brenna Whitaker of Noblesville, with all performances sold out.

6. Be active and participate in Cooper’s Fun Run Holiday “Pup Up” at 8 a.m. Saturday at the Athletic Annex in Fishers, with donations to benefit Humane Society for Hamilton County. This is an all-ages and abilities event with runners, walkers, dogs on leashes, kids and strollers welcome, with suggested $10 donation.

7. 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 

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

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

10. Santa awaits Christmas wishes and gets photos taken with kids for $5 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at Wolfies Grill Geist and Dec. 18 at Wolfies Waterfront Grill in Noblesville.

11. Swim with Santa during this annual fundraiser from 12:45 p.m. to 5:45 p.m. Saturday at Stony Creek Swim Center in Noblesville. Sign up for time blocks, 12:45-2:15, 2:30-4 and 4:15-5:45 p.m., with $10 for swimmers, $5 nonswimmers, with proceeds to Good Samaritan of Hamilton County, with ages 2 and younger free. 

12. Meet from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday 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.

13. 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. Saturday 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

14. Enjoy holiday music during the Holiday Porchfest from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday 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.

15. Enjoy Dickens-style Christmas carolers strolling 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 19 in Fishers District Shopping Center.

16. 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. Saturday, 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/ or at the door at any tour home and at Preservation Hall, 1274 Logan St.

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

18. See live reindeer visiting Fishers District 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday at The Yard in Fishers. Visit Santa, take photos.

19. Join the Christmas Festival of Music & Art on Sunday 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.

20. 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.

21. Holidays at the Hill has returned to 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.

22. 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.

23. 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 

24. 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.

25. 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/

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

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

28. Enjoy Brad McCord music during the Holiday Pop Up Shop from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Dec. 16 at Field Brewing in Westfield, featuring last-minute shopping while supporting local businesses, a bar serving craft beer, spiked and non-spiked peppermint hot cocoa, mulled wine and more.

29. 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 and 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.”

30. It’s Game Night at the Gal’s Guide to the Galaxy at Nickel Plate Arts Campus from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Dec. 17, playing food-related games this month, Candyland, Tootsie Roll, Sushi Go, Makin’ Bacon and Pizza Go!

31. Experience a free Living Christmas drive-thru from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Dec. 18 at Emmanuel United Methodist Church on Cumberland Road in Noblesville. 

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

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.