Photo provided by the City of Noblesville.
Families with cabin fever and seeking things to do over Noblesville Schools’ two-week winter break can find ice-skating fun at Federal Hill Commons Ice Plaza in Noblesville, now through Jan. 7.
Photo provided by the City of Noblesville. Families with cabin fever and seeking things to do over Noblesville Schools’ two-week winter break can find ice-skating fun at Federal Hill Commons Ice Plaza in Noblesville, now through Jan. 7.

We’ve celebrated Christmas. The presents are unwrapped. And there are still 10 more days until Noblesville Schools students head back to classes.
Granted, I can spend some of that time putting away holiday decorations while my 12-year-old daughter tries on her new clothes, reads her new Harry Potter book and listens to her new Apple AirPod headphones from Grandma.

But how are we going to spend the remaining days and nights on our two-week winter break?

We kicked off winter break last Friday by getting together with fellow cast members from our middle school’s fall musical, “Mary Poppins Jr.” to go see “Mary Poppins Returns,” released in theaters a week ago. 

Then Saturday, we rolled out of bed early for my daughter’s seventh-grade girls basketball practice, the last practice until 2019.  Yes, she tried out and made her school team. And no, we won’t be playing Boys & Girls Club basketball this season nor will she be selling pancake breakfast tickets to the Club’s annual February breakfast served up by Kiwanis Clubs of Noblesville. Plus, she already has on her schedule on that Saturday in February a middle school show choir competition.

Back to winter break. This Friday, she’ll attend her first rehearsal for Conner Prairie’s “Pedigree Parade: A Theatrical Farm Animal Adventure,” a new theater program for kids that will be offered Feb. 9, March 2 and April 6 in Conner Prairie’s Lilly Theatre.

How else will we spend winter break?

These are my daughter’s 10+ requests and the answers on how to fulfill those requests for us and any other families with cabin fever:

1.  “I want to go ice skating.”

Answer: Federal Hill Ice Plaza in Noblesville is open 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily through Jan. 7, with special holiday hours 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. New Year’s Eve and 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. New Year’s Day. Tickets are $12 for all-day skate, including skates and pass-out and return the same day. Show a downtown merchants’ receipt and get $2 discount the same day. Special skating events: Friday, Flannel Night; Jan. 4, Aloha Night, say goodbye to 2018 and hello to 2019 with summer/Hawaiian attire; Jan. 5, Glow Night, skate under the black light and disco ball; Wednesdays starting at 5 p.m., Teen Night; Thursdays starting at 5 p.m., Date and Skate. Skating will be more fun with friends, so we’ll have to see who is still home on winter break.

2. “I want to see ‘The Grinch’ at the movie theater.”

Answer: Dr. Seuss’ 2018 animated comedy film is now in theaters, including Noblesville’s Regal Stadium 10 and Goodrich Quality Theatres’ IMAX 16 at Hamilton Town Center, with daily and nightly show times through at least the remainder of winter break. 

3. “I want it to snow so we can go sledding and tubing.”

Answer: Hamilton County Parks wants cold weather, too. Koteewi Run Seasonal Slopes, which offers crazy downhill wintertime fun, was open Wednesday night, is closed today due to rain, and will be open again beginning on Friday evening, provided there is still snow. For updated hours, visit or Koteewi Run Seasonal Slopes on Facebook. While all-day passes are available, admission starts at $20 weekdays and $25 weekends for two-hour pass. 

4. “I want to go bowling or play laser tag.”

Answer: Three-Two-Fun!! Bowl 32 in Noblesville offers open bowling, laser tag, mini bowling and mini golf every day of the week. The center also has three New Year’s Eve party packages, 2 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m., and 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. on Monday. Visit (The City of Noblesville has partnered with Koteewi Run Seasonal Slopes and Three-Two-Fun!! & Bowl 32 to offer promotions. When Ice Plaza patrons show their receipt from Koteewi Run or Bowl 32, they will receive $10 ice plaza admission; in return, when ice rink patrons show their wristband from a paid rink admission, they receive a free round of mini golf at Bowl 32 through Jan. 7 and $4 off general admission at Koteewi Run.)

5. "I want to do crafts or paint."

Answer: Kiln Creations on the east side of the Courthouse Square in downtown Noblesville offers open studio time for pottery painting just about every day except for New Year’s Eve. Shannon Loomis, who opened the studio 18 years ago, is celebrating a new owner, Louise, who will take over on Jan. 1. Loomis is offering 20 percent off of everything today through Dec. 31. Visit or Kiln Creations on Facebook. Also, Caravan Classes just one block south offers family art time, art time for ages 12-18 and more on Wednesdays, plus art studio and mobile parties available.

6. “I want to do something else fun outside of the house.”

Answer: Noblesville Parks is offering two winter break camps, for Grades K-5 (my daughter has aged out of this program), at Forest Park Lodge, this week through Friday; and Jan. 2-4, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., with a daily rate and before-and-after-care available. Participants can enjoy games, nature and crafts. Visit

7. “I want to do something that has to do with nature and animals.”

Answer: Snakehead Ed will bring lots of live snakes to show school-age audiences at 11 a.m. today at Cool Creek Nature Center in Westfield. Want more? Mark Booth with Take Flight Wildlife Education will visit with several live owls at 11 a.m. Thursday at the center. The 118th Christmas Bird Count will begin at 8 a.m. Saturday, from the center, and beginning bird hike at 9 a.m. Sunday. Silly Safari with visit with some animal guests from up north, at 11 a.m. Monday. Beth Wood from Indiana Wild will bring educational animals, at 11 a.m. Wednesday. Visit We will also see our friend, Janet, to work with her horses, and play outside with our dogs.

8. “I want to go to the library.”

Answer: Kids can read to a dog during the Love on A Leash program from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at Hamilton East Public Library in Noblesville. Drop in from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. today to the Ignite Studio, where all-age drop-in participants can paint a polar bear, with instructions and supplies provided. The library closes at 5:30 p.m. on New Year’s Eve and will be closed New Year’s Day. There are also tons of books and DVDs and more to discover at the library.

9. “I want to go to the Children’s Museum.”

Answer: There’s no wonder that all children want to visit the world’s largest children’s museum. Our favorite part of the holiday visit is sliding down the Yule Slide, which descends from the second floor to the museum atrium. It’s the same slide that Santa uses when he descends upon the hundreds of museum visitors the day after Thanksgiving, when he officially arrives each holiday season. On New Year’s Eve, there are two countdowns to 2019, at noon and 1 p.m. , with activities and music from Grammy-nominated musician Zak Morgan.

10. “I want to bake gingerbread cookies.”

Answer: We have all of the cookie-baking ingredients, including flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, brown sugar, baking soda, egg, butter and molasses. It will be kind of nice to spend the afternoon baking and bonding at home in the kitchen.

What else? “I want to go get vanilla hot cocoa, get my nails done, play my music and hang out with my friends.”

Answers: Noble Coffee & Tea, a favorite nail salon, let’s call Janet Gilray, and we’ll see who else is staying home for winter break.

-Contact Betsy Reason at Happy winter break!