Tuesday, November 30

Small Business Saturday weekend among 35 holiday things to do

It’s already the day after Thanksgiving and Black Friday is here. Add to that Small Business Saturday weekend, then Cyber Monday and Giving Tuesday.

Lots of ways to shop, but the best way to support your community is to shop local this weekend.

Also, Conner Prairie’s Merry Prairie opens tonight with the Reynolds holiday lights and lots of fun activities. Plus a rebranded “Lighting of the Square” on Saturday. And the Magic of Lights Holiday Lights Experiences continues through the holiday at Ruoff Music Center.

All kinds of holiday events fill the calendar in and around Noblesville.

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

1. Ruoff Music Center 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.

2. Holidays at the Hill has returned to Federal Hill Commons as the temporary Federal Hill Ice Plaza is already 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. today and 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.

3. 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.

4. Shop small all weekend long during the Thanksgiving weekend, today through Sunday, while celebrating Small Business Saturday in downtown Noblesville. Saturday will be a day packed with holiday festivities for shoppers, including roaming carolers, pop-up shops in the Mainstreet Community Room, free gift wrapping, artist Geoff Davis will run his mobile printing press so you can make your own holiday card, decorated storefront windows, Alexander’s on the Square hot chocolate bar in the North Alley from noon to 9 p.m.; Matteo’s Ristorante Italiano’s wine bar in the East Alley from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.; Sweet Tunes live music in the South Alley, An Inner Peace free 10-minute chair massages from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Benchmark Studio; and Lighting of the Square ceremony at 6 p.m., hosted by Noblesville Chamber of Commerce and Hamilton County.

5. A Merry Prairie Holiday returns tonight through Dec. 19 and Dec. 21 and 22, to Conner Prairie in Fishers. New for 2021, the William Conner House will be 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. 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.

7. Enjoy Breakfast with Santa at Conner Prairie at 8:30 and 11 a.m. Saturdays and Sundays, Nov. 27-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. Shop handcrafted goods and make your own gifts and ornaments at making stations during Small Business Saturday’s Pop-Up Market from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at Caravan Classes on Ninth Street in downtown Noblesville.

9. Parking is more convenient for Small Business Saturday weekend, with The Levinson garage on Maple Street open for free all day Saturday. Exit the garage in the South Alley where you’ll find the Hamilton County Artists’ Association pop-up shop, hands-on activities and more.

10. Noblesville Chamber of Commerce’s Noblesville Tree Lighting ceremony returns this year, rebranded as a new event, “Lighting of the Square,” on Saturday, outdoors in downtown Noblesville with brief remarks by county representatives, Noblesville First United Methodist Church choir singers, hot chocolate, with Santa to assist a selected family in throwing the switch to light the Square. Families will be chosen by committing an act of kindness with submissions to be made online via social media or by email. (To enter, just share an act of kindness or moment of gratitude by emailing info@noblesvillechamber.org or by mentioning @NoblesvilleChamber on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.)

11. Shop Small, Shop Carmel from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, with free cookies, coffee and shopping bag at All Things Carmel, plus two $200 gift basket giveaways

 12. The Hamilton County Historical Society’s Santa House, which will return to the downtown Square this holiday season, will open for visitors on Sunday with hot chocolate. Hours are 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. Nov. 28; 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Dec. 2 (virtual); 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Dec. 3; noon to 5 p.m. Dec. 4, 11 and 18; noon to 3 p.m. Dec. 5, 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.

13. Get in the holiday spirit at a Christmas Tea at 9:30 a.m. Dec. 1 in Celebration Hall of the Noblesville First United Methodist Church, with warm fellowship, delectable treats and tea provided by the UMC Women’s Rebekah Circle. Please bring items for newborns for the women’s Layette Project, which will be donated to Birthright of Cicero and Touch of Love at Riverview Health. Program will feature Great Joy Revival singing gospel and Christmas songs.

14. Visit First Friday from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Dec. 3 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.

15. 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. Dec. 3 at Cool Creek Nature Center in Westfield. Free with registration at myhamiltoncountyparks.com.

16. Make plans to Deck the Downtown during the Noblesville Main Street holiday event from 5 p.m. to midnight Dec. 3, 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.

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

18. Meet Santa’s Reindeer at 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Dec. 4, 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.

19. Shop Holidays at the Hill’s Holiday Market from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Dec. 4 at Federal Hill Commons with local holiday artisan vendors and food trucks. To become a vendor, visit https://www.noblesvilleparks.org/

20 Join the Holiday Sip & Shop Small from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. Dec. 4 in Carmel City Center, with free wine tastings, light hors d’oeuvres, with lots of activities at the local stores, including Linden Tree.

21. Join Fishers Parks from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Dec. 4 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.

22. 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. Dec. 5, 10, 12, 17, 19. Carriage rides with Santa Dec. 20-23. Departure from the Green Room at Federal Hill Commons.

23. Cherish a timeless evening or afternoon as you enjoy White River Ballet Co.’s “Nutcracker” ballet with performances at 7 p.m. Dec. 4 and 2 p.m. Dec. 5 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.

24. 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.

25. 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.

26. 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.

27. 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

28. 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 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.

29. 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.

30. 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/

31. 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.

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

33. 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 to be announced.

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.

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