You’ll get plenty of chances to see Santa Claus around Indianapolis this holiday season. The jolly Christmas fixture is making the rounds of Indianapolis attractions, stopping at nearly every major Indy tourist spot over the next few weeks, including the Indianapolis Zoo (Christmas at the Zoo) and the Indianapolis Children’s Museum (Jolly Days). If you won’t get the chance to see Santa at any of these locations, he’ll be accepting lists and visiting Indianapolis children at the Indiana State Museum as part of their annual Celebration Crossing event, starting with a grand entrance on November 26, 2010.
Celebration Crossing has been going on at the Indiana State Museum for almost 20 years, since 1991. The L.S. Ayres department store in downtown Indianapolis gave the centerpiece of Celebration Crossing, the Santa Claus Express, to the Indiana State Museum that year, and the Indianapolis event has grown from there. Celebration Crossing will be going on all throughout the month of December (from November 26 to December 31) with smaller events and activities almost every day, but the largest spectacle of Celebration Crossing will be the opening ceremonies, taking place on Friday, November 26.
The fun starts at 9:00 a.m. on the 26th, when the historic Santa Claus Express starts inching its way to Frank O’Bannon Hall at the Indiana State Museum, where the Indianapolis Children’s Choir will be tuning up to welcome Santa. The choir will be starting at 11:00, but Santa won’t arrive until noon. You’ll know it when old St. Nick arrives; he’ll be showing up in style, riding in a helicopter with Mrs. Claus and Raggedy Ann. Before retiring to their permanent December home (on Level 3 of the museum), Santa and Mrs. Claus will light the 92 County Tree, a massive Christmas tree with one ornament for each of the 92 Indiana counties.
There are plenty of other activities going on during the Celebration Crossing month at the Indiana State Museum. Hopeful children can send Santa their Christmas wish lists via e-mail (there’s a kiosk on Level 3) or the old fashioned way (there’s a mailbox on Level 1); either way, Santa will get back to you. Even if you miss the opening ceremonies, you can still stop by the Indiana State Museum to take a gander at the 25 foot 92 County Tree, which will be lit up through the entire month of December.
Santa and Mrs. Claus will be accepting guests at various times throughout their Indiana State Museum residency. There are plenty of opportunities to start your morning with Santa Claus with Santa’s Holiday Breakfast, taking place from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. on November 27 and December 4, 5, 12, 18, and 19. If you’re too intimidated to dine with the big man, you can also have Tea with Mrs. Claus from 3:30 to 5:30 on November 28 and December 5, 12, 19, and 26. The sweet strains of Indianapolis music from the children of Indianapolis schools will also be present almost every day in the Governor Frank O’Bannon Great Hall as part of Celebration Crossing’s Holiday Sounds event. These small Indianapolis events are a great way to participate in Celebration Crossing and catch the spirit of the season!
This Christmas season, celebrate the holidays in style with Celebration Crossing at the Indiana State Museum. This year’s event promises to be even better than the 2009 Celebration Crossing, offering you and your family plenty of jolly good times in downtown Indianapolis. Don’t miss the elaborate opening ceremonies on November 26, 2010, with Santa’s arrival by helicopter, a performance by the Indianapolis Children’s Choir, and the lighting of the 92 County Tree. Come at almost any time during December to meet Santa, drop off your wish list, or simply marvel at the festive set up at the Indiana State Museum. Visits to the Celebration Crossing village are included in the regular Indiana State Museum admission fee, so you don’t have to worry about paying extra to see Santa Claus. Celebration Crossing runs from Friday, November 26 to December 31, so don’t miss out on the Christmas spirit at the Indiana State Museum!
Celebration Crossing at the Indiana State Museum
Friday, November 26 to December 31, 2010
Regular Museum Hours
Tickets: FREE with museum admission