Get in the Christmas Spirit with Holiday Events at Conner Prairie

December is the time of year when Indianapolis comes alive with the sights and sounds of a holly jolly Christmas. Indianapolis attractions like the Indianapolis Children’s Museum are stringing up their lights, planning holiday parties, and spreading yuletide cheer to all Indianapolis people. Even downtown Indianapolis is getting in the act: the annual Circle of Lights celebration has lit up Monument Circle and proclaimed the official start of the Christmas season. It’s clear Indianapolis museums are infected with the holiday spirit, but even some museums outside the Circle City have holiday celebrations to offer in the month of December. Conner Prairie Living History Museum, located in Fishers, Indiana, has its own slew of Christmas themed events. Check out the list of Conner Prairie holiday events below to plan your Christmas visit:

Gingerbread Village

The fun begins on December 1, 2010 with Conner Prairie’s annual Gingerbread Village. Last year’s Gingerbread Village was a delicious success, and the 2010 iteration looks to be no different. Take a walk through a myriad of creative and colorful gingerbread houses, some of them designed by Indianapolis children. All of them are whimsical and surely delicious, but the sheer scope of houses is what makes this Indianapolis event worthwhile. Indianapolis residents were invited to submit their gingerbread architectural masterpieces to the Conner Prairie Gingerbread House Competition, and you can see the results when you stroll through the Gingerbread Village. Admission to the Conner Prairie Gingerbread Village is free with the price of museum admission and the exhibit runs from December 1, 2010 to January 2, 2011.

Video highlights of the 2009 Gingerbread Village, a holiday event at Conner Prairie in Fishers, Indiana


Conner Prairie by Candlelight

Christmas is all about tradition, and with Conner Prairie by Candlelight you can step 174 years back in time to see where some of our most honored Christmas traditions began. Conner Prairie by Candlelight takes museum guests on a 60 minute, family friendly guided tour of Prairietown, where you’ll visit a few different families and take part in their Christmas traditions. After you’ve witnessed a Hanukkah celebration, met the German Pennsylvania Santa Claus, and sat around a roaring bonfire, you’re invited to take a seat at the dinner table of Dr. George Campbell. The sumptuous dinner buffet costs extra, but standard guests can still dance, laugh, and drink hot chocolate with the Campbells.

Reservations are required for Conner Prairie by Candlelight; see the event’s homepage for more information about reservations. Conner Prairie by Candlelight takes place December 3, 4, 10, 11, 17, and 18 from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. Tickets are $14 for adults and $12 for members and children, with discounts for groups with over 15 people. The optional dinner (which includes beef stroganoff, bread pudding, three cheese mashed potatoes, and more) is $29.75 for adults and $14.95  for children.

Video of one family’s trip through the 2009 Conner Prairie by Candlelight holiday event at Conner Prairie in Fishers, Indiana


Bill Hixson’s Holiday Ornaments and More

Otherwise known has “Mr. Christmas,” Bill Hixson has been the holiday decorator at the White House for over twenty years. Each ornament available for purchase is hand blown and has an interesting story behind it. Guests can purchase an ornament and have it signed by Mr. Hixson, perfect for a pre-Christmas stocking stuffer. You can also meet the Gingerbread Man, taste authentic 19th century gingerbread, and go on a wild scavenger hunt around the Gingerbread Village. This Conner Prairie holiday event takes place December 4 – 5, from 10:00 – 5:00 p.m. (on the 4th) and 11:00 – 5:00 p.m. (on the 5th).

Holiday on the Prairie

All these holiday events at Conner Prairie lead up to the big Christmas celebration on December 21, 2010: Holiday on the Prairie. Family activities are spread all throughout the grounds of Conner Prairie, from Prairietown to the Lenape village. Take one last stroll through the confectionary constructions of the Gingerbread Village, meet Santa Claus, create your own holiday decorations, learn about Christmas history at Discovery Station, or play with the toys your grandfather’s grandfather played with as a youth. You can even witness an Indianapolis theater presentation on the grounds of Conner Prairie. The best thing about Holiday on the Prairie? It’s absolutely FREE for the entire public. Holiday on the Prairie takes place December 21, 2010 from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Conner Prairie video showcasing the talents of various potential Gingerbread Men in the 2008 auditions for holiday events at Conner Prairie in Fishers, Indiana


The perfect way to get into the holiday spirit this season is a day trip from Indianapolis to Fishers, Indiana for holiday events at Conner Prairie. The Gingerbread Village is a delicious display of Indianapolis art that, in a perfect world, you could eat. Conner Prairie by Candlelight allows guests to jump in a time warp and experience Christmas as it was in the early days of Indiana. Purchase a Christmas keepsake at Bill Hixson’s Holiday Ornaments and More, and be sure to get to Conner Prairie on December 21 for Holiday on the Prairie. Conner Prairie shows the rest of Indy how to celebrate the holidays this December.

Gingerbread Village at Conner Prairie
December 1, 2010 – January 2, 2011
Tickets: FREE with general admission

Conner Prairie by Candlelight
December 3, 4, 10, 11, 17, and 18, 2010 from 5:00 – 8:00 p.m.
Tickets: $14/adult, $12/adult member, $12/youth, $10/youth member
Optional Dinner Prices: $29.75/adult, $27.25/adult member, $14.95/youth, $13.75/youth member

Bill Hixson’s Holiday Ornaments and More
December 4 – 5, 2010, from 10:00 – 5:00 p.m.

Holiday on the Prairie
December 21, 2010 10:00 – 4:00
Tickets: FREE

Conner Prairie Living History Museum
13400 Allisonville Rd
Fishers, IN 46038

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