The Indianapolis Children’s Museum sure knows how to bring out the kid in all of us, and this is especially true during the holiday season! The museum’s Jolly Days Winter Wonderland! exhibit and celebrations offer extra fun for visitors. We’ve scoped it out and are ready to give you all of the details about these fun opportunities.
From November 23 through January 5, a large exhibit and the atrium (lobby) at The Children’s Museum transform into a winter wonderland. In these areas, kids can try their hands and feet at all of the following pretend play:
- Making snow in the giant snow globe
- Riding down the 47-foot-long yule slide (Adventure Kids’ favorite!)
- Ice skating in their socks
- Ice fishing in a pretend pond
- Baking cookies
- Exploring an ice castle
- Throwing snowballs
Included with your general admission is your chance to sing-along to holiday songs performed by the singing duo called The Mistletoes. Their show is very cute and lasts about 15 minutes. The Adventure Kids love dancing and singing, so this is one of their favorite parts of Jolly Days. You can find The Mistletoes in front of the water clock at these days and times:
- Friday, November 29 at 4:00pm
- Saturdays and Sundays at noon and 4:00pm
- Tuesdays through Fridays at 2:00pm
Between November 29 and December 24, kids can visit with Santa while at the museum for no additional cost.
There is a professional photographer taking pictures, but you can also take as many pictures as you’d like on your own camera. If you choose to purchase the professional photos, they are available immediately. The photo packages range in price from $14 to $60 plus tax.
Make sure you check Santa’s schedule to not only see when Santa will be available but also to see which Santa will be there when you visit.
Generally, Santa arrives around 10:00am or 11:00am and stays until 5:00pm. You should also keep in mind that Santa will take a lunch break somewhere in the middle of that shift. Geesh. That’s got to be a hard job!
On Black Friday, Santa will be arriving at The Children’s Museum in an IndyCar!
The 2013 Indy 500 winner and 2004 IndyCar Champion, Tony Kannan, will be driving Santa to the museum that morning. They will arrive at 9:15am, but if you’re planning to see the arrival, you should come early to get a good spot.
Tony Kannan will be hanging around for awhile to sign autographs between 10:00am and 11:00am.
Also, Santa and Tony Kannan will both be sliding down the giant yule slide in the atrium (lobby) of The Children’s Museum. Tip: If you want a good spot to see this spectacle, try going up to the second floor rather than joining the crowd on the ground floor.
There are several special events on Black Friday, which are all included in the regular admission price:
- free hot cocoa
- elves rappelling from the roof (wha?!)
- holiday character meets and greets
- holiday sing-along songs
- early morning craft making
Other Holiday Offerings
Build Gingerbread Houses
On Saturday, November 23 at 1:30pm, you can come to the museum to build a gingerbread house with your family. Additionally, you will learn the history of gingerbread and compare some different versions of the story The Gingerbread Boy.
A special ticket is needed for this event. The cost is:
- $7/person for member adults
- $13/person for member children
- $8.75/person for nonmember adults
- $16.25/person for nonmember children
Breakfast with Santa
If you’d like to come visit the Jolly Days exhibit and eat breakfast with Santa, then here’s your chance! The Breakfast with Santa event takes place from 8:00am-10:00am on the following dates:
- Sunday, December 1
- Saturday, December 7
- Sunday, December 8
- Sunday, December 15
The special pricing for this event is:
- $24/person for member adults
- $18.50/person for member children
- $30/person for nonmember adults
- $23/person for nonmember youths
This price includes all of the following:
- build-your-own breakfast sandwich bar
- waffle bar
- coffee, juice, hot cocoa, or tea
- visit with Santa between 8:00am and 9:30am
- decorate a slide bag
- create paper ornaments
- make holiday picture frames
- visit the Jolly Days: Winter Wonderland! exhibit
- a ride down the yule slide
Holiday Dinner Theater
If your kids are old enough to sit through dinner and a show, then the Holiday Dinner Theater for adults and children sounds like a magical experience! This event takes place on Sunday, December 15 from 2:45pm-6:30pm. Your ticket to the show includes all of the following:
- Watching the interactive musical The Magic Snowman performed live
- Dinner of pasta, salad, breadsticks, and meatballs
- Meet and greet with the cast
- Special performance by The Mistletoes singers
- Entrance to Jolly Days exhibit
- Slides down the yule slide
- The cost is:
- $31/person for member adults
- $27/person for member children
- $38.75/person for nonmember adults
- $33.75/person for nonmember children
North Pole Pajama Party
If you’re all about hanging out in your Christmas PJs with your favorite stuffed animal, then this North Pole Pajama Party event is for you.
This event takes place on Saturday, December 7 and Saturday, December 14 from 2:00pm-3:30pm. You do need a special ticket to attend. At the party, you will hang out with Santa and some of his holiday character friends.
Also during the party, you will:
- Decorate cookies
- Make a birdfeeder
- Create a scarf
- Throw fake snowballs
A special ticket is needed for this event. The cost is:
- $16/person for member adults
- $12/person for member children
- $20/person for nonmember adults
- $15/person for nonmember children
New Year’s Eve Countdown to Noon and 1:00pm
When you come to the countdown to noon event, you can enjoy the museum from 10:00am until 3:00pm on New Year’s Eve.
At both noon and 1:00pm, there will be a huge countdown in the atrium (lobby) of The Children’s Museum. Music is played, confetti falls on you, and we can only assume that mass chaos ensues.
We love The Children’s Museum all year long, but it’s especially fun during the holiday season. In addition to the regular Jolly Days festivities, we hope to try out a special program this year! Which one should we pick?