Indianapolis is a year-round destination, but the Indiana city really comes alive during the winter months. With cozy cafes and restaurants filled with people, beautiful architecture, and the Indianapolis Zoo and Indianapolis Motor Speedway right outside the city limits, there’s plenty to do and see in the Hoosier state. Plus, with plenty of events taking place all across the city, you’ll never run out of things to do in Indianapolis. From live theater to music festivals and comedy shows to culinary events, there’s always something happening in Indianapolis, and we’ve got the scoop on the best things to do in the city all winter long.
1. Experience Toboggan Run in Pokagon State Park
Located only 20 minutes outside of Indianapolis, Pokagon State Park is home to one of Indiana’s most popular winter destinations. Toboggan Run offers a sledding hill that stretches out a quarter mile long and over 30 feet high with free parking, so you’ll never have to worry about spending money on the fun during your next family trip to Indy. With fire pits dotting along its length and plenty of big rocks in which you can take shelter when it gets chilly, tobogganing at Toboggan Run is an awesome way to spend an afternoon off with your kids (or by yourself).
2. Take A Tour of Santa’s Village
Known as one of America’s favorite holiday spots, Santa’s Village is a winter-time vacation destination for families from all over Indiana and nearby states. The trip to see Santa doesn’t take very long—it only takes about three hours round-trip from Indy—but it makes for an awesome winter getaway for kids who are too big to sit on Santa’s lap anymore. Plus, with tons of family fun throughout every inch of Santa’s Village, you’ll want to make several trips back here in order to experience everything that White River Santas has to offer during your visit.
3. Enjoy Some Seasonal Shopping at Circle Centre
We’re not just talking about holiday shopping here—even when it’s cold outside, you can find plenty of winter-themed things to do at Circle Centre. The mall is decked out for Christmas with beautiful decorations and lights, which makes it a great destination to get your holiday shopping done early while you enjoy a cup of hot cocoa or tea and some festive music on your headphones as you browse through different shops. Other winter activities taking place during December at Circle Centre include live performances by carolers, dance troupes, and local choirs; multiple ice-skating rinks; and even fire pits to warm up around when it gets chilly outside!
4. Attend a Theatrical Celebration
When it comes to family-friendly entertainment, there’s no better place to go than one of Indianapolis’ theaters! Most plays and musicals will be running at least through December 31st, so you can make time for some theater time with your kids during your winter vacation. There are tons of options here—from traditional productions like A Christmas Carol to holiday favorites like Elf—and many offer special pricing if you buy tickets early or sign up for their subscription services. Head over to Indiana Repertory Theatre or Clowes Memorial Hall at Butler University to find out what’s on tap during your trip.