Whew! It’s been a school year like no other and parents and students across the land are ready for the holiday season. It’s time to kick back, take a break from the school routine and spend some special time together.
Holiday fun may look a little different this year due to the various safety guidelines but be assured, there are still many ways to enjoy your family traditions and get out of the house to enjoy the season.
There is no reason to let winter slow down family fun, even in 2020! If you want to get out and about for some budget friendly time together, Indianapolis is a great city with much to offer. If the cold temps make you want to snuggle in and have a quiet afternoon, you can do that too. From special events to old time favorites, you can pick and choose and do it on a budget.
Plan a day or an evening to see Indianapolis at its best with these favorites.
Shine a Light Indy
Indianapolis is home to a number of beautiful war memorials across the city. None sparkles as brightly as the Soldiers and Sailors Monument on the Circle. 365 days a year a coordinated light show with music by our own Indianapolis Symphony appears on surrounding buildings to memorize crowds with its patriotic tribute. If you are interested in seeing the show, check out https://shiningalightindy.squarespace.com/ for the nightly schedule.
Bundle up and head out the door to one of the many great park offerings near you. Whether it’s a few chilly hours at the playground or a snowy hike at one of our incredible state parks you and the kids will enjoy a few hours of fresh air and fun. When the snow really flies, bring along a sled for the ultimate frosty experience. Sledding hours at Indy Parks are from dawn to dusk and include the following:
- Brookside Park: 3500 Brookside Parkway S. Dr.
- Christian Park: 4200 English Ave.
- Ellenberger Park: 5301 E. St. Clair Ave.
- Garfield Park: 2450 S. Shelby St.
- Paul Ruster Park: 11300 E. Prospect St.
- Rhodius Park: 1001 S. Belmont St.
- Southeastway Park: 5621 S. Carroll Rd.
Celebrate at the Children's Museum of Indianapolis
The holiday atmosphere at this gem of a museum can’t be beat during the annual Jolly Days Winter Wonderland. To make celebrating even more of a joy, plan your trip for the First Thursday of the month during special evening hours. You will be able to attend for just $5 a person and dodge the usual daytime crowds. For more information and to purchase the suggested advanced tickets go to: https://www.childrensmuseum.org/first-thursday-ad.
Speaking of museums, Museum Goers
If your kids love to frequent museums and you need to do it on a budget, check out the Access Pass. Families that qualify for Hoosier Works, Hoosier Healthwise Insurance, SNAP and TANF are eligible for $2 visits to a wide variety of area museums including the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, The Indiana State Museum, Connor Prairie, the Eiteljorg and more. For additional info can be found here, https://visitindiana.com/blog/index.php/2020/02/07/access-pass/.
If at home fun is more your style...
Take an afternoon and pick an old fashioned family craft. We love the classic of all classics, stringing a popcorn garland. Simply pop some corn then take a blunt needle and thread to weave it all together. You can mix in cranberries if you like. Hang on a branch or tree to let the birds feast. If there are small hands in your house, skip the needle and make a paper ring garland instead. The kids are sure to love cutting up the strips of paper (you can use newspapers or magazines if you’d like) and pasting them together. Don’t forget to bring a little snow inside with homemade snowflakes, they are the perfect holiday decor and no two look alike!
Make a holiday treat that involves the whole family. Baking cookies is a snap whether you choose a family favorite recipe or pop into the store for a pre-made option. If you need a chocolate fix to get you through a cold afternoon, make simple hot chocolate by gently warming milk on the stove or microwave and adding a small handful of chocolate chips.
Many afternoons can be spent in family fun around the table with your favorite card games or a puzzle. Both activities are engaging enough to meet a wide variety of ages and are perfect for encouraging casual conversation. Some favorites for young players include Go Fish and Crazy Eights.
Plan a family reading party. Reading during winter break is important to young minds. You can keep things fun by scheduling a time for everyone to grab their favorite book and favorite blanket and head to a central location for some quiet book time. It is a great wind down activity after playing outdoors or a nice way to settle down before bedtime.
Explore. Settle in and get ready for fun in the comfort of your own home or grab the coats and hats and head out the door to explore the city. Either way, cherish the special time with your loved ones and make memories that will last all season long.
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