Celebration Crossing at Indiana State Museum

So I kind of take pride in that I’ve taken my kids to most all of the museums in Indianapolis. And we try to hit each of them at least once a year (with the exception being the Children’s Museum that we go to ALL THE TIME). And in order to keep my kids interested so we’re not just looking at the same things over and over, we try to visit at different times of the year.

But I have a confession: We’ve never been to the annual Celebration Crossing festival at the Indiana State Museum.

I really don’t know why. Sometimes I feel totally overwhelmed by holiday exhibits because SO. MANY. PEOPLE. go to them. And I don’t really like being around ALL. THOSE. PEOPLE. Especially with ALL. MY. KIDS. So we generally stay away from holiday exhibits.

But for some reason, I’m super excited about Thanksgiving and Christmas this year and it’s overflowing into my desire to go to all the holiday exhibits we’ve totally missed out on.

Like Celebration Crossing!Celebration Crossing

This November and December, the Indiana State Museum will host its annual Celebration Crossing festival from Friday, Nov. 29th through Tuesday, Dec. 31st where visitors can enjoy holiday food, fun, sights and sounds. Below are the top eight reasons not to miss Celebration Crossing this year, according to the museum:

1. Celebration Crossing Opening Day: On Friday, Nov. 29th, the celebration opens with holiday merriment from the sounds of bands and choirs to the arrival of Santa and Mrs. Claus on the front lawn by helicopter. Children of all ages are invited to ride the Santa Claus Express, make crafts and rekindle memories of holidays past as they gaze into the recreated L.S. Ayres store windows.

2. L.S. Ayres Tea Room: This year, the historic L.S. Ayres Tea Room will be converted into the perfect holiday place to have the perfect holiday meal. From Friday, Nov. 29th through Tuesday, Dec. 31st, walk-in diners will be invited to celebrate the season with friends and family and select from a menu of amazing appetizers to devilish desserts, all while enjoying the festive decorations, music and scheduled entertainment. Reservations required.

3. Santa’s Holiday Breakfast presented by Macy’s: During the first, second and fourth weekends in December, guests will get to start their mornings off with delicious holiday breakfast as Mrs. Claus, Raggedy Ann and other holiday characters entertain the young ones before they visit Santa Claus and ride the Santa Claus Express. Reservations required.

4. Santa’s Holiday Brunch presented by Macy’s: On Sunday, Dec. 15th, adults and kids alike will join in the fun during this holiday brunch featuring traditional brunch dishes and festive holiday mimosas(!!). Brunch also includes a visit with Santa and access to the rest of the Celebration Crossing activities. Reservations required.Santa Smiling

5. Santa’s PlaygroundThroughout the month of December, guests will be treated to Santa’s (Imagination) playground in the Earl Goode Education Center on level 2. In addition to the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM)-based activity area, there will also be crafts and a place for caregivers to sit and relax while their children play.

6. Hoosier Radio Hour : A 1940’s Christmas: During the first, second, fourth and fifth weekends, guests will get to join the Indiana State Museum Legacy Theater Troupe as they celebrate the holidays with “Hoosier Radio Hour: A 1940’s Christmas.” Original skits and familiar carols are part of this heart-warming production, suitable for Hoosiers of all ages. Audience members will be invited to join the fun onstage as members of the sound effects staff.

7. Holiday Sounds: School and community choirs, bands, ensembles and soloists perform holiday music in the museum’s Governor Frank O’Bannon Great Hall each day. Enjoy holiday sounds in a spectacular atmosphere.

8. Celebration Crossing: A Family New Year’s Eve: End the year with a bang with a family-friendly, alcohol-free celebration in the Governor Frank O’Bannon Great Hall on Tuesday, Dec. 31st from 6 to 9 p.m. Activities include face-painting, arts and craft, games, door prizes and a special musical performance by Indianapolis band The Tides. A balloon drop at 8 p.m. allows little ones to celebrate the New Year in style. Reservations recommended.

I know the kids are going to love visiting Celebration Crossing. And for the first time since Alaina was little, I’m going to have the kids’ picture taken with Santa. I can’t wait.

Seriously, for some reason I’m really excited about this. I don’t know why. It just feels good. It feels magical. And I can’t wait to share this feeling I have with my family. Won’t you join us?


Disclosure: My family is receiving free entrance into the Indiana State Museum to visit Celebration Crossing and the rest of the museum. I was not paid for this post and all opinions are mine.


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