Celebration Crossing: Holiday fun at the Indiana State Museum

Event Dates:Nov. 29 - Dec. 31, 2013
Company Site:www.indianamuseum.org
Cost:Adult $10 | Child $5.50 | Senior $9
Hours:Monday - Saturday 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Sunday 11 a.m. – 5 p.m
*Please check our calendar for exceptions.
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This holiday season we plan on checking out Celebration Crossing at the Indiana State Museum and I can’t believe I never heard of this event before! It looks absolutely amazing and fun for all ages. Santa arriving on a helicopter, train rides, crafts, a look at holidays from the past and holiday music. I can’t think of a better place to celebrate the holiday season with my kids.

I have never been to Celebration Crossing but the more I learn about it the more excited I get about going. I will attempt to share the top 8 reasons why no one should miss this amazing celebration of the holiday season.

new-logo copyThe Indiana State Museum will host its annual Celebration Crossing festival from Friday, Nov. 29 through Tuesday, Dec. 31. The popular event will bring back old memories and create new ones as visitors enjoy holiday food, fun, sights and sounds. 

1. Celebration Crossing Opening Day

On Friday, Nov. 29 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.

That sounds like so much fun and there are still 7 MORE reasons why you should NOT miss this! I am maybe a little excited about being able to ride the train. They said children of all ages so I count right?

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. 29 through Tuesday, Dec. 31, 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.

I am not sure I have ever heard of a non-party dinner at a museum but we are going to try to do this just for the experience alone. Eating in a museum but not like a sack lunch type eating. You get a sit down meal and my kids may actually make it through an entire dining out experience just because of the holiday fun to go with it.

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.

Our family LOVES breakfast! Seriously we eat Breakfast for dinner once a week so this is one event we cannot miss. Breakfast food AND Mrs. Claus and holiday characters? Yes please! I mean…for the kids of course.

4. Santa’s Holiday Brunch presented by Macy’s

On Sunday, Dec. 15, 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.

I am honestly not sure what brunch dishes are and I honestly think our preferred breakfast time is around when it should be considered brunch. We like to sleep in and are NOT morning people if we can help it. I might have to plan on this one again for the experience alone but also so we can get that few extra minutes or so of sleep one morning. It’s the little things.

5. Santa’s Playgroundmuseum_helicopter_santa copy

Throughout 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.

Now THIS sounds like fun! For the kids of course. I’m not 100% what relax means but I’m anxious to give it a try! I am hoping this area will wear them out and they will sleep like little angels. We love crafts so that sounds like a lot of fun and I LOVE that they have STEM-based activities! Never too young to start learning.

6. Hoosier Radio Hour: A 1940s 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. 

I have ALWAYS wanted to see a Radio show!! I know how that sounds but its true and they did exist! I LOVE LOVE LOVE that they are doing this! I can’t imagine a better way to tell a story than people acting it out without being seen. Honestly it makes the listener REALLY listen and have to use their imagination to “see” the story. Kind of like a dozen or so people telling one story.

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.

Ok Halloween is technically my favorite Holiday but Xmas a VERY close second. I love christmas music (most of it anyway) and I LOVE the xmas musical White Christmas. I think my favorite songs are either Orchestra Christmas music or that from a choir. I cannot wait to give me kids this experience. They both love music and I have been looking for a type of performance that they would enjoy but that wasn’t Disney or Nick Jr. I want them to appreciate theatre, bands, choirs, orchestras and plays and this is a good kid friendly start for them.

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. 31 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.

Finally! A New Year’s Eve celebration for kids that at least ends when it’s dark. We will for sure be at this party!

As you can see there are a TON of things to do at Celebration Crossing at the Indiana State Museum. Personally I do not know how I have never heard of this before but am SO glad I know about it now. We won’t be missing this one again.

*The information in italics were supplied by the Indiana State Museum or Indianapolis with Kids. Video courtesy of www.indywithkids.com


“Maybe Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store. Maybe Christmas . . . perhaps . . .means a little bit more!”
~ Dr. Seuss, How the Grinch Stole Christmas

Author: sandyz