During the gift-giving season, Indianapolis is illuminated with millions of blinking Christmas lights, Curtain Lights, and the display is extremely interactive. The music is played thru the driver’s stereo. It is more than two miles long, a great way to spend some quality time with your family.
The light exhibition is not the typical festival around Indianapolis. There are displays of floating snowflakes, shooting stars, tunnels of light, Christmas trees, dancing candy canes, and more. It is indeed perfect for people of all ages.
Christmas Nights of Lights is a family-friendly event. If you have been spending eight hours a day in the office and do not have enough time to spend with your family, this light exhibition will be a fantastic Christmas getaway. Be sure to prepare Christmas songs and some snacks, of course.
The festival of lights in Indianapolis is undoubtedly an incredible spot for couples out there. It is very romantic. It will bring you into the world that both of you only understand.
Festival Dates (2023)
This year, Festival of Lights Indianapolis, popularly known as Christmas Nights of Lights will illuminate the night skies from November 11 to December 31, 2023, inviting everyone to bask in the holiday spirits and immerse in a wonderland of lights and colors.
Where It’s Located and How to Get There
Christmas Nights of Lights is located at Indiana State Fairgrounds, 1698 E. 42nd St., Indianapolis. If you are from I-65, Chicago, Illinois, taking the Exit 119 to West 38th Street. The Indiana State Fairgrounds is on the left.
If you are from I-65, Louisville, Kentucky, consider merging onto I-70 east. Then, taking Exit 85B to North Keystone Ave. From there, turn left. The Indiana State Fairgrounds is on the right.
You can also take public transport, and IndyGo is the public transit provider you should try.
If you liked Festival of Lights Indianapolis, you might want to check out these other captivating lights festivals as well:
This 2023, the Christmas Nights of Lights will be open from 6 pm to 10 pm. During the weekends, the organizers allow visitors and guests to enjoy the light exhibition within extended hours. So come and experience this once-a-year celebration that will surely create long-lasting memories for the entire family.
Cost to Visit the Festival
It is very affordable. The general admission only costs $7 per person. The carload special (approximately eight people in the vehicle) is available at $30. Also, there is no additional charge for kids below 3. Group tickets are: $50- for 9-15 passengers; $75 for 16 and more passengers.
If you want to make the experience more remarkable, invite some of your closest friends. You can save some cash with the carload special.
The registration is done online. Just visit the organizer’s official website for further details.
Weather and What to Wear
The weather in Indianapolis in December is cold. The average temperature is around 38.8 degrees Fahrenheit. Sometimes, it decreases up to 28.2 degrees Fahrenheit. Yes, it is cold during Christmas.
If you plan to take the two miles long light exhibition in Indiana State Fairgrounds, be sure to wear the right clothing to stay warm and comfortable.
The trick is to layer your tops and bottoms. Also, do not forget to keep both of your hands and feet covered. We highly recommend winter boots and insulated shoes. Be sure to wear a pair of wool socks. Plus, do not underestimate using wintry accessories. We encourage everyone to wear earmuffs, scarves, knit headbands, and hats.
Instead of buying something new, your winter clothing in your closet is more than enough. You can watch video tutorials for some inspiration to stay fashionable and chic. With creativity, you can achieve your desired outfit like a pro.
Where to Sleep
Are you planning to visit the Christmas Nights of Lights? If yes, you want to stay in a hotel close to this festival of light in Indianapolis. Here, we present the top three best accommodations you should consider.
Stone Soup Inn
Stone Soup Inn gets number one on our list. Aside from comfy and high quality rooms for guests, it provides massage services, free internet connection, and daily breakfast. Every guest room is available with a cable TV.
Free beverages and snacks can be enjoyed in the Butler’s Pantry. Stone Soup Inn is situated in the Old Northside of Indianapolis, requiring a five-minute car drive from downtown. It is also close to the Indiana University and the Morris-Butler House Museum.
Old Northside Bed and Breakfast
For our second spot is the Old Northside Bed and Breakfast. Located in Indianapolis, this historic and luxurious hotel is near the Indiana State Fairgrounds. Every room is fully furnished and available with cozy bedding and magnificent decor.
Unlike the Stone Soup Inn, the Old Northside Bed and Breakfast serves a snack bar that is open 24 hours a day. Guests can enjoy some free popcorn, affordable movie rentals, and refreshments. It provides a free and secure parking space. It is 1.4 miles away from the Convention Center Plaza.
Our last recommended accommodation is Indy Hostel. Whether you are searching for a cozy, competitively priced, and clean place to sleep, you can never go wrong with the Indy Hostel. Situated north of the city center, Indy Hostel is close to a bus route to downtown Indianapolis.
There are also different hostel accommodations, including private rooms, dorm rooms, and family rooms. After enjoying the festival of lights in Indianapolis, you can watch your favorite action movies in the lounge, connect to the internet, or read a book in its library.
What to Eat
Traveling is fun. But traveling with an empty stomach can be a nightmare. Don’t worry! If you stay in Indianapolis for a week or two, these restaurants will never disappoint to increase your appetite and fulfill your cravings.
Meat and vegan options? Say bye to any inconvenience with Cafe Patachou. It serves delicious vegan and meat meals for different customers.
For vegan choices, it has Cuban breakfast, house salad, a grain bowl, granola, and avocado toast. It is open from Mondays to Sundays. Every Monday to Friday, it is open from 7 am to 3 pm. From Saturday to Sunday, it gets open at 8 am and closes at 3 pm.
Want to try New Latin cuisine? Do not look further than Delicia. Serving the locals and tourists for many years already, Delicia is a top favorite destination for a reason.
Every food is prepared with a touch of both traditional and modern cooking methods. Its meals range from Spain, America, and the Caribbean. Guests can pick from duck carnitas, Peruvian whipped potatoes, and causitas de pato. Also, the staff is highly committed to serving every diner.
Tinker Street Restaurant and Wine Bar
Another good place to dine in is the Tinker Street Restaurant and Wine Bar. It prides itself on vegetarian and Spanish cuisines. You will find kimchi, bisque, and beet salads. It is famous for its desserts like bread pudding and banana split. It is an excellent place for those who love sweets.
As the name indicates, this restaurant serves draft beer, champagne, and delicious prosecco, making your meal tastier and taking your dining experience up a notch. There are also lemonade, chocolate frappe, and iced espresso. Most clients love Tinker Street Restaurant and Wine Bar because its tasty meals come at attractive prices. You will not only get full but also save some cash over time.
More Things to Do in the Area
Besides Christmas Nights of Lights, Indiana State Fairgrounds has other things to offer. Read on for more information!
Nothing is more fulfilling than traveling with your family. Are your kids fond of barnyard animals? If yes, this Animal Town in the Indiana State Fairgrounds is the place to explore. From dairy cattle, swine, chickens, sheep, goats, llamas, draft horses to rabbits, it is a one-stop destination to learn barnyard animals. Your kids do not only go home with a great learning experience, but they are also entertained.
Children’s Museum of Indianapolis
After visiting the Animal Town in Indiana State Fairgrounds, level up your experience with the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis. Did you know that the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis is the world’s largest kid’s museum? Yes, it is huge. Although it is made for children, this museum is for everyone. Even if you are an adult, you will also enjoy the interactive, innovative, and exciting displays about archeology, science, transportation, and culture. It is located at 3000 N. Meridian St, Indianapolis, Indiana.
Where will you spend this Christmas? Indianapolis is a superb destination you cannot afford to ignore. Plan out your future escapade today, and have a stress-free journey ahead!
- How does the parking work for a drive-thru festival?
- Since Christmas Nights of Lights is a drive-thru event, there’s no need to park your vehicle. Simply follow the designated route to experience the light displays from the comfort of your car.
- Is smoking allowed during the drive-thru experience?
- For the safety and enjoyment of all attendees, smoking is discouraged during the drive-thru to prevent any potential fire hazards and to maintain a pleasant environment for all cars in line.
- Can I bring my pet along for the drive-thru?
- Yes, pets are allowed as long as they remain inside the vehicle throughout the experience.
- Is there a speed limit or recommended driving speed for the drive-thru festival?
- Yes, there’s typically a recommended slow driving speed to ensure the safety of all guests and allow everyone to enjoy the displays. Follow any posted signs or instructions.
- Can we step out of our vehicle to take photos?
- For safety reasons, guests are usually not allowed to exit their vehicles during the drive-thru experience. It’s best to capture memories from inside your car.
- Is the Festival of Lights synchronized with music?
- Yes, Christmas Nights of Lights often features synchronized music. You can tune into the specified radio station to enjoy the music that accompanies the light displays.
- What happens if my car breaks down or if there’s an emergency during the drive-thru?
- The event typically has protocols in place for emergencies. It’s best to stay inside your vehicle and turn on your hazard lights. Event staff will approach to assist or guide you.
- Is there a recommended time to visit to avoid peak crowds?
- Weekdays, especially earlier in the season, tend to be less crowded than weekends. However, it’s always a good idea to check the event’s official website or social media pages for updates on peak times and any potential wait times.