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holiday season

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With our busy lives it is hard to settle on something to do during the holidays, other than relax. If you happen to live in Indiana, like I do, then I have found 10 places to visit during the holidays. Admissions for the events I’ve located are either relatively low or completely free. If specifics for the event or town were provided, then I posed them here for you. Each event is in a different town, so, it should be easy to locate something fun near you. I know that travel can be a hassle during the holidays, but it’s nice to try new things and create new memories with family or friends.

Check out this list of towns and events. Indiana has many things to offer during the holiday season. If you are looking to find more options in your own back yard or have been looking for an excuse for the little road trip you keep talking about, then let’s explore Christmas- Hoosier style.


1. Santa Claus, Indiana

commons.wikimedia.org

commons.wikimedia.org

This town can claim that it has the only post office in the world with the Santa Claus name. During the holiday season there are numerous Christmas themed events such as Santa’s Candy Castle, Santa Claus Christmas Store, Santa’s Stables, and many more. You can’t get more festive than this. The Kids can even write Santa a letter in the Santa Claus Museum and Village. Christmas is everyday here, but ringing in the actually holiday can be that much more magical.


2. Indianapolis – Christmas at the Zoo

visitindy.com

visitindy.com

This event has become known for its fantastic lighting displays around the holidays. You can also enjoy the active animals that enjoy the cooler weather of the season. You can get in Wednesday through Sunday from 5-9 p.m. through December 29th. The Zoo will, however, be closed for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Christmas at the Zoo is included in the regular entry fee for the grounds.


3. Hammond – A Christmas Story Comes Home

tbs.com

tbs.com

Hammond, Indiana is home to the setting for one of the most infamous holiday movies ever: A Christmas Story. The Indiana Welcome Center in Hammond will be showing an exhibit that contains six animated scenes from the movie. These displays were first showcased in the windows of Macy’s in New York City. Come enjoy a little piece of hometown cinema history. The free event will be held through January 5th everyday between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.


4. Shipshewana – Ice Festival

aroundindy.wordpress.com

aroundindy.wordpress.com

The festival is on December 27th and 28th. There will be ice carving from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on the 27th by teams of people creating themed sculptures. On the 28th the ice carving competition will be from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Additionally, there is a chili cook-off between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. You can even purchase a commemorative pin fro the event that is designed each year by a Westview High School student. The pin gets you into the chili cook-off for free and gives you discounts in town throughout January.


5. Zionsville – Christmas in the Village

zionsvillechristmas.com

zionsvillechristmas.com

Christmas lives in the town all month long. On the 21st, Santa will be in “Santa’s House” from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Horse drawn carriages are available from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and the antique trolley car will be running during the same hours as “Santa’s House.”


6. Madison – Santa’s Cottage

madisoncourier.com

madisoncourier.com

Santa will be at the Broadway Fountain in his cottage from 6 to 8 p.m. on Nov. 29, Dec. 6, Dec. 7, Dec. 13, Dec. 20 and Dec. 21, and from noon to 2 p.m. on Dec. 22. While you’re there check out the beautiful scenery of historic Madison and browse the unique shops lining the downtown strip.


7. Evansville – Ritzy’s Fantasy of Lights

tgaw.wordpress.com

tgaw.wordpress.com

The event lends aid to the Easter Seals Rehabilitation Center, and includes more than 60 intricate lighting displays. Some of which feature animated pieces up to 20 feet tall. Event begins at 5 p.m. each evening and goes until the first of January.


8. Fort Wayne – Botanical Conservatory Christmas

visitfortwayne.com

visitfortwayne.com

The Conservatory Showcase will be filled with Red Poinsettias to set the mood for the holiday season, along with a cozy fireplace setting. It should provide warm memories and plenty of photograph opportunities.
Hours are: Tuesday – Saturday 10 am – 5 pm, Thursday 10 am – 8 pm, Sunday Noon – 4 pm, Closed Mondays Admission: Adults $5, Children (ages 3-17) $3, Age 2 and under Free.


9. Kokomo – Christmas at the Seiberling

kokomotribune.com

kokomotribune.com

Holiday events have been occurring all month, but they till continue through the 22nd. The holiday tours of the beautifully and seasonally decorated mansion run Tuesday through Sunday 1-4 p.m. Daytime tour admission is $5 adults, $4 seniors, and $2 for kids 12 & under.


10. Michigan City – Christmas at Barker Mansion

nwitimes.com

nwitimes.com

Experience the magic of the holiday with three floors of decorated rooms. Lasts through January 15th. Must call for times. Admission Fee: $5 adults; $2 children.

By: Kyle Yung

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aspottedpony.com

This Christmas season is the perfect time to teach your children the importance of kindness. Sometimes we get so caught up in the hustle and bustle of our lives that we never stop to be truly kind and go out of our way to do so. One act of kindness can go a long way. This holiday season, I encourage you, no, challenge you, to accomplish 25 random acts of kindness with your kids.  Need help figuring out what exactly you can do? Don’t worry; I’ve got you covered!

1. Buy toys specifically for donation, such as Toys for Tots.

2. Rake leaves or shovel snow for a neighbor (or several neighbors!)

3. Bake cookies for your mail carrier/neighbor/landlord/or just someone who you think needs cheering up.

4. Make Christmas ornaments or cards for the elderly in nursing homes.

5. Pick up litter at the park or in your neighborhood.

6. Let someone go in front of you in line at the store.

7. Pay for someone’s dinner at a restaurant.

8. Buy and donate toys or coloring books for the kids at the local children’s hospital.

9. Give money or buy groceries for a homeless person.

10. Put together care packages filled with toothpaste, toothbrush, snacks, deodorant, and chapstick and hand out to people in need.


willcookforfriends.com

willcookforfriends.com

11. “Ding dong ditch” random people with gift baskets.

12. If you know of a family that is in need and are unable to provide Christmas for their own kids, provide it for them anonymously.

13. Go through your kitchen and donate food to the local food pantry.

14. Go through your clothes, as well as your children’s, and donate any unwanted clothing to Goodwill or to a family in need.

15. Volunteer at a soup kitchen.

16. Donate books to the library/schools/waiting rooms at hospitals/dentists/doctors et cetera.

17. Make Christmas wreaths and leave them on doorsteps or on cars with a “Random Act of Kindness” tag attached to it, such as those shown below.


thumba-lea.blogspot.com

thumba-lea.blogspot.com

18. You know those awesome vending machines that dole out candy or random toys? Have your kids place quarters in the slots for some other kids.


willcookforfriends.com

willcookforfriends.com

19. Make a nice dinner and deliver it to a family friend.

20. Take get well balloons to the hospital and have the nurse give them to someone who is alone.

21. Donate any gently used stuffed animals (or buy some at the dollar store!) to the local fire department. They’ll use them to help comfort children who have been in traumatic situations.

22. Go caroling in your neighborhood.

23. Buy and deliver coffee or hot chocolate to the local police/fire department/hospital or even the Salvation Army bell ringers.

24. If you have a larger vehicle, such as a truck, deliver Christmas trees to those who do not have one or cannot afford one.

25. Have your kids hide dollar bills throughout the toy section at your local dollar store.

For kids, the holiday season is always magical. Let’s make this year even more special because kindness is magic.

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The holidays are just around the corner and you’ve got your eye on that special someone.  What better way to make a lasting impact than wooing her this holiday season?  Here are 10 ways to really woo the woman of your dreams.


1. Flowers

Flowers are usually fail-proof, that is as long as she doesn’t have a severe allergy.  You may even rake up some bonus points if you bring her a nice Christmas themed bouquet.


2. Ask her out for a nice dinner

Casually invite her out for a dinner date and go all out.  Don’t go for the cheap burger joint, unless she likes that.  Even better?  Cook a nice dinner instead.


3. Chivalry

A lot of women believe that chivalry is dead, and a lot of factors are involved with this idea.  Act chivalrous towards her.  Hold the door open.  Offer her your jacket if she looks cold.  It’s not that hard, and she’ll appreciate the sentiment.


4. Surprise her with a Christmas Gift

Do some background research and give her something she really wants.  Make it a memorable gift and let her know how you feel about her.


5. Write her a song/poem

Make the effort and spend an honest amount of time into writing a song or poem about how you feel about her.  Make it Christmas themed.  It doesn’t even have to be that good.  It’ll make her feel special.  (If you’re going to perform this in a public space, make sure it won’t embarrass her)


6. Have good conversations with her

A lot of women love nothing more than a man who can hold his own during an intense conversation.  Be thoughtful and intelligent, but don’t fake it either.


7. Be Dependable and a Listener

Be there for her when she needs you and listen to her problems.  Don’t interject with your advice.  Most of the time, she doesn’t need it. She just wants someone to listen.  With the craziness of the holiday season, she’s going to need someone to talk to.  Be the person that’s there for her.  She’ll remember it.


8. Figure out what makes her laugh

Figure out her sense of humor and make her laugh.  She’ll love it and you’ll love making her light up that way.


9. Show an interest in her family

The holiday season is focused on the family.  If you really want to make an impression, show an interest in her family.  If you get to meet them, pay attention and interact with the kids.  It’s charming.


10. Be Yourself

Let’s be honest.  If you really want to woo the woman of your dreams, you need to be you.  She isn’t going to be impressed by the fake you that will eventually surface after she’s known you for awhile.  She’ll appreciate the real you much more than you probably realize.

And do you really want to impress her?  Get to know her and do something that she’ll appreciate.

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Your belly full of Thanksgiving leftovers and your entire person exhausted from searching for those post-Thanksgiving sales can only mean one thing:  the holiday season has officially begun.  Now, before you turn on the radio and listen what the radio has deemed appropriate for this holiday season, prepare yourself with this holiday playlist before you go out and brave this season’s shenanigans.

 

1. The Christmas Song by Brian McKnight – This soulful adaption reminiscent of Marvin Gaye is the perfect way to kick off the season.  With all the hustle and bustle of family gatherings and crowded shopping centers, McKnight’s smooth and soothing vocals are sure to get you in the holiday spirit.

2. Wonderful Christmastime by Paul McCartney– A Holiday playlist isn’t complete without McCartney’s synthesized Christmas tune.  Even though you’ll hear it hundreds of times when you go shopping or turn on the radio, take the time to appreciate it before you grow sick of it.

3. Christmas in Hollis by Run-D.M.C. – Go old school with this rap carol.  Listen once, then listen again.  If this doesn’t get you ready for the holiday season, I don’t know what will.

4. Carol of the Bells by Mary Mary – While Mary Mary is typically known for their gospel duets, this is by far one of the best versions of this song. (Their biggest rival being the Trans-Siberian Orchestra).

5. Wizards in Winter by Trans-Siberian Orchestra – Speaking of Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Wizards in Winter is an excellent change from the usual Christmas tunes you’ll hear.  Incorporating hard rock with melodies from the Nutcracker and other classical holiday tunes, this song has a little something for everyone.

6. 8 Days of Christmas by Destiny’s Child – Because let’s be honest, what playlist would be complete without a little bit of Beyonce?

7. Ludacrismas by Ludacris – I’m not sure if I actually like this song or I just find it hilarious.  Either way, everyone should listen to it at least once in their life.

8. It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year by the Jonas Brothers – It’s not a typo.  It does say the Jonas Brothers.  But trust me, it’s a fun song.

9.  Let it Snow by Boyz II Men – Once you’re done reverting to an adolescent fangirl with the Jonas brothers, crank up this smooth and sexy version of Let it Snow to make yourself feel like an adult again.

10. Winter Wonderland by Jason Mraz – My favorite part about this song is that even though this is a classic, Mraz still manages to make it his own and add his own unique style to it.

11. Deck Da Club by Ying Yang Twins – This is quite possibly the worst song ever written, but I can’t stop listening to it.  I would not recommend playing this for your family.

12. Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town by The Jackson 5 – The best way to end a holiday playlist?  The Jackson 5.  They capture the magic and spirit of the holiday season.  And in the midst of the holiday chaos, we all need to be reminded of that spirit.