You can lounge around in your PJs anytime. December’s the month to get out and do all things Christmas!
See the lights
Holiday lights are so pretty, especially when the snow is drifting gently across the landscape. Check out some of our fave places for Christmas lights:
- Winter Wonderland Holiday Lights, Fridays and Saturdays from November 29 to December 28: The Wellfield Botanic Gardens, 1011 N. Main St., Elkhart, is transformed into a wintry paradise of glowing garden spaces.
- Lights of Joy, through December 29: The Shipshewana Flea Market, 345 S. Van Buren St., Shipshewana, features more than 2 two million LED Christmas lights displayed in a mile-long symphony of various light scenes
Rejoice in the music
A great concert sets the perfect tone for the holidays, and there are plenty of great choices:
- Goshen College Festival of Carols, 7:30 p.m. December 6-7, 4 p.m. December 8: This musical celebration of Christmas brings together five student ensembles and a children’s choir in the gorgeous Goshen College Music Center, 1700 S. Main St., Goshen.
- Daniel O’Donnell Christmas and More, 8 p.m. December 7-14: Take a trip down memory lane at the Shipshewana Event Center, 760 S. Van Buren St., Shipshewana, with this show soaked in nostalgia.
- Elkhart Municipal Band Free Holiday Concert, 1:45 p.m. December 8: The Jubilee Bell Ringers kick off this upbeat concert at the Lerner Theatre, 410 S. Main St., Elkhart, and is followed by the Elkhart Municipal Band, including the traditional Tuba Christmas that brings the house down.
Get out together
The holidays are about friends and family, so here are some great things you can do as a group:
- Ruthmere Museum Holiday Tours: Christmas ... by Design, November 30 to December 23: The historic mansion showcases local designers decorating each room in an event that also benefits local charities. Tour Ruthmere and then vote for your favorite design.
- Goshen First Fridays: Hometown Holiday, December 6: Sing along with some Christmas carols, warm up at any of the gaily decorated shops downtown, and get in the Christmas spirit with the city’s annual tree-lighting ceremony.
- “A Coppes Christmas,” December 6-7: Coppes Commons, 401 E. Market St., has it all this Christmas season, with an interactive live nativity walk from 5 to 9 p.m. December 6 on the ground floor. All weekend long, the second floor transforms into “It’s a Wonderful Market” with artisans and other seasonal wares making for the perfect holiday atmosphere.
- Elkhart's Winterfest Celebration, December 7: It’s an all-day extravaganza of Christmas in downtown Elkhart starting with Breakfast with Santa, continuing with All Aboard with Santa at the National New York Central Railroad Museum, run in the Ugly Sweater Run, strap on some skates for free ice skating at the NIBCO Water and Ice Park, and top it off with the Winterfest Parade and tree-lighting.
- Shipshewana Ice Festival, December 27-28: You’ll be wowed by the amazing ice sculptures created by local and regional artists at locations throughout the town of Shipshewana. Even better, it’s all free.
- Lunchtime Live! It's a Wonderful Life, 11 a.m. December 18: See George Bailey on the big screen of the Lerner Theatre. If it’s not Christmas until you’ve seen “It’s a Wonderful Life,” then this is just for you!
- Christmas Tree Lighting, December 14: The Middlebury community gathers at Memorial Park to experience the sights, tastes, and sounds of Christmas starting at 6 p.m.
Santa and more
Can’t get enough of Santa? Say no more
- Where's Santa - Holiday Hunt, December 6: Wellfield Botanic Gardens, 1011 N. Main St., Elkhart, welcomes Santa and Mrs. Claus, but Santa seems to have snuck away. Kids can help find Santa by following the clues.
- Breakfast with Santa, 9:30 to 11 a.m. December 7: Sink your teeth into Amish Acres’ sumptuous breakfast buffet, then sing along with Christmas carols until Santa arrives.
- The Santa Run and Stroll, December 14: It’s the most festive mile you can find anywhere. Enjoy cookies and cocoa and stay for breakfast and an even bigger Christmas party.
- Brunch with Santa, December 14: West on Warren, 200 W. Warren St., Middlebury, will be open to kids and kids at heart from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
And then there’s New Year's
Amish Acres, Nappanee, hosts a truly unique New Year’s Eve celebration. Dine under the hand-hewn beams of the restaurant barn then take in the final performance of “Beauty and the Beast” in The Round Barn Theatre. Following the show, enjoy hors d’oeuvres then join the show’s cast for the annual New Year’s Eve cabaret and ring in the New Year with a fireworks finale over the farm’s pond. What a way to ring in the new year.