Top 5 Things We LOVE About Celebration Crossing At The Indiana State Museum

Our Top 5 Celebration Crossing Must Dos

The Indiana State Museum (ISM) has it all when it comes to the holiday season! Wow, what amazing sensory experience with historical flare Celebration Crossing (the Annual ISM Holiday Festival) is each year. The museum comes alive with festive colors, music, decorations, smells and activities. The elves do a fabulous job of putting up Santa's ISM home for the season. His cottage is cozy and smells just like a country Christmas tree farm! The kiddos love to sit on his lap and whisper their hearts desires, but this mama could pull up a cozy chair alongside him, pour a cup of something delicious and stay awhile! Around every corner is something to delight in and enjoy as a whole family!

Here are our Top 5 Must Dos:

1. Greet Santa when he arrives in true Indy style via helicopter (as he did all those years ago, but at the fairgrounds before heading to the old L.S. Ayres department store) on the ISM front lawn at Noon on Friday November 28th. Festivities start at 11 a.m. with holiday sounds from the Indianapolis Children's Choir and after Santa is safe on the ground everyone moves inside for the opening of Celebration Crossing!

2. Riding the rails is definitely high on the list. On the 3rd floor you'll find the the Santa Claus Express Train. It is a larger replica of the original train that sits on display in the lobby. The original once chugged through the winter wonderland at L.S. Ayres department store on the eighth floor. The original train is nestled in a picturesque setting at ISM and is a perfect photo opportunity for the whole family. 

3. Make time for one of the extra special events taking place over the season. Choose from things like Breakfast with Santa, Tea with Dolly and Coach Man's favorite - Hoosier Hour (A 1920s Christmas), which features Legacy Theater Troupe performing a radio show based on a 1920s era recreation of A Christmas Carol, complete with commercials, music and sound effects!

4. A personal visit with the big guy of course! Rumor has it since along ago, the real Santa could always be found at the downtown L.S. Ayres. It was the only place he'd hang in the city. Now, you just can't leave the ISM without stopping by to say hello, share your wish list and experience his cozy cottage firsthand. However, if you have little ones that are a little shy and it's not their thing yet, ISM also has Santa's mailbox in the lobby and you can now send him an email as well from computer stations in the museum. Who knew! Santa is tech savvy with his very own email account. Wonder if his phone is an iphone too? 

5. This one if my personal favorites. The L.S. Ayres Tea Room restaurant - it's absolutely magical. My mother used to go to the actual one in the department store downtown long ago. Her bridal shower was there. She adored everything about it, but most of all the history of it. When she was alive she always made sure my sisters, my nieces and I always visited ISM once a year at least to enjoy the tastes and sights of this very special tea room. When you visit be sure to have the Chicken Velvet Soup! AMAZING! 

The Slattery family of Fortville has been visiting Celebration Crossing at ISM since their oldest was an infant. It's an Indy holiday tradition they look forward to each year! "It's fun to get all dressed up for our annual visit with Santa. We adore the vintage feel and authenticity of it. I used to visit the old Ayres Tea Room train with my Grandma. It always reminds me of when I was a little girl. Plus every family gets a semi-private visit with Santa in his cottage. Mrs. Claus and the ISM photographer are always helpful as well. It seems we've had a crier almost every year so far," Jennifer Slattery said.

2010 Slattery ISMCCX Christmas Visit with Santa
Downtown Indianapolis is just an amazing place to get immersed in the spirit of the holidays. It's magical. Don't let it pass you by this year. Get out and enjoy all this great city and state have to offer!


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