Christmas Fun in Northwest Indiana

There is much that can be done to bring out the holiday spirit in even the grumpiest Grinch. Look in awe at the many beautifully adorned houses that shine in the community, enjoy the variety of activities that come in full-swing with the winter season, and remember the true meaning of Christmas at a bear-by nativity scene. No matter which way a person looks, Christmas is all around.

Look at Christmas Lights

Whether it’s a Christmas Eve tradition with the family or simply a small get-together, turn on the holiday music, grab a candy cane or two and take a drive to see the many areas decorated for the season. It can be a fun way to get in the holiday spirit. For a little relaxation, make some hot chocolate and spend some time in front of the fireplace when the drive is over.

Local radio station Indiana 105 is hosting its annual Griswold Awards contest. Families from Chicago to Southbend, Indiana, decorate their houses and yards to celebrate the Christmas season. Thousands of lights and many decorations are used. Some households put their lights to music and others have even been known to pass out hot chocolate and candy-canes to visitors.

For something a little different, check out the Christmas Tree House in Kokomo, Indiana. Decked out from top to bottom, the house is home to 130 Christmas trees and roughly 45,000 lights. Each tree has a different theme, and tours are available through December 31. For directions and hours call (765) 457-5155.

The Michigan City Festival of Lights is a must see as well. Hosted by the Michigan City Parks & Recreation Department, the 18th annual lights festival is a month long celebration in Washington Park. Stay warm in the car or step out and view the lights by foot.

Christmas Fun for the Family In-Doors and Out

The month of December can be a perfect time to bond with the entire family. Gather together, have a few laughs, start a tradition. Make this holiday season a time to remember – but don’t forget the camera!

Every weekend in December, the Brookfield Zoo offers a little “holiday magic” of its own. The 27th annual Holiday Magic features nearly one million lights, a laser and light show, ice-carving demonstrations, live music, magicians and more. Each weekend offers something a little different from 4 to 9 p.m. Bring the family for a Christmas adventure with the animals.

If a day-in is what the family needs, then take some time to bake cookies with loved ones. Decorate the house, make home-made ornaments and wrap the tree in garland. Help the kids write letters to Santa, make a Christmas card for grandma or just sit down and watch a holiday classic together.

When the snow starts falling, bundle up and head outdoors. Playing in the snow is great fun for both young and old. Build a snowman, have a snow-ball fight and don’t forget to make the snow angels. For a little extra, take the family ice-skating at Deep River Waterpark while it’s lit up for the holidays. For information on hours and pricing, call (219) 947-7850.

Christmas Scenes

Whether real or imaginary, there are a variety of Christmas scenes and gatherings that would fit in with almost anybody’s style.

For a reminder of why Christmas exists, visit the Annual Living Nativity at the Church of the Four Seasons in Crown Point, Indiana. December 21, from 5 to 7 p.m., camels, sheep and donkeys will take their place in the infamous nativity scene. Call (219) 663-7803 for directions.

Stop by the Indiana Welcome Center in Hammond to help celebrate the 25th anniversary of “The Christmas Story” – six animated scenes from the classic movie are on display. This can be a great treat for all-ages, especially since author Jean Shepherd loosely based the story on people and places from the NWI region. For dates and times call the Welcome Center at (219) 989-7979.

A must during the Christmas season is simply taking the time to visit Santa. The jolly man dressed in red can be found at any local mall. Don’t let age factor in – nobody is too old to get their picture taken with Santa!

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