Writer / Matt Keating
Photography provided by Zionsville Chamber of Commerce
Christmas in the Village, an annual Zionsville tradition that dates all the way back to 1852, will again be filled this year with a wide variety of family fun.
Tracy Phillips, executive director of Zionsville Chamber of Commerce, says Christmas in the Village has been so successful because it’s a family tradition.
“With so many events celebrating the season, and so little time for busy families, what Zionsville brings to the mix is authenticity,” Phillips says. “What we have on Main Street and beyond are old-fashioned, family experiences – horse-drawn carriage rides, carolers strolling down the streets and small business owners enticing visitors in with their own brand of homespun charm.”
Phillips noted that Christmas in the Village has grown from a one weekend parade and event to an experience that now spans four weekends from November 25 until December 23.
“On Thursday nights, we will offer a Ladies Night, a Christmas Crawl and the ‘Last Dash’ shopping events, where our shops and restaurants are open late, accommodating patron’s busy schedules,” Phillips says.
Philips’ favorite tradition is seeing Santa.
“We were so grateful to have Santa come down from the North Pole and kick off the Christmas in the Village season at our parade and tree lighting ceremony on Nov. 25,” she says. “Then, he’s kind enough to take time away from his workshop to be in Zionsville on Saturdays from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. and on Sundays from noon to 3 p.m. the first three weekends of December.
“Of course, he can navigate any weather, but last year he realized it was putting children and families at risk if he came to visit us in severe weather. We ask that families check the Zionsville Chamber Facebook page before visiting Santa’s house at Cedar and Main Street to make sure Santa is there to greet you.”
Several elements within the month-long festival are new this year.
“Painting rocks and hiding them is a fun trend right now,” Phillips says. “We will have stations for kids to get creative on December 3 and December 17. “When Santa has to head back up to the north pole right before Christmas, we will host a reindeer feeding station at Santa’s house on Saturday, December 23. Kids can prepare chow for Santa’s reindeer that day and take it home to leave out for them on Christmas Eve.”
Christmas in the Village Events
Dec. 2: Breakfast with Santa: Tri Kappa hosts this popular event in Village restaurants.
Dec. 2: ZCHS Show Choir Carolers: Shoppers can enjoy Christmas and winter songs as they shop the Village.
Dec. 2: Midwest Jewelers and Estate Buyers Holiday Christmas Party: 10:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. at Midwest Jewelers, 190 South Main Street.
Dec. 2: Zionsville Show Choir Holiday Home Tour, from 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Dec. 3: Santa in residence at the Santa House: Noon – 4:00 p.m. at the corner of Main and Cedar Streets.
Dec. 3: Horse-Drawn Wagon Rides throughout the Village from Noon – 4:00 p.m.
Dec. 3: Rock Painting 1:00 – 3:00 p.m. Paint a rock to hide for do dine rise to discover.
Dec. 7: Zionsville Christmas in the Village Ladies Night: Shop until you drop from 6:00 – 9:00 p.m.
Dec. 9: Elf Scavenger Hunt from 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Dec. 9: Barrel Train, from Noon – 3:00 p.m. Free rides for the kids winding around Old National Bank, 385 S. Main Street.
Dec. 10: Santa in Residence; Horse-drawn wagon; Barrel Train.
Dec. 14: Christmas Crawl: 6:00 – 9:00 p.m. Take a leisurely stroll down Main Street and enjoy samples of seasonal beverages, and special small plate offerings from some of the best restaurants and merchants in the village.
Dec. 16: Santa in residence; Horse-drawn carriage rides; Dickens Carolers from 1:00 – 3:00 p.m. Enjoy Dickens-era carolers’ music.
Dec. 21: “Last Dash” of holiday shopping before Christmas. Enjoy dining specials, unique shopping events, give-a-ways and entertainment for all shoppers from 6:00 – 9:00 p.m. at zWorks.
Dec. 23: Reindeer Food Bar at the Santa House, from 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.