INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - Indianapolis is full of traditional holiday attractions. Some have been around for years and others are brand new.
Jingle Rails at the Eiteljorg Museum is one of those attractions that's been around for a while, but it changes every year.
"Our model trains start here in Indianapolis and they take you on a quest for the west. Each little train goes through a very detailed scene that's made out of natural material and is great fun to see," said Hyacinth Rucker with Eiteljorg Museum.
The Eiteljorg Museum’s Jingle Rails: The Great Western Adventure is a journey to the Great American West. New this year is the Hollywood exhibit. Visitors can see nine working model trains traveling through their miniaturized destinations. The trains head through the national parks of the American West, including grand railway lodges, Northwest Coast Native villages, Mt. Rushmore, Grand Canyon, Yosemite Falls, Old Faithful, the Las Vegas Strip and the Hoover Dam, all created by Paul Busse and his team at Applied Imagination.
Visit Indy has put Jingle Rails on their Top 10 list of must-see holiday attractions. Some are free, but if they're not, they are well priced. Many of the must-sees are traditional, like seeing the lights on Monument Circle or listening to great musical performances by the symphony and local theaters.
"The newest display is huge. It's Winter Lights at Newfield. This is the new campus of the Indianapolis Museum of Arts. It's open now, so if you haven't had a chance to see it, it's gorgeous, it's stunning, and it's elegant," said Morgan Snyder, public relations director for Visit Indy.
You'll save money on tickets to most of the holiday attractions if you book online. Christmas at the Zoo is also a favorite with all the lights and displays. It's open through Dec. 30 and is one of the nation's top 10 zoo displays. Soaring 150 feet above the Skjodt International Orangutan Center, you'll be able to spot the Beacon of Hope glowing in holiday colors from miles away.
Don't forget the Children's Museum and all their holiday festivities. There are five floors full of stuff to do! Plan ahead pricing is key to really stretching your dollar. Admission to the Children's Museum is free on Christmas Eve from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
"They can sit on Santa's lap. They can bake holiday cookies. They can all kinds of holiday fun grooming reindeer and then they just have to step outside of the exhibit and take a big slide down our yule slide which will slide them right into the gingerbread cafe," said Leslie Olsen with the Children's Museum of Indianapolis.
One way to save on all the exhibits is to follow Visit Indy on Facebook. Starting Dec. 1, you can be a part of their 12 days of giveaways for tickets to all the holiday attractions.
The Indianapolis Motor Speedway gives visitors the chance to drive their cars around certain areas of the Speedway that will be dressed for the holidays with 2.5 million bright lights, illuminating numerous colorful displays. The driving experience covers more than two miles and includes crossing the famed Yard of Bricks.
The Indiana Historical Society presents Festival of Trees in addition to their other traditional holiday celebrations. Visitors can take in the group's charming holiday-based photos, plus visit an amazing tree-filled wonderland featuring 80 unique holiday themed trees and a special 30-foot show-stopper tree. It's open through the first week of January.
One more favorite is Holidays on the Prairie at Conner Prairie. It includes several different family-friendly holiday events. Transport yourself back to 1836 through the Prairie Town walking tour, Conner Prairie by Candlelight. Guests can view a collection of both amateur and professional gingerbread houses in the Gingerbread Village. Adults can enjoy their favorite hors d'oeuvres, wine, craft beer, and spirits at Holiday Cheers. Finally, Santa is coming to town to enjoy breakfast and dinner with guests at the prairie.