Discover something new in Indy to celebrate the Winter festivities

Newfields prepares for its new Winterlights exhibit. Photo courtesy of Newfields.

CARL NELSON | STAFF REPORTER |  canelso1@butler.edu

As winter has quickly crept up on us here in Indy, there are plenty of things to do in the city to make the best out of the cold weather.

Besides the upcoming performances, presentations and events sponsored by the Butler Arts Center, there are plenty of things to do off campus for those with a little cabin fever.

Newfields, formerly known as the Indianapolis Museum of Art, is a great place to go to either explore the various galleries inside, or stroll through the garden and the new light show they have set up for the winter season called Winterlights.

Winterlights starts Nov. 19 and goes through Jan. 7, where two light shows will take place every night at 5 and 7 p.m. Guests will walk through the Newfields and experience a dazzling light show that interacts with the surrounding environment.

On top of exploring the 152-acre campus, guests will be able to enjoy a wood-fired s’mores and warming station. Guests can also enjoy warm beverages and other snacks supplied at various stops and buildings throughout the campus.

Sophomore business major Laura Martella has visited Newfields multiple times.

“I go to the outdoor area at Newfields as often as I can,” Martella said. “Whether it’s to walk or run, it’s a great place to explore, especially with the new renovations. I heard about the new Winterlights program and I can’t wait to go check it out.”

Tickets for this new and limited-time event are on sale on the Newfields website. Tickets that are purchased at the door of Newfields will cost $25 for adults, while tickets purchased online will cost $20.

The Indianapolis Zoo is holding their “Christmas at the Zoo” event, beginning Nov. 26. The zoo opens at noon with special activities from 5 to 9 p.m. on event days, and new extended hours from 5 to 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday nights​.

Get there early to grab a great parking spot, see the animals and watch as the lights come on to transform the zoo into a winter wonderland.

Besides walking around the zoo and seeing the lights, guests can listen to a school choir performance, as well as explore Santa’s Village to get some warm beverages and treats and enjoy other holiday-themed activities.

One fun activity many people enjoy during this time of year is ice skating. Right down the street, at the Indiana State Fairgrounds a full-size hockey rink affiliated with the local Indy Fuel Tank hockey club is regularly reserved for public ice skating use.

They typically reserve time for the public on Friday evenings, as well as Saturday and Sunday afternoons and evenings. The online schedule lists all the times the rink is open for public use. On top of ice skating, the rink also has reserved times for stick and puck where the public can practice skating, shooting and passing in a non hockey game scenario.

Admission is $9 and skate rentals are $3. This is a fairly cheap and fun activity to do with some friends on a cold winter day if you are looking for something to do.

Another place to ice skate in the area is the Carmel Ice Skadium. They have more times reserved during the week, as well as on the weekends. They have public skates that cost $8, a stick and puck that costs $9, as well as drop-in hockey and cosmic skating that costs $10.

For those looking to get off campus, but want to stay warm, head over to the Broad Ripple Winter  Market that is re-opening in December.

Located at the Bent Rail Brewery, about a six minute drive from campus, customers can purchase hundreds of products from the 33 local shops and restaurants that will sell at the market. There will be fresh fruits and vegetables, flowers, bread, cheese, meats and much more.

Nash England, a senior digital media production major, has been to some of the local farmers markets.

“I went to the Broad Ripple Market last year and it was great,” England said. “They had tons of fresh produce as well as other great foods and other ingredients. There is also awesome food you can buy and eat there if you’re hungry.”

The market is only open on Saturdays from 9 a.m. until noon. If this is something you are interested in, get there early to avoid missing out on the limited hours and somewhat limited supplies.

If you couldn’t find what you want at the Broad Ripple Market, head into the city and stop by the Indy Winter Farmers Market which runs on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The market is open now and will run until April 28.

The winter months in the Midwest are not always very glamorous, but Indy does a pretty good job of making up for these subpar winters.

For those who want to get off campus to enjoy the season, there is a much longer list of places to visit and events to go to. All of the activities and events mentioned are less than 20 minutes from campus.

Sometimes it is nice to enjoy some Netflix snuggled up enjoying the warmth of your bed, but try not to let the weather get to you. Get out there and explore all of the great things that our city has to offer.

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