Thirty-seven activities over the next five weeks will make this holiday period splendid.
Events are free unless otherwise noted. In order by date:
All Aboard!, an exhibit of model trains and fabulous Christmas trees, may be enjoyed through mid-January at the Batesville Historical Center, 15 W. George St. Hours are Thursdays and Fridays between 10 a.m.-2 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 a.m.-noon. Special hours are Thanksgiving after 3 p.m. and Dec. 6 from 5-8 p.m. For group visits and appointments: Carolyn Dieckmann, 812-212-9382 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Winter Wonderland, a new drive-through holiday lights display at Brookville Town Park, is nightly from 6 p.m.-midnight through Dec. 31.
The 36th annual Metamora Old-Fashioned Christmas Walk, sponsored by the merchants’ association, takes place over four weekends Nov. 29-Dec. 22: Fridays and Saturdays, 10 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sundays, noon-6 p.m. Tourists will marvel at holiday decorations, strolling carolers, photos with Santa, the Whitewater Canal State Historic Site Grist Mill, horse-drawn carriage rides and wares in over 50 unique shops.
Whitewater Valley Railroad excursions to Metamora for its Christmas Walk depart from the Connersville Grand Central Station at 4 p.m. Nov. 29-30, Dec. 7 and Dec. 14 with 3.5-hour layovers in the charming village. Fares are $29 for adults and $19 for children 2-12. The 46th annual Santa Claus Limited is the longest operating event of the nonprofit railroad. Families can board the train Nov. 30 at 9:01 a.m., 11:15 a.m. or 1:30 p.m. at Grand Central Stationto pick up Santa Claus along the way. He will visit with each child on the train. Tickets are $10 for ages 2 and up. To purchase tickets: https://www.dynamicticketsolutions.com/wvrr or 765-825-2054.
Batesville resident Bryce Mullins will present a concert to coincide with his new album release of Christmas tunes Sunday, Dec. 1, at 1:30 p.m. at the Gibson Theatre. Tickets to the Miss Shannon’s Music Studio-sponsored show are $5 at the door.
About 20,000-30,000 lights will flash on for the first time at the Weberding Family Christmas Lighting Dec. 1 at 6 p.m. at Weberding’s Carving Shop, Batesville. Attendees may park across the street.
Lohrum Christmas in the Park, a drive-through holiday lights display, runs from Dec. 1-31 from 6-10 p.m. at Ripley County Fairgrounds Park, Osgood.
The cantata “O Come Let us Adore” will be presented by the nondenominational Golden Gate Community Choir Dec. 1 at 7 p.m. at the Damm Theatre, Osgood. It will feature familiar songs such as “Away in a Manger” and “Go Tell it on the Mountain.” Freewill offerings will be accepted.
A Community Christmas Tree Lighting will be Dec. 2 at the Napoleon town square. Horse and carriage rides begin at 5 p.m. followed by the tree lighting at 6. Caroling, crafts, cookies, hot chocolate and fireworks round out the celebration.
Cookies with Santa, open to all, not just members, is Thursday, Dec. 5, from 5-6:30 p.m. at Southeastern Indiana YMCA. Bring a camera to take your child’s picture on Santa’s lap, then enjoy creating a Christmas craft. To RSVP: 812-934-6006.
Batesville’s Toyland Parade and Community Tree Lighting is Friday, Dec. 6. Santa’s Village with live entertainment in downtown Batesville opens at 5 p.m., followed by the 6 p.m. parade, tree lighting and 7:15 p.m. free showing of “Frozen II.” The evening is sponsored by the city, Batesville Area Chamber of Commerce, Batesville Main Street, Batesville Beautification League and Mayor’s Youth Council. Please see details in next issue.
The Friendship Christmas Walk is Dec. 6 from 6-9 p.m. Activities include a live Nativity at Bear Creek Baptist Church, visits with Santa and Mrs. Claus, Light-a-Ride Parade and Contest, letters to Santa can be mailed at the post office, and chili and hot chocolate for freewill donations at the fire station. For updated schedule: https://www.facebook.com/friendshipvillageassociation
Matthew Lamping will sing holiday favorites and other easy listening ballads and country tunes during an Amack’s Well First Friday Concert Dec. 6 from 7-8:30 p.m.
Tree County Players present “The Christmas Cabin” Dec. 6-7 at 7 p.m. and Dec. 8 at 2 p.m. at its playhouse, 634 W. Main St., Greensburg. The play is about people stranded in a remote cabin who create their own Christmas, bringing together songs and stories from prior celebrations. Tickets are $15 for adults, $12 for members and $5 for children 18 and under. To order: https://bit.ly/2D7knoT, 812-222-4766 or email@example.com.
The East Central High School Drama Department will present the musical “Elf Jr.” Dec. 6-7 at 7:30 p.m. and Dec. 8 at 3 p.m. at the Performing Arts Center. Tickets are $10 for adults and $8 for students.
Holidays Under the Spires Saturday, Dec. 7, in Oldenburg includes the Jingle Bell Jog, trolley rides with Santa, choirs, mini golf at the firehouse and much more fun. Please see details in next issue. To view the schedule: http://www.holidaysunderthespires.com/enjoy.html
Volunteers at the Central House, 3684 State Road 229, Napoleon, will host two events: An open house is Dec. 7 from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. plus photos with Santa and Mrs. Claus costing $7 for the first one and $5 for each additional from 1-3:30. “Every child is welcome to come see Santa” even without taking photos, reports organizer Victor Sarringhaus. A traditional tea with holiday goodies is Dec. 14 at 1 p.m. Fees are $15 for adults and $10 for children under 12. To RSVP: Victor Sarringhaus, 812-621-7826. Proceeds go toward the upkeep and restoration of the historic building.
The Ripley County Humane Society invites area residents to bring their pets and/or children to get their photos taken with Santa Dec. 7 from noon-4 p.m. at the shelter, 1202 W. County Road 150 N., Osgood. Cost: $10 for the photo.
Children may visit Santa in his house downtown next to the bike park (in between Main, East Pearl, Park and George streets) thanks to the Batesville Area Chamber of Commerce. Dates are three Saturdays, Dec. 7, 14 and 21, between 1-3 p.m.
Holiday Affair on the Square, sponsored by Main Street Versailles, is Dec. 7 from 3:30-7 p.m. Santa will be escorted into town at 4 p.m. to visit with kids and take photos until he leads the holiday light parade at 5:45. A live Nativity, community and schools caroling, kids’ crafts, bike raffle, face painting, vendor market, tree lighting and holiday movie are more activities.
Southeastern Indiana YMCA Dancers present “A Storybook Christmas” winter dance recital and theater concert Dec. 7 at 7 p.m. at the Batesville High School auditorium.
The St. Louis Ballet Co. and Franklin County children will present “The Nutcracker Ballet Act II and Other Works” Dec. 7 at 7 p.m. at the Franklin County High School auditorium. Tickets for the Franklin County Arts Council production are $15 for adults, $12 for seniors 62 and up, $8 for students and free for children under 5. To purchase: Nancy Pflum at FCN Bank, Brookville, 765-647-4116; or council President Patti Wilhelm, 765-309-1473.
A cherished community tradition, the Boar’s Head Festival, presented by the Batesville Area Arts Council, is Dec. 7 at 7:30 p.m. at Holy Family Church, Oldenburg. The updated presentation depicts English Renaissance traditions and offers timeless carols. Seating is not reserved for this freewill offering event.
Each participant will take home a gingerbread house after attending workshops Monday, Dec. 9, at 5 p.m. or Tuesday, Dec. 10, at 6 p.m. at the Brookville library, or Thursday, Dec. 12, at 5:30 p.m. at the Laurel library. To register: 765-647-4031 or 765-698-2582.
A children’s Christmas party is slated for Dec. 10 from 6:30-7:30 p.m. at the Batesville Memorial Public Library. Visits with Santa, holiday crafts and snacks are courtesy of Friends of BMPL.
A gingerbread house decorating party for third- through eighth-graders is Thursday, Dec. 12, from 4-4:45 p.m. at the Batesville Memorial Public Library. Registration is required: https://ebatesville.com/event or 812-934-4706.
“The Polar Express” will be screened Dec. 12 at 5:30 p.m. at the Gibson Theatre courtesy of Friends of BMPL. Guests may arrive in PJs.
A live manger scene with animals, Christmas carols and indoor and outdoor performances by local church and school choirs are all part of the 33rd annual live Nativity Dec. 13-14 from 5-9 p.m. at St. Anthony Catholic Church, Morris. Sweet treats and hot beverages will be provided.
“The Nutcracker” will be presented by the Cincinnati Kinderballet Saturday, Dec. 14, at 11 a.m. at the Batesville Middle School commons. This program is sponsored by Friends of Batesville Memorial Public Library with support from the library. Refreshments will be served and freewill offerings accepted. Five Batesville students are featured: Abby Hartz, Mouse, Party, Spanish; Abigael Kubicek, Soldier, Snowflake, BonBon; Amelia Kubicek, Nutcracker, Party, Spanish; Isaiah Kubicek, Russian, Cavalier, Party, Snow; and Katherine Kubicek: Mother Ginger, Party, Snow, Spanish. After the less than one hour show, audience members are invited to dance during interactive storytelling. Info:www.avoballet.org.
Breakfast with Santa is Dec. 14 at either 10:30 a.m. or 11:15 a.m. at Tyson Library, 325 W. Tyson St., Versailles. Children up to 10 must be accompanied by adults. Registration required by Dec. 2: 812-689-5894.
The Holiday Tour of Homes, presented by Main Street Brookville, is Dec. 14 from 2-5 p.m. Six historic homes may be toured after stopping at headquarters, The Hermitage, 650 E. Eighth St., Brookville. Tickets are $15 per person or $25 per couple in advance or $20 on event day. To purchase tickets: Blue Velvet, Cutting Edge, FCN Bank, Four Seasons Florist, George’s Floral, Wooden Apple and Welcome Center, Brookville.
Lee Murdock, who combines ragtime, Irish, blues and folk styles with a flair for storytelling in songs, will perform “The Story of the Christmas Ship” and other Yuletide tunes during a Batesville Memorial Public Library After Hours Concert Series show Dec. 14 from 7-9 p.m.
Christmas crafts, stories and snacks for ages 2-5 are Thursday, Dec. 19, at either 10:30 a.m. or 6 p.m. at Tyson Library, 325 W. Tyson St., Versailles. Registration required: 812-689-5894.
Third- through eighth-graders can make string art ornaments Dec. 19 from 4-4:45 p.m. at the Batesville Memorial Public Library. Registration is required: https://ebatesville.com/event or 812-934-4706.
Live animals and church and community members will gather for the 52nd New Point Christian Church Live Nativity Dec. 22-24 from 7-9 p.m. just off State Road 46 at 1815 S. County Road 800 E., Greensburg.
Decorations in varied themes, crèches, a large tree with nature ornaments, music by a chime choir and refreshments are part of the Sisters of St. Francis Convent Christmas tour Friday, Dec. 27, from 6-8 p.m.