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Indianapolis Christmas Carnival opens Friday

Indianapolis Christmas Carnival opens Thursday

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Baby, it may be cold outside, but holiday fun returns to Waterman’s Family Fun for the season this Friday.

The Indianapolis Christmas Carnival brings classic rides, food, and photo opportunities for all ages to the city’s south side.

Displays include 16 light trees and multiple pixel arches throughout the grounds.

Event producer Brett Hays says it takes about a month to get everything built and set up.

“We build off-season elsewhere,” Hays said. “We start the day after Halloween.”

However, Hays says the experience goes beyond the rides and lights. Visitors can also walk through the Christmas funhouse for some holiday scares.

There are also plenty of opportunities to take pictures with Santa, the Grinch, and other winter-themed favorites. 

“Since COVID families go out together more,” Hays said. “Before COVID, a lot of times the teenagers would go out and they’d get dropped off and do their thing, and mom and dad would do their thing. Now we find that you’ll have a mom, dad, and maybe a six-year-old and maybe a 14-year-old that come out together. So we always try to make sure that we have something for all ages here.”

Some of the rides include one of the largest snow tube slides in the Midwest, spinning pumpkins, and even a virtual reality ride on Santa’s Sleigh.

“I love the experience,” Hays said. “You don’t get that at a lot of the drive-through light shows or things. I feel like that’s what sets us apart.”

The carnival opens on Friday and runs from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Tickets start at $20, with discounts available for packs of four and 10. Admission starts at $20, with discounts when you buy four or 10 tickets at a time.

Indianapolis Christmas Carnival Dates & Hours:

  • Dec. 1 – Dec. 3: 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.
  • Dec. 8 – Dec. 11: 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.
  • Dec. 15 – Dec. 24: 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.