Holiday happenings in Carmel


City prepares to keep kids, families busy over Christmas break

By Mark Ambrogi

Carmel residents seeking things to do this holiday season have several options from the Monon Community Center and City of Carmel events. One of the highlights on the Monon schedule is the Family Boat Challenge set for 6 to 9 p.m. on Dec. 12 with the cost of $20 per family.

“We do a cardboard boat race,” said Lindsay Labas, marketing manager from Carmel Parks & Recreation. “That’s the biggest thing in the night that everyone gets to participate in. People get into groups and they will build their boat, using cardboard and duct tape. Then they race across the aquatics lap pool. It’s a fun event.”

There will be youth and family open gym from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. and 4 to 7 p.m. from Dec. 22 to Jan. 2. The cost for non-members is $6 for youth and $10 for adults.

There are several adaptive activities for those with disabilities.

“Our adaptive programs already have the accommodations built in,” Labas said. “We also have appropriate staff to participants ratio to help those with disabilities. We like to think we are one of the best providers for adaptive programs in Hamilton County. We have an array of programs available. We’ve categorized them differently in our guide. We’ve broken them down into age groups so you can find the one. They’ve been well-attended and we’ve decreased prices.”

There will be an Adaptive Fantastic Friday, for those 18 and up, from 6 to 8:30 p.m. on Dec. 12 with the cost of $20. There is then a free Adaptive Teen Night Out (ages 13-17) from 2 to 4 p.m. on Dec. 13.

“On Fantastic Friday they can swim and play games in the gym,” Labas said. “They play board games and they get pizza. The Teen Night Out is similar even to Fantastic Friday. Easter Seals Crossroads is the sponsor so it provides the parents with a gift package to use while the teens are attending that night.”

There is Adaptive Free Healthy Holiday Cooking for Tuesdays in December with the cost of $35.

“That one talks about the healthy alternatives you can have during the holidays and not always eating the sweets,” Labas said. “The individuals will learn to make easy and delicious holiday recipes that they can make for the holiday gathering.”

The Adaptive Holiday Crafts session will be held on Dec. 13 and cost is $19.

“That is something they can make from the heart that is special and homemade,” Labas said.

There will be an Adaptive Karaoke Night from 6 to 8 p.m. on Jan. 9 with a cost of $10.

Holiday events in Carmel

•From 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Dec. 13, the Holiday in the Arts District event will feature a unique Santa house, which will be decorated by district artists, carolers, elves and reindeers. The Christmas tree has new ornaments from artist Valentina Shvrykova.

•The second Saturday Gallery Walk will be from 5 to 9 p.m. on Dec. 13.

•The 6th Annual Gingerbread Scavenger Hunt in the Arts District will run from Dec. 13 to Dec. 22. More information is available on

•Santa’s Mailbox, sponsored by the ArtSplash Gallery, 111 W. Main St., Suite 140, will be run from Dec. 13 to Dec. 20. Each child who posts a letter so Santa will receive a personalized hand-written response from Santa.

•There will be Festive Friday events on Dec. 12 and 19 with Arts & Design District merchants offer special activities and sales.

•Santa Claus will be at the Hubbard & Cravens in Carmel City Center from noon to 2 p.m. on Dec. 13 and Dec. 20. Children will receive small gift bags while the supplies last.

Do you have any special plans for winter break?


“I’m helping with the Santa House at Clay Terrace with Mayor’s Youth Council. We mainly just hang out over holiday break. We just hang out with the family.”

Matt Klineman, Carmel High School senior


“Going to the Cayman Islands the day after Christmas to relax and get a break from this Indiana cold weather. We’ll do some snorkeling.”

Chris Allen, Carmel High School senior

Christian Peasley

“We usually go to Wisconsin and I like to go sledding there.”

Christian Peasley, Carmel Middle School seventh-grader

Tucker Davis

“We will probably be home for Christmas and then visit my mom’s family in Illinois. I’ll hang out with friends and play some basketball.”

Tucker Davis, Carmel High School senior


“We are going to spend time with our family and friends and go sledding.”

Quinn (left) and Sage Dooley (twins), Clay Middle School eighth-graders

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