Happy holidays: Conner Prairie launches new Reynolds lights attraction, Winter Wonderland returns


Fishers residents will have plenty of opportunities to enjoy the winter holidays.

Conner Prairie recently opened its newest attraction, A Merry Prairie Holiday, and the City of Fishers will present its annual tree-lighting ceremony, Winter Wonderland, Dec. 7.

A Merry Prairie Holiday debuted Nov. 29 and runs through Dec. 31. It is a new festival that features a majority of the 400 Reynolds Christmas light structures previous displayed at Reynolds Farm Equipment, 12501 Reynolds Dr.

In previous years, motorists drove around a loop to see the Reynolds lights. With the lights donated to Conner Prairie, Senior Manager of Programs Mark Whelage said families can get a closer look at the dazzling display.

“People will be able to walk and look at them versus driving in their cars. They’ll be able to get a lot closer to the experience than they have in the past,” Whelage said. “It’s just amazing how beautiful it looks at night.”

Most of the Reynolds display is on the lawn where the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra performs during the summer. Other parts of Conner Prairie will be open and offer holiday festivities as well. Those areas include Kringle’s Carousel, Blitzen’s Bandstand, the North Pole Village, Merry Marketplace, Winter Wonderland Wagon Ride and Holidays Past.

Local choirs, soloists, dance troupes and other artists will perform at Blitzen’s Bandstand.

“There are a lot of people coming through and performing there,” Whelage said.

A midway with reindeer games will be offered in the North Pole Village, where Mrs. Claus will tell stories in a cabin and accept for Santa. There also is a workshop in the North Pole Village, where visitors can pay to build a gift, which elves will wrap.

In the Holidays Past area, guests will experience Christmas from years past.

“Many features of Conner Prairie by Candlelight will be there,” Whelage said. “People can get a glimpse into what Christmas would have been like during the Civil War.”

A wagon ride will take visitors through the southern end of the property to view Christmas lights in the woods.

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The popular Reynolds Farm Equipment lights are now on display at Conner Prairie.

Conner Prairie’s gift store will be open during A Merry Prairie Holiday, which runs from 6 to 9 p.m. Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. It also will be open Dec. 31 and will conclude with a fireworks show at 9:30 p.m.

Admission is $8 advance for members and $16 advance for guests, or $10 at the gate for members and $20 at the gate for guests. Admission includes all festivities except for food and beverage purchases and purchases at the workshop in the North Pole Village and the Merry Marketplace.

Outside of Conner Prairie, the City of Fishers will present its annual tree-lighting ceremony from 4 to 7 p.m. Dec. 7 at the Nickel Plate District Amphitheater, 6 Municipal Dr.

“We have a variety of activities for kids and families to do,” Parks Director Sarah Sandquist said. “There will be craft tents, another tent with games, ice carving, carriage rides, live reindeer, an inflatable snow globe for photo opportunities and another snow globe for bouncing opportunities.”

Food and beverages will be available for purchase. Santa will be in the City Hall auditorium reading stories, but there will be no photo opportunities with him. The tree will be lit at 6 p.m.

“There will be carriage rides going through the whole event on a short route to take people through,” Sandquist said. “Fishers Arts Council is doing an exhibition inside City Hall and will have eight to 10 artists doing demonstrations of their art.”

The candy cane hunt will return for the second time. Trees will be set up outdoors, adorned with candy canes. Hunts are conducted every 20 minutes throughout the event. A sensory room will be open for children who are sensitive to overstimulation. A jazz trio will perform live Christmas music.

“We just want people to have fun,” Sandquist said.

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The popular Reynolds Farm Equipment lights are now on display at Conner Prairie.

Attend a holiday event in Fishers

What: A Merry Prairie Holiday

When: 6 to 9 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday through Dec. 31

Where: Conner Prairie, 13400 Allisonville Rd.

Cost: $8 in advance for members, $16 in advance for guests/$10 at the gate for members, $20 at the gate for guests.

For more: connerprairie.org


What: Winter Wonderland

When: 4 to 7 p.m. Dec. 7

Where: Nickel Plate District Amphitheater, 6 Municipal Dr.

Cost: Free

For more: playfishers.com