Winter Break Option: Winterlights


Arguably the roughest weeks for teachers are the weeks between Thanksgiving break and winter break.  When the school bell rings on the last day before break, students have two weeks to spend at home with their parents.  For parents, the thought of having their children at home for two weeks might bring anxiety.  Yes, parents want to spend time with their kids, but when they are at school there is a nice schedule of activities for them to complete and topics to learn.  When children are at home, the responsibility of scheduling the day falls to parents. Throughout the next several weeks, I plan to highlight options, free and for a fee, parents can take advantage of during the winter break with their children.

Last Thursday, my husband and I took our boys to Newfields (formerly known as The Indianapolis Museum of Art) to stroll through Winterlights.  Winterlights is open from November 19, 2017-January 8, 2018 in the evening at five and seven.  Below, I have included some tips and highlights for this wonderful event.

Buy tickets online

It is best to purchase tickets online because they are cheaper than purchasing at the door.  Ticket prices online for children 6-17 are $12 and adults are $20.  Waiting until you arrive hikes the price $5 for both children and adults.  Children five and under are free.   If you are members of Newsfields, like we are, ticket prices online are $8 for children 6-17 and $15 for adults.

The other reason to purchase online is you can guarantee a spot on the day you would like to attend.  If you follow Newfields’ Facebook page, many times all tickets have been sold before the event begins that day.

Attend midweek at 5 p.m.

To avoid the crowds, it is best to attend midweek.  If you are attending midweek with children, the earlier 5 p.m. time is best.  Our boys are six and in first grade.  Although they may claim they are not sleepy late in the evening, their crankiness says otherwise.  Large crowds sometimes frustrate children and it may be hard to snap a photo on other days with so many people around.

The other benefit of attending at 5 p.m. is seeing the lights during daylight and viewing the lights as the sun goes down.  You won’t be able to view that contrast during the 7 p.m. show.  

Warm up in the Lilly House

Although there are wood burning warming stations throughout Winterlights, you can also warm up while touring the inside of the Lilly House.  A great place to take a photo is by the fireplace or on the staircase.  One of the Lilly House greeters was kind enough to take our photo.  My boys enjoyed me reading some of the signs to them inside of the house.  You can also purchase an item at the Lilly House Christmas Shop.


Snap a photo under the Kissing Arbor

The Kissing Arbor is another good place for a photo opportunity.  Our kids didn’t see the point of Mom and Dad stopping for a kiss, but they did also want a picture under the arbor because in their words, “It’s looks so cool.”


Enjoy a warm beverage or snack

Beside stopping inside the Lilly House or standing in front of a warming station, you could enjoy warm cider, cocoa or s’mores.  Adults can have their cider or cocoa spiked.  

Dance like nobody's watching

Out of the four of us in our family, three of us are introverts and my one son is a proud extrovert.  Our proud extrovert is known for randomly dancing in public.  He was overjoyed to see children and adults dancing to the music.  Even though I typically don’t dance in public, I may have swayed side to side.  In the words of my son JB, “Just dance and have fun.”

From our boys: 

JJ:  It was cool.  I liked how there were lights on the tree and the decorations went all the way down the tree.   The lights turned different colors.  Every time something happened with the song, some of the lights stayed on and some blinked off.  It was a fun time.

JB:  I liked the music and I liked how the colorful lights were moving and changing with the music.  I also liked the picture that showed how that one part of the Lilly house changed (over time).  There was this one picture I liked (in the Lilly House).  When you look at one side, there is one picture and on the other side, there is another picture.


If you are looking for an opportunity to spend quality time with your children during winter break, I highly recommend Winterlights.  FYI, Winterlights will be open Christmas, Christmas Eve, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. 

Check out my previously featured Winter Break Option:  Indiana Chinese Lantern Festival.