Unbelievably, the Indiana Historical Society’s Festival of Trees in downtown Indy gets bigger and better every year. This year is no exception! With close to 100 beautifully decorated trees and a variety of activities for kids and adults, it’s easy to see why Festival of Trees is a tradition that everyone can enjoy. 

The Trees and Competition

Organizations and businesses sponsor and decorate these completely over-the-top trees as a competitive fundraiser for the nonprofit historical society. Past competitors have included upside down trees and trees made out of wine bottles. When you enter the building, you’ll be given a ballot to vote on your three favorites. Our family enjoys debating which trees should win our votes.   

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The Activities

As if walking in a winter wonderland isn’t enough fun, there are many other activities to keep the whole family occupied:

  • Hunt for Hoosier Buddy, the society’s Elf on the Shelf. If you find him, tell the front desk where he is (don’t touch him!), and you’ll receive a small prize. 
  • Visit the living exhibits within the museum to learn about Indiana’s fascinating history.
  • Sing Christmas carols in the Cole Porter Room. The player piano is a real treat! 
  • On Saturdays, participate in special crafts and activities. 
  • Rumor has it that Santa loves to check out the trees as well, so look for him on the weekends. He may even stop to read you a story! 
  • Check out the list of special programs and offerings throughout the season that will make your date night or family outing even more special.
  • Keep your eye out for 10 Wihnachtzgurke (pickle ornaments) hidden in trees.
  • Try on the pink bunny suits and Ralphie glasses and pose for Instagrammable pics in the A Christmas Story area of the lobby (use #FOTIndy on Insta). 

The easy location, extended hours, and affordable price (children under 5 and teachers with ID are free) make this attraction special for Hoosiers and visitors alike. Don’t miss it!