Central Indiana has many winter activities to offer


Kyle Crawford



Skiing and Sledding

Indiana isn’t exactly known for being a winter wonderland, but in case of a snowfall like the “Snowpocalypse of 2011,” there are various winter activities available. Northview Church offers a natural cross-country skiing course. For Westsiders, West Park near 116th Street and Towne Road provides 16 acres of open green space as well as an enormous sledding hill. For those who are willing to travel a little farther, Perfect North Slopes in Lawrenceburg (about an hour and a half away from Carmel) as well as Paoli Peaks in southern Indiana (a two-hour drive)  offer skiing, snowboarding, sledding, tubing and other activities.

Ice Skating

In the event that there is no snow, students can also visit one of the numerous indoor ice skating rinks that can make the season feel more like winter. The Carmel Ice Skadium and the Arctic Zone Iceplex in Westfield both offer public skating times with skate rentals as well as hockey lessons and games.

Downtown Excursions


If it’s too chilly for you to be out and about, you can sip hot chocolate while you shop for candy indoors at the Simply Sweet Shoppe (below left) in downtown Carmel. At Starbucks, “Red Cups”—the store’s specialty Christmas drinks—will return. Previous years’ seasonal favorites have included peppermint mocha and gingerbread lattes.

The Indy Winter Farmers Market in downtown Indianapolis is also open during the winter and runs on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to noon. There, you can buy fresh fruits and veggies as well as carpentry (like cool furniture) from local vendors.

If you’re looking a little closer to home, The Carmel City Center Winter Market also runs on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to noon with several vendors selling baked goods, herbs, meat, honey, wine and more.

Let It Snow

According to the Arts & Design District and the Carmel City Center, there are many events planned for this winter.

  • Younger siblings might enjoy the Christmas-themed events happening in and around downtown Carmel.
  • Elves, live reindeer and Santa Claus will all visit the Arts & Design District for the IU Health North Hospital Holiday in the Arts District on Dec. 14 from 3 to 6 p.m. They will offer free carriage rides as well as face painting, balloon animals, cookie decorating and live entertainment from local choirs.
  • From Dec. 14 to 23, the fifth annual IU Health North Hospital Gingerbread Scavenger Hunt will begin at TeaBuds and end at the Simply Sweet Shoppe. Participants who complete the hunt can enter a raffle to win a basket of gingerbread baked goods.
  • Santa will make a special appearance at Hubbard & Cravens on the plaza of Carmel City Center  on Dec. 21 from noon to 4 p.m.