The Indiana State Museum is planning a packed holiday season. The season begins the day after Thanksgiving with the opening of the Celebration Crossing exhibit (Open Nov. 23 - Dec. 31). Besides the excitement of a visit with Santa, Celebration Crossing features the nostalgia of the L.S. Ayres’ Christmas window display as well as more contemporary holiday fun. Visitors can ride the Santa Claus Express, visit with Santa and get their photo taken, and participate in holiday and winter themed activities on all levels of the museum.
The Indianapolis Children’s Choir will perform at 11 a.m. Nov. 23. Guests can then gather on the museum’s front lawn to watch Santa and Mrs. Claus’ arrival by helicopter. Once safely on the ground, they will greet the crowd and move to their home in Celebration Crossing. The day’s festivities include the unveiling of the 92 County ornament tree.
Families are invited to share a festive breakfast with Mrs. Claus, Raggedy Ann, Trumble the Train and other characters at Santa’s Holiday Breakfast Nov. 24 and 25, Dec. 1, 2, 9, 15, 16, 22 and 23. Saturday seatings are at 8:30, 9 and 9:30 a.m.; Sunday seatings are at 9, 9:30 and 10 a.m.
The experience includes a buffet meal, visit with Santa at his holiday home, participation in holiday activities throughout the galleries and a ride on the Santa Claus Express train in Celebration Crossing. The breakfast also includes gift bags for children and museum admission. Admission to the breakfast for non-members is $26.50 for adults and $16 for children; admission for members is $20 for adults, $12 for children and kids under 3 are free.
School and community choirs, bands, ensembles and soloists will perform holiday music Dec. 10-22 in the museum’s Governor Frank O’Bannon Great Hall. Performance times are 10:15, 11, 11:45 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and 12:30, 1:15, 2 and 2:45 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays.
Families can play games, make outdoor ornaments, sit by the fire and even purchase a s’more making kit during Outdoor Winter Weekends outside the museum on the White River State Park canal from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 15, 16, 22 and 23. The event is included with museum admission.
Other events include:
• “Trumble the Train Saves the Day!” is an engaging, interactive holiday musical for pre-school and elementary-age children and their families. The 20-minute musical follows the action in the mythical village of Celebration Crossing as Trumble the Train enlists the help of his friends — Riley the Mouse, Tulie the Tree and Ellsworth the Elf — in foiling the plot of the villainous Dickens Bildungsroman to take over the village and ruin the holiday season for everyone.
Original songs, lively dialogue and audience participation are all part of the fun. The shows are scheduled for 10:30 a.m. & 1 p.m. Dec. 1, 15 and 22. Admission is $2 for adults and $1 for children.
• Girl Scouts from across central Indiana are invited to come together at the Indiana State Museum for the 2012 Holiday Sing, scheduled for 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Dec. 8. Registration opens at 10 a.m. Girl Scouts are welcome to explore the galleries of the Indiana State Museum, meet Santa and Mrs. Claus and ride the Santa Claus Express. Program fee is $4 per person and includes all-day admission to the museum. Advanced tickets are required. To register or see full details of donation wish list items, visit the Girl Scouts of Central Indiana web site at www.girlscoutsindiana.org.