Indiana is one of the treasures of the Midwest with thriving cities, motor speedways, and historic monuments. This state offers year-round attractions for families, and during the Christmas season, it becomes a prominent vacation destination that exudes holiday spirit. Join the carolers in the town squares, wave to Santa riding by at a Christmas parade, and see fireworks from your Indiana vacation rental. Stay in the heart of the city when visiting Indianapolis, or enjoy the quiet, quaint streets of Richmond. Celebrate Christmas all year long in the aptly named city of Santa Claus, or head south to join in on the Evansville festivities. When choosing where to spend Christmas this year, consider these seven getaways representing the best of Indiana.

1. Santa Claus

It’s impossible not to get into the Christmas spirit when vacationing in Santa Claus, Indiana. This Christmas-themed town is home to the Holiday World amusement park that boasts a light display during the winter months. Although Christmas is celebrated all year long in this Indiana town, you and the family can embrace the season with a trip to the Land of Lights display or shop in the Santa Claus Village that features specialty shops with ornaments, holiday crafts, and gifts. Visit the Santa Claus Lodge, too, for a home-cooked meal before retreating back to your Indiana vacation rental for the evening.

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2. Evansville

See Santa stroll by in a horse-drawn carriage when attending the annual Christmas parade in Evansville. This popular vacation destination during the Christmas season hosts colorful light shows in December and carriage rides with Santa on the weekends. Spend a relaxing day in your Southern Indiana vacation rental and then take a candlelight tour through the Reitz Home Museum that features 18 rooms decorated just for the holidays. Visit Santa’s Workshop with the kids in the SIAM building during the city’s winter carnival or take in the Candy Cane Express show at the Victory Theater to hear some classic Christmas medleys.

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3. Carmel

Listen to the carolers performing around the town square Christmas tree when spending your holidays in Carmel. This quaint Indiana city with multiple light displays throughout the city streets is home to spacious vacation rental homes and cabins. Get in the Christmas spirit with a ride on the Holiday Trolley and tour the streets to see the decorated homes in the residential areas.

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4. Madison

Bundle up for a snowy view of Madison, Indiana, while watching Santa float by at the city’s annual Christmas parade. Carolers stroll through the streets each night amid the light displays that flood the downtown area. Stop in one of the locally-owned cafes and shops for some hot cocoa and the perfect gift for your celebration held at your vacation rental. You can also take part in Madison’s annual Nights Before Christmas Candlelight Tour of Homes to see the elaborate decorations donned by the locals.

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5. Indianapolis

Indianapolis embraces the Christmas season with multiple festivals and events held throughout December. This vacation destination is home to the Festival of Trees at the Indiana History Center and Christmas at the Lilly House at the Indianapolis Museum of Art. Tour the greenery, holiday wreaths, and trees chalked full of decorative ornaments throughout the city before taking the kids to the Jolly Days Winter Wonderland at the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis. This wonderland, decked out with festive decor, features a sock-skating rink for the little ones and indoor ice fishing. Stop in for breakfast with Santa and a ride down the two-story slide before retreating to your vacation rental for the evening.

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6. Fort Wayne

Kick off your holiday visit to Fort Wayne with a tour of the downtown area, featuring the Night of Lights display, complete with Santa, his reindeer, wreaths, and ornaments. The city also hosts the Festival of Gingerbread in the town square where you can view the creative gingerbread houses made by local and national artists while attempting to make your own. Visit Santa at the Santa’s Workshop in Fort Wayne to grab a photo during your visit or walk through the Festival of Trees light display to see the colorful lights and exhibits. Fort Wayne also hosts the Ringing of the Bells in the evenings where the local churches simultaneously ring their church bells. The city also hosts the Parkview Field Fireworks for an exciting burst of color.

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7. Richmond

If you’re seeking an old-fashioned Christmas experience, then Richmond, Indiana, is the perfect choice for your vacation destination. The annual Old-Fashioned Christmas Festival in the Historic Richmond Depot District offers something for everyone in your family with face-painting stations for the kids, carolers for the adults, and horse-drawn carriage and wagon rides for all. Head to the Winter Wonderland indoor area at the Richmond Furniture Gallery to see the Christmas Express train as well as the Fantasyland Train Display and Christmas murals. Visit with Santa, too, while attending this holiday-themed festival near your vacation rental.

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