Holidays in Carmel

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A day spent in Carmel is all about creating new holiday memories and experiences. It’s especially important to get out in the fresh air and enjoy the holidays. We’ve created some unique experiences this year for you and your family and friends to enjoy.

Light up the City

With enhanced lighting features in the heart of the city and along the Monon Greenway the City of Carmel will introduce their annual tree lighting virtually this year. Designed to lift the spirits of the community the new “Light up the City” virtual event was developed after the COVID-19 pandemic prompted the need to adjust our holiday celebrations.

Watch the video on YouTube of the lighting, hosted by Carmel City Council member Jeff Worrell; music from Actors Theatre of Indiana and the Carmel Symphony Orchestra and of course Santa and his pals!

Carmel, Indiana tree lights

Serious shoppers and window browsers alike will find everything from cozy boutiques, bespoke menswear and custom jewelry to local artists’ creations and gifts for pets in your life.

Small Business Saturday
Shop Safe. Shop Small. Shop Local.

With recent surges in COVID-19, we recommend conducting your holiday shopping and dining with your local favorites, virtually. Reach out to your local businesses to find out about their pick-up and delivery options and be sure to follow them on social media for online events and specials throughout the holiday season.

Let’s work together to keep our merchants and community healthy.

Unique Holiday Shopping in Carmel

Arts & Design District
  For a listing of shops, restaurants and services in the Arts & Design District,

Carmel City Center
  For a listing of shops, restaurants and services at Carmel City Center,

Indiana Design Center
  For a listing of shops, restaurants and services at the Indiana Design Center,

Midtown Plaza
  For a listing of shops, restaurants and services in Midtown,

More seasonal and safe activities!

Magnificent Monon

A beautiful outdoor walkway of seasonal lights and decorations from Carter Green to Main Street along the Magnificent Monon Greenway through the heart of our city. As you stroll along the Monon, hop on and off the trail for carry-out at one of your favorite merchants in City Center, Midtown or the Arts & Design District.

Santa Letters

Kids and kids at heart, write your letter to Santa and drop it in one of four custom made mailboxes placed around Carmel for a direct delivery to Santa at the North Pole. Select letters will be chosen by Santa to read on the Holidays in Carmel Facebook page.

  • City Center – East of Hotel Carmichael (1 Carmichael Square)
  • Carter Green - in front of the Santa House
  • Midtown Plaza – Next to Sun King (351 Monon Boulevard)
  • Arts & Design District – In front of All Things Carmel (110 W. Main #104)

Santa and the North Pole Post Office requests the following information on your Santa letter:

Return Address
Email Address
Phone Number

Every Tuesday night in December (1st, 8th, 15th & 22nd) at 7 p.m. Santa will read a few letters from his mailbox!
Find the Virtual Santa Letter Reading on our Facebook to follow along!

Santa Tour 2020

Santa takes a journey around the City of Carmel on Sundays & Wednesdays touring neighborhoods in December until Christmas. Decorate your home along the route to show Santa your holiday spirit!

Please check the Santa Tracker for subsequent routes as Santa’s Tour will change direction the next time he comes through your neighborhood and may have slight route alterations on particular nights.

Each of the four routes will tour twice with one falling on a Sunday and the other on Wednesday.
Due to the overwhelming turnout, Santa is taking more time along the routes than originally anticipated, therefore, we are changing all Santa Tour times to 5 - 8 p.m. on both Wednesdays and Sundays.

Sundays from 5 - 8 p.m.

  • Nov 29, Comet’s Course – blue
  • Dec 6, Dasher’s Drive – green
  • Dec 13, Prancer’s Path – purple
  • Dec 20, Rudolph’s Route – red

Wednesdays from 5 - 8 p.m.

  • Dec 2, Prancer’s Path – purple
  • Dec 9, Rudolph’s Route – red
  • Dec 16, Comet’s Course – blue
  • Dec 23, Dasher’s Drive – green

Music & Theater

Get into the holiday spirit with entertainment from our partners in the arts community.

Carmel’s City Center, Midtown and the Arts & Design District continue to grow, opening a world of flavors and sites to explore. The city’s growing list of restaurants includes a variety of global selections and local favorites as well.

World of Flavors

If you happen to find yourself in the Arts & Design District at lunch time after a morning of shopping or walking on the Monon Greenway, there truly is a world of flavors on Main Street and beyond. As the city’s population continues to grow so does the variety of cultural backgrounds represented. In the warmer months, patios all around the city are buzzing as diners enjoy Asian, Egyptian, Thai, Korean and southern coastal fare to name just a few. The city is not without its many Mexican and Italian options as well; from handmade squid ink pasta at Convivio to the explosive molcajete served in hot lava at Verde, Carmel has so much to offer for those looking to expand their palate.

If you are looking for a warm start to a day of shopping, our Caffeine Trail features 20 gourmet choices for coffee and tea lovers.

Caffeine Trail

If you are looking for a warm start to your day, our Caffeine Trail features an array of shops and restaurants that will pour anything from a dark, in-house roast to a signature small batch cold brew made exactly the way you like it. The trail offers 20 gourmet choices for coffee and tea lovers.

Credit to Indie Coffee Roasters Carmel, Indiana

If it’s another type of brew that you enjoy, venture out on the Brews & Barrels Trail where you will find the city’s growing family of breweries, wineries and distilleries featuring carefully crafted cocktails to hearty pints and velvety wines.

Brews & Barrels

Whether it’s cold craft pints, a velvety Pinot Noir, a shot of white whiskey over ice or your first taste of beer on cask, you will enjoy Carmel’s Brews & Barrels Trail. Launched in September to celebrate the city’s growing family of breweries, wineries and distilleries, from Danny Boy and Deviate to Union Brewing and Fork + Ale, award-winning master brewers are ready to fill your mugs and growlers with a variety of styles and flavors. If you are more inclined to wine, Peace Water’s California grapes and Sugar Creek’s Indiana vines will please your palate. Hit the trail and experience more than a dozen stops from 96th Street to the Village of West Clay.

Sugar Creek Winery B&B Carmel, Indiana