Christmas at the Zoo is a favorite holiday activity in Indianapolis

The Indianapolis Zoo was the first zoo in the country to decorate during the Christmas season with a holiday lights event. That groundbreaking idea was first accomplished in 1967. Now in its 49th year, Christmas at the Zoo has become a “must do” activity in Indianapolis during December.

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One of the Amur tigers. We saw this magnificent animal before the sun set.

The zoo is open on specific days for the holiday festivities. Refer to the Christmas at the Zoo website for dates and times. It is best if you plan to get to the zoo early in the afternoon while it is still light. This gives you a chance to visit those animals that are hardy and active during December, as well as the indoor displayed critters. Two Dolphin Presentations are offered each evening.

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New this year is the marvelous “Tunnel of Lights”

As dusk approaches and the sun sets the zoo magically turns into a winter wonderland. Thousands and thousands of LED lights begin to shine as the zoo darkens after sunset. Officially starting at 5:00 PM, the Christmas at the Zoo activities offer a variety of things to see and do.

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Plants and animals in lights

New this year is Santa’s Village. This delightful wonderland brings the chance to meet Mrs. Claus in her kitchen and decorate a Christmas cookie. Enjoy the Snowflakery mirror maze, see reindeer and grab a hot drink at the Peppermint Twist beverage hut. And of course you can visit with Santa himself in Santa’s Study. Seeing Santa is free and photo packages are available.

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A very colorful peacock!

This year the zoo has added thousands of additional lights. There are animals, plants and Christmas decorations made out of lights scattered all through the zoo grounds. Be sure to walk through the new “Tunnel of Lights” in the Bicentennial Pavilion. Also of note is the transformation of the Kroger Splash Park into the All-A-Glow Light Show. Watch the lights blink to the Christmas music!

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It seemed like this brown bear was posing for our camera

Check your December calendar and the weather and plan a trip to Christmas at the Zoo, 2017 version. This is a unique opportunity to not only visit with Santa, but to enjoy a beautiful holiday light show and see zoo animals too! Here is the Christmas at the Zoo website.

 

 

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A Dino Christmas at the Children’s Museum

The dinosaurs at the Indianapolis Children’s Museum are decked out in their Christmas regalia this year. Stop by and wish them a Merry Christmas!

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Even the dinosaurs are celebrating the holidays at the Indianapolis Children’s Museum

The Indianapolis Children’s Museum is not only the world’s largest but it presents the finest Christmas celebration with a marvelous series of holiday activities sure to please the child in everyone.

Make sure that you visit the Children’s Museum website for all of the details including times open and a list of the activities. There are ticket plans available that will save your family a lot of cash.

 

Indy’s Beef & Boards final Christmas variety show

Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre is presenting for the 25th and final year the beloved A Beef & Boards Christmas variety show running now through December 23rd. Once again the immensely popular Indianapolis dinner theater presents for its audience a lively and spirited production that is guaranteed to bring you and yours into the Christmas spirit.

Both acts of the show feature favorite numbers.  Ron Morgan, director and choreographer and artistic director Eddie Curry have put together a vibrant and enthusiastic treat of both sight and sound. The choreography is superb, the music awesome, and the costuming is breathtaking.

Rocking Around The Christmas Tree

“Rocking around the Christmas Tree” with Kenny and Renée, center, flanked by the B&B Quartet

Doug Stark’s version of Santa frankly steals the show whenever he is on stage. He is the owner of Beef & Boards, and is having way too much fun during the B&B Christmas show. His Santa will bring a smile to your face as well as make you laugh out loud to rim shot worthy humor. Santa also greets children for selfies at intermission!

Santa and dancers

Santa and dancers

Renée Jackson, fresh from her starring role in the B&B show Ghost, The Musical, is the featured singer. Kenny Shepard has been in the past 24 productions and hosts this years show. The B&B Quartet is comprised of past favorites Kyle Durbin, Betsy Norton, and Peter Scharbroug as well as Marisa Rivera who starred in West Side Story.

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The Chipmunks (Alvin still wants a hula-hoop)

Once again the B&B orchestra showcases the range of the talent shared by this remarkable group of musicians. Conductor Kristy Templet and her collegues both accompany the singers but also perform several instrumental numbers throughout the production.

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You’re a mean one, Mr. Grinch

The easiest way to tell you about the 2017 version of A Beef and Boards Christmas would be to simply state “Don’t miss your chance to see this fabulous Christmas variety show”. I’ll ad the great singing, dancing, and music. Also, you for sure want to see Alvin, Simon and Theodore and of course Rudolph flying across the stage. (Yes, he really flies!) And don’t forget that mean ‘ol Grinch. Oh, and Chef Odell’s holiday buffet is one of, if not the best he has ever put together.Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Now for the details: for reservations, call the Beef & Boards box office at 317.872.9664 anytime between 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays. For complete show schedule and other pertinent information, visit the B&B website.

 

The Comedy Barn in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee

Steve Curry on guitar with Katie Anne in background

Steve Curry on guitar with Katie Anne in background

Want an evening of good clean family fun? Well go no further than the Comedy Barn in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. This show has been running for decades and for good reason. Not only is the comedy literally side-spitting, but the music, singing and dancing are also top quality.

The best way to describe this fun filled event is to tag it a comedy variety show. The musicians are top notch. The band includes Steve Curry, Clyde Foley Cummins, Ron Jeffrey and Buddy Cline. They provide music for the acts and also perform some classic bluegrass numbers.

The comedy segments will have you howling  with laughter and nearly in tears. Look out for Danny Devaney. What he does with ping pong balls, a plexiglass sheet and audience members is a sight to behold. Danny comes out on stage a second time and once again blows you away when he drags four guys up on stage and uses them with four five gallon buckets. You have to see it to believe it.

Harry Edenburn as "Harley Worthit"

Harry Edenburn as “Harley Worthit”

Ventriloquist Steve Knowles with help from the crowd

Ventriloquist Steve Knowles with help from the crowd

“Harley Worthit” (get it?) is the character stage name of veteran comedian Harry Edenburn. “Harley” brings a unique brand of comedy to the Comedy Barn. One liners follow one liner so fast you can hardly recover from your laughing to hear the next joke. When he performs his second set his costume is, ah, unique. Think striped tights, leopard skin mini skirt, flowered shower cap and white underwear for a shirt. Yep, it is quite a visual. His second act is as funny as his costume.

Venriloquist Steve Knowels will amaze you with his skill at throwing his voice. He stands center stage without the typical dummy on his hip. He throws his voice all over the auditorium and you’ll laugh your head off. Steve’s second act features his famous talking dog. Get ready: this is a real live dog that works with Steve. Oh, Steve also brings a couple of guys up to be his dummies. See the picture.

Rounding out the cast are two spirited dancers. Katie Waltman and Katie Anne Smith really know how to clog/tap. Their energy is amazing and wow can they dance! These two beauties add a spark of excitement whenever they are on stage.

The Comedy Barn should be on your list of must see shows in Pigeon Forge. Take the whole family for an energetic laugh filled night out on the town. Go straight to the Comedy Barn website for all showtimes, ticket information and directions.

Grand Patriotic Finale

Grand Patriotic Finale

Danny in rare form

Danny in rare form

Katie and Katie-Anne with Danny on stilts