Christmas in Brown County

by Chrissy Alspaugh

It’s the most wonderful time of the year in Brown County. The shops are aglow with twinkle lights, visitors rekindle childhood memories while sampling hand-made treats, and Santa might be just around any corner.

Here are some of the holiday festivities not to miss:

Tree Lighting Ceremony
Begins at 6 p.m. Nov. 25 at the Brown County History Center.

“Believe, A Brown County Christmas”
This live holiday show at the Brown County Playhouse will feature Christmas songs, along with Broadway classics, and some comedy. Show times are at 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays. Show dates are Nov. 25–27 and Dec. 2–4, 9–11 and 16–18. Tickets cost $20.50 general admission or $18.50 for seniors, students, and active or veteran military. Children 10 and under are free. Beer, wine, and holiday drinks for sale. Tickets are available at <>.

Holiday at the Farm
Take a lighted wagon ride to Shireman Homestead’s holiday village or visit Santa, the holiday treat house and the holiday workshop. Have letters ready for Santa’s mailbox and receive a letter back.
Holiday hours are 5 to 7 p.m. Nov. 26–27 and Dec. 3, 4, 10, 11, 17, and 18.

Children’s Christmas Benefit Auction
This auction ensures that children in need have a new clothing item for Christmas. The auction will begin at 6 p.m. Dec. 2 at Out of the Ordinary.

Santa Train
The Indiana Rail Road Company will present the Santa Train in Helmsburg on Dec. 2, arriving around 8:30 p.m.

Breakfast with Santa
Enjoy the Brown County Inn’s hearty breakfast buffet, while the kids visit good ol’ Saint Nick. Also available will be drawings for gifts, a hot chocolate bar, and more. Breakfasts are from 8:30 to 11 a.m. Dec. 3 and 4 at the Brown County Inn.

Holiday Lights Parade

Holiday Lights Parade and Toy Drive
The Christmas Light Parade offers a variety of unique and brightly lighted floats traveling through the Village of Nashville. Hot chocolate and cookies will be provided along the parade route. The parade will begin at 6 p.m. Dec. 3 in downtown Nashville.

Stuff a Stocking
Children are invited to follow a map to more than 25 local Brown County merchants to gather treats, ornaments, toys and more to stuff their stocking. The event, which runs from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Dec. 3 in downtown Nashville, is sponsored by the Brown County Community Foundation. Included in the event, the movie “Polar Express” will begin at 1 p.m. at the Brown County Playhouse. Movie tickets are $6 general admission and $5 for seniors, students, and active or veteran military.

Steele’s Country Christmas
Step back in time to the early 1920s, when artist T.C. Steele’s family celebrated the holidays at the House of the Singing Winds. Visit with St. Nick and Belsnickel, and enjoy a live concert of Christmas songs. The event is planned from 1 to 4 p.m. Dec. 4 at the T.C. Steele State Historic Site.

Creekside Holiday Open House
Ride the Nashville Express Holiday Train, visit Santa and the Grinch, decorate cookies, enjoy s’mores over fire pits, and enjoy tasty refreshments. Creekside Retreat has partnered with Brown County Weekend Backpacks program and the Brown County Schools to collect food donations at the event. Attendees are asked to donate nonperishable food items. The event is from 5 to 7 p.m. Dec. 9 at Creekside Retreat.

Christmas Music Sing-Along
Come sing along to your favorite holiday tunes beginning at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 10 at the Brown County Inn.

Christmas Bird Count
Attendees will canvas Brown County State Park’s natural areas, trails, lakes, and shores to estimate the numbers and kinds of birds spending their holidays in Brown County. Attendees should meet at the park’s nature center and are encouraged to bring binoculars. The count will begin at 8 a.m. Dec. 17.

Santa’s Zip & Sip
Santa will be at eXplore Brown County to zip with holiday adventurers. Santa zips will take place during regular business hours on Dec. 1-5, 7-12, 14-19 and 21-23.

Santa Visits

Additional Santa Visits and Free Train Rides
Bring your camera and take advantage of free picture opportunities with Santa. Don’t forget to take a free ride on the Nashville Express Tour Train. Some Santa locations and train ride times are to be announced. Times are subject to change:
Nov. 25–Noon to 5 p.m., Santa at the Visitors Center patio and free train rides.
Nov. 26–Noon to 5 p.m., Santa and free train rides.
Dec. 2–Free train rides.
Dec. 3–Noon to 5 p.m., Santa and free train rides.
Dec. 4–Free train rides.
Dec. 10–Noon to 5 p.m. Santa.
Dec. 17–Noon to 2 p.m., Santa at Bear Hardware.

New Year’s Eve Bash
The British holiday classic film “Love Actually,” to be shown at 7 p.m. at Brown County Playhouse with adult beverages for sale, is part of a New Year’s Eve package in Nashville. Beginning at 9 p.m., participants can cross the street to Out of the Ordinary restaurant for an appetizer buffet, midnight toast, and cash bar. The Indianapolis Jazz Orchestra with guest vocalists will entertain. Tickets for the restaurant event cost $52.50 per person and are available at <>.