Best places to see Christmas lights in central Indiana

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Calvin Cottrell’s house lights from way back in 2013.

Ella Hudson, Staff writer

When you think of Christmas, one of the things that you are sure to think of are Christmas lights. How they twinkle in the snow, the different bright colors that they can come in, and how spectacular they look wrapped around a Christmas tree. Not only do these lights vary in color, but they also vary in how they are used. They can be wrapped around your house, illuminate your house from the inside, or flash colors to the beat of music. Another way they can be used, however, is with a Christmas light show. 

In Indiana most individual cities have their very own light show, but in places like Delphi, we have to travel to a different city to go see them. Some places cost money to see their lights, yet others merely just ask for a donation and for you to enjoy yourself. Most of them are drive-through only shows, but some places have a cool indoor walk-through light show. Among the best places to see outdoor light shows (not in any order) are Newfields,  Calvin Cottrell’s home in Rossville, the Indianapolis Zoo, Conner Prairie, Frankfort TPA park, Marion’s Matter park, and, new to the Christmas light show this year, Fair Oaks Farms. 

Newfields, the Indy Zoo, and Conner Prairie all cost money to walk through, but the money is well spent. They have all different kinds of lights and just seeing them gets you into the Christmas spirit. Fair Oaks Farms also costs to get into, and their light show, named “Forest of Lights,”  is a walk through light show. It goes along their nature trail and has lots of different stops along the way with activities that the whole family can participate in like skating. Up next is Calvin Cottrell’s light show at his house. Now I know that this one sounds unusual, but the lights are definitely a must see that my family goes to every year. Basically his entire yard and house gets covered in lights, some donated and some bought, to bring the town one of the brightest light shows it has ever seen. Mr. Cottrell has been doing this light show since 1977, and his collection of lights has only grown since then. 

Next up we have the Frankfort TPA park and Marion’s Materpark. All of these places ask for a donation at the end of the show, but they also usually give you a candy cane at the end if you do. The TPA park’s Festival of Lights spans throughout the entire park and around their mini zoo. They are also connected with a radio station that plays Christmas music for your drive. After that you have Marion’s Matter park which also asks for donations. The park spans 101 acres and features more than 2.5 million lights that are said to brighten the night sky from up to two miles away. I don’t know whether or not that counts as a light show or light pollution at that point, but they are still really cool to see. 

In all, light shows vary almost as much as the lights themselves can. For me, I could see all of the light shows that Indiana has to offer and I would still want to see more. Every single one is different in their very own different way and spreads cheer with every person that sees them. If you want to experience this joy for yourself this season, please visit one of the places mentioned above. Since everyone is different, go to the one that you feel would be best for you and your family this Christmas. Merry Christmas!!