Merry & Bright
Popular Newfields Winterlights Event Returns Through January 5
Photography provided by Newfields
For the third year in a row, Newfields Winterlights will enchant Hoosiers from across the state. What started in 2017 as an effort to embrace both the art and nature of its campus has now morphed into a family tradition for Central Indiana residents.
Winterlights is a Winter Wonderland of 1.5 million lights strung throughout the Newfields Campus. Lights are woven throughout the Snowflake Bridge, Frosted Forest and other illuminated displays throughout the campus. Lights dance to music on the Lilly House lawn and special glasses transform the lights into shimmering snowflakes.
Although most crowd favorites have returned for this family tradition, there are still new features and surprises to make your visit merry and bright.
“In 2017, Newfields did a significant rebrand to name the entire campus,” says Emily Sogard, communications coordinator at Newfields. “So, we are no longer the Indianapolis Museum of Art. However, we have an entire campus worth of venues. We have the art museum, we have the garden, we have the Lilly House, the Fairbanks Art and Nature Park, and we also have Miller House.”
Sogard says that some residents and visitors didn’t know that Newfields had all of those features. So, when it rebranded in 2017, it had a mission to embrace its entire campus.
“We rebranded to an encompassing campus name called Newfields,” she says. “When we did that, we really wanted to embrace both the art and the nature that we have on our campus and one of the ways to do that was Winterlights. This is our third year and it’s going great. It’s really become a favorite holiday tradition in Indianapolis.”
In addition to its lights, Newfields sells hot apple cider, hot chocolate, and s’mores over a fire pit. Sun King Brewing also offers an exclusive beer during Winterlights that you can only get at Newfields — Electric Reindeer. It’s a brown ale with ginger and molasses.
For its grand finale, Newfields ends its light display with a whirling blizzard of light.
“People really loved it — a whirling blizzard of light,” Sogard says. “We’re excited to be able to offer people’s favorite things again.”
In addition to Winterlights, Newfields hopes to have four major seasonal events in and around the museum and campus. Sogard says its goal is to “speak to a population that may not have come to the museum in the past.”
For guests hoping to have a smooth experience at Newfields, Sogard suggests buying your tickets in advance. Newfields Winterlights often sells out. Additionally, she suggests going earlier in the evening.
“Our last ticket slot is available at 8 p.m.,” Sogard says. “We’re open until 9 p.m., so that would give people about an hour to go through. However, the fact that you’re going to watch longer than that, I’d say get your tickets earlier. Winter and getting chilly, it’s about as long as people will stay.
“My biggest advice would be to buy your tickets online ahead of time because we do sell out and the worst thing is getting everybody all together in the car and showing up, only to find out that you’ll have to come back another night.,” she adds.
Sogard also suggests that guests try everything they can — try all the food there is and all of the light necklaces.
“Winterlights is kind of a choose your own adventure,” she says. “You can make it your own.”
Winterlights is presented by Bank of America and is hosted at Newfields, which is located at 4000 N Michigan Rd in Indianapolis. Winterlights runs now through Jan. 5. Tickets are available at discovernewfields.org, and it’s highly encouraged to purchase your tickets in advance.