Five Indiana Road Trips to Take During Winter Break

December 19, 2017
The kids are home from school. You’ve got vacation time to use before the end of the year. And you have relatives in for the holidays. How do you keep everyone from laying around the house and getting bored? Two words: road trip.
 
Indiana has many wonderful places to visit this time of year. Here are five spots to visit during winter break that will get everyone out of the house and create fun family outings.
 
Toboggan Run at Pokagon State Park – Nothing is more wintery than a sled ride. Located near Angola, Indiana in the northeastern corner of Indiana, Pokagon State Park is home to a quarter-mile-long toboggan track. Whether there is snow on the ground or not, it doesn’t matter. The track is refrigerated. It features a 30-foot tower and a 90-foot vertical drop over the length of the course for a 20- to 30-second thrill ride. The Toboggan Run is open November 24 through February 25.
 
Paoli Peaks – If your family is more adventurous, visit Indiana’s own alpine ski resort in Southern Indiana. The resort is built on a natural hill at an elevation of 900 feet and has a vertical drop of 300 feet. It has 17 trails for skiers, snowboarders and snowbladers and 10 lanes down its 700-foot-long tubing hill. A unique feature of Paoli Peaks is that they are one of the few ski resorts that have extensive nighttime skiing. They are open until 9 p.m. on weeknights and on weekends they often have “Midnight Madness” sessions that last until 3 a.m. Paoli Peaks is open mid-December to mid-March. While it does have snow making capabilities, it is dependent on weather conditions so make sure you check the snow conditions at Paoli Peaks before you hop in the car.
 
Veal’s Ice Tree – Located on Southeastern Avenue in Indianapolis, the ice tree has become a tradition for the Veal family and a seasonal attraction. Started in 1961, the ice tree is a towering ice sculpture created with nearby pond water, which is sprayed on a framework, colored and slowly built up over time. In an average year, it often grows 30 to 40 feet tall. The Veal family, now in its second generation of tree builders, waits until the forecast calls for five or more days of below 30-degree Fahrenheit temperatures before it begins growing the tree. Prime growing season for the tree is often in January. The tree is completely free to visit. To learn more about it, visit the Veal family’s website.
 
Christkindlmarkt – This German-style Christmas outdoor market is a new attraction this year in Carmel, Indiana, the northern suburb of Indianapolis, where our headquarters is located. Enjoy traditional German foods, shop for gifts, enjoy arts performances and ice skate at the rink in the center. The Christkindlmarkt is located outdoors in the Center Greene plaza between the Palladium and Booth Tarkington Civic Theatres and is open November 18 to December 24.
 
West Baden Springs Hotel and French Lick Resort – The holidays are the perfect time to check out or check into two of Indiana’s most historic hotels. From November 17 to January 7, the two hotels, just miles apart, celebrate their 50 Days of Lights. Come gaze at half a million holiday lights, then participate in some of the family-friendly activities scheduled throughout the holiday season. Your children can get their photos taken with Santa, decorate cookies and take part in a toymaker’s workshop. Schedule of activities at West Baden Springs Hotel and French Lick Resort.
 
If you plan to visit any of these destinations, please remember to drive safely this winter. Before you travel, read our winter safe driving tips, our winter-ready vehicle tips and learn how to assemble a winter vehicle emergency kit.
 
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