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Spread some holiday cheer! It’s Christmastime in the city

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Santa is almost here. We can sense his presents. (See what we did there?)

The world won’t be back to completely normal for Christmas 2021, but it could still look much better than 2020 thanks to vaccines. That’s good news for your family gatherings and holiday events that were either paused or made virtual last year.

It’s almost time for Kwanzaa, too: the annual celebration of African American culture that starts Dec. 26 and lasts until Jan. 1, 2022.

Here are some events to consider as you get into the holiday spirit.

Black Santas across the city
Looking for a Black Santa to visit? There are plenty of opportunities.

Santa Chris and Santa Antoine will be at the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis on the following days:
11 a.m.-2 p.m. Dec. 16
1:30-5 p.m. Dec. 18
1:30-5 p.m. Dec. 19
10 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Dec. 19
10 a.m.-5 p.m. Dec. 20

Santa Josiah will be at the Indiana State Museum on the following days:
10 a.m.-5 p.m. Dec. 16
9 a.m.-5 p.m. Dec. 18 (Santa’s Holiday Breakfast event with Mrs. Claus)
10 a.m.-5 p.m. Dec. 21
10 a.m.-5 p.m. Dec. 23
If you want a virtual option, mrkringle.com offers the chance to personalize a visit with Black Santa over Zoom. Visits start at $48.

Indianapolis Kwanzaa 2021

Join the Indianapolis Kwanzaa Committee each night of Kwanzaa for a virtual celebration on the committee’s Facebook page. The committee, which began in the late 1970s, will display the late poet Mari Evans’ kinara (the seven-branched candleholder used in Kwanzaa celebrations) at the Center for Black Literature and Culture at Central Library.
• When: 6 p.m. Dec. 26-Jan. 1, 2022
• Where: Indianapolis Kwanzaa Committee Facebook page

Holiday Soul Review Concert

Get in the holiday spirit with a concert featuring Rodney Stepp, Men in the Fire and Damon Karl.
• When: 8 p.m. Dec. 17
• Where: Madam Walker Legacy Center, 617 Indiana Ave.
• Cost: Tickets start at $10 at ticketmaster.com

Christmas at the Zoo

The zoo turns into a winter wonderland as the sun sets. Attractions include a fantasy forest for visitors to explore, a dancing lights display and Mistletoe Kisses Gazebo, where guests try to find hidden mistletoes. Visits with Santa continue through Dec. 23.

Fun fact: The Indianapolis Zoo was the first in the nation to host a holiday lights event in 1967, according to Visit Indy.
• When: 5-9 p.m. (or 10 p.m. some days) now through Dec. 30
• Where: Indianapolis Zoo, 1200 W. Washington St.
• Cost: Free for zoo members, otherwise included with regular admission

Winterlights at Newfields

The garden at Newfields will be lit — with more than 1.5 million lights. New attractions include Huckleberry Funk’s projection-mapped rock show and local artist Anila Agha’s sculpture that uses light and shadow to show concepts of communal space, belonging and exclusion.
• When: Times vary through Jan. 2
• Where: Newfields, 4000 N. Michigan Road
• Cost: $13-$25; children under 5 are free; advance tickets required

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