Winterlights at Newfields

This 152-acre cultural campus in Indianapolis, Indiana, transforms into a holiday destination brimming with twinkling lights and seasonal charm. 

Illuminated trees, garden and mansion at Winterlights at Newfields in Indianapolis, Indiana (photo courtesy of Newfields)

Winterlights transforms the 152-acre Newfields cultural campus in Indianapolis into a holiday destination brimming with twinkling lights and seasonal charm that welcomes visitors from Thanksgiving through the New Year.

Several months of work go into installing the 1.5 million individual bulbs that make up the various displays, with volunteers wrapping strings of lights around trees and draping them across outdoor structures throughout the grounds to create the stunning results. Discussions on how to make each year’s event bigger and better than the previous one begin soon after the exhibit shuts down for the season, and so does the tall order of disassembly.

The visitor experience begins with entry through The Garden. Winterlights winds around and exits through the Indianapolis Museum of Art, the cornerstone building of Newfields. Visitors first pass by a collection of local vendors selling themed snacks and refreshments created specifically for the event. Throughout the evening, hot chocolate, s’mores and adult beverages are available at warming stations positioned along the outdoor path for an extra dose of holiday cheer.

Once across the Snowflake Bridge, visitors gravitate toward the Landscape of Light, a blanket of pulsing bulbs synchronized to music that graces the spacious lawn in front of the historic Lilly House. Step inside the home to admire the Christmas trees and clever decorations made using recycled materials. Pucker up at the Kissing Arbor for a sweet selfie and take a stroll through the blue-lit Ice Storm Walk tunnel. Before heading home, don’t forget to purchase a poinsettia at the Newfields greenhouse.

Reservations for timed entry slots are required and tend to book up fast, so plan to reserve your desired time as early as possible. 4000 N. Michigan Rd., Indianapolis, Indiana 46208, 317/923-1331,

Story: Amy Lynch
Issue: Fall/Winter 2023