Christmas will be here before we know it. Are you looking to take a break from the hustle and bustle of the holiday season? Want to do something fun with the family to celebrate the season? The region has myriad family-friendly options to enjoy the holidays. Check out these events!

 

The Elf Express at Bellaboo's
Dec. 2, 2016; 5:30pm to 8pm
Bellaboo's Play and Discovery Center, 2800 Colorado St., Lake Station
Let Bellaboo's put the stripes on your stockings, points on your ears and toes and cherry on your cheeks and nose! Start the season off with a ring-a-ding-ding at this fun and festive Holiday Fling. Just in time to get all the necessary "to-do's" checked off your list while having a Jolly Good Time. Tickets required. Visit mybellaboos.com to learn more.

 

Holly Days
Dec. 2, 2016; 5pm to 8pm
Central Park Plaza, Valparaiso
See a live nativity display around the Courthouse Square, as well as strolling carolers, ice carving, free train rides and more! Be sure to visit local downtown businesses. Visit valparaisoevents.com for more information.

 

Light Up the Park
Dec. 2, 2016; 6pm to 8pm
Festival Park, 111 E. Old Ridge Rd., Hobart
Celebrate the holiday season with live entertainment, carriage rides, and a visit with Santa as the City of Hobart lights up Festival Park!

 

"A Major Event" and Holiday Market
Dec. 3, 2016
Indiana Welcome Center, 7770 Corinne Dr., Hammond
Join in on "A Major Event", the first event of the season during the annual "A Christmas Story" Comes Home exhibit. Expect lots of fun including a train ride, bingo, scavenger hunt, letters to Santa and cookie decorating. This year will also include a pop-up market, which will feature artisan vendors from around the Region. For more information, visit AChristmasStoryComesHome.com.

 

Hammond Holiday Parade
Dec. 3, 2106; 10am
Kicking off at 10 a.m., this fun holiday parade begins at Gavit High School and runs north on Indianapolis Boulevard, ending at 169th Street.

 

"The Story of the Nutcracker"
Through Dec. 17, 2016
Theatre at the Center, 1040 Ridge Rd., Munster
The traditional holiday tale about a young girl’s very favorite Christmas! A magical Nutcracker comes to life, defeats the Mouse King and the Prince whisks her away to his kingdom. Their journey takes them through enchanted lands where they encounter all sorts of delightful characters. A holiday treat for the entire family! Visit TheatreAtTheCenter.com for more information.

 

"Annie Warbucks"
Through Dec. 18, 2016
Theatre at the Center, 1040 Ridge Rd., Munster
All the ingredients that made ANNIE so successful return in its sequel, Annie Warbucks; with an added old-fashioned romance thrown in for good measure! Visit TheatreAtTheCenter.com for more information.

 

Taltree's Holiday Express
Saturdays, Dec. 3-17, 2016; 10:30am to 12pm
Taltree Arboretum & Gardens, 450 W 100 N, Valparaiso
Get into the holiday spirit with Christmas classic story time, visits with Santa and his elves, refreshments and the Taltree Railway Garden Trains. For more information, visit taltree.org.

 

Experience the Season in Whiting
Through Jan. 8, 2017
Downtown Whiting
Experience the enchantment of the season and embrace family tradition in the City of Whiting. Enjoy the 2016 holiday events featuring twinkling light displays reflecting off the lakefront, live reindeer prancing through downtown, holiday concerts, and the magic of Whiting’s annual Illuminated Christmas Parade. Visit whitingindiana.com for more information.

 

Winter Lights Night
Through Dec. 31, 2016; 5pm to 9pm daily
Sunset Hill Farm, 775 Meridian Rd., Valparaiso
The light displays are unique to the park, and many of them were custom-made by members of the Sunset Hill Farm's maintenance staff. Some of the displays include a rollercoaster that is more than 20 feet tall, a farm scene consisting of various pieces, and Santa taking off into the air with his reindeer.

 

Candy Cane Express
Saturdays and Sundays, Dec. 3-11, 2016; 12pm to 5pm
Hesston Steam Museum, 1201 E. 1000 N., LaPorte
Saturdays and Sundays, take a ride on the Candy Cane Express and visit Santa in his railroad Caboose. Donate a new, unwrapped toy and receive one free train ride! You can also save 15% on all merchandise in The Depot Store. Learn more here.

 

"LeAnn Rimes Christmas Show"
Dec. 6, 2016; 7:30pm
Star Plaza Theatre, 8001 Delaware Pl, Merrillville
LeAnn Rimes is one of the most successful entertainers with a career spanning more than two decades. With forty-four million albums sold, two GRAMMY Awards, three Academy of Country Music Awards and 12 Billboard Music Awards, she has made her mark in the world of music. Unstoppable from the age of 11, LeAnn was the youngest person to ever win a Grammy Award and was the first country artist to win the Grammy Best New Artist. Click here for more information.

 

Northwest Indiana Symphony's Holiday Pops
Dec. 8, 2016; 7:30pm
Star Plaza Theatre, 8001 Delaware Pl., Merrillville
The spirit of the Holidays comes alive at this festive concert. With a combination of traditional favorites and new sounds, the orchestra and chorus will celebrate the season. Sing along to beloved carols and keep an eye out for visitors from the North Pole. Guest vocalist Sian Davies, Crown Point High School Chorale and Plum Grove Strings will perform. With over 3,000 people last year, get your tickets early for this South Shore tradition. Purchase your tickets here.

 

"A Fabulous 50's Christmas"
Dec. 9-11, 15-18, 2016
Towle Theater, 5205 Hohman Ave., Hammond
The annual holiday production is designed to capture the spirit of Christmas in the manner of the Perry Como and Andy Williams TV specials of the 1950s. Showtimes are Fridays at 8 p.m., Saturdays at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m., and Sundays at 2 p.m. Tickets cost $19 each. Purchase your tickets here.

 

"Oh Fuuudge!" Relay Race
Dec. 10, 2016; 10am
Indiana Welcome Center, 7770 Corinne Dr., Hammond
Teams of one parent and one child will compete to see who can change a tire and maneuver through an obstacle course the quickest. There are two age categories to enter, with the category being based on the age of the child: ages 4 to 7 or 8 to 12. For more information, visit AChristmasStoryComesHome.com.

 

Hobart Holiday Market 
Dec. 11, 2016; 9am to 3pm
Police/Court Complex, 705 E. 4th Street, Hobart
Shop more than 90 vendors bringing unique gift ideas to the City of Hobart's residents and visitors.

 

Gary Civic Symphony's Christmas Dinner Concert 
Dec. 12, 2016; 6pm
Genesis Convention Center, 5th and Broadway, Gary
Featured are popular holiday musical favorites, excerpts from Handel's "Messiah", local soloists, an audience Christmas carol "Sing Along", a delicious dinner, door prizes and more. Purchase tickets here.

 

"The Nutcracker"
Wednesday and Thursday, Dec. 14 and 15, 2016; 7pm
Star Plaza Theatre, 8001 Delaware Pl., Merrillville
Indiana Ballet Theatre brings this cherished holiday tale to life with music, dance and spectacular costumes. For more information, visit lbtnw.org.

 

Holiday Farm Frenzy
Dec. 17, 2016; 9am to 3pm
Fair Oaks Farms Cafe, 856 N. 600 E., Fair Oaks
Join Fair Oaks Farms as they celebrate their third annual Holiday Farm Frenzy. They are packing the Dairy Adventure, Pig Adventure, & Crop Adventure with lots of winter fun, kids activities, celebrity ice sculpting, beautiful music and wonderful light displays! Find out more here.

 

Mommy's Little Piggy 
Mashed potato eating contest
Dec. 17, 2016; 10am
Indiana Welcome Center, 7770 Corinne Dr., Hammond
Participants in the contest will compete against one another, with empty plates of mashed potatoes as the goal. There are four age groups: 4-7, 8-12, 13-17 and 18+. For the age groups 4-7, 8-12 and 13-17, participants will race to see who can finish one plate of mashed potatoes in the quickest amount of time. The winner of the 18+ category will be determined by who can eat the most plates of mashed potatoes within the 3-minute time limit. For more information, visit AChristmasStoryComesHome.com.

 

"The Oak Ridge Boys Christmas Show"
Dec. 18, 2016
Star Plaza Theatre, 8001 Delaware Pl, Merrillville
The legendary Oak Ridge Boys have enjoyed a career spanning more than four decades, highlighted by countless CMA, ACM, Grammy and Dove awards, to name just a handful. With numerous gold and platinum albums, the OAKS have a string of classic favorites, including "Bobbie Sue," "American Made," and their signature, "Elvira.” Click here for more information.

 

"A Christmas Story" Comes Home
Through Dec. 31, 2016
Indiana Welcome Center, 7770 Corinne Dr., Hammond
View the six animatronic window displays from Macy's Department Store in New York City featuring scenes from the holiday classic "A Christmas Story," enjoy kids' crafts, and visits with Santa and showings of "A Christmas Story" on select days. For more information, visit AChristmasStoryComesHome.com.

 

For information on other holiday happenings, be sure to visit our calendar of events at southshorecva.com/events. Did we miss something? Let us know in the comments below!