Winter Wonderland: City offers variety of options for holiday season


Residents and visitors will soon find themselves in a winter wonderland in Noblesville with the return of Holidays at the Hill at Federal Hill Commons.

Holidays at the Hill, which began Nov. 19, offers the public an opportunity to enjoy a holiday walking lights tour, carriage rides and an ice-skating rink and has grown in popularity through the years, said Brandon Bennett, the city’s parks and recreation director. Bennett said between the skaters and the general public, an estimated 15,000 to 20,000 people visit Federal Hill Commons for Holidays at the Hill annually.

“The fact that it’s really in the heart of Noblesville is really cool and really unique, and even if you don’t get out of your car to look at it, it’s become a part of Noblesville’s character over the last four, five years,” he said. “It’s that kind of nostalgic feel and that’s what we’re going for. The mayor is pretty adamant that we try to create a Hallmark movie set down there, and that is unique about that particular attraction.”

Bennett also said the same can be said about “Lights Over Seminary” at Seminary Park, 350 S. 10th St. A lighting ceremony is set for 6 p.m. Dec. 2.

Bennett said the public can expect to see an assortment of lights this holiday season at Seminary Park, which was rebuilt and redesigned a few years ago, along with the addition of a 54-foot-tall tree featuring white lights.

“It’s meant to be a historic space, and it’s just a nice, quaint little space that you can just meander through down there and kind of forget a little bit that you’re right in the middle of the city,” he said. “It’s a nostalgic little place for a lot of people and we wanted to transform that space as we rebuilt it, and I think we did. And as the holidays come around, it gives us a chance to add to the ambiance down there.”

Bennett said his favorite part about the different holiday displays in Noblesville, ranging from Holidays at the Hill to those found at Seminary Park, is the common connections with lights that can be found at Federal Hill Commons, Seminary Park and downtown. He said it has “quickly become the character of Noblesville,” adding that he hopes to build upon that while highlighting downtown Noblesville’s historic charm.

“I just think it’s become a part of the character of the community and the expectation and that’s probably one of the coolest things to me,” he said.

Bennett encourages residents to enjoy different options that are available, such as ice skating and the walking tour at Federal Hill Commons or at Seminary Park. He added that people can also take the opportunity to support local businesses in downtown Noblesville.

“They’re a big piece of this. We don’t do it to just make it pretty, we do it because we want people out and about in our downtown supporting small businesses,” Bennett said. “They’re what makes our square so unique.”