A warm fire in the hearth.  The soft glow of candlelight.

The scent of spiced cider and cookies baking.  The jolly laughter of friendly conversation.

Are they lyrics to a Christmas carol?  The scene on a greeting card? The set of a holiday movie?  No, no, and no.  It’s Spring Mill State Park one weekend a year.  While the event does run on Saturday afternoon, the real magic starts as the sun goes down on Friday and Saturday.

img_2877smimg_2874smFor two nights, December 4th and 5th, the village at Spring Mill comes alive with the sights, smells, and sounds of the Holidays.

Yule logs crackle and glow in the fireplaces.  The smell of baking goods waft along the evening air.  Luminarias light the pathways through the village.  Cookies, wassail, and the warmth of a fire bring folks together in the tavern.  Visitors can watch as village interpreters dip candles, bake cookies, string popcorn, and decorate trees as they did in Indiana in the mid-1800s.

img_2914smOther activities usually include decorating the mill tree, making ornaments, singing along with the carolers, and shopping for hand-made and old-time gifts in the mercantile.

Children of all ages will enjoy following the softly-lit path to the cabin where Father Christmas stays.  Little ones can whisper their desires into the “Old Elf’s” ear and munch on candy canes.

img_2892smOne visit is often all it takes for the event to become a family tradition to pass from generation to generation.

For more up to date information visit them on Facebook, call (812) 849-3534, or email springmillstatepark@dnr.IN.gov

Do to winding roads, the event may be cancelled because of inclement weather.  Call ahead or monitor their Facebook page.

Photos by Author

Alan Garbers
Alan James Garbers – Alan is passionate for the outdoors. He enjoys fishing, hunting, hiking, canoeing, photography, writing, woodworking, and more. He loves exploring the BWCAW in northern Minnesota, roaming the deserts of Arizona, or hiking the mountains of Colorado. He has lived in Minnesota, Hawaii, Mississippi, Florida, Colorado, Arizona, and Indiana. From hunting rattlesnakes to black bear and fishing for catfish to muskie, he loves it all. Since 1989 his writing credits have included Indiana Outdoor News, Indiana Game & Fish, Muzzle Blasts, Outdoor Guide Magazine, Fur-Fish-Game, Boundary Waters Journal, Boys’ Quest, Fun For Kidz, Mother Earth News, Cricket, Small Farm Today, American Careers, Arizona Hunter & Angler, Old West, and others. Fiction credits include StarTrek Strange New Worlds Anthologies IV, V, and 08. Alan recently complied an anthology of his popular column, Behind The Badge: True Stories of Indiana’s Conservation Officers. It is available in e-reader format and found at Amazon and other on-line book retailers. Alan is a member of AGLOW and HOW.

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