in partnership withLocal 12 News
Madison, Indiana’s Christmas event calendar runs early-November through mid-December. But if you want a can't-miss weekend, it's got to be December 1-3. There's a pancake breakfast, a parade, a Shakespeare-Dickens mashup, and a performance of Handel's "Messiah." Too good to pass up! / Image courtesy of the Madison Visitor's Bureau

Why Madison, Indiana Is The Perfect Place To Get In The Christmas Spirit

Cincinnati Refined presents 12 Days of Christmas: All holiday season, we’ll be featuring communities around Cincinnati and the awesome Christmas events that set them apart. Today our focus is


You might know this throwback Indiana river city from Phil's July photo tour. Otherwise, Madison is renowned for having the largest contiguous National Historic District in the United States. It’s reminiscent of Over-the-Rhine with its Italianate architecture and colorful buildings, though it retains the quintessential charm of small town Americana.

And soon, it’ll be lit up with Christmas spirit. That means a bonanza of Christmastime events, from a Christmas parade to a market of handmade goods to a performance of Handel’s “Messiah."

Searching for a gift? You can get that done in Madison too. It’s home to numerous locally owned and operated boutiques, so whatever you get, you can be assured it’ll be a unique treasure.

Madison’s Christmas event calendar runs early November to mid-December. But if you’re looking for a specific weekend to go, December 1-3 might be it. Here’s what’s on tap:

The Great Cookie Caper: Stop at the Madison Visitor Center on your way into town for homemade cookies, fudge, and other sweet treats. (4-7 p.m. on Dec. 1 and 1-7 p.m. on Dec. 2. For info call 800.559.2956.)

Nights before Christmas Candlelight Tour Of Homes: Tour five beautifully preserved private homes, four historic sites, the History Center, and three hospitality sites all decked out for the holidays in Madison’s Historic Landmark District. (5-9 p.m. on Dec. 1 and 3-9 p.m. on Dec. 2. For info call 800.559.2956.)

Pancake Breakfast With Santa: It’s breakfast with Mr. Claus himself, at the Old Market on Main Street. (8-10 a.m. on Dec. 2. No reservations needed. For info call 812.7015046.)

Very Merry Madison Christmas Parade: Join Madison in welcoming Santa and the season of giving with this wonderful Christmas parade. Head to Main Street for the best views. (11 a.m. - 12 p.m. on Dec. 2. For info call 812.265.8300.)

Scrooge Macbeth”: Bill Shakespeare meets Chaz Dickens in this stage-bound mashup, performed by the Madison Community Players. (7 p.m. on Dec. 1 and 2; 2:30 p.m. on Dec. 3. For info call 812.493.3357.)

Santa Express: Take a 30-minute train ride with Santa! The train departs from the intersection of Allen Road and Green Road. Tickets available for purchase at German American Bank on Clifty Drive. (9 a.m. - 4 p.m. on Dec. 2. For info call 812.273.4248, tickets sell fast!)

Madison Handmade Market: Head to the Little Golden Fox (a charming store in itself) to find 25 booths of handmade items from area artisans and crafts people. (10 a.m. - 4 p.m. on Dec. 2. For info call 812.599.0356.)

Handel’s “Messiah”: Take in this uplifting masterpiece at Hanover College. Featuring the Hanover College Choir, the Madison-Ohio Valley Community Chorus, and the Louisville Festival Orchestra. Directed by Dr. Madlen Batchvarova. (2 p.m. on Dec. 3. For info call 812.213.2652.)

- -

For a full list of Madison’s Christmastime events, visit the Madison Visitor’s Bureau here.