---- — INDIANAPOLIS — Central Indiana’s largest one-stop Christmas shop—the Christmas Gift & Hobby Show— is coming to town Nov. 6-10 at the Indiana State Fairgrounds’ West Pavilion, 1202 E. 38th St., in Indianapolis.
“Forget about the crazy mobs you’ll run into after Thanksgiving,” said Donell Heberer Walton, executive director of HSI Show Productions. “We take the hassle out of the holiday and instead, provide a fun, convenient and affordable experience.”
“We want you to start checking off your lists early, and maybe think about buying some, unique, one-of-a-kind gifts for a change,” Heberer Walton said. “You know, things you can’t find in a mall.”
An anticipated 65,000 showgoers will find over 350 local and out-of-state exhibitors relating to art, music, hand-painted and personalized items, holiday and home décor, sports and collegiate memorabilia, books, jewelry, toys, apparel, designer-inspired accessories, fragrances, nostalgia collectibles, specialty food sampling and even wine tasting with Hoosier-based wineries.
Dr. Lori from Discovery channel’s hit TV show “Auction Kings” will return offering free antique appraisals (one per person, per session) during her Antiques Appraisal Comedy Show at noon, 3 and 6 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 6 through Friday, Nov. 8. on the Theater Stage. Photos of items are also welcome for collectibles too delicate or large in size to transport.
New features to highlight:
Merry Merchant Markdowns. Prior to the show, shoppers can preview show-only discounts and bonus offers via www.ChristmasGiftandHobbyShow.com, and print coupons for use at the show. It all varies; some exhibitors may offer $5 off a purchase, while others provide a buy-one-get-one-free deal.
Santa’s “Give Back” Program. Donation days encourage guests to bring a new children’s toy, bag of new socks, canned goods, canned pet food or cleaning supply, and gently used clothes to benefit local nonprofits on given days. In return, guests receive $3 off general admission (with no other combined offer). Log on the show’s website for more details on collection days and beneficiaries.
Gift-wrapping Contests. Visitors can register for daily contests at State Farm’s booth to test articulate wrapping skills for a chance to win $25 in Merry Money for use at the show. Stakes go up at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday, when the contest moves in front of the Theater Stage audience. The stage winner receives $50 in Merry Money.
Coat Check & Gift-wrap Station. Santa’s Elves of Indy, a volunteer group that provides gifts for underprivileged children, is organizing a free coat check for power shoppers, but will accept donations, too. They will also wrap presents purchased from the show for a minimal charge in the northeast corner of the pavilion. All proceeds benefit the charity.
Real Reindeer. One of St. Nick’s sleighmates, perhaps Dasher, Dancer, Prancer or Vixen, is landing at the show with Santa and an elf for greetings up close and personal Wednesday and Thursday, 5-7 p.m.; Friday, 4-6 p.m.; Saturday 1-3 p.m. and 4-6 p.m.; and Sunday 1-3 p.m.
“It’ll be a great photo op!” Heberer Walton said. “Families can snap their own Christmas card photo at the show!”
Local Literati. Area authors will sign and sell a variety of books based on pets, humor, romance, and even the Indianapolis Colts, all ideal for stocking stuffers.
Show hours are 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday.
Advance tickets are $10 and available at all Central Indiana Marsh, O’Malia and MainStreet Market locations. Discounted tickets are $8 with an active coupon code available on the show’s website.
Admission is $10 at the door for adults. Children 12 and under are free. Seniors age 65+ are $7 on Wednesday, Nov. 6 and Thursday, Nov. 7. Discount is not valid with any other offers. Veterans and active duty military are admitted free on Friday, Nov. 8 in honor of Veterans Day.
Parking is $5 in convenient, lighted Fairgrounds lots, with free shuttle service right to the West Pavilion doors.
For more information, call 317.576.9933 or 800.215.1700, or log on www.ChristmasGiftandHobbyShow.com.