Finest Indianapolis Christmas specials for foodies in 2019

The best time of year to drink hot chocolate is during the holiday season.  Pack a thermos with the delicious drink for a sip at holiday events such as the Carmel Christmas Market.

Explanations and corrections: In an earlier version of this story, the Christmas date and time were incorrectly given in the kitchen. The event will take place on December 5th from 6.30pm to 10pm

Warm cups in hand and bellies full of good things are the best ways to celebrate the holiday season. So are champagne flutes and large casseroles full of lobster mac and cheese. You may prefer a spiked hot chocolate while looking at the Christmas lights. The Indianapolis area is full of delicious Christmas dinners. These are my favorites.

Miracles in the south

November 29th to December 28th, CityWay Gallery, 216 E. South St., 317-624-8276,

It has something to do with a spicy cocktail that makes the season so bright. This pop-up bar, opened in New York City, is all about cozy warmth. Loungy seating and fun Christmas decorations like a bum shaking, dancing Santa Claus are Insta-worthy. Sip gingerbread flips with bourbon spikes and a snowball that’s old-fashioned with butterscotch rye. The festive drinks menu has a lot of spicy heat. Retro nibbles can include classic cheese balls with crackers, mini meatballs, and a chocolate-covered snack mix.

Christmas in the kitchen

6:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. December 5, Hyatt Regency Indianapolis, 1 S. Capitol Ave., $ 150 to $ 200 per person, 317-913-9474,

Join the chefs in the kitchen for an extravaganza that will blow your mind. The dress is cocktail formal, the food is unlimited and in the past there has been lobster mac and cheese, half-shell oysters and gingerbread houses. The proceeds will go to the Indiana Children’s Wish Fund, which provides wishes to children ages 3-18 who suffer from life-threatening diseases.

Dickens dinner

6:00 p.m., December 13, Tina’s Traditional Tea Room, 30 N. Rangeline Road, Carmel, $ 53, 317-565-9716,

Readings from Charles Dickens’ classic “A Christmas Carol” are accompanied by a multi-course menu inspired by the story. Dishes include pea soup, roast beef with sherry sauce and Yorkshire pudding, and warm mince pies for dessert.

Carmel Christmas Market

Wednesday and Thursday from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m., Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 12 p.m. to 9 p.m., November 16 to December 24, 10 Center Green, Carmel, free admission, 317-559-6608,

Apple strudel, hot sausages, schnitzel with sauerkraut, gingerbread, warm apple cider and melting raclette cheese carved onto slices of bread by the wheel are just some of the offerings at this old-fashioned European market centered around a large ice rink.

S’mores, cocoa and Christmas lights

November 17-21, November 23 to January 5, including Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Years Eve, and New Years, Newfields, 4000 Michigan Road, $ 20- $ 25, 317-923-1331,

Winter lights are more than a giant twinkling display of 1.5 million lights. It’s a chance to do s’mores over a fire pit and drink hot chocolate. There are plenty of other sips and nibbles too.

Sip hot chocolate with spikes and do s'mores as you roam Winterlights in Newfields, Indianapolis.

Champagne tasting

7 p.m. December 4th and 5th, Glossbrenner Mansion, 3202 N. Meridian St., $ 60, 317-255-8030,

Elizabeth Morse used to host a champagne tasting when she owned the Corner Wine Bar in Broad Ripple. The place has closed but the champagne tasting is returning in a new location. The bubbles are served in two-person flights with lots of heavy appetizers in between, and beverage pros talk about each wine served. Expect around 10 different champagnes. Also, learn how to drool over a bottle of champagne. The Glossbrenner mansion will be decorated with Christmas decorations and there will be plenty of seating and parking.

12 Christmas chefs

2 p.m. to 5 p.m. Dec. 14, Indy City Market, 222 E. Market St., $ 35-65, 317-634-9266,

The city market’s food and beer fundraiser includes a dozen Indy chefs, each preparing a dish that goes with a beer from one of 12 breweries. This year’s attendees include Taxman Brewing, Central State Brewing, Rize Chef Natalie Wall, Executive Chef at Txuleta Basque Cider House, Ryan Smith, Milktooth co-founder Ashley Brooks, and Three Carrots vegan Chef Ian Phillips . You must be at least 21 years old to participate.

Indy VegFest winter market

Noon to 4 p.m. December 8, Biltwell Event Center, 950 S. White River Parkway West Drive, free entry,

Get vegan groceries for your vacation at this huge market, where around 50 vendors sell chocolates, cheese, cakes, cookies and more. Providers accept cards or cash.

Christmas on the farm

December 7th and 8th, Traders Point Creamery, 9101 Moore Road, Zionsville, $ 20 (food and drink extra), 317-733-1700

Visit Santa Claus, sing Christmas carols, go on a sleigh ride, then sip eggnog or hot chocolate and enjoy a festive menu at the Jingle Bell Cafe in the barn. You need to buy tickets in advance.

Follow IndyStar food writer Liz Biro on Twitter: @lizbiro, Instagram: @lizbiro and on Facebook. Call them at 317-444-6264.