Christmas on the Circle combines old and new

Carriage ride
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This marks the 50th year the Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument has been turned into the "world's largest Christmas tree" and a walk around Monument Circle makes one realize why the tradition has lasted so long.

There is a magical holiday feeling in the air.  The Circle this time of the year transforms into an event unto itself.  And the best part is that it's open 24-7, so coming downtown to soak it all in costs nothing.

An ideal time to visit the Circle is when it's dark. More than 5,000 lights are used to decorate not just the Monument, but the entire Circle.  The recent switch to LED lights makes the Circle incredibly bright.

The Circle is also one of the most photographed sites in the city, even more so during the holidays.

Aside from just walking around, the holidays are the perfect time to get some hot chocolate, go for a carriage ride and see the lights and decorations.

Returning visitors to the Circle may notice the addition of Rocket Fizz, a new candy store that features nostalgic candies and soda, as well as new, unique varieties.  The shop aims to provide an experience of bringing back memories and creating new ones.

"We may be that candy store that they're talking about 10, 15, 20 years down the road to their children and their friends and having their children talk about our candy store that they shared with their parents," said Kim Nething of Rocket Fizz.

If you're worried about all that sugar, they also carry a wide selection of sugar-free sodas and candies.

Another Circle tradition is sending a letter to Santa Claus, but you only have seven days left to do that. If you want a response, letters will be accepted until next Thursday, December 13th.