The Indiana Insider Blog

My Family is Thankful For West Baden Springs Hotel


While you may have to spend several months drooling over the possibility of Thanksgiving 2015 at West Baden Springs Hotel, there are many more delightful meals available there for other holidays (including Christmas Feast at Sinclair’s, New Year’s Eve festivities, and Easter Brunch– start planning your calendar accordingly).

But, whatís not to love about Thanksgiving?

West Baden Thanksgiving

West Baden Thanksgiving

Thereís family. Thereís turkey. Unless youíre a vegetarian, itís perfection.

As a Holiday World employee, I must say the Thanksgiving holiday is a bit complicated. For more than 100 days of the year, Thanksgiving doesn’t refer to a holiday, or a meal. Itís a section of the park you walk through. Itís where you can enjoy Thanksgiving dinner on any given day. Itís where, as of next year, youíll be able to ride two amazing roller coasters (The Voyage and our new steel coaster, Thunderbird).

So when Thanksgiving (the holiday) rolls around, I’ve already consumed about six Thanksgiving dinners in just as many months (okayórealistically itís probably more like 20, but letís be conservative here).

Apparently, the amount of times I can stuff my face with green beans then walk a few miles in 90-degree weather is finite. Even by the time the actual holiday comes and the weather has cooled, Iíve eaten my share of the Thanksgiving feasts (and Iím sure everyone else has too).

Frankly, the last thing my family wants to do each fourth Thursday in November is cook more of the same, as good as it is.

And so, in recent years, my family has started going to West Baden Springs Hotel for our Thanksgiving feast. My family has since developed a slight obsession with West Baden (my sister even got married there this yearóhowís that for ďslightĒ?).

Plymouth Rock Cafť at Holiday World is excellent and has a generous selectionóbut the menu for West Badenís Thanksgiving buffet is nothing short of stunning. You could fill a plate with just meatóthey have prime rib, ham, Cornish game hen, and, of course, turkey. They have more dessert options than Plymouth Rock Cafť has sides (and donít even get me started on West Badenís gourmet sides). Plus, they have a crab-stuffed troutówhich I definitely donít eat repeatedly throughout the year.

Beautiful, isn't it?

Beautiful, isn’t it?

The incredible food alone is worth the pilgrimage on Thanksgiving Day, however we have a few ulterior motives as well.

First, we donít have to cook and we donít have to wash dishes. The cooking part was especially important this year, as all of our ďA-TeamĒ cooks for our holiday dinners were visiting other family members (I would likely have been the default cook, and nobody wants to eat that mealóespecially not for a major holiday).

Second, eating there also allows us to dine with my momís cousins, who come from Indianapolis just for us (and Iím sure the excellent food) every year.

Waitóswitch the order of the ulterior motives. Iíll gladly cook and clean if I get to see Momís cousins.

Finally, dining at West Baden is an extraordinary experience. The atmosphere is welcoming. The dome is beautiful. The service is always incredibleóour waiters and waitresses are always friendly (and we like to think weíre pretty good judges of friendliness).

As our last plates are cleared, the sun sets and the dome lights up over the grand Christmas tree. Itís a magical way to transition into the Christmas season.

This is how I prefer to start the Christmas season.

This is how I prefer to start the Christmas season.

Oh, and did I mention thereís a chocolate fountain?†I should have just started with that.

The glorious chocolate fountain.

The glorious chocolate fountain.

I know this is a little early for next year, but itís never too soon to start planning: Happy Thanksgiving!

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Written by : Leah Koch is a member of the fourth generation of owners at Holiday World & Splashiní Safari, where she is currently serving as head of market research and Holiblog writer. A true Hoosier at heart, Leah grew up in Santa Claus and studied journalism at IU in Bloomington. As a result, she has two loves in life: roller coasters and IU Basketball.