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We want to take you behind the scenes, to give you insider information you won't find anywhere else. This is where we pull Bloomington's hip happenings together with recommendations from our team, first-hand accounts from project producers, and guest blogs by local gurus.  The Backstage Blog helps you stay in front of it all.

Monday, October 25, 2021

Holiday Happenings in Bloomington

Categories: Indiana University, General, Family Fun, Events, Festivals

Looking for all things holly & jolly in Bloomington this holiday season? We've rounded up every holiday-themed event, from the merry & bright to Krampus night.

Canopy of Lights Santa

Smithville Holiday Bazaar

Date: Saturday, November 6
Time: 8:00 am-3:00 pm
Location: Old Smithville School
Admission: Free

Enjoy a holiday bazaar featuring handmade items, baked goods, arts & crafts, and more.

Bloomington Handmade Market — Holiday Affair

Date: Saturday, November 13 & Sunday, November 14
Time: 10:00 am-4:00 pm
Location: Monroe County Convention Center
Admission: Free

Browse handmade items from over 60 artists at the Bloomington Handmade Market! 

Christmas Fair

Date: Saturday, November 13
Time: 2:00-6:00 pm
Location: Monroe County Fairgrounds
Admission: Free

Enjoy crafts, fair food, live music, and an appearance from Santa at the Christmas Fair!

Harvest Market

Date: Friday, November 19 & Saturday, November 20
Time: 4:00-8:00 pm Friday; 10:00 am-4:00 pm Saturday
Location: Whippoorwill Hill
Admission: $5.00 per person

Enjoy the annual Harvest Market, comprised of artisanal, boutique, and farmers' goods!

Unitarian Universalist Church Holiday Art Fair & Bazaar

Date: Friday, November 19 through Monday, November 29
Time: All day
Location: Virtual
Admission: Free

Peruse a variety of holiday-themed fine art products, including a book sale, a cafe & gourmet goodies sale, and a white elephant selection, at the virtual Unitarian Universalist Church Holiday Art Fair & Bazaar.

Monroe Lake Holiday Hiking Challenge

Date: Thursday, November 25 through Sunday, November 28
Time: 7:00am-7:00 pm
Location: Monroe Lake
Admission: $7.00 per vehicle with an Indiana license plate; $9.00 per vehicle with an out-of-state license plate

Escape the stress of the holidays by hiking Monroe Lake's trails and completing fun challenges while doing it!

Monroe County History Center Holiday Open House

Date: Friday, November 26
Time: 5:00-8:00 pm
Location: Monroe County History Center
Admission: Free

Visit the Monroe County History Center before or after the Canopy of Lights — enjoy a holiday exhibit, games, and crafts with family & friends!

Bloomington Symphony Orchestra Presents: Celebrate the Season

Date: Friday, November 26
Time: 5:30 pm
Location: Buskirk-Chumley Theater
Admission: Free

Join the Bloomington Symphony Orchestra before or after the Canopy of Lights for a magical, memorable holiday program featuring seasonal favorites, an audience sing-along, special guests, and so much more! 

Canopy of Lights

Date: Friday, November 26
Time: 6:00 pm
Location: Monroe County Courthouse Square
Admission: Free

Experience one of Bloomington's most magical traditions as Santa flips the switch to transform the downtown area into a sparkling, winter wonderland, displaying thousands of lights on and around the Monroe County Courthouse Square.

Bloomington Holiday Market

Date: Saturday, November 27
Time: 9:00am-1:00 pm
Location: Showers Building & Plaza, City Hall
Admission: Free

Enjoy the 19th annual Bloomington Holiday Market featuring 50 farm vendors, food & beverage artisans, and local/regional artists.

A Miracle on 34th Street

Date: Saturday, November 27
Time: 7:00 pm
Location: Buskirk-Chumley Theater
Admission: $8.00 per ticket

Enjoy a screening of the holiday classic, A Miracle on 34th Street, at the Buskirk-Chumley Theater.

Light Up the Night

Date: Wednesday, December 1
Time: 7:00 pm
Location: Indiana Memorial Union Biddle Hotel & Conference Center
Admission: Free

Celebrate the holiday season at the annual lighting of the IMU’s iconic outdoor candles that are affixed to the building’s east and west towers! 

The Nutcracker

Date: Thursday, December 2 through Sunday, December 5
Time: Various times — see the schedule here
Location: Musical Arts Center
Admission: $21.00-$42.00 per ticket

Enjoy the magical story of Clara, performed by the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music.

Photos with Santa at College Mall

Date: Friday, December 3 through Friday, December 24
Time: 11:00 am-8:00 pm
Location: College Mall
Admission: $19.99-$49.99, depending on the selected photo package 

Get your photo taken with Santa Claus at College Mall!

Stinesville Christmas Bazaar

Date: Saturday, December 4
Time: 10:00 am-6:00 pm
Location: Old Stinesville School
Admission: Free

Browse Stinesville's holiday bazaar while enjoying live music and visiting with Santa!

Sensory-Friendly Photos with Santa

Date: Saturday, December 4
Time: 12:00-4:00 pm
Location: Allison-Jukebox Community Center
Admission: Free

Children with sensory needs meet and take photos with Santa, with no accompanying hustle, bustle, lines, or crowds! Please bring your own camera and register online here.

Chimes of Christmas

Date: Saturday, December 4
Time: 2:00 pm & 7:30 pm
Location: IU Auditorium
Admission: $13.00-$32.00 per ticket

Celebrate the holiday season with the Grammy-nominated Singing Hoosiers when they return to IU Auditorium for the jolliest family-friendly event of the year, Chimes of Christmas.

Krampus Rampage & Bazaar

Date: Saturday, December 4
Time: 5:00 pm
Location: Downtown Bloomington
Admission: Free

The Krampus Rampage & Bazaar will return to Bloomington for its tenth and final time for an evening of unforgettable screams and delight.

Bloomington Chamber Singers Present Britton St. Nicolas

Date: Sunday, December 5
Time: 3:00-5:00 pm
Location: St. Mark's United Methodist Church
Admission: TBA

Enjoy a musical depiction of St. Nicolas' life, faith, miracles, and enduring legacy.

Christmas with the Celts

Date: Sunday, December 5
Time: 3:30 pm
Location: Buskirk-Chumley Theater
Admission: $40.00-$60.00 per ticket

Christmas with The Celts isn't just a concert; it's a celebration of the holiday spirit, people, community, and common connections. The Celts mix lively traditional Irish music and instrumentation with American pop music and their own originals, playing lively renditions of popular contemporary Christmas classics.

Holiday Sip & Shop

Date: Sunday, December 5
Time: 4:00-7:00 pm
Location: Various downtown Bloomington stores
Admission: Free

Attend the Holiday Sip & Shop for an evening of local holiday shopping and drinking!

Another Round Winter Show

Date: Friday, December 10
Time: 8:00 pm
Location: Buskirk-Chumley Theater
Admission: $5.00-$10.00 per ticket

Enjoy a charming holiday a cappella performance by Bloomington's local a cappella group, Another Round.

Winter Lights, December Nights

Date: Friday, December 10 & Saturday, December 11
Time: 5:00-8:00 pm Friday; 4:00-8:00 pm Saturday
Location: Switchyard Park
Admission: Free

Revel in the sights and sounds of the season with a stroll through Switchyard Park, marveling at the thousands of lights that bring the park to life during the holidays.

Santa on Sale Street

Date: Saturday, December 11
Time: 9:30 am-12:00 pm
Location: Ellettsville Branch Library
Admission: Free

Visit with Santa and enjoy crafts, snacks, and activities for the whole family at the Ellettsville Branch Library!

Reindeer Reserve

Date: Saturday, December 11 & Sunday, December 12
Time: 12:00-3:00 pm
Location: WonderLab Museum
Admission: $5.00 per member, $6.00 per non-member

Meet real, live reindeer from Silly Safaris at WonderLab's WonderGarden during Reindeer Reserve.

Skate with Santa

Date: Saturday, December 11
Time: 1:30-3:00 pm
Location: Frank Southern Ice Arena
Admission: $6.00 per person (plus a $3.00 skate rental, if applicable)

Skate to holiday music, take a photo with Santa, and enjoy refreshments during Frank Southern's Skate with Santa. Wear your ugliest holiday sweater for a chance to win prizes!

Jacobs School of Music Holiday Celebration

Date: Saturday, December 11
Time: 7:30 pm
Location: Musical Arts Center
Admission: $5.00-$25.00 per ticket

Enjoy seasonal favorites, both new and old, performed by the IU Jacobs School of Music during their annual holiday celebration.

An Acoustic Holiday Show with Carrie Newcomer and Over the Rhine

Date: Saturday, December 11
Time: 8:00 pm
Location: Buskirk-Chumley Theater
Admission: $35.00-$45.00 per ticket

Enjoy a mix of holiday and non-holiday tunes from Carrie Newcomer and Over the Rhine during their annual acoustic holiday show.

The Sound of Music Quote-Along

Date: Sunday, December 12
Time: 1:00 pm
Location: IU Cinema
Admission: $4.00 per ticket

Enjoy an interactive screening of The Sound of Music at the IU Cinema.

Cirque Dreams Holidaze

Date: Tuesday, December 14
Time: 7:30-9:30 pm
Location: IU Auditorium
Admission: $29.50-$105.50 per ticket

Cirque Dreams Holidaze wraps a whimsical, Broadway-style musical with contemporary circus artistry into the ultimate holiday gift for the entire family!

Mat Alano-Martin's Comedy Attic Holiday Carousel

Date: Friday, December 17 through Saturday, December 18
Time: 7:00 & 9:15 pm on Friday, 7:00 pm on Saturday
Location: The Comedy Attic
Admission: $10.00-$13.00 per ticket

Enjoy a seasonally-inspired night of comedy, games, music, and more with Mat Alano-Martin, co-founder of the Limestone Comedy Festival.

Straight No Chaser Holiday Concert

Date: Friday, December 17
Time: 8:00-10:00 pm
Location: IU Auditorium
Admission: $33.00-$72.00 per ticket

A cappella sensation Straight No Chaser is coming home to IU Auditorium once again, bringing with them a live show packed with pop hits, holiday favorites, and plenty of laughs along the way.

A Year with Frog and Toad

Date: Tuesday, December 21 through Sunday, January 2
Time: Various times — see the schedule here
Location: Buskirk-Chumley Theater
Admission: Play What You Will

Celebrate the holidays with a performance of the heartwarming A Year with Frog and Toad.

Looking for New Year's Eve events in Bloomington? Check out this blog.



Alyssa Davis

Alyssa Davis

Alyssa is the Digital Content Coordinator at Visit Bloomington. She's also a proud Indiana University alumna, Millennial cat lady, and Formula 1 enthusiast.