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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.

Friday, October 18, 2019

Tis the Season! Holiday Events in Bloomington

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

The holidays are indeed holly and jolly, but in Bloomington, they are anything but ordinary. As the temperatures fall (maybe some snow too), get into the spirit with holiday events, unique shopping, and plenty of delicious treats to share with your loved ones, big and small. 

Christmas Tree

Annual MCHC Holiday Sale: October 29 - January 1 | Monroe County History Center | 10:00 am - 4:00 pm
Find your new favorite decoration or the perfect gift for that special someone.

Artisan Guilds of Bloomington Holiday Show: November 1- November 2 | Monroe Convention Center | Times Vary
Over 70 artists from Bloomington’s favorite guilds, Local Clay Potters’ Guild, Bloomington Spinners & Weavers Guild, and Indiana Glass Guild unite for three shows under one roof.

Smithville Holiday Bazaar: November 2 | Old Smithville School | 8:00 am - 3:00 pm
You'll find a variety of unique, homemade, and handmade items. 

The Stone Mill Holiday Market: November 2 | The Warehouse | 10:00 am - 3:00 pm
There will be holiday shopping, antiques, collectibles, clothing, furniture, woodworking, jewelry, ceramics, health & beauty products, and children's items.

Christmas Fair: November 9 | Monroe County Fairgrounds | 9:00 am - 3:00 pm
Get all your Christmas shopping done in one place! There will be 100 Vendors with DS, crafts, food, & much more! Breakfast & Lunch will be available!

Holiday Market

Bloomington Handmade Market: November 9 | Monroe Convention Center | 10:00 am - 4:00 pm
The Bloomington Handmade Market is a juried indie craft fair that showcases 75+ artists from all over the Midwest.

Harvest Market: November 23 | Whippoorwill Hill | 10:00 am - 4:00 pm
The Harvest Market includes multiple food trucks, a wide array of 40+ vendors, entertainment, s'more bars, hayrides, pony rides, games for the kids, and more. 

Birds of Prey: November 29 | Wonderlab Museum | 1:30 pm - 2:30 pm
Come explore your wild side as we invite WildCare Inc. to the museum for a special animal presentation. Meet animals that squawk and soar as you learn about wildlife conservation and our "wild neighbors." Admission fee required. 

Canopy of Lights

Canopy of Lights: November 29 | Courthouse Square | 6:00 pm
Celebrate our sparkling holiday tradition of lighting the downtown lights with Bloomington Brass Band playing holiday tunes. Costume characters, hot chocolate, holiday snacks and more will help with the festive atmosphere!
Tip: Free metered parking is available during Thanksgiving weekend. 

Annual Canopy of Lights Open House at the Monroe County History Center: November 29 | Monroe County History Center | 5:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Canopy of Lights Festival with Gather & Cardinal Spirits: November 29 | Gather :handmade shoppe & co.: | 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Celebrate the Season with the Bloomington Symphony Orchestra: November 29 | Buskirk-Chumley Theater | 5:30 pm and 8:00 pm
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!

Hoosier Holiday Hoopla: November 30 | Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall | TBD

17th Annual Holiday Market: November 30 | Showers Common & City Hall | 10:00 am - 3:00 pm
Shop for locally grown farm products, and arts and fine crafts created by local artisans, all while listening to the music and partaking in activities of the season. Carolers and music fill the market with the holiday spirit, and St. Nick will visit too!

Shop Small Business Saturday: November 30 | Downtown Bloomington | Times Vary by store
Shop Local. Shop Handmade. Shop Small.

Light Up the Night: IMU Candle-Lighting Ceremony: December 2 | Indiana Memorial Union | 7:00 pm 

Nutcracker Ballerinas

The Nutcracker: December 5 - December 7 | Musical Arts Center | Times Vary
Be transported to the enchanting world of this favorite ballet for children of all ages, and experience the wondrous magic that only a young child’s mind can conjure!

Holiday Art Fair and Bazaar: December 6 - December 7 | Unitarian Universalist Church | Times Vary
The event includes a variety of fine art products from 28 juried artists, a book sale, cafe and gourmet goodies sale, and a white elephant room. Admission and parking are free.

Sounds of the Season Barbershop Concert: December 6 | First United Church | 7:00 pm - 8:15 pm

Krampus Rampage & Bazaar: December 7 | Showers Common | 5:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Yappy Hours - Yappy Howl-idays!: December 7 | Ferguson Dog Park | 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Celebrate the holidays and have your dog's photo taken with Santa Paws!

Chimes of Christmas: December 7 | IU Auditorium | 2:00 pm & 7:00 pm
The Grammy-nominated Singing Hoosiers return to IU Auditorium this December for the jolliest family-friendly event of the season, Chimes of Christmas.

Pinocchio: December 8 | IU Cinema | 1:00 pm - 2:28 pm

Cardinal Stage Presents “Disney’s Newsies”: December 12 - December 29 | Buskirk-Chumley Theater | Times Vary
Inspired by the real-life Newsboy Strike of 1899, this high-energy musical soars with rousing dance numbers and memorable songs. This Tony Award-winning musical, based on the popular Disney film, is toe-tapping fun for the entire family!

Bloomington Christmas Sing-Along: December 13 | Trinity Reformed Church | 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Straight No Chaser: December 13 | IU Auditorium | 8:00 pm
See a cappella sensation Straight No Chaser as they return home to IU Auditorium this holiday season, bringing with them a live show packed with pop hits, holiday favorites, and plenty of laughs along the way.

Reindeer Reserve: December 14 - December 15 | Wonderlab Museum | 1:30 pm & 3:00 pm
Meet live reindeer and a variety of arctic animals and celebrate the winter season! Learn about special adaptations that help these magnificent creatures survive and thrive in the icy north regions of the world.

Skate with Santa: December 14 | Frank Southern Ice Arena | 1:30 pm - 3:00 pm
Photo ops are available along with cookies and punch. Come dressed in your best ugly holiday sweater for a chance to win prizes!

Wylie House by Candlelight & Log Cabin Christmas: December 14 | Monroe County History Center & Wylie House | 4:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Music, refreshments, carolers, period crafts, and storytelling are offered in Bloomington’s historic 1840 log cabin and 1835 brick home. 

Krampus Party: December 14 | Tattoo Kaiju & Gallery | 4:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Jacobs Holiday Celebration: December 14 | Musical Arts Center | 7:30 pm
Be sure to open this musical holiday card to the community, as Jacobs faculty and students perform seasonal favorites old and new, from jazz to classical and more.

Winter Container Garden Workshop: December 15 | Oliver Winery | 10:00 am - 12:00 pm
Grab a glass of wine and get in the holiday spirit. Attend Oliver Winery's winter container garden workshop and take home a stunning seasonal arrangement.

5th Annual The Sound of Music Quote-Along: December 15 | IU Cinema | 4:00 pm - 6:54 pm
Don’t miss the chance to recite your favorite lines and tunes from this cherished family classic at the fifth annual The Sound of Music Quote-Along.

1st Annual Ornaments, Cocoa, & Cookies!: December 18 | Dimension Mill | 4:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Make your holidays extra special with a mug of hot cocoa, a fistful of cookies, and an ornament-crafting adventure at Bloomington’s Dimension Mill.

Stories with Santa: December 19 | Fountain Square Mall | 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm

Jedi Science Day: December 29 | Wonderlab Museum | 1:00 pm - 5:00 pm
The force is with you on Jedi Science Day. Join Wonderlab as we explore Star Wars-themed science and celebrate the release of The Rise of Skywalker. Meet your favorite characters from the movies and hone your skills as a Jedi master!


Nia Jones

Nia Jones

Nia is Visit Bloomington’s Content Coordinator. As soon as she stepped foot on IU's campus, she realized she found a forever-home in Bloomington. Her favorite thing about B-Town is the diversity and culture that is found in this small town in the Midwest.  She enjoys exploring new places around town and cheering on the Hoosiers.