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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.

Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Top December Events

Categories: Family Fun, General, Events, Festivals, Arts & Culture

Events are slowly but surely returning to Bloomington. Check out the top events happening in December 2021, and make a three-day getaway out of your trip!

Use this list to easily navigate from section-to-section:​


nutcracker iu

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.

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!

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.

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.

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.

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.

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!

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.

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.

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.

New Year's Eve Prix Fix Dinner & Live Music at C3

Date: Friday, December 31
Time: Dinner from 4:00 pm-12:00 am, live music from 9:00 pm-12:00 am
Location: C3
Admission: $110.00 per person

Enjoy a four-course prix fix dinner and live jazz music from Postmodern Jazz Quartet at C3 ahead of the New Year. Call the restaurant to make a reservation today: (812) 287-8027.

New Year's Eve Cocktail Pairing Dinner at Cardinal Spirits

Date: Friday, December 31
Time: 6:00-10:30 pm
Location: Cardinal Spirits
Admission: $125.00 per person

Enjoy a prix fix four-course meal and two paired cocktails at Cardinal Spirits in celebration of the New Year. Reservations are required and must be made on Cardinal Spirits' website.

The Bluebird's New Year's Eve Concert

Date: Friday, December 31
Time: Doors open at 7:00 pm, show begins at 8:00 pm
Location: The Bluebird
Admission: $20.00 per single ticket, $15.00 per ticket in a four-pack

Rock out at The Bluebird's annual New Year's Eve concert featuring Southern Accents and Rods & Cones.

Ring in the New Year with Shanda Sung

Date: Friday, December 31
Time: 8:00 & 10:30 pm
Location: The Comedy Attic
Admission: $20.00 per ticket at 8:00 pm, $22.00 per ticket at 10:30 pm

Ring in the New Year with one of Bloomington's most hilarious local comedians, Shanda Sung.

New Year's Eve Pretty in Pink Party at The Back Door

Date: Friday, December 31
Time: 8:00 pm-3:00 am
Location: The Back Door
Admission: $5.00 per person

Celebrate the New Year at The Back Door! KOLD WAVE will be DJing all night long, and there will be a champagne toast at midnight.

New Year's Eve at The Fairfax Bar & Grill

Date: Friday, December 31
Time: 8:30 pm-12:30 am
Location: The Fairfax Bar & Grill
Admission: $20.00 per person

Enjoy hors d'oeuvres, a champagne toast, and live music from eight-piece R&B, funk, and blues band, The Dynamics, at The Fax!

Brew Year's Eve

Date: Friday, December 31
Time: 9:00 pm
Location: Switchyard Brewing Company
Admission: $75.00 per general admission ticket (includes standing room or first-come, first-served seating, two beverages, and tapas buffet), $400.00 per table of four (includes stage-side table, bottle service, souvenir growler, and tapas buffet)

Celebrate the end of 2021 at Switchyard Brewing Company — enjoy live music from Howl at the Moon Dueling Pianos and an accompanying band.



A woman doing a flip as she dives off a board at the Counsilman-Billingsley Aquatics Center

An Evening with David Sedaris

Date: Wednesday, December 8
Time: 7:30 pm
Location: IU Auditorium
Admission: $25.00-$55.00 per ticket

Enjoy an evening with best-selling author and NPR contributor, David Sedaris, featuring all new stories, an audience Q&A, and a book signing.

BAFT Studios 1st Annual Short Film Festival

Date: Sunday, December 12
Time: 3:00 pm
Location: Buskirk-Chumley Theater
Admission: Free

Attend the first annual Bloomington Academy of Film & Theatre Studios Short Film Festival showcasing films created by the academy's students.

2021 USA Diving Winter National Championships

Date: Monday, December 13 through Saturday, December 18
Time: Various times — see the schedule here
Location: Counsilman Billingsley Aquatics Center
Admission: Various ticket options — browse passes here

Attend USA Diving's qualifying event for the upcoming FINA World Championships taking place in Fukuoka, Japan in May 2022. The event is an incredible opportunity to watch Olympians and future Olympians compete to represent the United States on an international scale next spring.


Band performing on stage at The Bluebird

Just Between All of Us

Date: Sunday, December 5 through Saturday, December 18
Time: 7:30 pm
Location: Buskirk-Chumley Theater
Admission: $15.00-$25.00 per ticket

Enjoy a performance of Just Between All of Us, a musical romantic comedy that involves the audience with several "choose your adventure" moments.

Beautiful: The Carole King Musical

Date: Friday, December 10 through Sunday, December 12
Time: 8:00 pm on Friday, 2:00 pm & 8:00 pm on Saturday, 2:00 pm on Sunday
Location: IU Auditorium
Admission: $33.00-$95.00 per ticket

Attend a performance of the Tony and Grammy award-winning musical about music legend, Carole King.

The Bluebird Shows

Location: The Bluebird

Enjoy live musical performances by the following artists:

  • Saving Raj
    • Date: Wednesday, December 1
    • Time: Doors open at 9:00 pm, show begins at 10:00 pm
    • Admission: $5.00 per ticket
  • 6 Foot Blonde
    • Date: Thursday, December 2
    • Time: Doors open at 9:00 pm, show begins at 10:00 pm
    • Admission: $5.00 single ticket
  • Here Come the Mummies
    • Date: Friday, December 3
    • Time: Doors open at 7:00 pm, show begins at 8:00 pm
    • Admission: $20.00 per ticket
  • Hank Ruff
    • Date: Saturday, December 4
    • Time: Doors open at 8:00 pm, show begins at 9:00 pm
    • Admission: $25.00 per ticket
  • Jukebox Luke
    • Date: Wednesday, December 8
    • Time: Doors open at 9:00 pm, show begins at 10:00 pm
    • Admission: $10.00 per ticket
  • Blunts & Blondes
    • Date: Thursday, December 9
    • Time: Doors open at 8:00 pm, show begins at 9:00 pm
    • Admission: $15.00 per single ticket, $10.00 per ticket in a four-pack
  • Rod Tuffcurls
    • Date: Friday, December 10
    • Time: Doors open at 8:00 pm, show begins at 9:00 pm
    • Admission: $10.00 per ticket
  • Sierra Ferrell
    • Date: Saturday, December 11
    • Time: Doors open at 7:00 pm, show begins at 8:00 pm
    • Admission: $12.00 per ticket
  • Funk Almighty
    • Date: Wednesday, December 15
    • Time: Doors open at 9:00 pm, show begins at 10:00 pm
    • Admission: $5.00 per ticket
  • Hairbangers Ball
    • Date: Saturday, December 18
    • Time: Doors open at 8:00 pm, show begins at 9:00 pm
    • Admission: $15.00 per single ticket, $12.00 per ticket in a four-pack
Buskirk-Chumley Theater Shows

Location: Buskirk-Chumley Theater

Enjoy live performances by the following artists:

  • Andy McKee
    • Date: Wednesday, December 1
    • Time: 8:00 pm
    • Admission: $25.00-$35.00 per ticket
The Comedy Attic Shows

Location: The Comedy Attic

Enjoy live comedy performances by the following comedians:

  • Alyssa Limperis
    • Date: Friday, December 3 through Saturday, December 4
    • Time: 7:00 pm & 9:15 pm both days
    • Admission: $13.00-$16.00 per ticket
  • Maria Bamford
    • Date: Thursday, December 9 through Saturday, December 11
    • Time: 8:00 pm on Thursday, 7:00 pm & 9:15 pm on Friday and Saturday
    • Admission: $22.00 per ticket on Thursday, $30.00 per ticket on Friday and Saturday


IU Women's Basketball celebrating a win on-court at Assembly Hall
Photo by IU Athletics

IU Men's Basketball
IU Women's Basketball
IU Men's & Women's Swim and Dive


Uptown Cafe on Kirkwood Avenue during winter

Gallery Walk

Date: Friday, December 3
Time: 5:00-8:00 pm
Location: Various downtown art galleries
Admission: Free

Enjoy local & regional art and Bloomington's vibrant downtown scene during Gallery Walk. Ten downtown art galleries participate in the event — stroll through the heart of Bloomington as you admire various works at each location.

Lotus Latin Nights

Date: Thursday, December 9
Time: 8:00-11:00 pm
Location: Lotus Firebay
Admission: Free

Dance to salsa, bachata, cumbia, timba, and merengue at the Lotus Firebay on the second Thursday of each month.

"Monroe: A County of Cultures" Exhibit

Date: Friday, June 25 through Saturday, January 8
Time: 10:00 am-4:00 pm
Location: Monroe County History Center
Admission: $2.00 per adult, $1.00 per student, free for members and children five-years-old or younger

Explore an exhibit of over 40 objects that depicts how Monroe County's fabric is infused with communities and cultures from all over the world.

Wrapped in Love Public Art Display

Date: Friday, October 1 through Tuesday, March 1 
Time: All day
Location: Various downtown locations
Admission: Free

Tour downtown and admire the dozens of sweater-clad trees that are part of Middle Way House's Wrapped in Love campaign, which wraps survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, and human trafficking in warmth and support.

"The Constructed Self" Exhibit

Date: Friday, November 5 through Saturday, January 29
Time: 11:00 am-5:00 pm
Location: Pictura Gallery
Admission: Free

Explore an exhibit that explores the intersections of identity, self-representation, race, gender, and belonging through unconventional portraiture.

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.