Head Backstage to be in the know. 

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, December 14, 2021

Top January Events

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

Events are slowly but surely returning to Bloomington. Check out the top events happening in January 2022, and make a three-day getaway out of your trip!

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


Two ice sculptors carving for a live audience for the Freezefest Ice Battle

First Day Trail Run/Walk

Date: Saturday, January 1
Time: 3:30-5:30 pm
Location: Fairfax State Recreation Area
Admission: $15.00 per person

Set off on the right foot this New Year by participating in the First Day Trail Walk/Run at Fairfax SRA!

Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday Celebration

Date: Monday, January 17
Time: 6:00 pm
Location: Buskirk-Chumley Theater
Admission: Free

Attend a celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr., which will feature remarks from Mayor Hamilton, members of the MLK Commission, and keynote speaker, Dr. Eddie Cole, a performance by the Indiana University African American Choral Ensemble, and more.


Date: Thursday, January 20 through Saturday, January 22
Time: Various times — see the schedule here
Location: Various locations throughout downtown Bloomington
Admission: Free

Attend the second annual Freezefest, Bloomington's only winter festival featuring ice sculptures, live carving demonstrations, an ice battle at Upland Brewing Co., family activities, and more!


Man performing stand-up at the Limestone Comedy Festival
Photo by TALL & small Photography

A Year with Frog and Toad

Date: Sunday, January 2
Time: 3:00 pm & 6:30 pm
Location: Buskirk-Chumley Theater
Admission: Pay What You Will

Enjoy a performance of A Year with Frog and Toad, a beloved play that the whole family will love.

An Officer and A Gentleman: The Musical

Date: Tuesday, January 18
Time: 7:30 pm
Location: IU Auditorium
Admission: $16.00-$67.00 per ticket

Attend a performance of An Officer and A Gentleman, a romantic musical based on the Oscar-winning film, An Officer and Gentleman.

The Bluebird Shows

Location: The Bluebird

Enjoy live musical performances by the following artists:

  • Street Pennies
    • Date: Wednesday, January 26
    • Time: Doors open at 9:00 pm, show begins at 10:00 pm
    • Admission: $5.00 per ticket
  • 6 Foot Blonde
    • Date: Thursday, January 27
    • Time: Doors open at 9:00 pm, show begins at 10:00 pm
    • Admission: $5.00 per ticket
  • Rod Tuffcurls
    • Date: Friday, January 28
    • Time: Doors open at 8:00 pm, show begins at 9:00 pm
    • Admission: $10.00 per ticket
  • Bac 2 Mac
    • Date: Saturday, January 29
    • Time: Doors open at 8:00 pm, show begins at 9:00 pm
    • Admission: $12.00-$15.00 per ticket
  • The Brook & The Bluff
    • Date: Sunday, January 30
    • Time: Doors open at 7:00 pm, show begins at 8:00 pm
    • Admission: $15.00 per ticket
Buskirk-Chumley Theater Shows

Location: Buskirk-Chumley Theater

Enjoy live performances by the following artists:

  • Low Cut Connie
    • Date: Tuesday, January 25
    • Time: 8:00 pm
    • Admission: $35.00 per ticket
The Comedy Attic Shows

Location: The Comedy Attic

Enjoy live comedy performances by the following comedians:

  • Brent Terhune
    • Date: Friday, January 13 through Saturday, January 15
    • Time: 7:00 pm & 9:15 pm both days
    • Admission: $15.00-$18.00 per ticket
  • Laurie Kilmartin
    • Date: Friday, January 21 through Saturday, January 22
    • Time: 7:00 pm & 9:15 pm both days
    • Admission: $15.00-$18.00 per ticket


Tip off at an IU Men's Basketball game

IU Men's Basketball
IU Women's Basketball
  • vs. Maryland
  • vs. Nebraska
  • vs. Michigan State
  • vs. Illinois
IU Men's & Women's Swim and Dive


An exhibit on Monroe County's many cultures at the Monroe County History Center
Photo by the Monroe County History Center

Gallery Walk

Date: Friday, January 7
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.

Andrea Ventura: Vanitas Exhibit

Date: Friday, January 14 through Tuesday, March 8
Time: 12:00-4:00 pm
Location: Grunwald Gallery of Art
Admission: Free

Explore an exhibit of paintings and collages by Italian artist, Andrea Ventura.

"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.

"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.

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.

Alyssa Davis

Alyssa Davis

Alyssa is a former Digital Content Coordinator at Visit Bloomington.