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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.

Monday, September 20, 2021

Top October Events

Categories: Arts & Culture, Indiana University, General, Events, Live Music, Festivals

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

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


Fall & Halloween-Related Happenings

Candy and wine pairings for Oliver Winery's annual Halloween tastings
Photo by Oliver Winery

Harvest Story Tours

Date: Saturday, September 25; Sunday, September 26; Saturday, October 2; Sunday, October 3
Time: 12:00 pm & 3:00 pm
Location: Oliver Winery
Admission: $35.00 per ticket

Learn what it takes to go from vine to bottle at Oliver Winery's Harvest Story Tours! Go on a walking tour through the vineyard, see the production side of the winemaking process, and enjoy a customized tasting experience.
 

IU Cinema Under the Stars: The Mummy

Date: Thursday, October 7
Time: 8:00 pm
Location: Memorial Stadium
Admission: Free, but registration is required

Enjoy a screening of The Mummy on the field of Memorial Stadium. Bring your own blankets — no chairs, food, or drink will be permitted.
 

Halloween Candy Pairing Tastings

Date: Every weekend from Saturday, October 9 through Sunday, October 31
Time: 4:30 pm
Location: Oliver Winery
Admission: $20.00 per ticket

Enjoy your favorite childhood candies paired with various wines during the annual Oliver Winery Halloween Candy Pairing Tastings.
 

Harvest Hootenanny Block Party

Date: Saturday, October 9
Time: 4:00 pm
Location: Switchyard Brewing Company
Admission: VIP tickets are $75.00 per person; general admission for ages 16+ is $10.00 per ticket during the pre-sale or $15.00 per ticket at the door; those younger than 16 and designated drivers are free.

Enjoy live music, pie-eating and pumpkin-carving contests, cornhole, food trucks, fall beers & hot mulled cider, and activities for kids at Switchyard Brewing Co.'s all-ages Harvest Hootenanny
 

Howl at the Moon

Date: Saturday, October 9
Time: 7:30 pm
Location: Switchyard Park
Admission: Free

Both dog owners and animal lovers are invited to participate in this glow in the dark walk around 1.5 miles of Switchyard Park — pups in attendance must be leashed and current with all vaccinations. The first 50 dogs to arrive will receive a glow stick for their collars!
 

Day of the Dead Community Alter

Date: Tuesday, October 12 through Tuesday, November 2
Time: 10:00 am-4:00 pm
Location: Monroe County History Center
Admission: Free

Honor loved ones who have passed by adding an offering to Bloomington's Day of the Dead community alter.
 

IU Cinema Under the Stars: What We Do in the Shadows

Date: Thursday, October 14
Time: 8:00 pm
Location: Memorial Stadium
Admission: Free, but registration is required

Enjoy a screening of What We Do in the Shadows on the field of Memorial Stadium. Bring your own blankets — no chairs, food, or drink will be permitted.
 

Great Glass Pumpkin Patch

Date: Saturday, October 16
Time: 10:00 am-3:00 pm
Location: Monroe County Courthouse Lawn
Admission: Free

Pick out your own homemade blown-glass pumpkin or simply admire the display of over 900 glass pumpkins at the 12th annual Great Glass Pumpkin Patch
 

Dearly Departed Cemetery Tour

Date: Saturday, October 16
Time: 5:30-9:30 pm
Location: Rose Hill Cemetery
Admission: $10.00 per person

Enjoy a night of ghost tales and haunted history at the Rose Hill Cemetery.
 

Ghostly Gathering

Date: Friday, October 22 through Sunday, October 24
Time: 2:00-8:00 pm Friday; 9:30 am-8:00 pm Saturday, 10:00 am-2:30 pm Sunday
Location: Paynetown State Recreation Area
Admission: $7.00 per Indiana-plated vehicle / $9.00 per out-of-state vehicle

Enjoy an assortment of Halloween-themed, family-friendly events at Paynetown SRA's Ghostly Gathering!
 

Skate and Scare

Date: Saturday, October 23
Time: 6:45 pm
Location: Frank Southern Ice Arena
Admission: $6.00 per person plus $3.00 per skate rental

Skate through a haunted house on ice while listening to spooky tunes at Frank Southern's Skate and Scare! Come in costume for a chance to win prizes.
 

Rocky Horror Picture Show

Date: Saturday, October 23
Time: 10:00 pm
Location: Buskirk-Chumley Theater
Admission: $15.00 in advance / $20.00 at the door

Enjoy Bloomington's annual fall screening of the Rocky Horror Picture Show. Participate in the pre-show event and costume contest at 9:30 pm for a chance to win prizes. 
 

Dennis James Hosts Halloween

Date: Wednesday, October 27
Time: 7:00 pm
Location: IU Auditorium
Admission: $14.00-$28.00 per person

Take the whole family to Dennis James' annual spooky spectacular, packed with music and mayhem! 
 

Festival of Ghost Stories

Date: Friday, October 29
Time: 7:00-8:30 pm
Location: Bryan Park
Admission: Free

Enjoy a night of scary storytelling beneath the stars at the Festival of Ghost Stories.
 

Bloomington Pumpkin Launch

Date: Saturday, October 30
Time: 11:00 am
Location: Monroe County Fairgrounds
Admission: $10.00 per vehicle

Witness pumpkins flying through the sky and enjoy live music, children's activities, and food vendors during the annual Bloomington Pumpkin Launch!
 

Halloween Weekend at Oliver Winery

Date: Saturday, October 30 & Sunday, October 31
Time: 11:00 am-8:00 pm on Saturday; 12:00-6:00 pm on Sunday
Location: Oliver Winery
Admission: Free

Spend Halloween weekend at Oliver Winery — enjoy complimentary pours of their mulled Beanblossom Hard Cider, a free pumpkin with qualifying purchases of wine in the tasting room, and more.
 

Howling in the Aisles

Date: Saturday, October 30
Time: 3:00 pm-12:00 am
Location: Buskirk-Chumley Theater
Admission: $18.00 per ticket

Enjoy a day of horror film classics at the Buskirk-Chumley Theater! The Birds, Poltergeist, and The Thing will screen throughout the day, in that order.


For a full list of Halloween happenings in Bloomington, click here.


FESTIVALS & SPECIAL EVENTS

hoosier hysteria

Hoosier Hysteria

Date: Saturday, October 2
Time: Doors open at 2:30 pm, event runs from 4:00-5:30 pm
Location: Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall
Admission: Free

Get excited for the Indiana University basketball season at Hoosier Hysteria! Features include skills competitions, a dunk contest, and a brief scrimmage with both the men's and women's teams.
 

Hilly Hundred Bicycle Tour

Date: Friday, October 8 through Sunday, October 10
Time: Varying times — see the schedule here
Location: Meet at the Edgewood Schools campus
Admission: $65.00-$85.00 per participant — register online here

Participate in the annual three-day Hilly Hundred bike ride!
 

IU Science Fest

Date: Saturday, October 9
Time: 9:00 am-3:00 pm
Location: Multiple locations across the Indiana University campus
Admission: Free

Participate in over 150 hands-on science activities, demonstrations, and talks at Science Fest. Event times and admission are to be determined — check back frequently for updates.
 

IU Homecoming Weekend

Date: Friday, October 15 through Saturday, October 16
Time: Varying times — see the schedule here
Location: Multiple locations across the Indiana University campus
Admission: Free

Relive your favorite college traditions, attend the football game against Michigan State, and celebrate the ultimate IU weekend during Homecoming.


LIVE MUSIC & PERFORMANCES

iu auditorium

A Leap Forward — Fall Ballet

Date: Friday, October 1 & Saturday, October 2
Time: 7:30 pm on Friday, 2:00 pm on Saturday
Location: Musical Arts Center
Admission: $15.00-$29.00 per ticket

Attend the Indiana University fall ballet, presented by the Jacobs School of Music.
 

Waitress: The Broadway Musical

Date: Tuesday, October 5 & Wednesday, October 6
Time: 7:30 pm
Location: IU Auditorium
Admission: $29.00-$89.00 per ticket

Enjoy the Tony-nominated musical, Waitress, at the IU Auditorium.
 

The Coronation of Poppea

Date: Friday, October 15 & Saturday, October 16
Time: 7:30 pm
Location: Musical Arts Center
Admission: $30.00 per ticket

Attend the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music production of the opera, The Coronation of Poppea.
 

Kristin Chenoweth's For the Girls Concert

Date: Saturday, October 30
Time: 8:00 pm
Location: IU Auditorium
Admission: $45.00-$79.00 per ticket

Enjoy For the Girls, an off-Broadway concert by Emmy & Tony-award winning actress and singer, Kristin Chenoweth.
 

The Bishop Bar Shows

Location: The Bishop Bar

Enjoy the following live musical performances:

The Bluebird Shows

Location: The Bluebird

Enjoy live musical performances by the following artists:

  • Southern Accents — Tom Petty Tribute
    • Date: Friday, October 1
    • Time: Doors open at 8:00 pm, show begins at 9:00 pm
    • Admission: $15.00 per single ticket, $12.00 per four-pack
       
  • Ward Davis
    • Date: Saturday, October 2
    • Time: Doors open at 7:00 pm, show begins at 8:00 pm
    • Admission: $25.00 per ticket
       
  • The Steel Woods
    • Date: Thursday, October 7
    • Time: Doors open at 7:00 pm, show begins at 8:00 pm
    • Admission: $15.00 per ticket
       
  • Rod Tuffcurls
    • Date: Friday, October 8
    • Time: Doors open at 8:00 pm, show begins at 9:00 pm
    • Admission: $20.00 per ticket
       
  • Whethan
    • Date: Saturday, October 16
    • Time: Doors open at 8:00 pm, show begins at 9:00 pm
    • Admission: $20.00 per ticket
       
  • Murder by Death
    • Date: Friday, October 22
    • Time: Doors open at 8:00 pm, show begins at 9:00 pm
    • Admission: $20.00 per ticket
       
Buskirk-Chumley Theater Shows

Location: Buskirk-Chumley Theater

Enjoy live performances by the following artists:

The Comedy Attic Shows

Location: The Comedy Attic

Enjoy live comedy performances by the following comedians:

  • Hannah Einbinder
    • Date: Thursday,October 14 through Saturday, October 16
    • Time: 8:00 pm on Thursday, 7:00 pm & 9:15 pm Friday and Saturday
    • Admission: $18.00 per ticket
       
  • Chris Gethard
    • Date: Thursday, October 21 through Saturday, October 23
    • Time: 8:00 pm on Thursday, 7:00 pm & 9:15 pm Friday and Saturday
    • Admission: $20.00 per ticket


SPORTING EVENTS

And IU women's soccer player shooting to make a goal
Photo by IU Athletics

IU Football
IU Men's Soccer
  • vs. Michigan
    • Date: Friday, October 1
    • Time: 5:00 pm
    • Location: Bill Armstrong Stadium
    • Admission: General admission is $10.00 per ticket; youth ages 3-18 are $5.00 per ticket; ages two & under are free.
  • vs. Omaha
    • Date: Wednesday, October 6
    • Time: 8:00 pm
    • Location: Bill Armstrong Stadium
    • Admission: General admission is $10.00 per ticket; youth ages 3-18 are $5.00 per ticket; ages two & under are free.
  • vs. Trine
    • Date: Saturday, October 9
    • Time: 7:30 pm
    • Location: Bill Armstrong Stadium
    • Admission: General admission is $10.00 per ticket; youth ages 3-18 are $5.00 per ticket; ages two & under are free.
       
  • vs. Ohio State
    • Date: Tuesday, October 12
    • Time: 7:00 pm
    • Location: Bill Armstrong Stadium
    • Admission: General admission is $10.00 per ticket; youth ages 3-18 are $5.00 per ticket; ages two & under are free.
       
  • vs. Evansville
    • Date: Wednesday, October 20
    • Time: 7:00 pm
    • Location: Bill Armstrong Stadium
    • Admission: General admission is $10.00 per ticket; youth ages 3-18 are $5.00 per ticket; ages two & under are free.
       
  • vs. Wisconsin
    • Date: Sunday, October 24
    • Time: 1:00 pm
    • Location: Bill Armstrong Stadium
    • Admission: General admission is $10.00 per ticket; youth ages 3-18 are $5.00 per ticket; ages two & under are free.
       
  • vs. VCU
    • Date: Wednesday, October 27
    • Time: 7:00 pm
    • Location: Bill Armstrong Stadium
    • Admission: General admission is $10.00 per ticket; youth ages 3-18 are $5.00 per ticket; ages two & under are free.
       
IU Women's Soccer
IU Women's Volleyball
  • vs. Penn State
    • Date: Saturday, October 2
    • Time: 7:00 pm
    • Location: Wilkinson Hall
    • Admission: General admission is $10.00-$14.00 per ticket; youth ages 3-18 are $5.00-$7.00 per ticket; ages two & under are free.
       
  • vs. Michigan
    • Date: Wednesday, October 20
    • Time: 7:00 pm
    • Location: Wilkinson Hall
    • Admission: General admission is $10.00-$14.00 per ticket; youth ages 3-18 are $5.00-$7.00 per ticket; ages two & under are free.
       
  • vs. Rutgers
    • Date: Sunday, October 24
    • Time: 2:00 pm
    • Location: Wilkinson Hall
    • Admission: General admission is $10.00-$14.00 per ticket; youth ages 3-18 are $5.00-$7.00 per ticket; ages two & under are free.
       
  • vs. Minnesota
    • Date: Wednesday, October 27
    • Time: 7:00 pm
    • Location: Wilkinson Hall
    • Admission: General admission is $10.00-$14.00 per ticket; youth ages 3-18 are $5.00-$7.00 per ticket; ages two & under are free.
       
  • vs. Northwestern
    • Date: Saturday, October 30
    • Time: 7:00 pm
    • Location: Wilkinson Hall
    • Admission: General admission is $10.00-$14.00 per ticket; youth ages 3-18 are $5.00-$7.00 per ticket; ages two & under are free.


EXHIBITS & OTHER AREA HAPPENINGS

People around the Fine Arts Plaza during IU's First Thursdays festival
Photo by Indiana University

Gallery Walk

Date: Friday, October 1
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.
 

First Thursdays at IU

Date: Thursday, October 7
Time: 5:00-8:00 pm
Location: Indiana University Fine Arts Plaza
Admission: Free

Enjoy an outdoor festival atmosphere and showcase of arts & humanities from the IU and Bloomington communities during First Thursdays.
 

The Art of the Character: Highlights from the Glenn Close Costume Collection

Date: Every Thursday-Sunday through Monday, November 15
Time: 12:00-5:00 pm on Thursday, Friday, and Sunday; 12:00-7:00 pm on Saturday
Location: Eskenazi Museum of Art at Indiana University
Admission: Free

Eight-time Academy Award-nominated and three-time Emmy- & Tony-winning actress, Glenn Close, has donated her collection of 800+ costume pieces from various roles she's played during her career, including Cruella de Vil in 101 and 102 Dalmatians, to the Eskenazi Museum of Art at IU. "The Art of the Character" exhibition explores the art of developing a character with a focus on the creativity and skills of the designers & makers, as well as the collaborative process between Close and the artists who help bring her characters to life. 
 


LOOKING FOR MORE EVENTS IN OCTOBER AND BEYOND? CHECK OUT THESE PAGES:
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Alyssa Davis

Alyssa Davis

Alyssa is the Digital Content Coordinator at Visit Bloomington. She's a proud Indiana University alumna, mom to four cats, and Formula 1 enthusiast. When she isn't at work, you can find Alyssa checking out the newest restaurants in the area with her husband, curled up at home with a great book, or planning her next trip to a destination near or far.

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