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Here are some festive holiday events happening around Bloomington this December


Dancers perform Dec. 2 at the Musical Arts Center during the dress rehersal for “The Nutcracker.” The family-friendly ballet will be showing Dec. 5-8. Izzy Myszak

The holiday season is in full swing in Bloomington with a variety of festive events from concerts to plays to art sales. Here are some ways to get in the holiday spirit this December.

December First Thursday

The December First Thursday will take place this week from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Eskenazi Museum of Art. Seven galleries will be open along with various drop-in activities to interact with the arts. Admission is free, and there will be multiple chances to receive free cookies. 

"The Nutcracker"

If you are dreaming of sugar plum fairies and snow queens, "The Nutcracker" is returning to the Musical Arts Center stage. Presented by the IU Opera and Ballet Theater, the holiday classic will have five performances this week as follows: 7:30 p.m. Thursday and Friday, 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday. All performances will take place at the MAC with ticket prices starting at $21.

Chimes of Christmas

The Singing Hoosiers are performing this holiday season during the annual Chimes of Christmas concert. There are two concerts at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. this upcoming Saturday at the IU Auditorium. Tickets are on sale now starting at $17 for adults and $13 for students. Brunch is also available for guests before the first showing in the Tudor Room in the Indiana Memorial Union.

Krampus Rampage & Bazaar 

This Saturday, multiple events are being staged in downtown Bloomington. The night is centered around the legend of Krampus, a figure from Central European folklore who punishes those who misbehave during Christmas time.

The Krampus Bazaar is open from 5 to 8 p.m. in the Showers Commons, which is the parking lot across from City Hall. Local artists will present their pieces along with merchandise from the event creators. Activities are available for children, including a sack race and Krampus mask making, while beer and cider will be provided for adults to enjoy. The Krampus parade kicks off at 6 p.m. at the entrance of The Mill at Madison and 11th Street before ending at Showers Commons. The Krampus Rampage starts around 8 p.m. and is comprised of people dressed as Krampus sneaking around town to scare unsuspecting bystanders. 

Lampkins Ridge Holiday Open Studios Tour

A tour and holiday sale will take place from 12 p.m. to 7 p.m. this Saturday at Lampkins Ridge Studios. It will showcase an array of art from seven local artists in three different studios at the location. The event is free, and light refreshments will be served.

"Second Shepherds' Play" Performances

For a few laughs this holiday season, the IU Medieval Studies Institute is putting on two performances of the "Second Shepherds’ Play." The comedic play will share the story of what ensues between the shepherds and a thief who disguises a sheep as a newborn baby. The performances will be at 8 p.m. Friday and 6 p.m. Saturday in the Collins Living-Learning Center. Tickets are free, but guests are asked to reserve their seats ahead of time at

IU Soul Revue's Soulful Holiday Concert

The Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center and the African American Arts Institute are welcoming IU Soul Revue to perform at the Soulful Holiday Concert. The concert will begin at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 12 at the Willkie Residence Center Auditorium. Admission is free with the donation of gently used winter clothing, including coats, sweaters, scarves, and hats. All donations will go to the Wheeler Mission—Bloomington, a Christian charity that provides programs and services to help men battling homelessness, poverty and addiction.

Straight No Chaser

The IU Auditorium is welcoming back the a cappella group Straight No Chaser that got its start at IU. The special holiday show will include hit pop songs and holiday classics. The group will also present the official IU Bicentennial song, which they composed for the university. The show will be at 8 p.m. Dec. 13 in the IU Auditorium. Ticket prices start at $53 for adults and $33 for students.

Jacobs Holiday Celebration

Described as a live musical holiday card, the Jacobs School of Music is presenting the Jacobs Holiday Celebration. Faculty and students will showcase their renditions of holiday favorites from jazz to classical music. This event will take place at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 14 in the MAC. Tickets range from $10 to $15, with student tickets costing $5. 

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