Culture » Festivals

The Most Wonderful Time of the Arts Year

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Imagine the holiday season without all the extravagant sights and sounds that come along with it. From the classic films to the timeless tunes, so many of our celebratory traditions revolve around experiencing bodies of creative work. With a diverse array of festivities taking place in our very own city, Sky Blue Window decided to put together a guide to help you and your family make the most of this joyous time of year.

A slew of talented artists will come together for the 29th installment of the ISO's Yuletide Celebration. - COURTESY OF INDIANAPOLIS SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA
  • Courtesy of Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra
  • A slew of talented artists will come together for the 29th installment of the ISO's Yuletide Celebration.

FAMILY FRIENDLY

Circle of Lights Celebration at Monument Circle
Nov. 28, 6 - 8 p.m.

For the 52nd year, thousands of spectators will flock downtown to celebrate the start of the holiday season with the lighting of what some refer to as the world's tallest Christmas tree. Indy's Josh Kaufman will headline the festivities on the Circle, also sharing the stage with opera star Angela Brown and entertainers chosen from statewide auditions.

LIVE: Family Christmas at the President's Home at Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site
Dec. 13, 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. (tours on the hour and half-hour)


Travel back to 1888 and experience Christmas through the eyes of the 23rd president. During a tour of Benjamin Harrison's historic Delaware Street home, you'll cross paths with the president himself, some of his family from Ohio and the household staff as they anticipate the upcoming move to Washington and whether or not there will be a Christmas tree in the White House.

Christmas at the Puppet Studio @ Peewinkle's Puppet Studio
Dec. 9 - 28

A pair of ritzy rodents named Mozart and Ludmilla emcee this fun-filled musical variety show, spreading Christmas cheer with the help of several of their puppet friends. A performance aimed at entertaining audiences both young and old, the studio continues in its mission of showcasing quality puppetry to the city through this production.

SONGS OF THE SEASON

Yuletide Celebration with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra and more at Hilbert Circle Theatre
Dec. 5 - 23

A slew of talented artists will come together for the 29th installment of this exuberant series of holiday shows, to be cohosted again this year by acclaimed soprano Angela Brown and Broadway star Ben Crawford. Throughout the evening, the duo will be joined on stage by several spirited performers including ISO artists-in-residence, Time For Three, a cast of dazzling Broadway singers and dancers, and the Symphony.

While the show at Scottish Rite Cathedral is sold out, tickets remain for several performances of Indianapolis Symphonic Choir's Festival of Carols at The Palladium. - COURTESY OF INDIANAPOLIS SYMPHONIC CHOIR
  • Courtesy of Indianapolis Symphonic Choir
  • While the show at Scottish Rite Cathedral is sold out, tickets remain for several performances of Indianapolis Symphonic Choir's Festival of Carols at The Palladium.

The Indiana Wind Symphony presents Holiday Dreams at the Palladium
Dec. 6, 7:30 p.m.

Central Indiana's premier adult concert band performs an expansive program of holiday tunes, including selections from Frozen, Nutcracker and more. Joining the Wind Symphony at the Palladium on this not-so-silent night will be soprano Jessamyn Anderson, soprano Ann Conrad as Mrs. Claus and tenor Ken Knowles

Festival of Carols presented by the Indianapolis Symphonic Choir at Scottish Rite Cathedral & the Palladium
Scottish Rite Cathedral: Dec. 7 (sold out)
Palladium: Dec. 20-21

The holiday season may be the only time of the year when it's socially acceptable for a group of adults to walk around a neighborhood singing songs they've known for decades. Well, the Indianapolis Symphonic Choir will likely touch on the majority of these tunes and more at their set of performances this season. Probably more eloquently than those shivering carolers too ...

TRADITIONAL SHOWS OF THE SEASON

Nutcracker at Murat Theatre & Indianapolis Museum of Art (IMA)
Murat: Dec. 6 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.

IMA: Dec. 12 at 7 p.m., Dec. 13 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. and Dec. 14 at 2 p.m.

This traditional holiday production, presented by the Indiana Ballet Conservatory (IBC), will feature a pair of renowned dancers in LashaKhozashvili and Miko Fogarty. The IBC asserts, "This variation is closest to that of the original Nutcracker Ballet that debuted over 100 years ago in Russia, so you won't want to miss this timeless and beloved holiday favorite!"

The IRT's rendition of A Christmas Carol runs through December 26th. - COURTESY OF INDIANA REPERTORY THEATRE
  • Courtesy of Indiana Repertory Theatre
  • The IRT's rendition of A Christmas Carol runs through December 26th.

A Christmas Carol @ Indiana Repertory Theatre
Nov. 15 - Dec. 26

Deep inside all of us, there's undoubtedly a little bit of that Scrooge-y selfishness. Luckily, the folks at the IRT hope to "remedy" this just in time for the season of giving with their "faithful, fanciful and frolicsome" adaptation of this classic holiday tale.

A Beef & Boards Christmas at Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre
Nov. 28. - Dec. 23

All the magical melodies and sparkling costumes of the season presented in one enchanting variety show production. According to the Dinner Theatre, "The spectacular entertainment features everything from sentimental favorites to energetic showstoppers -- all in Beef & Boards' festive and intimate setting."

PARENTS' NIGHT OUT

The Great American Trailer Park Christmas Musical at Theatre on the Square
Nov. 14 - Dec. 20

An "all-new, all-trailer-park holiday extravaganza" makes its Midwest debut right here in Indianapolis this holiday season. This zany sequel to The Great American Trailer Park Musical will introduce you to a few new residents of north Florida's premier mobile home community, including Darlene (the neighborhood Scrooge), her boyfriend Jackie, and Rufus (a redneck with a heart of gold).

A Very Phoenix Xmas 9: Flashing Through The Snow at Phoenix Theatre -- Livia and Steve Russell Stage
Nov. 28 - Dec. 21

From comedy skits to traditional music, this contemporary theatre company presents yet another round of its one-of-a-kind Christmas entertainment. If you're fed up with the same old holiday hoopla then you're in luck because Phoenix Theatre strives to only produce shows that have never been done in Indianapolis.

Sarah Scharbrough & Jon McLaughlin Holiday Show at The Jazz Kitchen
Dec. 19, 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. (sold out)
Dec. 20, 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. (sold out)

Two celebrated Indiana singer-songwriters join forces for this night of holiday cheer, as Sharbrough's soulful, piano-driven prowess meshes with the soaring vocals of McLaughlin.

GALLERY GOODNESS

Toys @ Primary Gallery
Opening reception: Dec. 5, 6 - 10 p.m.

In its 12th year, this multi-artist exhibition will feature toy-themed artwork aimed at inspiring "delight, child-like wonderment, and a sense of nostalgia," explains Primary Colours. For this "eclectic display of humorous, witty, and merry pieces created in a variety of mediums," the organization has also teamed up with Indy Reads to raise donations for local reading initiatives.

Primary Colours' annual Toys show is one of the most playful art events in town. - COURTESY OF PRIMARY COLOURS
  • Courtesy of Primary Colours
  • Primary Colours' annual Toys show is one of the most playful art events in town.

The Best Holiday Show Ever at Art Bank
Grand opening: Dec. 5, 6 - 9 p.m.

A diverse array of seasonal celebrations will be symbolized at this gallery, with a piece from each Art Bank artist that represents whichever winter holiday they choose to take part in -- from Hanukkah to Christmas to Kwanzaa. "This year, we wanted to celebrate winter, and whatever holidays or reasons that the artists celebrate in winter," explains Art Bank artist Joy Hernandez.

Beauty & The Beats | Holiday Print Party at Studio B Creative Exchange
Dec. 5, 6 -11 p.m.

In the name of creative exchange, Studio B brings us this unique event, which combines a Print Contest featuring several local artists and a DJ Battle all into one night of artistic experience. If an art gallery and dance club had a baby, this might just be what it'd look like.

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