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Holiday Events in Downtown Indianapolis

Bankers Life Fieldhouse

Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey Circus at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Nov. 29 to Dec. 2.

By Taylor Newell
Indianapolis Downtown, Inc.

Big Ten Football Championship weekend, Nov. 30 – Dec. 2
Be at Lucas Oil Stadium Dec. 1 for the most exciting Big Ten football action all year as Wisconsin and #14 Nebraska clash for the right to play in this year’s Rose Bowl. Tickets are available now through ticketmaster.com ranging from $50 – $125 and VIP packages are available through Indiana Sports Corp. The Big Ten Fan Fest presented by Dr. Pepper takes place Friday 3 – 9 p.m. and Saturday 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. at the Indiana Convention Center, featuring marching band performances, interactive exhibits, youth clinics and the Championship Stage where interviews with Big Ten football legends will be conducted. Tickets for the Fan Fest are $8 for adults, $4 for youth and FREE with a game ticket. The FREE Big Ten Football Georgia Street Tailgate Party takes place Friday and Saturday. Stop by for food, a beverage tent, live entertainment and stock up on your favorite team’s merchandise.  RV parking spots can be secured just blocks from Lucas Oil Stadium for $150. For more details, visit www.indianasportscorp.com.
Also this weekend, see some of the most exciting circus action in the world as Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey present DRAGONS comes to Bankers Life Fieldhouse (see photo above) now through Dec. 2.  On Dec. 1, the St. Nikolaus 5K & 5 Mile Lauf, a run/walk supporting Riley Children’s Hospital, Indianapolis YMCA’s “Y for All” campaign and children of Lutherwood, runs through Lockerbie Square east and ends at the historic Athenaeum. On Dec. 2 at Old National Centre, catch two performances of Max & Ruby: The Nutcracker.
Dec. 7 – 9: Downtown is bustling yet again this weekend: City Sidewalks, IMIS & more
FREE outdoor ice skating, local artisans, holiday performances, a live nativity scene, fresh-cut Christmas trees and Santa all come to Georgia Street Dec. 7 – 9 for City Sidewalks, Downtown’s newest public holiday event. A nod to the classic holiday song “Silver Bells,” City Sidewalks offers FREE fun for the whole family in the heart of Downtown. The fun kicks off Friday at 2 p.m. and runs through Sunday in the afternoon and evening. Visit http://www.indydt.com/CitySidewalks.cfm for more information.
The International Motorsports Industry Show comes to the Indiana Convention Center Dec. 6 – 8 bringing 25,000 people. That Friday, Dec. 7, IDADA’s First Friday Art Tour takes place 6 – 9 p.m. along Mass Ave and in Fountain Square, and the Pacers take on the Denver Nuggets at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. There are also three shows this evening at Old National Centre: Straight No Chaser, twenty-one-pilots and Aaron Lewis. 
The morning of Saturday, Dec. 8, the Jingle Bell 5K and 10K Run/Walk for Arthritis takes off from Bankers Life Fieldhouse and the Hoosier Invitational, featuring 5 high school basketball games, tips off at Bankers Life at 2 p.m. The World Spirit Federation: Indy Showdown, which features some of the top cheer teams in the nation, takes place Dec. 8 and 9 at the Indiana Convention Center and Lucas Oil Stadium, bringing 8,000 people. The Colts challenge the Tennessee Titans at Lucas Oil Stadium Dec. 9 at 1 p.m. and Trans-Siberian Orchestra: The Lost Christmas Eve has two performances that afternoon and evening at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. For information on traffic and road closures for both of these busy weekends, visit www.indydt.com/streetclosings.cfm
United Artists Circle Centre 9 Theatre presents It’s A Wonderful Life benefiting Indianapolis Downtown Beautification
Once again this year, the United Artists movie theatre inside Circle Centre will show the Jimmy Stewart holiday classic It’s A Wonderful Life the evening of Dec. 6, with all proceeds benefiting Indianapolis Downtown Beautification. The film will begin at 6:30 p.m. and admission is only $5. Before the movie, there will be a silent auction from 5 – 6:15 p.m. offering deals and gifts from some of Downtown’s best restaurants, hotels, attractions and more. Visit www.indydt.com/its a wonderful life.cfm for more information.
Downtown sports action all month long
  • On Dec. 8 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, the Hoosier Invitational brings four girls’ and six boys’ Indiana high school basketball teams to the big stage for a total of five games. See every game for only $12.
  • The Close the Gap Crossroads Classic on Dec. 15 brings Indiana’s four biggest college men’s basketball teams to the Bankers Life Fieldhouse floor with IU vs. Butler and Notre Dame vs. Purdue. IU fans coming Downtown for the game can stay at the Canterbury Hotel for only $99!
  • The Indiana Ice play five home games in December including three at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. On Dec. 30, the Ice host the Green Bay Gamblers in their annual New Year’s Eve Celebration.
  • The Indiana Pacers play eight home games at Bankers Life Fieldhouse throughout December, including Dec. 26 against the division-rival Chicago Bulls. The Blue and Gold also play New Year’s Eve against the Memphis Grizzlies.
  • The 7-4 Indianapolis Colts play two home games at Lucas Oil Stadium in December: Dec. 9 against the Tennessee Titans and Dec. 30 against the division-leading Houston Texans.
Holiday Performances
Several holiday performances run through December at many of Downtown Indy’s top performing arts venues – some new and some old holiday favorites.
Indiana Repertory Theatre
This iconic Christmas play returns to the IRT offering several post-show discussions throughout the month.
Theatre on the Square
This holiday show is quite unlike any other. Be ready to participate in this “sacrilegious send-up of everything Christmas!”
Phoenix Theatre
Experience a hilarious twist on tried-and-true holiday traditions with the 7th version of this holiday collection of sketches, musical numbers and more.
Hilbert Circle Theatre
Indiana native Angela Brown returns home to host this year’s celebration featuring some new acts and old favorites like the dancing Santas!
A Christmas Carol, Unscripted, Fridays Nov. 30 – Dec. 29
ComedySportz Indianapolis
Experience the classic tale of Ebenezer Scrooge’s moral holiday journey based on audience suggestions! Must be 17 or older to attend.
Old National Centre
Catch one of two daytime shows of Max & Ruby’s kiddo-friendly take on this classic holiday suite.
Bankers Life Fieldhouse
Rock out the holiday season one day only with a musical portrayal of Charles Dickens’ classic tale of loss and redemption.
Peewinkle’s Puppet Studio
This kid-friendly puppet show features holiday spirit, music and plenty of audience participation.
Martinis & Mistletoe, Dec. 12 – 15
The Cabaret at the Columbia Club
See Shannon Forsell, Brenda Williams and The Buselli Wallarab Jazz Septet perform holiday classics like “The Christmas Song” and songs from A Charlie Brown Christmas.
Three Wishes, Dec. 14
Footlite Musicals
A special ballet performance one night only, featuring the Dance Magic Performing Arts Company.
Ring in the New Year Downtown!
For party animals young and old, there are plenty of fun ways to celebrate the New Year Downtown! Here is a preliminary list of Downtown New Year’s Eve events. Visit www.indydt.com for updates as more Downtown events and specials are announced.
6 X 13: New Year’s Eve at the IMA, $125 – $175
Indianapolis Museum of Art
Don your festive cocktail attire and peruse the IMA’s fantastic galleries as you sample drinks from a champagne bar and select Upland Brewery offerings. Live music by The Cultural Cannibals.
Countdown to Noon, $17.50 adults, $12.50 kids (kid-friendly!)
The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis
Instead of counting down to midnight, celebrate during the day with music, fun activities and a Water Clock countdown that kids can enjoy without staying up late!
Family New Year’s Event, $6 member, $11 non-member (kid friendly!)
Indiana State Museum
Enjoy face painting, stilt walkers, clowns and music by The Tides with an 8 p.m. balloon drop. A fun, alcohol-free celebration for the family.
Hard Rock’s NYE Bash, $30 – $95
Hard Rock Cafe
Celebrate with live music from Brent James & the Contraband, coming straight off their tour with Third Eye Blind.
New Year’s Eve Party, $50 in advance, $55 at the door
Enjoy some local brew and live music from Zanna Doo! Includes Hors’D Oeurve Buffet and a champagne toast at midnight.
NYE with James Johann: “Rural Genius,” $22.50
Crackers Downtown
Welcome the New Year with stand-up comedy by comedian James Johann, who has been featured on Comedy Central and The Slackers Tour.
New Year’s Eve Murder, $50
Indianapolis Propylaeum
Enjoy a fabulous dinner at the Propylaeum – but be careful. Other things besides champagne corks are popping… the host is dead!
For more information, visit http://indydt.com/, or call 317-237-2222.
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