Events

Everything You Must Do in Indianapolis This Winter

Published On 12/27/2017 Published On 12/27/2017
Brewers of Indiana Guild
Brewers of Indiana Guild Winterfest | Brewers of Indiana Guild
December
Super Happy Funtime
Super Happy Funtime Burlesque | Super Happy Funtime
December
Friday
Dec 29
The Vogue
Nothing chases away the winter blahs like big guitar solos, big hits, and even bigger hairstyles. The Vogue offers a salute to the metal gods of yore with a show by local band Decibel, covering everybody from Rush to Led Zeppelin.
Cost: $10
Saturday
Dec 30
The White Rabbit Cabaret
Though their show contains plenty of pasties and G-strings, the Super Happy Funtime Burlesque also offers stuff seldom seen in the typical burlesque show -- including political commentary, cutting-edge music, and fat guys in bondage gear. Their stage production defies categorization, so see it for yourself at the White Rabbit Cabaret.
Cost: $10
January
Bacon Fest
Bacon Fest | Drew Swantak/Thrillist
January
Friday
Jan 5
Center for the Performing Arts
Elvis impersonators aren’t typically considered the pinnacle of entertainment, but the guys performing at the Elvis Tribute Artist Spectacular take it to the next level. The traveling show features different impersonators (they prefer to be called “tribute artists”), who each portray a particular segment of the King’s professional life, including Rockabilly Elvis; 1968 Comeback Elvis; and ’70s Rhinestone Jumpsuit Elvis.
Cost: $32-$78
Saturday
Jan 13
Indiana Farmers Coliseum
The Indiana Farmers Coliseum at the Indiana State Fairgrounds offers a throwback to a simpler time by hosting six high school basketball games, featuring teams from around the state, all on the same day. Trust us, you’ve probably never heard of any of the squads, but watching so many (four girls teams, six boys) do battle in the 1930s-era Coliseum will be a hoot for hardcore fans.
Cost: $12 at gate; $10 in advance
Saturday
Jan 20
Indiana State Fairgrounds
Indy’s semi-pro women’s flat-track roller derby team kicks off its 12th season at the Indiana State Fairgrounds. As with seasons past, spectators can get within sweating distance of the athletes. Just remember that the team isn’t responsible if you get taken out by an errant elbow or bowled over by a scrum of bruised and sweaty women.
Cost: $17 per bout; $60 for five-game season pass
Saturday
Jan 27
Good Conduct, Miss Behavin
More than a dozen national and local whiskey distillers and distributors, including Indiana Small Batch, Bear Wallow Distillery, and Uncle Nearest, show off their wares at this two-hour tasting session. There’s also plenty of food and drink specials.
Cost: $22.40-$100
Saturday
Jan 27
Pavilion at Pan Am
The Pavilion at Pan Am hosts this over-21 salute to all things bacon-related, featuring music, plenty of beer and several full bars. And of course, bacon- and pork-inspired fare from top Indy chefs and restaurants.
Cost: $20-$55
Sunday
Jan 28
The Vogue
Bob Marley’s legendary band The Wailers visits The Vogue for a master class in classic reggae. Marley himself performed with The Wailers from 1973 to 1980, and their mission now is to keep on keeping on, because, as Marley told them before his death, “By doing that you keep me alive through the music.” Yes, they’re going to play “One Love.”
Cost: $25-$30
February
Brewers of Indiana Guild
Brewers of Indiana Guild Winterfest | Brewers of Indiana Guild
February
Saturday
Feb 3
Indiana State Fairgrounds
The 10th annual Brewers of Indiana Guild Winterfest will serve up more than 400 beers from 100 breweries -- all in the friendly confines of the Indiana State Fairgrounds West Pavilion. Partake of unique specialty brews, and as many 3-ounce pours as you can handle.
Cost: $10-$60
Saturday
Feb 10
Children's Museum
The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis can be a lot of fun -- especially during Museum by Moonlight 2018, when they boot out the kids and turn the place into an over-21 club. From 8pm to midnight grownups can explore the world’s largest children’s museum’s, enjoying both food samples from local restaurants, and plenty of alcohol. The dinosaur area will be turned into a disco, and there’s also a full-sized, fully functional carousel to ride. Pro tip: Ride early, before you’ve had too much to drink.
Cost: $65-$85
Sunday
Feb 11
Hilbert Circle Theatre
Legendary conductor John Williams leads the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra in a one-night-only review of his unforgettable movie scores. And there’s a lot to choose from, given that he’s supplied the soundtrack for everything from the Star Wars and Harry Potter movies, to Jaws, Superman (the original, good one), and Jurassic Park. Heck, he even wrote the theme for Gilligan’s Island. Seriously.
Cost: Sold out, but passes available on StubHub and elsewhere on the secondary market
Sunday
Feb 11
Bankers Life Fieldhouse
The 1986 movie Hoosiers, about a small-town team that wins the Indiana state high school basketball championship, has been ranked among the greatest sports movies of all time by Sports Illustrated and ESPN. Here in Indiana, where it was filmed, it’s held in even greater esteem. On this night the NBA’s Indiana Pacers (who play the New York Knicks) will honor it by wearing custom jerseys modeled after the mythical Hickory Huskers, the movie’s winning squad. The team will also honor Paul D. “Tony” Hinkle, who coached the Butler University hoops squad for almost 50 years. Oh, and he also created the iconic orange basketball in use pretty much everywhere on the planet today.
Cost: $13-$40
Saturday
Feb 17
Teacher's Treasures
Running is supposedly good for you, but this 5K charity event throws a couple of tasty wrenches in the works. For instance, at the halfway point participants must, for some reason, consume a dozen donuts, then “hold down” the doughy delights until they cross the finish line. If you take a pass on this, organizers will have plenty more waiting at the end of the race, in case you change your mind. Oh, and there’s also beer. After the run, you can celebrate with a complimentary pint from sponsor Sun King Brewery.
Cost: $30-$35 advance registration; $40 on race day
Saturday
Feb 17
Centerpoint Brewing Company
The aptly named Frigid Digits Winter Beer Fest takes place in the parking lot of the Centerpoint Brewing Company, in a partially covered enclosure that keeps out just a little bit of the bitter February weather. Guests might not mind, however, because they can partake of more than 75 samples, including beer, meads, ciders, and harder stuff from local breweries and distilleries. There will also be raffles, games, and strategically placed fire pits to keep participants warm.
Cost: $25
Sunday
Feb 25
The Jazz Kitchen
One of Indy’s premier jazz joints serves up a nasty little soiree called Brazilian Carnival Hosted by Cultural Cannibals. Enjoy Brazilian food and drink; a corps of more than 20 Brazilian-style drummers; and a DJ playing Carnival music. There’s even a big-screen TV showing the actual Carnival parade in Rio.
Cost: $15
Sunday - Monday
Feb 25-Mar 5
Lucas Oil Stadium
Indianapolis hosts the weeklong NFL Scouting Combine, in which the year’s hottest draft prospects are put through their paces for coaches and team personnel. Most of the practice sessions (which take place in Lucas Oil Stadium) are closed to the public, but plenty of fan-friendly activities happen around the Combine, and a limited number of fans can win the chance to watch some of the workouts.
Cost: Free to attend
Wednesday - Sunday
Feb 28-Mar 4
Bankers Life Fieldhouse
The Big Ten’s top female players meet at Bankers Life Fieldhouse to decide who takes home the hardware as the league’s best team. Enjoy multiple games each day, as the 14-team field (yes, the Big Ten has 14 teams) is winnowed down to the two who play in the March 4 championship matchup.
Cost: $55
march
pink
pink | yakub88/Shutterstock.com
march
Saturday
Mar 3
Schrott Center for the Arts
Dave Anthony and Gareth Reynolds bring The Dollop podcast to the Schrott Center for the Arts at Butler University. Conceived by Anthony in 2014, it specializes in telling obscure, true stories from American history, while Reynolds and Anthony make smartass comments. It’s like the RiffTrax guys sat in on a history class.
Cost: $25-$50
Saturday
Mar 3
Eiteljorg Museum
The Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians & Western Art explores how Western movies and TV shows shaped our perceptions of the actual American West. The exhibit offers interactive exhibits, artifacts from old shows, lectures, and screenings, and covers everything from old TV staples like Bonanza to Django Unchained and HBO’s Westworld.
Cost: Included with $13 adult museum admission
Friday
Mar 9
The Vogue
Think of this one-night celebration of art and alternative sexuality as a sort of cocktail mixer for kink fans, complete with DJs, live performances, and “play spaces” where attendees can let their freak flags fly. Net proceeds from the event go to the National Coalition for Sexual Freedom, which advances the rights of consenting adults in the BDSM, leather, fetish, swing and polyamory communities. The event actually has its own safeword: “red” -- just in case you need it.
Cost: $20-$35
Saturday
Mar 17
Bankers Life Fieldhouse
The legendary songstress hits the arena in support of her seventh studio album, Beautiful Trauma. Take note: It's one of the year’s most expensive shows (even nosebleed seats cost three figures), but true fans will doubtlessly love it.
Cost: $243-$2,338