10 things to do this weekend

With Christmas just a few days away, here's a final list of holiday-related events you can enjoy with friends, family, or blissfully alone between now and the New Year.

Ballet Theatre of Indiana: The Nutcracker

  • Dec. 20-23
  • Basile Theatre at the Historic Athenaeum
  • btindiana.org
  • Ballet Theatre of Indiana’s retelling of the classic Tchaikovsky ballet, staged in the Historic Basile Theatre at the Athenaeum, has something for everyone. The production promises visceral, fast-paced dancing along with the familiar storyline. If last year’s performance was any indication, BTI’s dancers will take the story of young girl Clara, who is given a nutcracker as a Christmas present, and make it new again. Let’s hope she doesn’t get eaten by the wicked rats on the way to saving her prince.

A Very Phoenix Xmas 13: Merry Superstitious

  • Through Dec. 23
  • Phoenix Cultural Centre
  • phoenixtheatre.org
  • While you can’t call this a traditional holiday show, it’s a tradition nevertheless, now in its 13th year, directed by Q Artistry artistic director Ben Asaykwee.  There’s more than a little sketch comedy and more than a little cabaret sprinkled into this yuletide extravaganza, with an all-women cast, that also pays homage to Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and reflects the social anxieties of the moment. The laughs will be liberally applied, of course, like the rum in your eggnog.
Home for the Holidays


Let's Comedy Presents: Home for the Holidays

  • Sunday, Dec. 23
  • White Rabbit Cabaret
  • whiterabbitcabaret.com
  • Need a good laugh between now and Christmas? Head down to Fountain Square for a comedy showcase featuring funny folks from Indy who are in town for the holidays and are eager to make a hometown crowd laugh. Join hosts ALex Price and Austin Fry as they welcome Carl Sonnefeld, Grace Bahler, Matt Bachus, Jimmy Roberson, Katlin McFee and many more comics. Doors at 7 p.m., show at 8 p.m. $10 at the door.

Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol

  • Through Dec. 26
  • Indiana Repertory Theatre
  • irtlive.com
  • You may have grown up with this perennial favorite, but hopefully you’ve never grown tired of it.   After all, we’re all visited by our own personal ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Future, as it were. This version, adapted by Tom Hass, promises to remind us that redemption remains possible, even for the stingiest (or the twitteriest) of us. Or maybe not. But it’s certainly pretty to think so.  


Elf: the Musical

  • Through Dec. 31
  • Beef and Boards
  • beefandboards.com
  • Do you identify with the young orphan, Buddy, who is raised as an elf after hiding in Santa’s bag of gifts and being flown to his castle on the North Pole? No? How about when Buddy grows much larger than the other elves, unaware that he’s human? How about when his poor toy making abilities are called out by his elf peers? After all this you might, then, do what Buddy does when he discovers the truth: take a voyage of self-discovery. This is a plotline that can be both appreciated by fans of self-help books and the five-year-old set.

Lights at the Brickyard

  • Through Dec. 30
  • Indianapolis Motor Speedway
  • indianapolismotorspeedway.com
  • Few things are more Indianapolis than “The Brickyard.” This massive display of over 3 million lights illuminates the historic race track with a 2 mile drive-thru display that takes viewers through the IMS infield and down the front stretch. Sure to light up your holiday experience.

Christmas at the Zoo

  • Through Dec. 30
  • Indianapolis Zoo
  • indianapoliszoo.com
  • Dating all the way back to 1967, the lights display at Indianapolis Zoo is the oldest zoo lights exhibit in the nation.  Take a stroll and enjoy the festive beauty while sipping a warm cocoa with a loved one. Animal lovers will still get what they came for with several of the animal exhibits remaining open late including an appearance by Santa’s reindeer.

Garfield Park Conservatory Crossing

  • Through Dec. 31
  • Garfield Park Conservatory and Sunken Gardens
  • garfieldgardensconservatory.org
  • The idea of a tropical conservatory might not scream Christmas to some, but Conservatory Crossing brings some holiday cheer to Garfield Park’s Conservatory and Sunken Gardens.  With fun for the whole family ranging from family story hours to hand crafted treats from Mrs. Claus’s personal recipe book, this display is sure to delight everyone.

Winterlights at Newfields

  • Through Jan. 6
  • Newfields
  • discovernewfields.org
  • Winterlights is the perfect opportunity to gather with loved ones and take this beautiful display on the Lilly House Lawn.  Keep warm with hot chocolate and s’mores. For an even more jaw dropping experience, Newfields is offering special glasses to view the show transforming each of the 1.5 million lights used into snowflakes.

Jingle Rails: the Great Western Adventure

  • Through Jan. 21
  • Eiteljorg Museum
  • Eitlejorg.org
  • If you have someone in your family who is nuts over model trains, don’t bring them here. You’ll never be able to drag them out again. The nine working model trains blow past the the skyline of Indianapolis in miniature--including Monument Circle, Union Circle, and the Eiteljorg, of course-- on their way to the Grand Canyon, Yosemite Falls, Old Faithful, and Northwest Coast native villages.
WInterlights at Newfields

Winterlights at Newfields


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