10 things to do this weekend

The holidays are in full-swing and so are holiday-related events around Indy. Whether you’re looking for lights, music, or unique shopping opportunities, this week’s 10 Things to Do list has multiple options.

Want more choices? Check out our complete NUVO Guide to the Holidays for 100 more holiday options.

1. 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.  

2. 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  

 3. A Very Phoenix Xmas 13: Merry Superstitious

  • Nov. 23-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.

4. Indianapolis Ballet: The Nutcracker

  • Dec. 14-16
  • Murat Theatre
  • indyballet.org
  • For more than a decade the Indianapolis Ballet has presented its interpretation of Tchaikovsky’s classic, and this year promises to be just as magical. More than 20 cast members from the professional company will be joined by the 45-piece orchestra in one of the city’s most beautiful historic theaters. If it’s not already a family tradition, it should be. Matinee shows Saturday and Sunday.

5. Norm Lewis: Nutcracker Cool

  • Dec. 14, 15, 16
  • The Cabaretthecabaret.org
  • Tony-nominated Norm Lewis made a name for himself starring in shows like Porgy and Bess and Phantom of the Opera, including as the first African American actor to perform the title role of Phantom on Broadway. For the holidays, he’s on tour and headed to Indianapolis. During his weekend at The Cabaret, Lewis will be putting his unique spin on such classics as “This Christmas”, “Santa Baby” and “Where is Love?”

6. Alternative Gift Fair and Makers Market

  • Dec. 15
  • Irving Theater
  • attheirving.com
  • More than 40 local vendors will be on hand offering handcrafted items at this year’s alternative gift fair, a favorite since beginning in 2007. Admission is free, and donations of men’s hats, socks, and gloves are being asked for PourHouse, a local street outreach and peer advocacy group serving homeless individuals.

7. Square Cat Christmas Market

  • Dec. 15
  • Square Cat Vinyl
  • squarecatvinyl.com
  • Head to Fountain Square for a day of shopping with dozens of local makers offering everything from pottery to soap. Flat12 is providing the drinks, and musical performances take place throughout the the day from groups like the Circle City Chamber Choir and Dysfunktion Brass.

8. 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.

9. 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.

10. Jingle Rails: the Great Western Adventure

  • Through Jan. 21
  • Eitlejorg 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. Then again, maybe you will be able to drag your family member out of Jingle Rails: promise them a cross-country Amtrak ride out west next summer.  
WInterlights at Newfields

Winterlights at Newfields