Love Living Local

Who doesn’t like free stuff to do?  I’ve combed through Bloomington’s events and organizations to find those free gems for you and your family and/or friends to do this holiday season.

So let’s get our “free” on Bloomington!

Graphic from Bloomington Handmade Market website

1. Browse the Bloomington Handmade Market November 12 or the Holiday Market on November 26.

Bonus: Now you could spend money, (start and) finish holiday shopping in the same activity, and support local artists and businesses. Remember Small Business Saturday is November 26. Win win.

2. Attend an IU Student Performance 

Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music is internationally recognized for its excellence. Performances occur daily throughout the semester.  Student showcases are free. Dance performances are often ticketed, but do check to see about cost.

My list:

  1. Student Composition Recital Tuesday, November 29, 2016 8:00 pm Auer Hall
  2. All-Campus Jazz Ensemble & Jazz Combo Tuesday, November 29, 2016
    8:30 pm Ford-Crawford Hall
  3. New Voices Opera – Fourth Annual Fall Exhibition Opera Excerpts Newly Composed and Performed by Students of the Jacobs School of Music Wednesday, November 30, 2016 7:00 pm Ford-Crawford Hall
  4. Concentus – Dana Marsh, director Music of Heinrich Schütz, featuring “Weihnachtshistorie (The Christmas Story),” SWV 435 Wednesday, November 30, 2016 8:30 pm Recital Hall
  5. Symphony Orchestra Thursday, December 1, 2016 5:00 pm Auer Hall
  6.  New Music Ensemble-David Dzubay, director Beomseok Yoo, alumnus guest composer Thursday, December 1, 2016 8:00 pm Auer Hall
  7. Choreography Project, Fri. & Sat., Dec. 2 & 3, 2016, Studio Theater, Lee Norvelle Theatre and Drama Center – 6:30 & 8:30pm shows IU Comtemporary Dance *may not be free

Bonus: Indiana Memorial Union Global Music Series on Thursdays 7-9pm until Dec. 8

Photo credit: Visit Bloomington website

3. Light up Bloomington at the Canopy of Lights on November 25 

Join Santa and the Bloomington community as over 27 miles of lights illuminate downtown. Eat holiday snacks, drink hot chocolate, and be merry with costume characters and friends.

4. Give back by volunteering 

Bloomington is home to hundreds of nonprofits who need volunteers year round to help our community.  Check out Bloomington Volunteer Network and find your perfect match. And remember, nonprofits need people year round.  A donation of time is just as important as a donation of money.

Holiday opportunities

  1. Organize a Group to Maintain Natural Spaces until November 30
  2. Family Volunteer Day Nov. 19 register by Nov. 18
  3. Thanksgiving Meal at Community Kitchen shifts and donations Nov. 24
  4. 10th Annual Thanksgiving Meal for Cry of the Children Nov. 12 register by Nov. 11
  5. Holiday Market Nov. 26
  6. Christmas Eve Meal Prep and Service at Community Kitchen Dec. 24 register by Dec. 23

gather_fotor5. Experience great art during Gallery Walk on the first Friday in December

Baby it might be cold outside, but that won’t keep us from celebrating great art!  Visit By Hand Gallery, Blueline Media, Gallery 406, all of us at Gather : handmade shoppe, Ivy Tech John Waldron Arts Center, Pictura, and The Venue for new gallery openings and snacks.

Bonus: Participate in Shop Brick + Mortar on Instagram


Enter to win the Bloomington Brick + Mortar shops Instagram giveaway each week to celebrate the 12 weeks of Christmas! Beginning the week of October 2nd, they will be giving away one $25 Downtown Bloomington Gift Card each week.





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