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5 fun campus activities to get you in the spirit this holiday season

Nov. 16, 2016

We may not be experiencing any snowfall yet, but the season for winter festivities is upon us. With or without snow, IU is transforming into a winter wonderland with a plethora of ways to infuse some holiday spirit into your routine without even leaving campus.

IU Gingerbread house

The large gingerbread house standing in the lobby of IU's Biddle Hotel stands nearly 6 feet tall and makes a bold accompaniment to the elaborate village also on display. | PHOTO BY MARY KECK, IU COMMUNICATIONS

Don’t miss out on these five fun-filled activities this season:

Visit the giant gingerbread house at the IMU

Last year, IMU executive pastry chef Ashley Baughman created an IU-inspired gingerbread house to display in the building, but she outdid herself this year with multiple gingerbread creations.

In the lobby of the Biddle Hotel is a giant gingerbread house, standing at about 5.5 feet tall. This structure is new this year and is a complement to the gingerbread village on display in the Tudor Room. The gingerbread village boasts seven houses, pine trees, and a pond complete with ducks. The two creations together required over 300 pounds of dough to construct and are adorned with Jolly Rancher string lights, a white chocolate pretzel wreath, Cinnamon Toast Crunch roofing shingles and more creative candy detailing.

The gingerbread constructions will be on display at the IMU through New Year’s Eve.

Want to test out your own gingerbread house construction skills? Baughman will be hosting a Gingerbread Workshop for the public at 3 p.m. Dec. 4 in the Tudor Room. The event costs $22 per group and will include a hot chocolate bar, music and a visit from Santa. To reserve a spot, email imucater@indiana.edu or call 812-855-1777.

Catch a holiday show at IU Auditorium or the Musical Arts Center

The annual Chimes of Christmas returns to the IU Auditorium this season for another magical and spirited evening of performance. The IU Singing Hoosiers and Jacobs School of Music ensembles will come together to perform renditions of seasonal favorites at 2 and 7:30 p.m. Dec. 3.

The Sugar Plum Fairy will once again visit IU for the holiday season. "The Nutcracker," a quintessential holiday favorite, will be performed by the IU Opera and Ballet. The show is available multiple times but always sells out, so get your tickets soon. All performances are at the Musical Arts Center, at the following times and dates:

  • 7:30 p.m. Dec. 1
  • 7:30 p.m. Dec. 2
  • 2 p.m. Dec. 3
  • 7:30 p.m. Dec. 3
  • 2 p.m. Dec. 4
Wylie House

The historic home of IU’s first president, Andrew Wylie, will be open to the public for a holiday open house, beginning at 4 p.m. Dec. 3. 

Step back in time at Wylie House by Candlelight

The historic home of IU’s first president, Andrew Wylie, will be open to the public for a holiday open house, beginning at 4 p.m. Dec. 3. Seasonal refreshments, live music, period caroling and crafts will be part of the evening’s festivities. New to this year’s event is a special children’s story hour, during which Emily Weisner Thompson will read from her new book, "What If There’s No Chimney."


Enjoy IU Auditorium’s decor

Campus lights up for the holidays, but did you know the IU Auditorium lobby is decked out with holiday-themed decorations all season? Add a little festivity to your day and drop in to check out the public space during your lunch hour or while you’re taking a stroll on campus. After Thanksgiving break, you will find 15 decorative wreathes and nearly 60 poinsettia planters installed throughout the building. Additionally, the inner lobby features five decorated trees -- the largest of which is adorned with 13,600 lights.

Listen to the sounds of the holidays 

The Pre-College Harp Program in the Jacobs School of Music offers students ages 6 to 18 harp training with associate professor of music Elzbieta Szmyt. Their lessons and classes culminate with a seasonal recital. This semester, the students will be performing a Christmas Concert at 2 p.m. Dec. 17 in Auer Hall. 

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