Midwest Events

Click the state name below to search for upcoming events for that state.

Illinois              Indiana                 Iowa

Kansas              Michigan             Minnesota

Missouri           Nebraska             North Dakota

Ohio                  South Dakota      Wisconsin


Event Announcements from Midwest (and neighboring states) visitor offices:

(Click on the event name to read details.)

Indianapolis, IN
November 17 – January 21
Jingle Rails: The Great Western Adventure

Eiteljorg Museum

The iconic roadside attractions and landmarks along the historic U.S. Highway Route 66 highlight new additions to the Eiteljorg Museum’s holiday model train display, Jingle Rails: The Great Western Adventure. Open from Nov. 17 to Jan. 21, Jingle Rails is an enchanting holiday attraction, featuring garden scale (G-scale) model trains that crisscross miniature replicas of famous landscapes — from the skyline of Indianapolis to the impressive sights of the American West — that visitors can walk through, around and under.

Railroad tracks guide the model trains past intricate reproductions of Lucas Oil Stadium, Mount Rushmore, Yellowstone, Grand Canyon, an Aspen ski resort, Hoover Dam, Golden Gate Bridge and other landmarks. The scenes are constructed of all-natural materials: bark, acorns, pine cones, tree roots, honeycomb and other materials, and are decked out in holiday lights.

New to Jingle Rails this season is a representation of U.S. Route 66, the iconic highway that carried motorists between Chicago and Los Angeles during the mid-20th century. Starting with the classic Chicago skyline and Route 66 sign, the new addition passes notable tourist attractions from the route’s heyday, including the Gateway Arch in St. Louis, Cadillac Ranch in Texas, Sinclair filling station with its signature dinosaur and Blue Swallow Motel in New Mexico, all depicted in miniature. The scene ends in California at the Pacific Park Pier with a dazzling fully operating and illuminated Ferris wheel.

Train tables, art-making and other winter activities enhance the Jingle Rails experience. Screenings of the holiday film The Polar Express take place on Dec. 15 and Dec. 21, at 2 p.m. both days.  On Jan. 12 at 10:30 a.m., Native American storyteller Dovie Thomason (Lakota/Plains Apache) will present a family program offering an intertribal sampling of traditional animal stories titled Lessons from the Animal People, in partnership with Storytelling Arts of Indiana. Visit the museum’s website, http://www.eiteljorg.org, for more details about Jingle Rails programming

Fort Wayne, IN
January 9-20
Savor Fort Wayne

During Savor Fort Wayne, Fort Wayne’s Restaurant Week, you can enjoy 3-course value priced menu selections at more than 50 participating restaurants. You’re sure to find the perfect dining destination for your special occasion and budget.

Ann Arbor, MI
January 13-18
Ann Arbor Restaurant Week

Restaurant Week is your opportunity to try as many great Ann Arbor restaurants as your schedule allows for one incredibly low fixed price. $15 for lunch and $28 for a three course dinner with many restaurants offering 2 for 1 pricing. More info

Muncie, IN
January 17
Travis Abels—Movie trailer editor to speak at Ball State

Travis Abels, a 2006 Ball State University graduate from the Department of Journalism and the School of Art, is one of the leading film editors behind trailers that the public sees to advertise movies and TV series. The title of his presentation will be “Movie Trailer Mastermind: Throw Away Process and Just Play.” More info

Homer, IL
January 17
Full Moon Hike

Lake Forest Preserve More info

Muncie, IN
January 17, 24, 31; February 7, 14, 21, 28; March 7, 14, 21, 28; April 4, 11, 18, 25; May 2, 9, 16, 23, 30
Elm Street Brewing Jazz Nights  

Jazz and Blues Night every Thursday at Elm Street Brewing Company. More info

Muncie, IN
January 18
Shark Tank’s Kevin O’Leary Event

This event is all about helping you succeed! Kevin has invited the top companies.
Here are the top ways you will benefit from attending this event:
 UNLIMITED POTENTIAL: How can I change my limiting beliefs around wealth, success or anything else that could be holding me back?
• MONEY MAGNET: How do I attract the money and success that I truly deserve?
• MONTHLY CASH FLOW: How can I generate income month after month?
• WEALTH PRESERVATION: How can I protect my money from inflation and market turbulence?
• RETIREMENT: Do you understand how to use your current retirement funds to build wealth?
• CRITICAL TOOLS: How can I get the real-time professional tools to do my profitable deals? Are these tools really easy enough for a novice to start immediately?
Your most important asset in achieving wealth is your mind. At this free event we’ll show you how to create the attitudes and behaviors that deliver wealth.
Join Kevin O’Leary’s team at the fun relaxed and informative event that is guaranteed to give you a new way of thinking about money like never before.
Tickets are free, but you must register. Seating is limited. More info

Hays, KS
January 18-19
Threshold of Death: A Murder at Cy Godard’s Dance Hall

Hays Community Theater. More info

Shipshewana, IN
January 18-19
Michiana Outdoor Sportsman Show

Is the winter weather making you antsy to get outside? The Michiana Outdoor Sportsman Show has all the gear to prepare you for warmer days. Aside from the vendors, enjoy speakers, an auction, archery competition, giveaways, and more. More info

Nashville, IN
January 18-20
WinterBliss Wellness Retreat

Renew your mind, body, and spirit at WinterBliss! This extraordinary 2.5-day retreat in the Brown County State Park will include tons of fun and unique wellness offerings, such as yoga, mindfulness, sound healing, massage, creative arts, and even a gong bath! Plus, you’ll be able to enjoy spectacular winter views of the Brown County hills.

Nashville, IN
January 18-21
Walking Village History Tour

Step back in time on a guided, walking tour of the Village of Nashville! Learn the fascinating history of Brown County, including the local natural history of the land, people, industry, and the founding of the art colony. This tour during begins and ends at the Visitors Center. Enjoy a film both before and after your stroll.

Alton, IL
January 18-27
Alton Restaurant Week

Looking for some winter comfort food? Then look no further than Alton Restaurant Week which kicks off 10 days of dining adventures Jan. 18 through Jan. 27. More info

Milton, WI
January 19
Moonlight/Candlelight Hike

The Rock County Chapter Ice Age Trail Alliance hosts the Moonlight/Candlelight Hikewith a bonfire and hot chocolate at Storrs Lake Wildlife Area at 6 PM on January 19. More info  

Great Bend, KS
January 19
Icy Sidewalk Sale

Check out all the hot deals during the annual Icy Sidewalk Sale, Saturday, January 19th. For a full list of participating stores, visit Explore Great Bend, KS.

Nashville, IN
January 19
Mysterious Hills Winter Hike

Go on a winter adventure as you explore hidden spots in the Brown County State Park! This is your chance to learn about places that are only known by legend. Meet at the Nature Center at 11 a.m. before hitting the trails to discover Deserter’s Cave. Dress warm and get ready for a good time.

Nashville, IN
January 19
Frosty Trails 5 Mile

Looking for an exhilarating challenge? Take on the Frosty 5! Choose from a 5.2-mile scenic trail run (or walk if you’d like) or a 5K road run/walk through the beautiful Brown County State Park. Share your tales of the trails during a post-race gathering at the Recreation Building, featuring warm food, drinks, and a fire!

Beecher, IL
January 19
Snow Day Festival

Cure your winter blues at Goodenow Grove’s annual winter festival. This year’s theme is “Frozen” and Elsa and Anna will be our special guests. Join them in the nature center where they’ll be singing the hits “Let it Snow” and “Do You Want to Build a Snowman?” More info

Channahon, IL
January 19
Listen for Owls Hike for Adults

This outdoor program at McKinley Woods – Fredericks’s Grove will have us searching for this magical bird – the owl! We will be quietly listening for the owl serenade. Maybe we will have the chance to hear other creatures of the night as well! Please park at the upper lot. More info

Nashville, IN
January 19-20
Brown County Sippin’ Trip

Treat your taste buds and savor the local flavors on a Sippin’ Trip! From mouthwatering moonshine and delicious craft beer to smooth spirits and fine wine, there will be plenty to sip and sample as you discover Brown County’s diverse artisan alcohol scene! The best part…transportation is provided.

Wisconsin – Statewide
January 19-20
Winter Free Fishing Weekend

Fish anywhere in Wisconsin without a license or trout stamp. Other fishing rules apply, such as limits on the number and size of fish you can keep and any seasons when you must release certain fish species. More info

Echo Park, WI
January 19-20
Hot ChocolateFest

Burlington Area Chamber of Commerce invites you to celebrate winter at Hot ChocolateFest – a weekend of family fun. Opens 6 p.m. Friday with open ice skating at Echo Park, 595 Milwaukee Ave. There is also campfire storytelling and s’mores around the campfire. More info

Racine, WI
January 19-26
Downtown Racine Restaurant Week

It’s your chance to experience Downtown Racine’s great array of dining options. Everything from burgers to filets! Pick up a Downtown Racine Corp. (DRC) dining card and receive 15 percent off your food bill every day at participating restaurants from Jan. 19 through 26. More info

Champaign, IL
January 20
Full Lunar Eclipse Viewing

See 2019’S Only Full Lunar Eclipse through Telescope. More info

Kenosha, WI
January 20, February 24, May 5
Fine Arts at First Concert Series

The free concert series presents six concerts in the 2018-2019 season. More info

Richmond, IN
January 21-27
The Meltdown Winter Ice Festival

Looking for a place to chill out this January? Look no further than the Meltdown Winter Ice Festival in Richmond, IN! This festival offers events and activities for kids and adults of all ages. Join us for coloring contests, Lego contests, a charity chili cook-off, and world-class ice carvers! Each year we bring in carvers from all over to come and compete for your icy affections. The Meltdown Winter Ice Festival in Richmond, IN is sure to be the coolest event in January! More info

Urbana, IL
January 22-23
Russian National Ballet Theater at the Krannert Center

January 22: Giselle
January 23: Sleeping Beauty
As the new year brings an innate desire to try something new, an Outside of Ordinary opportunity to attend a timeless stage performance couldn’t be coming at a better time! The majestic elegance of classical ballet is a perfect introduction to the spring semester at Krannert Center. With lithe movement, resplendent apparel, and mesmerizing tales, the more than 50 dancers of this esteemed Russian company—which has performed at Krannert Center since 1999— weave evenings of evergreen enchantment. This season, Giselle’s haunting saga and Princess Aurora’s story of love take center stage. More info

Kokomo, IN
January 24
Visit library to Skype with astronaut in outer space

Everyone is invited to Skype with an astronaut in outer space about journeys in space and the current mission. The audience will get a chance to ask questions and then tour the Kokomo-Howard County Public Library South Branch’s “Discover Space: A Cosmic Journey” exhibit. The Out of this World Space Talk will be 10-10:30 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 24 at the South Branch.More info

Champaign, IL
January 25
Harlem Globetrotters

The Original Harlem Globetrotters are known for our amazing feats of basketball, humor, and acts of goodwill on and off the court. And we have always been about our fans, but this year, everything we do will bring fans closer to the action more than ever before. More info

Romeoville, IL
January 25
Hoot Hike

Isle a la Cache after dark is not a scary place to be. Discover wHOO is a regular nighttime visitor here. We’ll give you some wisdom about owls, share what to look and listen for, and then go out to hike in search of our feathered friends. A naturalist will help the group explore owl habitat and to keep all ears attuned to owl calls. More info

Ann Arbor, MI
January 25-26
42nd Annual Folk Festival

The Folk Festival will celebrate its 42nd year with a selection of the world’s finest traditional and contemporary performers. Each night includes a blend of well-known and up-and-coming artists, providing you with an opportunity to hear artists you know and love while discovering great new talent. The lineup delivers the full spectrum of “Ark music,” presenting a taste of what’s happening on the leading edge of acoustic music while delving into the very heart of folk and roots traditions. More info

Champaign County, IL
January 25 – February 2
Champaign County Area Restaurant Week 2019

Start saving your calories! The third annual Champaign County Area Restaurant Week returns January 25–February 2, 2019. This nine-day celebration of local food will leave you craving more when you discover our award-winning food scene. Whether you crave authentic Italian dishes, Asian-inspired cuisine, or juicy chicken sandwiches, Restaurant Week will satisfy all your hunger pangs. Menus will be revealed as they are provided to us, so stay tuned to our Restaurant Week page for the latest on this Outside of Ordinary event!

Sioux Falls, SD
January 26
Ice Fish Fest

Catfish Bay has been privately stocked with Walleye, Bass, Blue Gill, & Crappie. Gates Open and Concessions Available @10:30AM. Tournament time is 1-4pm. More info  

Racine and Kenosha, WI
January 26
Racine and Kenosha’s Best Bloody Mary Bar Crawl

Tickets include 3 free bloody marys, additional bloddy marys for $3, rides on the bus, and free beer. More info

Hays, KS
January 27
22nd Annual Soup ‘R Bowl

Ellis County Fairgrounds. More info

Mokena, IL
January 29
Volunteer Workday: Hickory Creek Junction

Our “Volunteer Workdays” provide an opportunity for you to contribute to your community, support your local environment, meet fellow nature-lovers, and get some fresh air and exercise. More info

Clear Lake, IA
January 30 – February 2
60th Anniversary Winter Dance Party at the Surf Ballroom

60th Anniversary Winter Dance Party, Clear Lake: February 2019 marks 60 years since the original Winter Dance Party at the Surf Ballroom, the last concert Buddy Holly, Richie Valens and The Big Bopper played. The 2019 event, running January 30-February 2, includes Chubby Checker and the Wildcats, The Chiffons and Wendy & Carnie Wilson.

On January 31, festivities include a special pop-up museum on the history of rock ‘n’ roll pioneers The Everly Brothers from Shenandoah, Iowa. The exhibit will feature memorabilia exclusive to Don and Phil Everly’s formative years in Shenandoah and their historic 1986 homecoming concert.

February Events

March Events

April Events

May Events

June Events

July Events

August Events

September Events

October Events

Midwest CVBs and DMOs: Do you have an upcoming event to share? Please send press releases to events@midwestwanderer.com.