The New Indy Must-Do List: Attend These Events

Your guide to the city’s new social calendar.

FEBRUARY 22 Adult Swim at the Children’s Museum
A sellout in its debut last year, Adult Swim transforms the museum into a swanky cocktail party. Finally, a chance to ride the carousel without fighting a toddler for your favorite horse.

MARCH 2 Academy Awards viewing party
For seven years, in-the-know Indy residents have tucked their Oscar ballots into glittering clutches and headed to United Way of Central Indiana’s annual viewing party, which offers dinner and live music. Just check the theme, such as Bollywood or vintage circus, before finalizing your outfit.

MARCH 29–30 The Indiana Artisan Marketplace
This market at the Indiana State Fairgrounds is a one-stop shop for Indiana’s top crafters. After you browse the aisles of one-of-a-kind jewelry, furniture, and artwork, hit the new biergarten.

JUNE 14 INDIEana Handicraft Exchange
This ain’t a Martha Stewart craft fair. Founded in 2007 by the folks who run the Homespun boutique, the event offers live music, food trucks, and dozens of booths packed with items from steampunk jewelry to funky stained glass.

AUGUST 24 Dig IN: A Taste of Indiana
Just five years old, Dig IN is already entrenched as the city’s top food festival—with the long lines to prove it. Beat the crowd by splurging for early admission to sample farm-to-fork dishes from local chefs.

One of the hippest annual happenings since its founding in 2002, Oranje is part art fair, part concert, and (of course) part bar.

OCTOBER 18 Heartland Film Festival Awards Ceremony
Perhaps the most “truly moving” things about the Heartland Film Festival are the $100,000-plus awarded at its black-tie gala and the boldfaced names (like Jon Voight and Rob Reiner) who show up. Stick around for the afterparty, where you can mingle with filmmakers who are right on the cusp of making it big—plus many who already have.

NOVEMBER 21 Tonic Ball
Dozens of musicians covering songs from three iconic bands + three Fountain Square venues = the perfect recipe to raise funds for Second Helpings. Don’t miss the Tonic Gallery, which showcases local artwork with an annual theme (last year, appropriately, art inspired by album covers).

NOVEMBER 22 Evening with the Stars
From the moment this celebration of contemporary ballet landed five years ago, it fit like a tutu. Art patrons crowd the front rows for what is easily the most sophisticated cultural event in the city. And if you aren’t one of them? Watching the world’s best dancers interpret the likes of Radiohead remains a spectacle even in the balcony.

DECEMBER 20 Crossroads Classic
Imagine a Hoosier sweep of the Final Four, and you have an idea of the Crossroads Classic, two basketball games featuring IU, Purdue, Notre Dame, and Butler.

MONTHLY Indie Arts & Vintage Marketplace
This assemblage of antiques vendors emphasizes mid-century wares and usually includes fashion trucks and stylish artisans, too. IAVM takes place indoors until May, when it returns to a parking lot by the Glendale shopping center. But go now—it attracts more vendors in the winter, when weather isn’t a factor. The Fountains conference center, 502 E. Carmel Dr., Carmel, 317-566-3400,

So you’ve climbed the Monument, munched on corn at the Indiana State Fair, had your mouth set afire by a certain shrimp-cocktail sauce. But what are the modern-day rites of passage? We have answers: The New Indy-Must Do List.

This article appeared in the February 2014 issue.