23 Top Midwest Events in November | Midwest Living

23 Top Midwest Events in November

Steer roping in Kansas, curling in Nebraska and a holiday parade in North Dakota are just some of the Midwest events that will keep you entertained this November.


Mendelssohn & Brahms ROCKFORD November 11 Take a night off from seasonal standards and see the Rockford Symphony Orchestra perform Mendelssohn’s Symphony No. 5 and A German Requiem by Brahms at the Coronado Performing Arts Center (rockfordsymphony.com)


Lincoln in Quilts: Log Cabins, Flags and Roses INDIANAPOLIS November 4–February 19, 2018 At the Indiana State Museum, discover a unique medium for studying Abe Lincoln’s life—quilts. Some displayed quilts from the 1800s proclaim allegiance to the 16th president. One was even made by his cousin (indianamuseum.org).

Joyeux Noel—A Festive French Christmas FORT WAYNE November 25 The holidays take a Francophile turn at The Old Fort, where you’ll experience seasonal French ambience—artisans in period clothing, entertainment and refreshments (facebook.com/historicfortwayne).


Iowa’s Premier Beer, Wine and Food Expo DES MOINES November 10–11 It’s a feast for the senses—and for the palate—at this Iowa Events Center expo. Tickets cover unlimited food, beer and wine samples from top dining and brewing destinations (iowaeventscenter.com).

Disney Fantasia Live in Concert SIOUX CITY November 18 At the Sioux City Orpheum Theatre, the Sioux City Symphony Orchestra will play classics like “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice” and “Dance of the Hours” (siouxcitysymphony.org). 


National Finals Steer Roping MULVANE November 10–11 Steer roping is a prized skill of the last standing true cowboys. At the Kansas Star Arena, you’ll witness the 15 best in the world as they rope and ride for the grand prize (prorodeo.com).


East Lansing Film Festival EAST LANSING November 9–16 Held at various venues, this respected film festival will mark its 20th year with independent features and documentaries made by international filmmakers, including many Midwesterners (elff.com).

Old Christmas Weekend MANISTEE November 30–December 2 River Street booms to life when draft horses deliver a 30-foot Christmas tree. The turn-of-the-century-inspired celebration includes carolers and a reindeer meet-and-greet (manisteesleighbellparade.com).


Home Improvement and Design Expo BLAINE November 11 Boost your curb appeal with a visit to the National Sports Center. Interior designers, architects, landscapers and others will gather to answer questions and share innovative products (mediamaxevents.com).

Oh Ole Night GRAND MARAIS November 24 A parade, tree lighting and fireworks—all with a Scandinavian slant. The winning Nordic-theme parade entry will receive the coveted “traveling gnome trophy,” and Santa often arrives with sled dogs (visitcookcounty.com).


An Evening with David Sedaris KANSAS CITY November 20 At the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, you’re in for a night of satire and pithy humor with The New York Times best-selling author (kauffmancenter.org).

Mark Twain’s Birthday Bash HANNIBAL November 25 The Mark Twain Boyhood Home and Museum hosts a party to honor the area’s native son. Take in an art show, a mustache competition and a mask exhibit (marktwainmuseum.org). 


Yuletide Market NORFOLK November 18–19 ’Tis the season for artisan products and goods. This DeVent Center market stands out for its sought-after antiques, wood items and other artwork (divotslodge.com).

Fantasy of Trees GRAND ISLAND November 24–January 2, 2018 A veritable forest of ornate trees will stretch your tree-decorating imagination at the Stuhr Museum of the Prairie Pioneer (stuhrmuseum.org).

U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Curling OMAHA November 11–18 Olympic hopefuls bring competitive sweeping to the ice in Baxter Arena. Top competitors will join Team USA at the 2018 Winter Games in PyeongChang, South Korea. It’s the bonspiel to watch (visitomaha.com/curling). 

U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Curling

Photo courtesy of Rich Harmer for USA Curling

North Dakota

Badlands Art Show DICKINSON November 10–12 See the creativity of the Badlands represented by artists. At the Ramada Grand Dakota Hotel, view pottery, oil paintings and photography from pro and amateur artists (badlandsarts.com).

HollyDazzle Festival of Lights GRAND FORKS November 26 The holidays are here in their glitzy glory at a downtown festival spotlighting a parade of holiday floats, music and ice-skating (downtowngrandforks.org).


Southern Ohio Indoor Music Festival WILMINGTON November 10–11 This bluegrass music event takes festival junkies indoors. At the Roberts Centre, catch acts like Joe Mullins & The Radio Ramblers and Remington Ryde (somusicfest.com).

Gardens Aglow COLUMBUS November 18–January 3, 2018 Vibrant blooms flourish at the Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens. Savor the not-so-wintry wonderland with bold poinsettias, jewel-tone lights and striking decor (fpconservatory.org). 

South Dakota

Winterfest 2017 ABERDEEN November 18–19 This juried show presents folk-artist booths, a gallery, plus food and gifts that embody the spirit of South Dakota (aberdeenareaartscouncil.com). 


Willow Springs Gardens Dryland Sled Dog Race WAUSAU November 11–12 This isn’t your typical sled dog race. Using bicycles, scooters and rigs, competitors rely on their dog teams to pull them toward the finish line (witrailblazers.org).

Winter Festival at Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin SPRING GREEN November 25; December 2, 9 This year marks the 150th birthday of the renowned architect. Visit his artful estate for seasonal refreshments and activities, such as horse-drawn carriage rides (taliesinpreservation.org).

A Charlie Brown Christmas MILWAUKEE November 24–December 31 The classic  comes alive at the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts. Join Charlie, Snoopy and the rest of the Peanuts gang as they discover Christmas (milwaukee365.com).

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