The holidays are here and it’s time for holiday cheer, which generally means drinking. Sometimes even with friends. Here’s our outlook for the next two weeks around Akron, which take you right up to New Year’s Eve!

Thursday, December 18

Bah Humbug Bash
Akron Art Museum, 6:30 pm
It’s a one-stop shop for fun! While you’re rocking out to Missile Toe—aka – “Akron’s best holiday band”—dig around the museum store for some of the most interesting gifts in town and then handcraft your own creative wrapping paper so it really stands out. Just make sure you make the time to reward your good decision with a fine holiday brew before you go home. Also: FREE admission to the museum.

Bonus: Missile Toe at Empire Concert Club, Friday at 8pm

Countryside’s December Food Swap
Akron Art Museum, 7 pm
Because a free night at the museum with live music isn’t enough. The folks who bring you the Countryside Farmer’s Market also do this cool, monthly local food swap at different places around Akron. A what? Think local foodies (cooks, bakers, brewers, growers and DIYers) sharing their homemade wares via a silent auction-style bartering. Sound like your kind of jam? Really like jam? Get the details online, check them out when you’re hanging out at the museum or lurk in their Facebook group. (NOTE: To participate, you have to register online first.)


Live Local Music & Lively Local Comedy
Jilly’s Music Room, 5:30 – 7:30 pm
Want more two-fer Thursday fun? The night at Jilly’s starts off with some “intense acoustic blues,” courtesy of Bongo Joe & Little Steve-O, and it finishes with the chuckleheads at Devin & Dan’s Comedy Showcase, featuring Brian Kenny, Chad Weaver and TM Francis.


Friday, December 19

Akron Bike Party #9
Lock 3, 6:30 pm
It’s funner and mo’ festive-ly than any other ride you’ll take through downtown Akron. Plus, you’ll build community with every pedal on this 10 mile jaunt that “must be experienced to be understood.” Deck your bike with lights, make merry with music and dress up in costume. Make friends and enjoy the post-ride party starting around 8:45 pm.

waffle house xmasNightlight Christmas Party
The Nightlight, 8:30pm – 11:30pm
The words “weird,” “vinyl” and “Christmas” may conjure “Pulp Fiction” images best left on the cutting room floor, but it’s even better than that. Like, totally not weird in a gimp way at all. The Nightlight and Square Records are bringing you an epic evening of bad Christmas music, ugly sweaters and Peppermint Eggnog Punch. Jam Master Dave Ignizio will spin the best of your worst holiday vinyl and at 11 pm, the people will vote, anointing the season’s weirdest record and conferring love, affection and prizes to its owner.

Bonus: “Jingle Bell Rocks,” a fascinating documentary about a disconnected group of quirky  vinyl fanatics who collect bad Christmas albums so they can make mixes of bad but obscure Christmas songs, opens December 12 and runs through Christmas Eve.


Saturday, December 20

Firestone Park Walking Tour
If you’re the kind of person who likes letting your curiosity get the better of you, grab a jacket and get ready for an insider’s tour of Firestone Park. Rick Stockburger and friends will lead groups around the historic neighborhood’s nooks and crannies, starting at the community center and ending at Park Place Pub for some grub, beverages (perhaps the adult kind) and conversation. You must register before you go, which you can do here.

Extra Spooky’s Last Christmas Show
Eye Opener, 8 pm ($5)
Pizza Ghost opens for the “four sultry gents” in Extra Spooky for their last Christmas show in Akron before they split for Los Angeles. The Eye Opener is the right place for you to be if you want to find some “haunted dance punk/pirate rock” under your tree this year. Dig on ‘em while the diggin’ is good.

“Die Hard”
Nightlight Cinema
It’s another Nightlight event but that’s because Dude, it’s “Die Hard.” And it runs through Christmas Eve. Go ahead and watch “Love Actually” again, but don’t miss this 80s grudge match between a young, evil Alan Rickman and a young, still balding Bruce Willis. Plus, it’s a Christmas movie where THINGS BLOW UP! And not like Clark Griswold’s comically large light display either. We’re talking, like whole floors of a building. Because terrorists. And the dad from “Family Matters” is a hero and think of all the iconic lines you can appropriate for Christmas dinner. “Yippee ki-yay, mother, father. Pass the turkey.”

Sunday, December 21

Tracey Thomas Jazz Trio’s Holiday Show
Empire Concert Club, 5 pm ($5)
It’s the winter and this Akron rock legend is embracing her inner jazz singer and so is the Empire. Catch the former Unit 5 lead singer at this early evening show. Doors open at 4 pm. Show starts at 5 pm.

Friday, December 26

Ghostman & Sandman
Thursday’s Lounge, 9 pm ($5)
If you know what this means, you know to go. If you don’t know but you’re really curious, you know to go. This is rare.

Ballroom Boxer/the Whiskey Drifters with Ottawa
Musica, 9 pm ($10)
Ballroom Boxer is a Chicago-based roots rock band/Great Gatsby, Johnnie Walker & fireworks smoothie who’ve toured with the Whigs and opened for Gaslight Anthem . The Whiskey Drifters play Akron-Americana music. Have you noticed they, like Superman and Clark Kent, have never been in the same room together? Or that they always have been? Maybe because they’re one-in-the-same and THIS is their homecoming show. Ottawa opens.

Saturday, December 27

Illstyle Rockers 18th annual Christmas Jam
Annabell’s, 10 pm
Hip-hop is more than just music, it’s a lifestyle and the Illstyle Rockers crew will remind you of that when they unleash the four elements at Annabell’s: beats, breakin’, rap and graffiti with Forrest GetEmGump, DJ Ben Crazy, FX the Humanbeatbox, DJ Jazzed and more. The party is hosted by MCs Dre Live and Suave Goddi.

NEW YEAR’S EVE, Wednesday, December 31

First Night Akron
In its 19th year, First Night Akron is a family-friendly, alcohol-free celebration of the arts focused on bringing the community together. This year, they’ve partnered with The Akronist to help envision Akron in 2015 with their #BetterAkron2015 video challenge.

Josh Rzepka
Blu Jazz, 10:30 pm ($65)
This place is so nice, they’re going to celebrate the New Year twice with Josh Rzepka trumpeting in 2015 for an early show (at 8 pm for $20) and an “Around Midnight” performance with Pat Harris, Theron Brown, Mike Forfia and Ron Godale. Enjoy the show and heavy hors d’oeuvres, butlered wine and a champagne toast as the clock strikes midnight.

Get On Up
The Tangier, 8 pm
Your favorite hits, a deluxe bar and an appetizer buffet with your friends.

Rick & the Cutting Edge Band
Galaxy Grand Ballroom, 7 pm ($112)
They’ve been partying like it’s 1999 since 1999. This year the chefs are doing it up right while the band lays down the groove. Don’t sweat party hats and favors because they’re included, as is the champagne toast and balloon drop at midnight. Your ticket is all-inclusive.

Disco Inferno
Hard Rock Northfield Park ($45.50+)
Because you haven’t worn bell bottoms and a fake afro wig all year. Get your Travolta on the LED dance floor with DJ Donkis and DJ Mimo before Disco Inferno takes the stage.

2015 New Year’s Eve Party
Todaro’s, 7pm ($95)
This Akron tradition since 1957 features a video dance party, hats and noisemakers with a balloon drop and champagne toast, including a chilled seafood station.

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