That magical time of the year when you used to have a whole week off to enjoy the coming of spring has finally come. While you may not get the whole week off for yourself, I still think you've earned yourself a nice stay-cation! Am I right? Spring is in the air and you can take advantage of the beautiful weather by getting out into the South Shore. Being cooped up inside is meant for the winter. Spring break means it's time to break away from our cabins to once again enjoy the region!

Spring activities and offerings are as abundant as wildflowers. Pick a spring idea suited for you or for the whole family from our list of 13 Spring Break Stay-cation Ideas and get out into the world! Need even more ideas? Head on over to for a day-by-day detailed collection of events along the South Shore.


1. Cruisin' through The Times at the Indiana Welcome Center
March 26-April  30, 2015 - 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
7770 Corinne Drive, Hammond
A free display of antique and classic cars fills the W.F. Wellman Exhibit Hall at the Indiana Welcome Center from March 26 through April 30. Each vehicle showcased features regional headlines from the year the car was manufactured from The Times of Northwest Indiana. The display will be open 7 days-a-week and the Indiana Welcome Center can be reached by calling 800-ALL-LAKE.

2. Carpenter Creek Cellars' Second Anniversary Party
March 21, 2015 -  1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
11144 Jordan Road, Remington
Has it really been two years since Carpenter Creek Cellars first uncorked its sweet Sunset White? It sure has! Celebrate a great two years at the barn in Remington on March 21 from 1-5 p.m. for finger foods, Arni's Pizza, live music and a good old fashioned party!

3. Maple Syrup Time at Lake County Parks
March 21 & 22, 2015 - 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
9410 Old Lincoln Highway, Hobart
Deep River County Park's annual Maple Syrup Time allows visitors to learn how trees are tapped and sap is collected without harming the trees. Inside the sugar shack, the collected sap is boiled, evaporating the water and leaving sweet syrup. Visitors can meet Voyage-era dressed volunteers and watch as they make maple syrup over an open fire.

Inside Wood's Historic Grist Mill, visitors can watch the miller grind corn into stone-ground cornmeal. Inside the mill, visitors can also play games of checkers in front of a warm crackling fire and taste Deep River's pure maple syrup. The educational and informative movie "Maple Sugar Farmer" will also be shown throughout the day inside the visitor center.

Admission for all activities is free. For more information, call 219-769-1215.

4. INDUSTRY—Power at White Ripple Gallery
Through March 31, 2015
6725 Kennedy Avenue, Hammond
The story of the people of the region has been masterfully created by featured watercolorist, Kathy Los-Rathburn. We all live in a steel town and we all are part of the rust belt of America. Her watercolor portraits showcase the industry throughout the South Shore, and in particular, the steel industry. The exhibit is free of charge and White Ripple Gallery showcases multiple galleries throughout their sprawling building. 

Take my word for it— it's easy to lose a day when visiting White Ripple Gallery. Be sure to clear plenty of room in your schedule to take all of the offerings from White Ripple Gallery.


5. Bellaboo's STAYcation
March 23-April 12, 2015
2800 Colorado Street, Lake Station
If you're planning on staying, you might as well be playing! Where can you find Looney Limbo, Go Fishing Snacktime, Beachy Fun and more? At Bellaboo's Play and Discovery Center! The STAYcation extravaganza at Three Rivers County Park is from March 23- April 12. Treat the kids to some zany indoor fun.


6. " On Golden Pond" at the Theatre at the Center
Through March 29, 2015
1040 Ridge Road, Munster
Elderly love is a beautiful thing. The Broadway hit "On Golden Pond," is playing now at the Theatre at the Center in Munster. Generations come together, unlikely friendships form and lessons are learned in the play that Variety calls, "…a rare and memorable theatrical experience."

See for yourself why the New York Daily News states that, "Ernest Thompson's beautifully composed treasure of a play seems to glow more brightly then ever." 


7. "All American Sweethearts: A Salute to the Andrew Sisters" at Memorial Opera House
March 21-22, 2015
104 Indiana Avenue, Valparaiso
Speaking of sweetness, have you heard about the Andrew sisters? Well, they are the all American sweethearts and a special tribute to the beloved female recording group is making its way to Memorial Opera House for two days from March 21-22. "How can I see this amazing experience?" Great question and here's your answer.


8. "Willy Wonka" at the Crown Point Community Theatre
March 13-29, 2015 (every Friday, Saturday, Sunday)
1125 Merrillville Road, Crown Point
They say that the Candyman mixes his candy with love and he makes the world taste good. While this can't be verified, Roald Dahl's "Willy Wonka," presented live at the Crown Point Community Theatre, is the closest resource to testing that tried and true sentiment. Join the journey through Willy Wonka's magical chocolate factory this Friday for a sweet treat. Yes, that was a pun. Find tickets now by following going here.

9. Inner Visions: Sacred Plants, Art and Spirituality at the Brauer Museum of Art
Through April 5, 2015
1709 Chapel Drive, Valparaiso
A special day-long symposium is scheduled for March 25 featuring five different presenters breaking down the elements and inspirations of "Inner Visions: Sacred Plants, Art and Spirituality," at the Brauer Museum of Art at Valparaiso University. The exhibition, on display now, showcases the visual products of artists that have used sacred religious plants to elevate their states of consciousness.  The works are breathtaking and their inspiration by the ingestion of plants, such as peyote, is the topic of discussion during the special symposium. Spectators will learn the role of these religious plants in relation to the South American continent.

No reservations are required to attend and the exhibit is already open to the public. If you're planning on visiting on March 25, the event lasts from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.


10. A Spring Walk at the Indiana Dunes State Park
March 21, 2015 - 2 p.m.
1600 N 25 E, Chesterton
We all know it's true—spring is in the air and it's here to stay! Why not take a walk throughout one of America's favorite state parks at the Indiana Dunes on the first full day of spring? Plenty of trails await you! If you meet at the Nature Center at 2 p.m. this Saturday, you're in for a casual walk down to the wetlands and back with a park ranger and fellow nature enthusiasts.

Signs of spring will be all around the park. Go out and find the signs with a spring walk on the first day of spring!

11. Lake Michigan in a Dugout at the Porter County Museum
March 28, 2015 - 2 p.m.
153 Franklin Street, Valparaiso
Over two years ago, Amy Lukas and Mary Catterlin took a dugout canoe out onto Lake Michigan for a trek around the whole lake! Their story is being shown at the "Lake Michigan in a Dugout" exhibit at the Porter County Museum. Outside of the exhibit, their journey will be presented in a brand new documentary with an accompanying book.

Are you a fan of signatures? Both Amy and Mary will be staying around after the premiere to sign books and answer any questions you might have about their journey along the greatest of the Great Lakes. Learn more about their journey here.

12. IU Health LaPorte Classic Concert: Bach, Bruckner and Brahms at the Elston Performing Arts Center
March 22, 2015 - 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.
317 Detroit Street, Michigan City
What do Bach, Bruckner and Brahms all have in common? They're all world renowned composers, their last names start with the letter "B," and the Northwest Indiana Symphony Orchestra's chorus will echo their classical compositions through the halls of the Elston Performing Arts Center on March 22. What better way to spend your Sunday afternoon?  Beautifully executed vocals will bring these classics to life!

This show is a one-day-only special and Maestro Bauman (his last name also begins with "B"!) has selected the perfect backdrop for this afternoon matinee! Remember, those aren't the birds singing.

13. Shipshewana on the Road Market Comes to Valparaiso
March 21-22, 2015 - 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sat. and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday
215 Division Rd, Valparaiso
Don't venture out to Shipshewana this spring break! Shipshewana is coming to you (well, it's coming to Valparaiso)! A variety of vendors make this traveling flea market your one-stop shop for all things eclectic! The whole family will enjoy this affordable experience where hand-crafted ware and name-brand merchandise collide for a shopping experience unlike anything you've experienced. Tickets cost $4 for adults and children 12 and under are free.

Who likes free parking? If you do, you're in luck because parking at the Porter County Expo Center and Fairgrounds is free! Find the full details now by going here.