Photo by Pete Doherty


It’s never too early to plan your South Shore summer activities. We’ve compiled an A to Z list of things to do with family and friends this summer in Northwest Indiana.

  • Arts - Tour a local gallery like Lubeznik Center for the Arts in Valparaiso or White Ripple Gallery in Hammond. South Shore Arts features changing exhibits throughout the year with nationally and internationally known artists, sculptures and photographers.
  • Brewery Trail - Find your new favorite porter, stout, ale or seasonal brew with your friends along the South Shore Brewery Trail. Download the South Shore Brewery Trail App on your phone to start planning your adventure.
  • Camping - Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park in Portage and Caboose Lake Campground offer fun for the whole family with swimming, fishing and special events throughout the summer. Stay along Lake Michigan at the Indiana Dunes State Park in Chesterton or along Cedar Lake at Cedar Lake Ministries.
  • Dunes - An obvious can’t miss stop is along Lake Michigan to enjoy the sun and sand. Climb the Indiana Dunes and explore through miles of the National and State Parks during your visit. Spot birds and other wildlife as well as a number of native flower and plant species.
  • Early Bird - Grab your poles this summer and head out to the South Shore’s lakes and rivers. Catch anything from bluegill to walleye and northern pike. From as far north as Lake Michigan and Wolf Lake to as far south as the Kankakee River and Willow Slough, you’ll enjoy a quiet morning along the water. Find the 10 best fishing spots in Northwest Indiana here.
  • Festivals - County fairs, cultural events and more! Pig out on elephant ears or BBQ, meet with artisans and play games at the South Shore’s festivals. Check the events page here for up-to-date things to do.
  • Golf - Not only is the South Shore home to more than a dozen golf courses; but the region boasts the nation’s largest disc golf course at Lemon Lake County Park in Crown Point. This game is fun for all ages!
  • Hotel - Book a hotel for your family and take advantage of a mini getaway close to home. The majority of the South Shore’s hotels offer pools - a great place to let the kids swim and parents relax.
  • Ice Cream - Nothing says summer more than ice cream and the fresher the better! Take a trip to Fair Oaks Farms for outdoor activities, the Adventure Center and reward yourself with a sweet treat in the Cowfé.
  • Jogging and Biking - Stretch your legs along miles of trails. Find trails closest to you or venture out to explore new landscapes. The Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission provides maps of the many miles of trail systems from the Chicago suburbs to the Michigan border.
  • Kayaking - We don’t just pedal in the South Shore, we also paddle. Home to some of the nation’s largest paddling events, you don’t want to miss the opportunity to learn this exciting pastime. Visit nwipa.org for class information and upcoming paddling events.
  • Lustrons and Century of Progress Homes - The shoreline communities are filled with architecturally unique homes including those that were constructed for the 1933 Chicago World’s Fair and Lustrons, which are prefabricated post-World War II homes. Learn more about a number of the historic homes at www.dunesnationalpark.org.
  • Museums - Step back in time at a local historic museum or the John Dillinger Museum located in the historic Lake County Courthouse, Crown Point. The Dillinger Museum follows the life and times of the infamous Depression Era gangsters as well as the rise of the FBI during their crime sprees.
  • Nature - The South Shore has local, county, state and national parks - all for your enjoyment! Pack a picnic and enjoy all that Mother Nature has to offer! Taltree Arboretum in Valparaiso is also open to the public and features year-round events, formal gardens and an intricate Railway Garden using model steam trains.
  • Outdoor Concerts and Movies - Northwest Indiana Symphony Orchestra offers free concerts in the park through the summer. Visit local festivals for live entertainment or check your local parks department for outdoor movies - great for the kids! You can also visit 49er Drive-In Theatre for a fun night under the stars.
  • Pig Adventure and Dairy Adventure - Bring the family to the Pork Education Center or the Dairy Adventure at Fair Oaks Farms this summer. Kids can spend an afternoon learning about farming, view interactive exhibits or enjoy the indoor ropes course. Their Crop Adventure is scheduled to open this summer as well!
  • Quack - Relax along the shores of Lake Michigan, Cedar Lake, Wolf Lake, Lake George or the Kanakee River to watch the ducks. Don’t forget to pack a picnic for a lazy afternoon by the water.
  • Restaurants - Eat your way through the South Shore restaurants! We have everything from classic BBQ and farm to table experiences to ethnic and white tablecloth restaurants for you, your friends and your family to escape.
  • Sports - Take in a baseball game at US Steel Yard in Gary with the RailCats, watch the Deep River Grinders or Munster Centennials play vintage baseball or enjoy playing a game of tennis, basketball, volleyball and more at a park.
  • Theater - Sit back and enjoy a theater performance this summer! Experience “Broadway” right here in the South Shore.
  • Under the Stars - Stargazing takes place at the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore as well as the Conway Observatory at Buckley Homestead in Lowell. See the rings of Saturn, the Perseid Meteor Shower and the Venus-Jupiter Conjunction this summer!
  • Visit Family - Take some time off to visit with your family and friends; better yet, invite them on some of your staycation adventures.
  • Waterparks - The South Shore has two waterparks! There’s no better way to cool off than at Deep River Waterpark in Crown Point or Seven Peaks Waterpark Duneland in Porter.
  • eXplore - Make it your goal to explore somewhere new or try an activity you’ve never done. We’ve given you A to Z examples of great things to explore this summer!
  • Yesteryear’s - Beat the heat and have your BBQ catered by Yesteryear’s Meats and Specialty Shoppe or any of your favorite BBQ restaurants.
  • Zoo - Connect to wildlife at Washington Park Zoo in Michigan City. See bears, tamarins, alligators, wolves and more.