Indiana Welcome Center
Stop by the Indiana Welcome Center if you are visiting the South Shore area or just passing through. While you stretch your legs, you can view the unique building structure, enjoy the different exhibits in the W.F. Wellman Exhibit Hall, learn about the Gangster Era in the John Dillinger Museum and browse the gift shop. You can also pick up a lot of information about all there is to see and do, not only in the South Shore area, but brochures from all over Indiana.
The building design encompasses some of the main, most memorable images of Northwest Indiana and uses them in the building language. The solution is as diverse as the community itself; its people, the natural environment, and man made developments.
The structure starts with the most dominant natural feature in our area, Lake Michigan. The large exhibition space is created with the form of stainless steel "waves" glistening in the sun. These waves crash into the undulating "sand dunes" which are juxtaposed to the industry; Steel denoted in the gray office form (second story) and the smoke stacks of the entry canopy. The natural terrain then rolls into the plains and farms, which is bordered to the south by the free flowing Kankakee river depicted in the south facade of the building.
From this, the composition has sculpted a structure that symbolically tells the story of the area, houses the necessary functions for the Welcome Center, and leaves one with an image unseen elsewhere.
Let us think of water, waves, sand dunes, industry, farming, rivers, and last of all, the people of our region. What we have is as unique and singular as the South Shore.
Visit us at the Indiana Welcome Center to find:
- Free Travel Brochures & Maps
- Restrooms with Baby Changing Tables
- John Dillinger Museum
- Exhibit Hall
- Gift Shop
- Vending Machines
- Picnic area
- Pet Exercise Area
Off of I-80/94 on Kennedy Ave. South
7770 Corinne Dr., Hammond, Indiana
Labor Day up to Memorial Day
Summer - Memorial Day up to Labor Day
(Building closes at 5pm on July 4th)
Extended hours between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Call 800-ALL-LAKE or 219-989-7979 for exact times.
New Year's Day, Easter Sunday, Thanksgiving and Christmas Day
219-989-7979 or 800-ALL-LAKE
W. F. Wellman Exhibit Hall
6500 sq. ft. of contemporary exhibit space fashioned after the rolling waves of Lake Michigan. Varying exhibits from Model A Fords to "A Christmas Story" window displays to a steel-framed house have all called the Exhibit Hall home. Admission is FREE. Call 219-989-7979 for a complete schedule of upcoming events.
"A Christmas Story" Comes Home
Every November and December, the Exhibit Hall hosts "A Christmas Story" Comes Home featuring window displays from Macy's in New York, photos with Santa (see site for Santa dates and times), and themed events like the Oh Fudge Relay Race. More info
John Dillinger Museum
"Crime Doesn't Pay"
Learn about the FBI, John Dillinger and his gang through interactive displays, life-size wax figures and more. Included are the "death trousers" (worn by Dillinger when he was shot outside Biograph Theater), the infamous wooden gun, and Dillinger's lucky rabbit's foot. More info
South Shore Gift Shop
The gift shop includes vintage South Shore Line posters, "A Christmas Story" movie memorabilia, Region Rat T-shirts, South Shore Air Show merchandise, Albanese gummies plus Indiana and Chicago postcards, mugs, and key chains.
The In-Vision Theater
The theater is available for corporate meetings and group rentals. Contact us at 219-989-7770 to reserve a space.
There are also five films available in the theater for visitors to watch by request. Films include "Everglades of the North," a 24-minute documentary on the history of the Grand Kankakee Marsh; "Indiana Dunes: Child of the Northwest Wind," an orientation film to the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore; US Steel "Big Stuff: Earth," a short film covering steel manufacturing; ArcelorMittal's "Forging Ahead," an exploration of the steelmaking process; and a unique view of The Pig Adventure at Fair Oaks Farms.