South Shore Posters
This poster depicts the grand opening of the Indiana Welcome Center in Hammond, home to the South Shore Convention and Visitors Authority.
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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 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.

Visitor-Center-003-recolor-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
  • 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 
Everyday 8:00 am to 5:00 pm

Summer - Memorial Day up to Labor Day
Everyday 8:00 am to 6:00 pm
(Building closes at 5:00 pm on July 4th)

Extended hours between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Call 800-ALL-LAKE or 219-989-7979 for exact times.

Days closed:
New Year's Day, Easter Sunday, Thanksgiving and Christmas Day

219-989-7979 or 800-ALL-LAKE

Exhibit HallW. 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 Indiana Welcome Center"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

Gift Shop 1South Shore Gift Shop 

The gift shop includes vintage South Shore Line posters, "A Christmas Story" movie memorabilia, Albanese gummies plus Indiana and Chicago postcards, mugs, and key chains.

Vision TheatreThe 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



Upcoming Exhibits

"A Christmas Story" Comes Home

11/11/17-1/7/18: Featuring six animated displays depicting scenes from "A Christmas Story" ...more





Uniquely South Shore
Northwest Indiana’s very own candy factory boasts the world’s best gummies! Tour the factory and experience your favorites being made, see the world’s tallest chocolate waterfall and sample some of the best candies around!…more
What began as a local newspaper’s effort to tell the compelling stories of Northwest Indiana men and women who sacrificed during the Civil War has evolved into a large-scale historical preservation effort. The joint partnership of the South Shore Convention and Visitors Authority and the Calumet Region Civil War Preservation Project seeks to carry forward on hundreds of hours of community service that already have taken place. …more
Conveniently located between Chicago and Indianapolis, Fair Oaks Farms offers a fun family playground that everyone will enjoy! From the Dairy Adventure and Birthday Barn, to the Cheese Factory and Mooville, Fair Oaks Farms will keep the family entertained, and well-fed, for a full day of education and fun!…more
Experience the journey of the Passion of Christ as never before in this interactive trail featuring 40 life-sized bronze statues. Experience the various Stations of the Cross with audio descriptions as you walk the winding pathway.…more
With five different casinos, Northwest Indiana offers much excitement and action along the beautiful shores of Lake Michigan! With decadent restaurants, world class entertainment and floors (and floors) of slots and table games, your night is just getting started when you test your luck at one of our casinos.…more
A breathtaking adventure awaits at Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, home to a plethora of diverse natural resources. The National Park is comprised of more than 15,000 acres of sand dunes, bogs, marshes, swamps, fens, prairies, rivers, oak savannas, and woodland forests. It provides visitors with opportunities for bird watching, camping, 45 miles of hiking, fishing, swimming, horseback riding and cross-country skiing.…more
Pierogi Fest, the pride of Whiting, is an opportunity for the residents to celebrate their heritage while poking a little fun at themselves at the same time. The one of a kind parade and festival have received countrywide recognition having been featured on the Food Network and the Travel Channel.…more
This holiday season, The Indiana Welcome Center in Hammond will feature 6 animated displays featuring scenes from "A Christmas Story". The displays include: Higbee’s Department Store Window, Flick’s Tongue and the Triple Dog Dare, It’s a Major Award, Santa’s Mountain at Higbee’s, the Bumpus Hounds, and the Parker Living Room. The displays were first showcased in 2003 in the windows of the Herald Square Macy’s in New York City. …more
Heavy industry carried the South Shore economy for decades. Now, the South Shore Convention and Visitors Authority tells a story about a community: it’s been built by steel but changing from tourism. Northwest Indiana’s appeal is its devotion to ensure new & already existing businesses succeed. Area leaders have teamed together to revitalize the mill towns and make Northwest Indiana the place people want to live & work. …more
When a guest visits a hotel, restaurant, bank, or gas station, they rarely meet the manager or owner of the establishment. It's up to the front-line employee to make the customer's visit enjoyable.The R.O.S.E. Awards were created to recognize these "directors of first impression" who consistently work hard to make our lives easier. Guests & managers are able to nominate an employee who consistently "goes the extra mile."…more


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