The annual Explore the South Shore returns to the Indiana Welcome Center on April 29 from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Families will enjoy entertainment and family fun at this free event.

The first 200 families to visit will receive a goodie bag filled with special treats and savings from participating organizations and attractions. The exhibit hall will be filled with local attractions and festivals. Sweet treats and small bites will be available for purchase. Booths will have interactive activities, giveaways and games as well as information about events happening in 2017.

Kids can also enjoy live entertainment at noon with a magic show and a performance by Indiana Ballet Theatre at 2:00 p.m. Train rides will be available throughout the event and area mascots will be in attendance for photo opportunities.

Explore the South Shore was created by the South Shore CVA to kick-off the summer travel season and in conjunction with National Travel and Tourism Week in early May.

Participating organizations include: Lake County Fair, Cabela's, Humane Society Calumet Area, Hammond Port Authority, Cedar Lake Historical Association, Lake County Parks (including Bellaboo's and Deep River Waterpark), City of Whiting, Indiana Ballet Theatre, Cedar Lake Summerfest, Cedar Lake Chamber of Commerce and the Wildlife Educational Exhibit of Northwest Indiana.

The Indiana Welcome Center is located at 7770 Corinne Drive in Hammond, Ind. conveniently off I-80/94 at the Kennedy Avenue South exit. Learn more at