Menu
South Shore Blog Fall - Things to Do in NW Indiana
See More See More: Things To Do
Author: Carolyn Hricik, Communications Intern

Carolyn is the communications intern for the SSCVA and has just moved back to the region from New York. She graduated from Pace University in 2018 and is beginning her career in Public Relations and Marketing working with the SSCVA and as the Marketing Specialist for the Dunes National Park Association. With a fresh and curious perspective on the region she is excited to share her experiences of the events and places to visit in the area!

The Chefs of Steel competition is quickly approaching, which means all the chefs involved are firing up their ovens, stoves and grills to face off against each other this Saturday at Bulldog Park in Crown Point. I took a closer look at each of the participants and their unique styles so I was ready to see what they have to offer while competing for the title.


Who doesn’t love strolling around a quaint little market on Saturday morning? Picking up the freshest ingredients for tomorrow’s dinner and moseying through tents filled with artisan foods, flowers, crafts, furniture, you name it. You could easily spend the better part of your morning making your rounds of the many tents and trucks at the Chesterton European Market held in downtown Chesterton.


Looking to spend the remainder of your good summer days outside?  I was lucky enough to stumble upon one of the best hidden-gems in Northwest Indiana, the Gabis Arboretum. Tucked away in southern Valparaiso, driving around the area you wouldn’t expect to find six miles of gorgeous hiking trails anywhere near you. Spending most of my hiking time at the Indiana Dunes National Park, it didn’t occur to me that there was a secret oasis right in my backyard. 


Driving down the winding rural roads of northern Valparaiso, the pastoral landscape fell away as tall shady trees took its place guiding me to the charming venue that is the Art Barn School of Art.

As my car pulled up the gravel driveway, the trees parted to reveal a beautifully picturesque old English barn, decorated with glowing string lights and blooming flowers that engulfed the surrounding landscape. It was like walking into a dream. 


There are few sights I enjoy more than the perfect pink and purple sunset. Now picture that sunset over the dunes. Now picture that sunset over the dunes with the Northwest Indiana Symphony playing live in the background. Now put a Mother Wilma’s s’more in your hand and you have one happy concertgoer. There was about 2,000 happy concertgoers all enjoying a similar experience at the Symphony at the Dunes Concert at West Beach this summer. 


Walking into The Center for Visual and Performing Arts, home to Theatre at the Center, the atmosphere immediately makes you feel the old thrill of getting dolled up and going to see a show. The pride and love of theater and the arts is obvious in the décor of the main lobby. Photos of past shows cover the outer auditorium walls, displaying the memories of shows past.


It's been 20 years since I stepped foot in the Crown Point square. I was three years old, bouncing down the sidewalk toward my first ballet class, tutu and mother in tow. Surely the only thing more exciting than my class was the treat my mom would buy from our friend, affectionately known as the “Hot Dog Lady”. She was a Crown Point legend back in the day.

Looking at the square now having been gone for twenty years, it seems that nothing and everything has changed. The old hometown feeling and soul of the town still exists but the building facades have changed a bit. Being born in Crown Point allowed me to enjoy the downtown area when I was very young, but after moving to Connecticut with my family at age four, walks down memory lane were few and far between when we would take trips back to the region.