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

  • Arts - The South Shore is filled with public art and Instagram-worthy murals. The Rensselaer Art Walk features larger-than-life murals from artists around the world. See more photo ops in the South Shore on our blog.

    South Shore Breweries
  • 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.
  • Canoe - See some of Northwest Indiana’s most scenic waterways on your canoe or kayak. Some of our favorites include Cedar Lake and the Deep River Water Trail. Read more on Visit Indiana's website.
  • Dining - Eat your way through the South Shore restaurants! On nice summer days, dine outdoors at a downtown cafe.

    Charter Fishing Lake Michigan
  • 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. Check out our list of the 10 best fishing spots in Northwest Indiana.
  • Farm Life - See what life is like on a working farm! Fair Oaks Farms' dairy, pig and crop adventures offer a sneak peek into modern-day farming with interactive and educational exhibits for all ages. During the summer they have Music on the Porch at their Farmhouse Restaurant plus Mooville is open outdoors where you can climb a 22-foot milk carton, jump on a giant bouncing pillow and ride the Moo Choo Train.
  • Golf -The South Shore is home to more than a dozen golf courses, or you can hit the driving range at Cedar Creek Golf Course.
  • Hotel - Book a hotel for your family and take advantage of a mini getaway close to home. Or rent a vacation home near the shore with Miller Beach Vacation Rentals or Beachwalk Vacation Rentals. 

    Indiana Dunes State Park
  • Indiana Dunes - An obvious stop along Lake Michigan if you want to enjoy the sun and sand - the Indiana Dunes National and State Parks. Climb the sand dunes, relax on the beach or search for birds and other wildlife as well as native flower and plant species.

    Northwest Indiana Bike Trails
  • 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.
  • Kankakee Sands – Get away from it all at Kankakee Sands’ 8,400 acres of prairies and wetlands. Managed by the Nature Conservancy these natural areas are being restored and preserved for more than 86 rare and endangered species. On your journey, you will see some of the 600 species of native plants as well as herds of bison!
  • Lemon Lake - Home to the nation’s largest disc golf courses, Lemon Lake is the perfect place to learn something new. You can also enjoy fishing, hiking or a family picnic. 

    Mascot Hall of Fame - mascot heads
  • Museums - Visit the Mascot Hall of Fame with your family! Enjoy this interactive museum and pop over to Whiting's Lakefront Park afterward for an entire day of family fun!
  • Nature - Explore Gabis Arboretum in Valparaiso and Friendship Botanic Gardens in Michigan City. Both are open to the public and feature walking trails and gorgeous formal gardens.

    Old time family fun at 49er Drive-In Theater
  • Outdoor Movies - Visit 49er Drive-In Theatre for a fun night under the stars. 
  • Popcorn - Settling in for family movie night? Stop by ChicagoLand Popcorn in Merrillville or Gary for one of their hundreds of flavors of popcorn, ranging from cherry cola and bubblegum to crab legs and creamy cucumber and dill.  
  • Quack - Relax along the shores of Lake Michigan, Cedar Lake, Wolf Lake, Lake George or the Kankakee River to watch the ducks. Don’t forget to pack a picnic for a lazy afternoon by the water.
  • Race - Visit Deep River Waterpark and race your friends down the Kraken - a six-lane mat slide racer ride! You can also take a few laps around the lazy river, splash in the wave pool and test out the rest of the slides throughout the park.

    Gummy bears from Albanese Confectionery
  • Sweet Tooth - Grab a bag of award-winning gummies from Albanese Confectionery – try their Ultimate™ bears which include flavors: Alphonso Mango, Amity Raspberry, Asian Pear, Black Currant, Blood Orange, Crimson Cranberry, Fuji Apple and Queen Pineapple. YUM! 
  • Treasure Hunting - Stroll through the downtowns of Crown Point or Valparaiso and hunt the small shops for treasures to take home! 
  • Under the Stars - Stargaze at Kemil Beach at the Indiana Dunes National Park or the Thomas Conway Observatory at Buckley Homestead in Lowell. See the rings of Saturn, meteor showers and possibly the hazy outlines of the Milky Way right here, in the South Shore. Take a trip further from the bright city lights and grab your binoculars for a look at the stars anytime. 
  • Visit Family - Take some time off to visit with your family and friends; better yet, invite them on some of your staycation adventures.

    Carpenter Creek Cellars
  • Wine Tasting - Enjoy fine samples of wine or cider at Aftermath Cidery & Winery in Valparaiso or enjoy the scenery at Carpenter Creek while you sip wine on the patio. Find a winery along the South Shore Winery Trail.
  • 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!
    Yurt Rental at Caboose Lake
  • Yurt Rental - Camp in style at Caboose Lake Campground when you rent their waterfront Yurts, single-story units with a kitchen area, living area and a bedroom. It sleeps six with a microwave, full-size refrigerator, air conditioning, gas grill, picnic table and fire ring.
  • Whoa Zone Whiting
  • in the "Zone" - WhoaZone at Whihala Beach in Whiting is one of the largest water playgrounds in the Midwest! Climb, slide and splash throughout the one-acre floating water park on Lake Michigan.