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 here.

    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 here.
  • Dining - Eat your way through the South Shore restaurants! We have everything from classic BBQ and farm to table experiences to al fresco dining.

    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. Find the 10 best fishing spots in Northwest Indiana here.
  • Farm Life - See what life was like on a farm 100 years ago! See the farm animals and take a quiet walk on the park grounds at Buckley Homestead County Park. 
  • 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 is along Lake Michigan to enjoy the sun and sand. Climb the  Indiana Dunes and explore through miles of the National and State Parks during your visit. Relax on the beach or walk the trails to spot 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 entire day of family fun!
  • Nature - The South Shore has local, county, state and national parks - all for your enjoyment! Pack a picnic and enjoy all that Mother Nature has to offer. Gabis Arboretum in Valparaiso and Friendship Botanic Gardens in Michigan City 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 for one of their hundreds of flavors of popcorn! Try 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.
  • Roller Skating - Get ready for some throwback family fun with a night at SK8 World, a roller rink with an alien/universe theme.

    DTN - ROS - Albanese Candy
  • Sweet Tooth - Grab a bag of award-winning gummies from Albanese Confectionery – try their new 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 - Find treasures at 2 Old Goats Market including vintage finds, handmade goods from local artists and unique upcycled furniture. Or stop by Sweet Home Indiana for a graduation, birthday or anniversary. 
  • 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 here.
  • 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 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.