Winter is here, and lucky for us we have so many fun things to do all around Northwest Indiana. If you are looking to get out and play in the snow, enjoy the sights, or simply spend time with your friends and family, check out these wonderful winter activities!
With things changing often due to the pandemic, we recommend checking the location's social media or calling before you go.
Deep River Waterpark - This waterpark turns their plaza into an ice-skating rink with twinkling lights above. If you don’t have skates, you can rent them here. This rink also has a concession stand with hot chocolate and snacks for when you need a break from the ice. This rink is not covered, so make sure to check the weather.
The Indiana Dunes State Park has a great sledding spot called the “Devil’s Slide” which is located in the State Park near the pavilion. This sledding hill winds down a large dune that will have you laughing (or screaming) the whole way down! You can also sled at the Indiana Dunes National Park at the West Beach trails behind the picnic area. These are the only spots in the Indiana Dunes that are open for sledding to protect the natural landscape and dune grasses.
Sunset Hill Farm is a great spot for hiking and for sledding! Grab your sled and enjoy the scenery while you’re there. When you’re done sledding you can hop in the car to warm up while you drive through their Christmas light display and get into the holiday spirit.
Centennial Park in Munster has lots of space for sledding on its large hillside. There is plenty of parking available at this area. Just bring your sled and dress warm! There are also walking paths surrounding the lake that make for a beautiful winter stroll around the park.
The bison at Kankakee Sands are a great site to see in the winter. These magnificent mammals are covered in thick fur that keeps them warm in the cold months. You can find them snuggled up to each other, covered in snow as they walk the prairies at the Kankakee Sands Nature Preserve.
The shelf ice that comes and goes at the Lake Michigan shoreline is a must-see. The amount of ice varies on the weather and the tides each year. Make sure to view the shelf-ice from a safe distance and do not walk on or near it - we list some safe viewing locations here. There is no telling how thick certain areas are or where it begins since some areas may just look like snow covered sand.
“A Christmas Story” Comes Home at the Indiana Welcome Center in Hammond is open until January 3rd this year. You can sign up for photos with Santa online and stop in to see the seven animated window displays from Macy’s in New York! You can find out more about this annual tradition at achristmasstorycomeshome.com.
This year is the first for Christmas Tyme Winter Lights at Harvest Tyme Farm Park! Normally a spot for pumpkins and sunflowers, you can now get your ticket for a drive through their winter lights display. On the weekends you can pick up hot cocoa and cookies at the entrance and sip your way into the holiday spirit!
Looking for more ideas? You can also give cross-country skiing a try if there's enough snow or reserve a private, heated igloo for outdoor dining at The Farmhouse Restaurant at Fair Oaks Farms.
This winter may be different than the rest, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get the most out of all the region has to offer us. We would love to see the fun you have with your friends and family. Share your photos on social media using #AlongtheSouthShore so we can see and share your experiences.