Indiana Welcome Center

Stop by the Indiana Welcome Center in Hammond if you are visiting the South Shore area or just passing through. While you stretch your legs, you can view the unique building structure, enjoy the different exhibits in the W.F. Wellman Exhibit Hall and browse the gift shop. You can also pick up a lot of information about all there is to see and do, not only in the South Shore area, but brochures from all over Indiana.

Ralphie and the Gang Come Home announcement

A tribute to the 40th Anniversary of "A Christmas Story," a tribute to Hammond, and a tribute to every heart that ever found joy in this timeless tale. The cast, your beloved misfits, are all set to make this reunion an event of legendary proportions. From Peter Billingsley to Scott Schwartz, the gang’s all here to relive the magic with you during the "A Christmas" Comes Home Exhibit!

Indiana Welcome Center

The Building

The building design encompasses some of the main, most memorable images of Northwest Indiana and uses them in the building language.

The solution is as diverse as the community itself; its people, the natural environment, and man made developments.

The structure starts with the most dominant natural feature in our area, Lake Michigan. The large exhibition space is created with the form of stainless steel "waves" glistening in the sun. These waves crash into the undulating "sand dunes" which are juxtaposed to the industry; steel denoted in the gray office form (second story) and the smoke stacks of the entry canopy.

The natural terrain then rolls into the plains and farms, which is bordered to the south by the free flowing Kankakee river depicted in the south facade of the building.

From this, the composition has sculpted a structure that symbolically tells the story of the area, houses the necessary functions for the Welcome Center, and leaves one with an image unseen elsewhere.

Let us think of water, waves, sand dunes, industry, farming, rivers, and last of all, the people of our region. What we have is as unique and singular as the South Shore.

Visit the Welcome Center

  • Free Travel Brochures & Maps
  • Restrooms with Baby Changing Tables
  • Exhibit Hall
  • Gift Shop
  • Vending Machines
  • Picnic Area
  • Pet Exercise Area


Off of I-80/94 on Kennedy Ave. South
7770 Corinne Dr., Hammond, Indiana




Summer Hours (Memorial Day to Labor Day)
Daily 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM 
Gift Shop 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM

Fall through Spring Hours
Daily 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM 
Gift Shop 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM

Holiday Hours:
July 4th 8:00 AM to 2:00 PM
Closed Easter Sunday, Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year's Eve and New Year's Day.

W. F. Wellman Exhibit Hall

W. F. Wellman Exhibit Hall

6500 sq. ft. of contemporary exhibit space fashioned after the rolling waves of Lake Michigan. Varying exhibits from Model A Fords to "A Christmas Story" window displays to a steel-framed house have all called the Exhibit Hall home. Admission is FREE. Call 219-989-7979 for a complete schedule of upcoming events.

A Christmas Story Comes Home

"A Christmas Story" Comes Home

Every November and December, the Exhibit Hall hosts "A Christmas Story" Comes Home featuring window displays from Macy's in New York, photos with Santa (see site for Santa dates and times), and themed events like the Oh Fudge Relay Race. 

South Shore Gift Shop

South Shore Gift Shop 

The gift shop includes vintage South Shore Line posters, "A Christmas Story" movie memorabilia, Albanese gummies plus Indiana and Chicago postcards, mugs, and key chains.

In-Vision Theatre

The In-Vision Theater

The theater is available for corporate meetings and group rentals. Contact us at 219-989-7770 to reserve a space.