Menu

Indiana Welcome Center

Stop by the Indiana Welcome Center 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.

Bead Town Along the South Shore logo

Now at the Welcome Center

Bead Town: Along the South Shore

April 17-September 30, 2018. Reopening February 2019.

Be a part of history as we attempt to break a new Guinness World Records™. Thousands of participants will place nearly 15 million recycled beads on a 3,311 sq. ft. mural. This interactive art exhibit is completely free and open to the public! Participants can place beads on the mural from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

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 us at the Welcome Center

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

Location: 

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

Phone

219-989-7979 or 800-ALL-LAKE

Hours: 

Labor Day up to Memorial Day 
Everyday 8:00 am to 5:00 pm

Summer - Memorial Day up to Labor Day
Everyday 8:00 am to 6:00 pm
(Building closes at 5:00 pm on July 4th)

Extended hours between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Call 800-ALL-LAKE or 219-989-7979 for exact times.

Days closed:
New Year's Day, Easter Sunday, Thanksgiving and Christmas 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.

There are also five films available in the theater for visitors to watch by request. Films include "Everglades of the North," a 24-minute documentary on the history of the Grand Kankakee Marsh; "Indiana Dunes: Child of the Northwest Wind," an orientation film to the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore; US Steel "Big Stuff: Earth," a short film covering steel manufacturing; ArcelorMittal's "Forging Ahead," an exploration of the steelmaking process; and a unique view of The Pig Adventure at Fair Oaks Farms.