There is a beach hazard statement from the National Weather Service from Tuesday morning, September 21 through Thursday evening, September 23, 2021. Expect high waves and dangerous currents at Lake Michigan beaches. Remain out of the water to avoid dangerous swimming conditions and do not venture out onto piers, jetties, breakwalls or other shoreline structures.

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Indiana Welcome Center Visitor Desk

Indiana Welcome Center

Following the Lake County Board of Commissioner’s mask mandate order for county owned buildings, visitors to the Indiana Welcome Center are required to wear proper face coverings and maintain a social distance of six feet. These precautions are mandatory for the health and safety of our guests and staff. No-touch hand sanitizer stations are also available for all guests and their use is encouraged on entering the building.

Please DO NOT enter the Indiana Welcome Center should you feel ill, have a temperature or have been in close contact with someone who has recently tested positive for COVID-19.

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.

The Indiana Welcome Center also offers professional identity-related services through IdentoGO. The primary service is the secure capture and transmission of electronic fingerprints for employment, certification, licensing and other verification purposes. 

To schedule an appointment, visit or call 844-321-2124. Walk-ins are not accepted. 

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


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




Daily 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM
Gift Shop 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM

Holiday Hours:
Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve 8:00 AM to 3:00 PM
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 Park; US Steel "Big Stuff: Earth," a short film covering steel manufacturing and ArcelorMittal's "Forging Ahead," an exploration of the steelmaking process. 

Request More Information

Would you like more information about the South Shore and the Indiana Dunes? Use the links below to request a visitor's guide be mailed to you, download our Indiana Dunes brochure, join our e-newsletter list or sign up for text alerts.

• Mail me a Visitor's Guide

• Email me the South Shore Explorer Newsletter

• Download the Indiana Dunes Brochure

• Send me Text Alerts