30 Free Things to Do

Save some cash while enjoying family and friends with our list of 30 free things to do in Northwest Indiana. 

Northwest Indiana Bike Trails

1. Bike Trails

Use the bike trails to travel along the lakeshore, amid nature or through downtowns.

2. Sledding

Sled down the hills at Lost Marsh Golf Course or Lake County Fairgrounds.

Kayaking Northwest Indiana

3. Kayaking

Launch your kayak on Wolf Lake, along the Kankakee River or Lake Michigan.

Lubeznik Center for the Arts

4. Art Galleries and Exhibits

View the works of national and local artists at the galleries and exhibit halls, ranging from photography to paintings to sculpture.

Carpenter Creek Cellars

5. Wine Tastings

Stop in at Carpenter Creek Cellars in Remington for a free wine tasting. When they're not too busy, they offer free tours as well!

Cedar Lake Summerfest

6. Festivals with Free Admission

Many of the local festivals and events offer free admission to enjoy live entertainment, browsing the vendors, people watching and more.

Shrine of Christ's Passion

7. The Shrine of Christ's Passion

Journey through The Shrine of Christ's Passion in St. John, a half-mile walking path featuring life-size bronze statues.

8. Albanese Candy

Entertain your sweet tooth with free tastings of the World's Best Gummis and chocolates at this candy factory in Hobart

Deep River County Park Trail

9. Hiking

The South Shore is home to many entry-free parks and downtowns with hiking trails to enjoy.

10. Veterans Memorial

Pay your respects to veterans at Community Veterans Memorial in Munster. The memorial sits on 6.5 acres and leads visitors on a historic journey.

Fishing Lake County Parks

11. Fishing

Fish near the dam on Lake George or head out to LaSalle or Willow Slough Fish and Wildlife Areas. See our top 10 fishing spots here.

Bison viewing at Kankakee Sands

12. Bison

Walk out to the viewing area to watch more than 100 bison roam the prairie at Kankakee Sands just off US Highway 41.

Kids at A Christmas Story Comes Home in Hammond

13. "A Christmas Story" Comes Home

Come see the "A Christmas Story" Comes Home exhibit, every November and December at the Indiana Welcome Center.

14. Sandhill Cranes

Connect with nature watching the sandhill cranes fall migration every fall at the Jasper-Pulaski Fish and Wildlife Area.

South Shore Civil War Memorial Trail

15. South Shore Civil War Memorial Trail

Follow Indiana’s role in the Civil War and honor those that made the sacrifice along northwest Indiana’s Civil War trail.

Skate Park Munster

16. Skateboard

Hone your skate boarding skills at the many skate parks in the area.

Maple Syrup Time Indiana Dunes

17. Maple Syrup

Help tap the trees in early March during the maple syrup season at Deep River County Park.

RenArtWlk Cameron Moberg: turtle

18. #RenArtWlk

The Rensselaer Art Walk features murals throughout downtown Rensselaer, Indiana by artists from around the world.

Green beach glass in rocks by Charlotte Hernandez

19. Beach Glass Hunting

Comb our many beaches along Lake Michigan in search of gorgeous beach glass. Check out our beach glass blog for how and where to discover these colorful pieces. 


20. Birding

Watch for an amazing variety of birds at places like the Grand Kankakee Marsh, Hammond Lakefront Park, and Gibson Woods.

Crown Point St. Patrick's Day Parade

21. Parades 

Parades are not just for the 4th of July. Find them on St. Patrick’s Day, Labor Day and at the annual Popcorn Festival and Pierogi Fest®, too.

Flick at Indiana Welcome Center

22. Rotblatt-Amrany Trail

Follow the Rotblatt-Amrany Trail to see the studio's amazing bronze creations including "The Spirit" of Michael Jordan in Chicago and "Flick" stuck to a flagpole in Hammond, a character from the "A Christmas Story" movie.

Deep River Grinders baseball

23. Vintage Baseball

Step back in time with a Deep River Grinders vintage baseball game, playing according to rules written in 1858, when courtesy prevailed on and off the playing field.

Cedar Lake Farmers Market vendors

24. Farmers’ Markets

Wander the local farmers’ markets all over Northwest Indiana. Plus many of the markets have live entertainment to enjoy.

First Friday Art Walk

25. First Friday Art Walk

Discover the shops and artwork in downtown Michigan City with their monthly First Friday Art Walk, May through September.

Family watching Gary SouthShore RailCats Baseball

26. Community Nights at RailCats

RailCats games are always affordable, but they also have a few Community Night baseball games, when you can pick up free tickets at local businesses.

Northwest Indiana Car Cruises

27. Car Cruises Around the Region

Find a variety of classic beauties at the car cruise nights in downtown Crown Point and Whiting.

Lemon Lake playground

28. Parks

Exhaust the kids at the many city and county parks throughout the South Shore with playgrounds, fields and more.

Lemon Lake County Park disc golf

29. Disc Golf

Play a round of disc golf at Lemon Lake County Park. They have a small gate fee when the gatekeeper is on duty, usually in the summer months.

Splash Pad Crown Point

29. Splash Pad

During the summer, stroll around the historic Lake County Courthouse in downtown Crown Point, then let the kids cool off at Bulldog Park's splash pad.

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