- All Things to Do
- Indiana Dunes
- Indiana Lakes
- Outdoor Recreation
- Family Fun
- 21 and Over
- Seasonal Activities
- Arts & Culture
- Farm to Fork
- 30 Free Things to Do
- 30 Unique Attractions
- Trip Ideas
- Along Lake Michigan
- South Shore to Chicago
- South Shore Posters
- Cedar Lake
- Crown Point
- East Chicago
- La Porte
- Lake Station
- Michigan City
- St. John
- Jasper County
- Newton County
- Lake Village
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.
1. Bike Trails
The South Shore has hundreds of miles of bike trails, traveling along the lakeshore and through nature as well as paved paths through woods and downtowns.
Sled down the hills at Lost Marsh Golf Course or Lake County Fairgrounds.
Exhaust the kids at the many city and county parks throughout the South Shore.
Hone your skate boarding skills at the many skate parks in the area.
Launch your kayak on the waters of Wolf Lake in Hammond, along the Kankakee River or Lake Michigan.
The South Shore is home to many hiking trails at the Indiana Dunes and throughout the many parks in the area.
Arts & Culture
7. Galleries and Exhibits
View the works of national and local artists at the galleries and exhibit halls, ranging from photography to paintings to sculpture.
8. The Shrine of Christ's Passion
Journey through the passion of Christ at The Shrine of Christ's Passion in St. John, a half-mile walking path featuring life-size bronze statues.
9. South Shore Civil War Memorial Trail
10. Community 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.
11. 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.
12. "A Christmas Story" Comes Home
Get into the holiday spirit at the "A Christmas Story" Comes Home Exhibit, every November and December at the Indiana Welcome Center in Hammond.
13. Albanese Candy
Entertain your sweet tooth with free tastings and a tour of the candy factory in Hobart.
Check out the lifelike taxidermy, waterfall and local fish swimming in the aquarium at Cabela’s.
15. 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!
Enjoy the Outdoors
Relax on the beaches from Whiting to Michigan City, Ind. Don’t forget your sunscreen!
18. Sandhill Cranes
Connect with nature watching the sandhill cranes fall migration every fall at the Jasper-Pulaski Fish and Wildlife Area.
19. Shelf Ice
Watch for an amazing variety of birds at places like the Grand Kankakee Marsh, Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, and Lakefront Park and Bird Sanctuary.
21. Maple Syrup Time
Help tap the trees in early March during the maple syrup season at Deep River County Park and the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore.
22. Indiana Dunes Events
Almost all of the events at the National Lakeshore and State Park are free. There is a small parking fee at the State Park.
23. Community Nights at RailCats
View the RailCats website for Community Night baseball games, when you can pick up free tickets at local businesses.
24. Vintage Baseball
Step back in time with a Deep River Grinders or Munster Centennials vintage baseball game.
25. Farmers’ Markets
Wander the local farmers’ markets and enjoy the live entertainment that some markets include.
26. First Friday Art Walk
Discover the shops and artwork in downtown Michigan City with their monthly First Friday Art Walk.
28. Festivals with Free Admission
Many of the local festivals offer free admission to enjoy live entertainment, browsing the vendors, people watch and more.
29. Car Cruises
Find a variety of classic beauties at the car cruise nights in downtown Crown Point and Whiting.
30. Summer Symphonies
Sit back and relax during the summer symphony performances.
- Summer Rhapsody Music Festival, Central Park Plaza, Valparaiso
- South Shore Summer Music Festival, throughout Northwest Indiana
- Summer with the Symphony, Lakefront Park, Whiting