Have a Wonderful Winter in Northwest Indiana
Northwest Indiana, an area most known for its proximity to Chicago and the Lake Michigan shoreline, shouldn’t be overlooked with its vast collection of outdoor adventures, cultural attractions and seasonal events. In the wintertime, residents and visitors alike can find plenty of things to do. Whether you’re a nature lover or looking for kid-friendly activities, these towns offer something for everyone. The following list is just a sample of things to do in Northwest Indiana as the temperatures begin to fall.
Indiana Dunes National Park
Nestled on Lake Michigan’s south shore near Michigan City is the Indiana Dunes National Park, where visitors can enjoy breathtaking scenery and more than 15,000 acres of dunes, wetlands, prairies, and forests. Set along 15 miles of Lake Michigan shoreline, the park is a haven for hikers, and nature enthusiasts. In the winter, many visitors take advantage of the hilly terrain, spending their day cross-country skiing, sledding and snowshoeing.
Holiday Pops! at the Memorial Opera House
Plenty of festive cheer can be found at the Holiday Pops! concert at the Memorial Opera House in downtown Valparaiso. Scheduled for December 22, the performance by the South Shore Orchestra will feature holiday music from around the world, as well as classical and contemporary favorites.
Ice Skating at Deep River Water Park
The summertime favorite Deep River Water Park in Hobart transforms its plaza into a large ice-skating rink in the winter months. The rink is open to skaters of all skill levels, with rentable skates, and walkers for little ones. The plaza also has an indoor concession stand with hot beverages and snacks for when you need to come in from the cold.
“A Christmas Story Comes Home” Display at the Indiana Welcome Center
Fans of the classic Christmas film set in Northwest Indiana will love “A Christmas Story Comes Home,” on display at the Indiana Welcome Center in Hammond from November 14 through the end of December. The exhibit features six animatronic window displays featuring scenes from “A Christmas Story,” which were originally displayed at Macy’s in New York City. The movie is set in the fictional town of Hohman – which is based on Hammond.
Winter Fun at Sunset Hill Farm
Sunset Hill Farm in Valparaiso offers ample opportunities for wintertime fun. Take a turn on one of the or try your hand at cross-country skiing, then hop in the car to warm up while driving through the farm’s free Winter Lights event which featured more than 300 individual displays last year. Winter Lights is open November 19th through January 2nd, starting at 4:30 every evening.
The Forest of Lights at Fair Oaks Farm
Take a day trip to Fair Oaks Farm and get in the holiday spirit with a hike through their Forest of Lights. The one-mile walking trail features a light show, interactive color displays, and plenty of social-media-worthy photo opportunities along the way. Along the trail there are also bonfires, warm drinks, and an adult beverage station.
The Gabis Arboretum
With 300 acres of lush landscapes to view at the Gabis Arboretum on Purdue University Northwest’s campus in Valparaiso, visitors have plenty of hiking trails, scenery, and wildlife to explore on their visit. Although the Gabis Arboretum is open year-round, the winter season brings a different kind of beauty, with snow covering the normally leafed out trees and blooming flowers. On several dates in December, visitors can snap a picture with Santa Claus, drink delicious hot cocoa, and make a holiday craft to take home. Don’t miss the Winter Walk event on December 10th, where attendees of all ages can learn how plants and animals survive the cold winters, and how to identify signs of wildlife on the trails.