Posted on November 30, 2016 by Indiana's Cool North
Indiana’s Cool North definitely lives up to its name in winter. The region is full of awesome activities and events that embrace this snowy season, and are the perfect cure for winter blues. Whether you’re into dashing through the snow, dropping a line on frozen lake, or savoring sweet treats courtesy of Mother Nature, winter around here is a real wonderland. Check out some of our suggestions for fun winter activities in Northern Indiana.
Where: St. Patrick’s County Park, South Bend
When: January 5 and 19, February 2, 2018
Embrace the tranquil beauty of St. Patrick’s County Park with an evening of cross-county skiing. Take a leisurely glide (or really go for it) along candle-lit trails and keep an eye out for all sorts of animal tracks. Make for Manion Cabin, where five dollars will get you a coffee or hot chocolate to warm you up for the return trip, plus some delicious homemade cookies. No skis? No problem? Affordable rentals are available at the park.
Where: Indiana Dunes State Park, Chesterton
When: January 20, 2018
Bundle up and bring your GPS unit to Indiana Dunes State Park for the annual Geocache Adventure. This outdoor scavenger hunt showcases the beauty and history of the park, and highlights some of its most unique sites and features. Once you’ve found and photographed each location, head to the chili dinner to warm up and win some prizes with the points you’ve collected. Still haven’t gotten your adventure fix? Try the famous 3 Dune Challenge—on snowshoes!
Where: Lake Wawasee, Kosciusko County
When: January and February, 2018
We’re all about lake life in Indiana’s Cool North—and that doesn’t change come winter. Ice fishing (or hardwater fishing) is a popular pastime in Kosciusko County, and Lake Wawasee is one of the best spots in the state. At over 3,000 acres, it’s the largest natural lake in Indiana, and is home to many varieties of fish. Common catches are bass, crappie, pike, panfish, and walleye. The smaller bays and channels freeze before the main portion of the lake, so there’s ample time to cast your line. If you’re looking to really get away from it all, make a weekend of it with a stay at Oakwood Resort or Brooke Pointe Resort.
Where: Culver, Marshall County
When: February 9 – 11, 2018
You could curl up under a cozy quilt all winter, or you could get out and enjoy all the snowy fun to be had at Culver’s Winter Fest. Events all over town make it a fun weekend for the whole family. Marvel at the craftsmanship of intricately carved ice sculptures, go sledding and skating at the Town Park along Lake Maxinkuckee, and watch as brave souls take the Polar Plunge! Ice fishing is popular on Lake Max as well. Think you can reel in a big catch? Get out there and give it a try for yourself.
Where: Shipshewana, LaGrange County
When: February 3, 2018
Ever had one of those days when you wished you could leave the house in your PJs? This February 3 in Shipshewana, it’s not only acceptable—it’s encouraged! During the Pajama Day Sale, local businesses open around 6 a.m., offering big deals and discounts and shoppers arrive dressed in their best and coziest pajamas. Add in a few free snacks and cool giveaways, and you’ve got a full day of fun in store, plus it’s a great opportunity to get a (really) early start on next year’s holiday shopping.
Where: Michigan City, Michigan City LaPorte
When: February 17, 2018
You might not think “outdoor beer festival” when you think of February in Northern Indiana—but you definitely should! The Shelf Ice Brew Fest will be celebrating its fourth year serving up frosty brews this February in downtown Michigan City. Dozens of breweries and plenty of local food vendors create an exciting atmosphere in the engaging Arts District. You’ll also find games, live music, and (of course) ice sculptures. Check out our brewery tour of Northern Indiana here.
Where: Downtown Elkhart, Elkhart County
When: December to February, 2018
A splash pad during warmer months, in winter the NIBCO Water and Ice Park transforms into a winding skate path perfect for an afternoon or evening skate next to the Elkhart River. Travel along the beautiful skate path with your family, or go for a more traditional skate on the adjacent rink. Skates of all sizes are available to rent, and once you’ve finished, you can warm up at a number of downtown restaurants and coffee shops.
Will we be seeing you this winter in Indiana’s Cool North? Check out even more incredible things to see and do in Northern Indiana here.