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Welcome Winter 2021 in Indiana’s Cool North

2020 has been a year like no other, and now winter is coming in Northern Indiana!  No bah-humbugging allowed because there’s still some safe options in Indiana’s Cool North! If you’re looking for your own festive jaunt, or just want to shake off any winter blahs, head out for dazzling lights and plenty of outdoor activities. During the holiday season and well into the New Year, take time to discover all that can still make winter wonderful in Indiana’s Cool North

It’s a great idea to check with the event or business before finalizing plans; things can change quickly.

Event Fun

Shipshewana Ice Festival Competitive and Chili Cookoff

Where: Shipshewana
When: January 23, 2021

Competition carving begins at 10 am. Artists will be carving adjacent to each other at the Wolfe Building in downtown Shipshewana.

Then, head inside to warm up with a chili cook-off.


Outdoor Escapes

South Bend – Skating, Tubing and Skiing


Grab your hat and mittens and embrace winter in South Bend!  The new ice trail  and pond has just opened at Howard Park and is the new premier winter destination.  The Merrifield Park Ice Rink offers skating and skate rentals several days a week. Squeals of delight fill the air on the innertube runs at Ferrettie/Baugo and St. Patrick’s County Parks. St. Patrick’s also offers three special cross-country skiing nights.

Elkhart – Skating and Snowy Adventures

Skaters love the NIBCO Water & Ice Park, complete with an ice rink and path, skate rentals, and a warming facility with concessions. Cross-country skiers head for the groomed trails at Ox Bow County Park in town and Bonneyville Mill Park a few miles away. Both parks offer sledding and snowshoeing too.

Indiana Dunes – Special Winter Hikes (and Tubing and Skiing)

Winter turns the Indiana Dunes into a quiet wonderland perfect for sledding, skiing or hiking along snowy woodland trails and among sandy dunes. Head out yourself anytime or join naturalists at the Indiana Dunes State Park in Chesterton who lead special hikes during the holidays–one on Christmas Eve morning for a stroll through the dune forests and another New Year’s Day for a more rugged trek through the high dunes.

Valparaiso Ice Skating

At Valparaiso’s open-air William E. Urschel Pavilion, you’ll hardly notice you’re outdoors. A roof protects you from any wintry elements, and lights, music, and a well-maintained rink make ice skating a dream. Part of downtown’s Central Park Plaza development, the pavilion includes an indoor area for skate rentals and hot drinks during the winter months.


For gift shopping or post-holiday bargains, here are some ideas:

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