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Welcome Winter in Indiana’s Cool North

No bah-humbugging allowed when winter rolls around in Northern Indiana! If you’re entertaining family or just want to shake off any winter blahs, head out for festivals and entertainment of all kinds, and plenty of outdoor activities. Take time to discover all that makes winter wonderful in Indiana’s Cool North.


Shipshewana Ice Festival and Chili Cook-off

Where: Shipshewana
When: January 21 & 22, 2022

Works of art emerge from huge blocks of ice as professional ice carvers create amazing sculptures. Roam the streets of downtown Shipshewana to watch the artists in action.Then taste masterpieces of a different kind at the chili cook-off.  Shipshewana Ice Festival

Culver WinterFest

Where: Culver
When: February 11-13, 2022

Culver Winterfest is a fantastic 3-day FREE festival that encourages family fun! Join us February 11-13, 2022 to celebrate Winter. Saturday begins with Cupid’s Crawl, an informal and unofficial fun run, a pancake breakfast by the Lion’s Club, and TONS of sledding, skating on the lake and fishing! Sunday includes the famous Polar Plunge, sponsored by the Culver Bear Club.

Shelf Ice Brewfest

Where: Michigan City
When: February 19, 2022


It’s back! The amazing winter beer fest held outside in the Uptown Arts District in downtown Michigan City. The Shelf Ice Brewfest is an outdoor winter beer festival hosted by the Michigan City Mainstreet Association. The event highlights Michigan City’s 3 local breweries (Shoreline Brewery, Burn ‘Em Brewing, and Zorn Brew Works) and brings together dozens of other regional breweries for a exhilarating experience. The event also features a warming/music tent which features local bands, local food vendors, and a various games to play.

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 cross-country skiing.

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

Winter turns the Indiana Dunes into a quiet wonderland perfect for 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.

Indoor Fun and Games

Blue Chip Casino, Hotel & Spa

Where: Michigan City

Here’s an ultimate winter escape for a few hours or a few days! At the Blue Chip Casino, Hotel & Spa in Michigan City, the beat goes on 24/7 year-round with 65,000 square feet of gaming space, including 1,700 slot machines and 40 table games. Add in musical entertainment, fabulous food, luxurious lodgings and a pampering spa to complete the fun.

Super Museums


  • Hall of Heroes Superhero Museum, Elkhart – Holy Museum, Batman! Even Robin would be amazed at this super fun museum filled with comics, toys, displays and even Captain America’s shield and a replica of the Bat Cave.
  • Kidsfirst Children’s Museum (and more!), South Bend – Youngsters will love finding out what it was like to learn in a one-room schoolhouse and live in a cabin through hands-on exhibits. It’s part of The History Museum complex where you can tour a Victorian mansion and 1930s worker’s cottage.
  • LaPorte County Historical Society Museum, LaPorte – Exhibits about fancy cars, women who made history, pioneer life, and a murderous legend, plus a huge collection of rare guns fill this fascinating museum

Shows and Sports

South Bend – Performing Arts











The historic Morris Performing Arts Center provides an outstanding venue for Broadway shows, the South Bend Symphony Orchestra, plus other entertainment. Also in town, Notre Dame’s DeBartolo Performing Arts Center features concerts, theater performances and film.

Shipshewana – Blue Gate Theatre and Shipshewana Event Center


This state-of-the-art complex includes the intimate Blue Gate Theatre and the Blue Gate Music Hall with a full line up of theatre productions, musicians and other shows.

Elkhart – The Lerner Theatre











Built in 1923 as a movie house, this historic theater has been completely renovated. The Lerner features concerts, theater and films. During the holiday season, various holiday productions are scheduled.

Notre Dame – Hockey and Hoops









Experience thrilling action as the Fighting Irish compete in men’s basketball and hockey and women’s basketball at the University of Notre Dame in South Bend.  Sporting events (except for football, basketball and hockey) are free this year, so there may be some other events you want to see on campus.



Winter is the perfect time for indoor dining, and we’ve got some great dining experiences in Indiana’s Cool North.


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