When it comes to finding fun things to do in Northwest Indiana, you’re in for a treat. This region, nestled along Lake Michigan’s southern shore, is brimming with opportunities for adventure, relaxation, and cultural exploration. Whether you’re a nature enthusiast, a history buff, or someone seeking family-friendly activities, Northwest Indiana has it all. Join us on a journey to explore this vibrant corner of the Hoosier State.
Fun Things to Do in Northwest Indiana
Embrace Nature’s Beauty at Indiana Dunes National Park
Experience the Great Outdoors
Indiana Dunes National Park is a nature lover’s paradise. With over 15,000 acres of diverse landscapes, including rugged dunes, tranquil beaches, and lush forests, it’s a haven for hiking, bird-watching, and picnicking. Don’t forget your camera; the sunset views over Lake Michigan are simply breathtaking.
Explore the Quaint Town of Chesterton
Small-Town Charm at Its Finest
Nestled near the Indiana Dunes, Chesterton is a charming town filled with unique shops, cozy cafes, and a friendly atmosphere. Stroll along its streets, chat with locals, and savor artisanal treats. It’s the perfect place to experience the heart of Northwest Indiana.
Visit the John Dillinger Museum
Step into the World of Infamous Gangsters
If you’re fascinated by the era of gangsters and the infamous John Dillinger, this museum in Crown Point is a must-visit. It offers a captivating glimpse into the life and times of one of America’s most notorious criminals.
Take a Ride on the South Shore Line
Scenic Train Journeys
Hop on the South Shore Line, a commuter train that winds its way along Lake Michigan’s shoreline. This scenic ride offers breathtaking views of the lake and is a unique way to explore the region.
Wine Tasting in Harbor Country
Indulge in the Finer Things
Northwest Indiana boasts a burgeoning wine scene, especially in Harbor Country. Tour local wineries, sample award-winning wines, and enjoy the picturesque vineyard landscapes.
Enjoy Water Sports at Lake Michigan
Make a Splash
Lake Michigan provides an aquatic playground for water enthusiasts. Whether it’s kayaking, paddleboarding, or simply swimming, the cool waters of the lake offer endless summer fun.
Discover History at the Indiana Dunes State Park
Preserving the Past
While the national park is known for its natural beauty, Indiana Dunes State Park showcases the area’s history. Explore the historic 1930s bathhouse, hike through rugged terrain, and learn about the cultural heritage of the region.
Indiana’s Premier Gaming Destination: Four Winds Casino
Roll the Dice and Win Big
For those who enjoy a little excitement, the Four Winds Casino in New Buffalo, Michigan, is just a short drive away. Test your luck on the slot machines or try your hand at table games.
A Day of Family Fun at Deep River Waterpark
Splash into Adventure
Deep River Waterpark in Crown Point promises a day filled with family-friendly thrills. From water slides to lazy rivers, it’s the perfect place to cool off during the summer months.
Delight in the Arts at Lubeznik Center for the Arts
Appreciate Local Culture
The Lubeznik Center for the Arts in Michigan City showcases a diverse range of artistic expressions. Explore galleries featuring local and national artists, and immerse yourself in creativity.
Epic Bike Trails in the Region
Pedal Your Way Through Scenic Routes
Northwest Indiana offers some of the best bike trails in the Midwest. Whether you’re a seasoned cyclist or a casual rider, you’ll find the perfect route to explore the region’s beauty.
Enjoy the Flavors of Pierogi Fest
Culinary Adventures Await
Pierogi Fest in Whiting is a culinary celebration of epic proportions. Savor delectable pierogies, enjoy live music, and immerse yourself in the rich culture of the region.
Witness a Sunset at Ogden Dunes Beach
Nature’s Beauty Unveiled
Ogden Dunes Beach is an ideal spot to witness a mesmerizing Lake Michigan sunset. Pack a picnic and capture the moment as the sun dips below the horizon.
Immerse Yourself in Local Festivals
Celebrate with the Community
Throughout the year, Northwest Indiana hosts a myriad of festivals celebrating everything from arts and crafts to local cuisine. Be sure to check the event calendar for exciting opportunities to join the festivities.
Fishing at the Portage Lakefront and Riverwalk
Reel in the Big One
Fishing enthusiasts will find solace at the Portage Lakefront and Riverwalk. Cast your line and enjoy the serenity of this waterfront location.
The Shrine of Christ’s Passion
The Shrine of Christ’s Passion in St. John is a place of spiritual reflection and contemplation. Walk the winding path that features life-sized bronze sculptures depicting the Stations of the Cross.
The 49er Drive-In Theatre
Nostalgic Movie Nights
Step back in time at the 49er Drive-In Theatre in Valparaiso. Enjoy a double feature under the stars from the comfort of your car.
Valparaiso’s Downtown Shopping District
Valparaiso’s downtown shopping district offers a delightful array of boutiques and specialty stores. Explore unique finds and enjoy a day of retail therapy.
Hike the Heron Rookery Trail
Nature and Wildlife Exploration
The Heron Rookery Trail in Michigan City is a hidden gem for birdwatchers and nature enthusiasts. Spot a variety of bird species and immerse yourself in the serenity of the wetlands.
Visit the Barker Mansion
Historic Mansion Tour
Take a guided tour of the Barker Mansion in Michigan City and step into the opulent world of the Gilded Age.
Sunset Hill Farm County Park
Sunset Hill Farm County Park in Valparaiso offers scenic beauty, hiking trails, and ample opportunities for picnicking. It’s an ideal spot for a day in nature.
The Albanese Candy Factory
Sweet Tooth Heaven
Indulge your sweet tooth with a visit to the Albanese Candy Factory in Merrillville. Explore the vast selection of candies and chocolates and even take a factory tour.
Experience the Arts at the Memorial Opera House
The Memorial Opera House in Valparaiso hosts a variety of cultural events, from live theater performances to musical concerts. Check their schedule for upcoming shows.
Go Horseback Riding at Broken Wagon Bison
Experience the thrill of horseback riding at Broken Wagon Bison in Hobart. It’s an opportunity to connect with nature and these majestic animals.
Tee Off at Top Golf
Swing into Fun
Top Golf in Schererville offers a unique golfing experience. Challenge your friends and family to a game of golf while enjoying delicious food and drinks.
What are some free things to do in Northwest Indiana?
- Enjoy the scenic beauty of Indiana Dunes National Park.
- Stroll through Chesterton’s charming downtown.
- Witness a beautiful Lake Michigan sunset at Ogden Dunes Beach.
Are there any outdoor activities in Northwest Indiana?
Absolutely! Northwest Indiana offers a range of outdoor activities, including hiking, biking, kayaking, and fishing. Indiana Dunes National Park and the Heron Rookery Trail are popular choices for outdoor enthusiasts.
What’s the best time to visit Pierogi Fest?
Pierogi Fest typically takes place in late July, making it a fantastic summer event to attend. The weather is warm, and you can relish pierogies and local culture.
Can I go swimming in Lake Michigan?
Yes, Lake Michigan offers numerous swimming spots along its shoreline. Be sure to check local conditions and lifeguard availability for a safe swimming experience.
Is there a fee to visit the John Dillinger Museum?
Yes, there is an admission fee to enter the John Dillinger Museum. Check their official website for current pricing and hours of operation.
Where can I find information about upcoming festivals in Northwest Indiana?
You can find information about upcoming festivals in Northwest Indiana on local event websites, tourism bureaus, and community calendars. Be sure to plan ahead for these exciting events!
Northwest Indiana is a treasure trove of fun and adventure waiting to be explored. Whether you’re drawn to the natural beauty of the dunes, the rich history of the region, or the vibrant cultural scene, there’s something here for everyone. So, pack your bags, hit the road, and embark on an unforgettable journey through Northwest Indiana—a destination that promises to create lasting memories.