How to Celebrate the Holidays in South Bend, Indiana

The South Bend area is teeming with excitement this holiday season. With its lively cultural activities, plentiful snowfall, and festive shopping, this cozy Indiana town has something for everyone. Whether you plan on visiting for the first time or you live in the nearby area, these South Bend events should be at the top of your seasonal to-do list. You and your loved ones can take in the sights and celebrate the holidays with the local community. If you’re looking for a new holiday tradition, take a look at our list of fun things to do in South Bend, Indiana this winter:

Skating in the Park

Nothing will get you ready for the holidays like some good old-fashioned ice skating. South Bend has several winter parks for you to choose from. Stop by Howard Park for a 1,600 square foot ice trail with an adjacent pond. The trail goes all the way around the park, giving you plenty of room to stretch your legs. You can even play some broomball if you’re feeling competitive. The city lights up the park for the holidays, setting the mood for an unforgettable evening. The park also rents out ice skates if you don’t have your own.

You can also take your friends and family to Merrifield Park for even more outdoor fun. The price of admission is a bit less expensive than Howard Park, but space can be limited, especially during evening hours, so be sure to get there early. They even have a DJ playing some tunes on Friday nights. Bust a move on the rink to get in the holiday spirit.

The Santaland Diaries

David Sedaris made a name for himself as a literary giant with The Santaland Diaries, a hilarious account of his time working as an elf at the local Macy’s in New York City. The South Bend Civic Theater brings this legendary memoir to life on the stage. If you’re feeling a little stressed out this holiday season, the production is sure to get you laughing in all the right ways. It’s full of his signature wit and humor. The show runs from December 6th through the 21st, so grab your tickets today.

Downtown for the Holidays

Downtown South Bend comes alive during the holiday season. The city lights up the entire area, creating the ultimate shopping experience. Shop at some local stores, grab a bite to eat at one of the area’s many restaurants, or sip a cup of hot chocolate from the South Bend Chocolate Café.

The downtown area hosts dozens of fun events this time of year, including an illuminated parade, a gingerbread village building competition, and a chance to meet one-on-one with Santa. Look for the small white house next to the Chocolate Café. If you have small children, this is their chance to tell Santa exactly what they want for Christmas.

A Day at Oakwood Resort

If you’re looking to get out of the city during the holiday rush, you can always head down to Syracuse, IN and spend a day at Oakwood Resort. It’s located right on Lake Wawasee, the perfect place to get in the holiday mood. Stop by the spa and resort for some rest and relaxation before or after your holiday celebration. Top it off with a meal at the Pier & Back Porch Restaurant. The entire resort is filled with hardwood floors, soft warm lighting, and all the holiday decorations you need. You can even spend the night on the lake for a last-minute romantic getaway.


Oakwood Resort is less than 65 minutes away from South Bend. Just hop on US-20 and head towards Lake Wawasee. Make our resort a part of your holiday tradition. Event planning has never been easier. Visit our website today to place your reservation.