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365 Things To Do In Northwest Indiana


With PortageLife, ValpoLife, LaPorteCountyLife, NWIndianaLife, we are working to communicate everything good with your help Northwest Indiana. We are adding and updating a list of activities to do in Northwest Indiana, sights to see, places to visit. So what are 365 fun things to do in Northwest Indiana? Send your ideas to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and we’ll add them to this list!

    1. Sledding on Rogers Lakewood Park Hills in Valparaiso
    2. First Thursdays in downtown Valparaiso
    3. Taltree Arboretum
    4. Hanging out at the Dunes
    5. Popcorn Festival in Valparaiso
    6. Pork Festival in Kouts
    7. Check out some fine art at White Ripple Art Gallery  
    8. Dillinger Museum at the Lake County Visitor’s Center
    9. Hesston Steam Museum in LaPorte
    10. Barker Mansion in Michigan City
    11. Taking the South Shore to Chicago for the day
    12. Archaeological dig site in Kouts
    13. Dunn’s Bridge in Kouts
    14. Drazer Park in Kouts
    15. Albanese Candy  
    16. Deep River Water Park
    17. Local Coffee Shops: Blackbird Café and Uptown Café 
    18. Eat Valpo Velvet Ice Cream coffee
    19. Go to the Southlake Mall or Michigan City Outlets
    20. VU Library
    21. Fair Oaks Dairy Farm
    22. Shop in Toto
    23. Gary Railcats
    24. Visit Michael Jackson’s childhood home
    25. Strongbow Inn
    26. Bailey’s Discount Center in North Judson
    27. VU Basketball games
    28. A Christmas Story display at the Hammond Visitor’s Center
    29. Ogden Gardens
    30. 49er Drive-in
    31. Fireworks at the close of the Michigan City Summer Festival
    32. Star Plaza
    33. Memorial Opera House
    34. Chicago Street Theatre
    35. Pierogi Festival in Whiting
    36. Blueberry Festival in Plymouth
    37. Disc Golf at Rogers Lakewood Park or Lemon Lake County Park in Cedar Lake
    38. Hiking the Dunes
    39. Valplayso
    40. Butterfly Meadows & Caterpiller Crossing
    41. Climb Mount Baldy
    42. Bowling at Inman’s bowling
    43. Mini-golf at Zao Island
    44. Eat at El Salto
    45. Shop at antique stores
    46. Take your dog to Butterfield Park and play catch
    47. Catch a family movie at Movies in the Park in Valparaiso
    48. Ice skate at Deep River Water Park
    49. Volunteer at day at Day of Caring or Rebuilding Together
    50. Maple Syrup Days at Deep River County Park
    51. See a historic baseball game - Deep River Grinders
    52. The Porter County Garden Walk
    53. Lubeznik Center for the Arts - Michigan City
    54. International Friendship Gardens - Michigan City
    55. Washington Park Zoo - Michgian City
    56. Blue Chip Casino - Michigan City
    57. Sign up for Scuba Lessons in Valparaiso
    58. Take lessons or attend Open Stage Night at Front Porch Music
    59. Attend a concert - Northwest Indiana Symphony
    60. Wine Tasting at Anderson Winery
    61. Volunteer at a Special Olympics event
    62. VU's Kissing Bridge
    63. Fish the Kankakee River
    64. Watch the Gary Air Show from the beach
    65. Folks on Spokes individual and family bicycling club
    66. Visit "The Healing Rooms of Valparaiso"
    67. Visit the five Porter County Library branches: Valparaiso, Portage, South Haven, Hebron, and Kouts
    68. Sunset Hill Farm's Festival of Lights around the Holidays
    69. County Line Orchards (lots of fall activities) pumpkins
    70. Pumpkin Time at Coulter's Farm
    71. Westville Pumpkin Festival 
    72. Porter County Fair
    73. Porter County History Museum
    74. Michigan City Old Lighthouse Museum
    75. Indiana Aviation Museum at Porter County Airport
    76. Learn to play golf at Creekside or Forest Park
    77. Brauer Museum of Art at VU
    78. See an IMAX movie in Portage
    79. Paint your own ceramics at Ceramix 101
    80. "Buckley Homestead" in Lowell
    81. Attend an Indiana Ghost Trackers Meeting
    82. Find hidden treasures while geocaching
    83. Attend the Valparaiso Kiwanis Club Hot Air BalloonFest (2nd weekend in September)
    84. Valparaiso Noon Kiwanis Club pancake breakfast, March 13, 6 am to 1 pm
    85. Kiwanis Veterans Day celebration
    86. Have a martini at Pikk's along with a side of Pikk's fries
    87. Annual Rooftop Luau put on by the Valpo Chamber of Commerce
    88. Chesterton European Market, every Saturday May through October
    89. Chapel of the Resurrection
    90. Watch sandhill crane migration at Jasper-Pulaski
    91. Portage lakefront park
    92. Task Force Tips fire equipment museum
    93. VU Visualization Lab
    94. College of Engineering
    95. VU Weather Center Department of Geography and Meteorology
    96. Northwest Indiana Paddling Association activities
    97. Canoe or kayak on Long Lake, Flint Lake, etc
    98. OE Marathon
    99. Valpo YMCA, Portage Township YMCA
    100. Studebaker Mansion restaurant in South Bend
    101. Take classes at VU, Ivy Tech, Purdue NC, Purdue Cal, IUN
    102. Be a mentor through a program such as Nexus (contact first Methodist Church) or Discoveries Unlimited
    103. Old Jail Museum, downtown Valparaiso
    104. Bellaboo's Play & Discovery Center
    105. Joyful Noise at Sunset Hill Farms
    106. Passion Play at Family Christian Center
    107. Walk or bike the Link (pathways around the "island" along Vale Park and up to Rogers Lakewood)
    108. Sunflower Festival at the Art Barn
    109. Three Floyds Brew Pub in Munster
    110. Go Ice Skating, workout or participate in gymnastics for all ages at Midwest Training & Ice Center in Dyer
    111. Lake-Front Arts Festival, Michigan City
    112. Tri-state Regatta, Michigan City
    113. Samaritan Skedaddle usually in April, Michigan City
    114. 2 Big Hearts 5k- Memorial day week-end, Michigan City adler
    115. Holiday Festival of lights-Washington Park, Michigan City
    116. Heart shaped pizza at Duneland Pizza in Chesterton
    117. Breakfast at Suzie's Cafe, Valparaiso
    118. Chellberg Farm and Bailey Homestead
    119. Nativity's Rummage Sale
    120. Northwest Indiana Tweetup
    121. Holly Days on the Square, Valparaiso 
    122. Twilight Christmas Parade, Chesterton 
    123. Fresh produce at Camacho's Tent on Calumet
    124. Afternoon tea at Songbird Prairie
    125. Attend a church service - temporary site here
    126. Shop at Bass Pro Shop and eat at their World Famous Islamorada Fish Company restaurant
    127. Eat at Egg on Your Face
    128. Adler Planetarium in Chicago- there's a free day March 23!
    129. Visit Conner Prairie
    130. Get a spray tan at Endless Tan One or Planet Beach
    131. Go to Veteran's Park in Munster- the only Veteran's Park in the country that recognizes all the wars/conflicts we have been involved in
    132. Spend the day at Centennial Park in Munster
    133. Play Golf at Centennial Park's 9 hole challenging course
    134. Attend a play at the Center for Visual and Performing Arts in Munster
    135. Attend the Annual Grape Escape wine festival,at Centennial Park in Munster  
    136. Check out some books, movies or music from the Lake County Public Library 
    137. Attend a meeting of a major service organization in the area, Kiwanis, Rotary or Lions club- They are a terrific asset to every community they are in!!
    138. See the fireworks at Thomas Jefferson Middle School on the 4th of July
    139. Attend the Independence Day Parade in Portage
    140. Enjoy some fudge at the Chocolate Cafe
    141. Go for a drive in the country side
    142. Attend a free wine tasting at Shady Creek Winery, Michigan City
    143. Music in the Park at Woodland Park in Portage
    144. See a play at one of the theaters that are part of the Northwest Indiana Excellence in Theatre Foundation or audition for a show
    145. Cruise Night in Rensselaer
    146. Taste of Rensselaer
    147. Little Cousin Jasper Festival in Rensselaer
    148. Challenger Learning Center of Northwest Indiana
    149. Enjoy a picnic lunch with the family while watching an Iron Diamonds baseball game! All games are free!
    150. Utilizing the National Lake Shore
    151. Movies in the Park in Downtown Chesterton every Friday
    152. Walk/Hike/Bike/Run at Coffee Creek
    153. Spring Out to Sunset at Sunset Hill Farm County Park
    154. Buy fudge and other good things at the Simply Amazing MarketSimply-Amazing-Fudge
    155. Get some art supplies at Glenn L Firme & Associates on U.S. 12 and try your hand at art at the dunes
    156. Take a walk along the shores of our natural treasure Lake Michigan
    157. Visit The Artist's Den on Jefferson in Valpo
    158. Learn to knit at Sheep's Clothing in Valpo
    159. Take an art class at the Art Barn, or Chesterton Art Center
    160. Take a cooking class at Regal Rabbit in Chesterton
    161. Midwest Corvette and Chevy Show
    162. Harley Cruise-In Nights at Harley Davidson of Valparaiso
    163. Tri Kappa Taste of Valpo
    164. Perch Fest in Portage
    165. Lake County Fair
    166. Festival of the Lakes
    167. Northwest Indiana Earth Day at Sunset Hill Farm
    168. Michigan City Boat Show
    169. Pumpkin Fest in Crown Point
    170. Come out to Cedar Lake Summerfest for fun for all ages: live entertainment, fireworks, games, rides, food and more!
    171. Get the famous fried perch at Teibel’s restaurant in Schererville.
    172. Experience the Stations of the Cross on a moving and inspirational journey at The Shrine of Christ’s Passion in St. John.
    173. Catch one of the amazing performances by Indiana Ballet Theatre.Indiana-Ballet-Theatre
    174. Feel the music at a LaPorte County Symphony Orchestra concert.
    175. Be inspired by visiting the South Shore Arts galleries throughout Northwest Indiana.
    176. Go to a show at Horseshoe Casino in Hammond and stay to try your luck at the tables.
    177. Stay at Ameristar Casino’s full-service luxury hotel in East Chicago and play the slots.
    178. Enjoy a casino that kicks action, great dining and comfortable hotel accommodations with Majestic Star in Gary.
    179. Celebrate National Park Week and Earth Day with the annual Green Gary event.
    180. See some great local talent in the wide range of performances at Theatre at the Center in Munster.
    181. Retreat, relax and renew at DunesWalk Inn at Furness Mansion in Chesterton.
    182. Rock out to the bands in the Summer Concert Series at Wicker Memorial Park in Highland.
    183. Take in a show at Towle Theater in Hammond.
    184. Head to downtown Crown Point for the weekly Car Cruise.
    185. Bring your family out to “Explore the South Shore” to discover all kinds of family fun there is along the South Shore.
    186. Learn about the encampments of French Voyageurs, Native American and military units at Voyageur Rendezvous at Grand Kankakee Marsh County Park.
    187. Enjoy artisan breads and sweets from the bread booth in downtown Lowell on Wednesdays in the summer.
    188. Celebrate Crown Beer Fest at the Lake County Fairgrounds in Crown Point.
    189. Paddle, bike or walk the Little Cal at the Little Cal Fest in May.
    190. Join in on the Cobe Cup Car Cruise as it “re-races” the 1909 Cobe Cup Race from Crown Point to Lowell.
    191. NWI Natural Family Living Expo at the Lake County Fairgrounds Industrial Building
    192. Midwest Zest Fest in Highland
    193. Healthy Mom and Baby Event
    194. Browse the selection of tunes at Orbit Music in Mishawaka
    195. Order double crust pizza at Captain's Pizza in Edwardsburg
    196. Eat at Hilltop Restaurant in Lakeville
    197. Enjoy a year-round water park at Splash Universe in Shipshewana
    198. Relieve history at the Niles-Brandywine Civil War Re-enactment that takes place in the spring at Brandywine High School in Niles
    199. Shop for fresh produce and plants at Shelton's Farm Market in Niles
    200. View the world's largest collection of Hudson Cars at Hostetler's Hudson Auto Museum in Shipshewana
    201. Eat a Whoopie Pie at the Baker's Nook in Elkhart
    202. Show your Notre Dame pride at the Legends of Notre Dame
    203. Attend the Maple Syrup Festival in Wakarusa
    204. Watch locally made films at the River Bend Film Festival in South Bend
    205. See a show at the Morris Civic Auditorium in South Bend
    206. Walk through the galleries at the South Bend Museum of Art
    207. Browse Vinyl LP's, used books and movies, and vintage clothing while sipping coffee at Rumor Has It in Niles
    208. Shop for discounts in your pajamas on the first Saturday of February at the Shipshewana Pajama Sale
    209. Savor a dessert from Designer Desserts in Valparaiso, IN
    210. Annual Lake George Duck Race in downtown Hobart
    211. Mud Volley Ball Tournament held for charity by the Jaycees
    212. Hike up Mount Baldy and fly a kite
    213. Pinhook Bog at the National Lakeshore
    214. Fly or watch remote control airplanes in Wheeler
    215. Ice cream from Valpo Velvet
    216. Take a tour at Fair Oaks Farms
    217. Attend a concert by the NWI Symphony Orchestra
    218. Star gaze at the Lowell observatory field or attend a meeting of the Calumet Astronomical Society
    219. Come hear a concert of Valparaiso's own South Shore Orchestra
    220. Watch the Rocky Horror Picture Show every Saturdayat midnightat the Art Theater in downtown Hobart.
    221. Dine al fresco at Lucrezia in Chesterton under the tallest Japanese Maple Tree in Porter County
    222. 2015 NWI Comic-Con in Schereville at the Halls of Saint George
    223. Take the whole family to Family Day at the Douglas Center
    224. Take the kids to the National Lakeshore Visitor's Center for a Sunday full of fun 
    225. Spend a Saturday enjoying the Indoor Market at Good to Go by Lucrezia
    226. Enjoy dinner at Jalapenos and then a night of music and dancing at Woodhollow After Dark 
    227. Have a night of laughs at Wisecrackers Comedy Club 
    228. Have a fun day full of waterslides and swimming pools at Seven Peaks Water Park
    229. Have a picnic, learn to windsurf and have the kids splash around at Wolf Lake Aquatic Center 
    230. Bring the kids for some indoor fun at Bellaboo's Play and Discovery Center 
    231. Go where the buffalo roam at Broken Wagon Bison 
    232. Go on an outer space adventure at the Challenger Learning Center 
    233. Enjoy a Hoosier wine experience at Carpenter Creek Cellars 
    234. Ditch the boring butter flavor and try something new at Chicagoland Popcorn
    235. Spend a warm summer camping with friends and family at Caboose Lake Campground 
    236. Learn to sail at the Hammond Marina 
    237. Take a tour at the world famous Hoosier Bat Company (appointment only)
    238. Tour the JT Shrimp Company and see where all that tasty shrimp comes from 
    239. Spend some time bowling at Olympia Lanes 
    240. Learn about the environment of Northwest Indiana at the Paul H. Douglas Center for Environmental Education 
    241. See where the famous Dr. Scholl started his business at Lake of the Red Cedars Museum 
    242. Take an old fashioned train ride at Griffith Park Train Rides 
    243. Learn about all those who have served our country at The Community Veterans Memorial 
    244. Enjoy some authentic Dutch cooking at the Touch of Dutch Fest 
    245. Go bird watching at one of many locations throughout North West Indiana 
    246. Take a walk along the Rotblatt-Amrany Trail
    247. Play your favorite sport, no matter what the weather is at The Courts of Northwest Indiana
    248. Have a Mardi gras party for the whole family at the Crown Point Family Fun Center
    249. Engage in some paint based combat at Blast Camp Paintball
    250. Unwind and relax at The Great Escape Spa & Art Shop 
    251. Take a look at some amazing modern art at Blink Contemporary Gallery 
    252. Buy furniture, vinyl or even candy at Captain Ed's Furniture Showroom
    253. Check out some original, handcrafted metal sculptures at Ed Wedow's Custom Made Sculptures 

      Thanks to the people who have contributed ideas so far:

      • Michelle Indigo Rush Clemons
      • Jeff Cagwin
      • Kathy Faurot Welter
      • Nikki Presta Roe
      • Derek Chirch
      • Carolyn Polewski Powell
      • Rebecca Wolfe Tomerlin
      • Larry Tumbleson
      • Michael L. Mick
      • Michele David
      • Tammy Canzoneri
      • Alyssa Weiler
      • Robyn Pollick Kelsey Walsworth
      • Stephanie Wallace
      • Anne Van Keppel
      • Dawn Noel Fitzer Brown
      • Lee Anne Bettenhausen
      • Stan Krysa
      • Eric Wignall
      • Cindy Byrns
      • Rebecca Wolfe Tomerlin
      • Barby Adkins Alfredson
      • Martha Ebling Sullens
      • Lisa Skripac
      • Jon Groth
      • Jackie Gray
      • Linda S Camp
      • J Michael Yohe
      • Tom B
      • RG Skadberg
      • Joe Porter
      • Anthony Gurtowski
      • Ellen Holloway
      • Lisa Seyser Starkey
      • Danielle Berg O Reilly
      • Amey VanBlaircom
      • Nancy Metzger Markovich
      • Kate Ross
      • Karol Wegrzyn Siwietz
      • Elicia Morales Follman
      • Elizabeth Coy
      • Kathy Legner Sipple
      • Betsy Greer
      • Kate Swartz Sorensen
      • Leeann Good
      • Sarah Andrews Johnston
      • Indiana Dunes
      • Barbara Rivera
      • Kevin Sparenberg
      • Jeff & Grace Safrin
      • Michael McIntyre
      • Nicholas Winder
      • Beth Franzen
      • Kristen Hasselgren
      • Stephen Miller
      • Julie Olthoff
      • Rich Gardner
      • Kristine Keesee
      • Porter County Parks & Recreation
      • Dawn Aleksinski Puszczewicz
      • Kathy Welter
      • Brenda Krause
      • Jennifer Rush
      • Janel Hyland
      • Barry Skalski
      • Donna Flanagin
      • Angel Rae
      • Troy Webdell
      • Sarah Denton
      • Nada Karas

      We’re at 253 ideas…what can we do the other 130 days of the year?