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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 
  254. Visit the genealogy department of the Valparaiso Public Library
  255. Take the kids to open gym at Horizon Gymnastic and Cheer Academy (HGCA) Valparaiso
  256. Roller Skating at Ben Franklin Middle School (courtesy of the Valparaiso YMCA).
  257. Frozen Yogurt at YoAmazing Frozen Yogurt Shoppe.
  258. Take a cake decorating class or painting class at Michael's in Valparaiso
  259. Enjoy some delicious, homemade food at Fiddlehead Restaurant

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
  • Stephanie O'Brien