‘Tis the season for holiday fun. There are a variety of events coming up in and around downtown South Bend within the coming weeks where you’ll be able to celebrate the season (and buy some Christmas presents). Here are a few ideas to get you in the holiday spirit:
- The theme of this month’s First Friday in South Bend, which will take place on
December 2, is Downtown for the Holidays and the city and area shops will have a plethora of Christmas-themed activities lined up for the whole family, including the arrival of Santa, a tree lighting and sleigh rides. A full lineup of activities can be found on their website.
- St. Joseph will Light Up the Bluff with Christmas lights this Friday, December 2, at 6:30 p.m.
- The Howard Park Ice Rink will be the home of a Holiday Bazaar for the next three Saturdays (Dec 3, 10, and 17). Vendors will sell crafts and gifts.
- Make South Bend is hosting an Urban Artisan Market this Friday and Saturday (December 2 & 3) at the J.C. Lauber Building at 504 E LaSalle in South Bend. Friday is a preview; Saturday is the full event featuring music, coffee and a variety of local artisans. If you’re in need of holiday gifts, you could also sign up for one of Make South Bend’s many craft classes and make homemade Christmas presents.
- St. Joseph’s annual Reindog Holiday Parade is this Saturday from 4-5 p.m., beginning at Elm and State Streets in downtown St. Joe. Where else can you watch Santa being ushered in on his sleigh by dogs dressed up as reindeer? Seriously, it’s the greatest. If you want your dog to participate, judging for the costume contest will take place from 2:30-3:45 pm.
- On Sunday, December 4, Downtown South Bend will be hosting its annual Historic Holiday Walking Tour from 1-5 p.m., where you’ll be able to explore the West Washington National Historic District. The best part about this tour is that you can see the interiors of many historic homes and businesses that typically aren’t open to the public. I went on this tour last year and highly recommend it. Read about last year’s tour here.
The Morris Performing Arts Center will be hosting the Nutcracker Ballet on December 10 and 11.
- Enjoy breakfast, lunch or dinner at Tippecanoe Place and see the beautiful Christmas decorations throughout the former Studebaker Mansion.
- The Toboggan Runs at Pokagon State Park are officially open and they’re AWESOME (and refrigerated so you don’t have to worry about there not being any snow). The hour and 15 minute drive to Angola is definitely worth it.
- There’s an ice skating rink at University Park Mall this year. Attendees are encouraged to bring their own skates if possible. If not, there will be a limited number of skates available to borrow for free.
- You can also take the South Shore Line to Chicago to see the lights on Michigan Avenue, visit Christkindlmarket, and see the giant Christmas tree at Macy’s on State Street.