Just like that, it's 2024. A new year means new reasons to get out and explore. And there are plenty of reasons to do so, even (or especially!) as we charge into winter. Here are six ideas for things to do in The Bend this January. 

Go Ice Skating 

Ice skating is a winter staple in The Bend and there are a couple options. Ironworks Ice Rink in downtown Mishawaka is brand new (opened in January) and is already a must-visit winter destination. There is an ice trail and traditional rink for skating. There are also other one-of-a-kind ice activities like bumper cars and Icebykes. 

Howard Park in South Bend is wildly popular for its ice trail, not to mention the playground, hot chocolate and firepits. You're also close to several places to grab a bite to eat before or after your visit.

Notre Dame Basketball and Hockey

Did you think football season is the only time you want to visit campus for some Fighting Irish games? Winter is an underrated time to catch some sports on campus with women's basketball, hockey and men's basketball all competing at the same time. 

Try Cross Country Skiing, Tubing and Snowshoeing 

We're big into outdoor activities in the winter time — it's a fantastic time to try something new. Cross country skis and snowshoes are available for rent at St. Patrick's County Park. There's also a popular tubing hill. George Wilson Park in Mishawaka is another great place to take the family out for some tubing. Keep in mind, these activities require a great snowpack. It's always best to check snow conditions in advance.

Visit the Museum Campus

January is a great time to circle back to Studebaker National Museum and The History Museum if you haven't been recently. Both museums have updated exhibits worth exploring.

Bowling, Laser Tag, Virtual Reality and More

Some days just call for staying inside. You can find a bunch of fun activities — bowling, laser tag, virtual reality, bumper cars, etc. — at a few places in Mishawaka: Generations AdventurePlex, Sky Zone Trampoline Park, and Strikes and Spares Entertainment Center.

Winter Days at Potawatomi Zoo 

As we settle into the snowy season, Winter Days at the Potawatomi Zoo are a great way to get outside and visit some of your favorite animals. Winter Days take place four times a month from January through March in preparation for the full reopening of the zoo in April.