Fans from all over the country flock to The Bend during fall for Notre Dame football home games. No matter the type of visitor, there are several ways to spend your time here. Use our guide to build the perfect weekend itinerary.
Checklist No. 1: Family Friendly
Enjoy the tradition and fun of a home football game with the entire family.
Cheer for Notre Dame at the Pep Rally
Sing along as the Notre Dame Marching Band plays the Victory March, watch the Notre Dame Leprechaun do an Irish jig and hear from football players and coaches the night before their game.
RELATED CONTENT: Notre Dame Game Day Guide
Head to Barnaby's for Dinner
Catch a Glimpse of Your Favorite Players
Wish your favorite players luck as the team makes its way through campus to the stadium. The Player Walk takes place 2 hours and 15 minutes before kickoff.
Cheer for the Notre Dame Marching Band
Head to Bond Hall before the game as the band performs a short concert then watch as they "step-off" from the front steps of the Golden Dome and head to the stadium.
Checklist No. 2: Bucket List
Attending a Notre Dame football home game should be on every football fan's bucket list.
Football Fridays at the Eck
Stop by the Eck Visitors Center from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Fridays for food, activities and interviews with Notre Dame celebrities.
Trumpets Under the Dome
The Marching Band's trumpet section gathers in front of the Main Building (with its Golden Dome on top) to play favorite Notre Dame songs from 4:10-4:20 p.m.
Grab a Bite to Eat at Rocco's Restaurant
Open since 1951, this family-owned Italian restaurant serves up some of South Bend's best pizza right down the street from campus.
Stop By Corby's Irish pub
You may recognize Corby's from its guest appearance in the movie "Rudy." Enjoy a cold brew, grab something from the food window and play a game of cornhole outside alongside fellow Irish fans.
Midnight Drummers Circle
Before going to bed on Friday, meet the Marching Band's drumline in front of the Golden Dome at midnight as they play cadences and a few fan favorites like the Notre Dame Fight Song. It's an official kickoff to game day activities.
Checklist No. 3: Alumni
Come back to your old stomping grounds and see what's changed since you left.
Show yourself around campus. There's a pretty good chance a new building or two have gone up since your last visit.
Light a Candle at the Grotto
While you're on campus, be sure to light a candle at the Grotto like you did so many times as a student.
Grab Dinner in Downtown South Bend
Head downtown for some great dinner options. There's likely a new spot you haven't tried since your last visit, like Fatbird or Spirited. Or you could head to some favorites: Café Navarre, LaSalle Kitchen and Tavern, The Exchange Whiskey Bar and more.
Head Back to The Backer
To those who just pass by it, it is called the Linebacker Lounge. Students and alumni know it simply as "The Backer." Relive your college days with a visit before the game.
Checklist No. 4: Annual Visitor
Perhaps you have a reliable itinerary. But it never hurts to try new things.
Have a Local Brew
Grab a cold one at one of The Bend's local breweries:
- South Bend Brew Werks (downtown South Bend)
- Crooked Ewe Brewery & Ale House (South Bend)
- Evil Czech Brewery & Public House (Mishawaka)
- Bare Hands Brewery (Granger)
Dinner at Fiddler's Hearth
Fiddler's Hearth is downtown South Bend's go-to Irish pub. Enjoy great live music, high quality food and a pint of your favorite ale at this family friendly gathering place.
Cocktails at The Exchange Whiskey Bar
Time for a cocktail in a throwback setting. Once a bank, The Exchange Whiskey Bar carries close to 150 whiskeys. Its craft cocktail menu is always vibrant and frequently changes. The Hideaway at The LaSalle is another top-notch cocktail spot.
Visit the Guglielmino Athletics Complex
This state of the art facility houses Notre Dame football offices, practice facilities and various awards won by former Notre Dame legends. On Fridays, fans can come see the awards — Heisman trophies and the National Championship trophy.