Mishawaka is much more than South Bend's neighbor. It's a vibrant community city with beautiful parks, unique shopping and a delightful local dining scene. Here are some of the best things to do in Mishawaka, Indiana all year round.
Mishawaka Parks and the Riverwalk
Mishawaka takes pride in its robust parks system. There are 26 parks located throughout the city with top-notch amenities like splash pads, concert pavilions, pools and more.
- Central Park: Arguably the crown jewel of Mishawaka parks, it includes playground equipment and a splash pad. There are basketball, tennis and pickleball courts. Fishing access to the St. Joseph River brings anglers from across the region.
- Beutter Park: This park sits on the south side of the river and includes a beautiful lighted water feature. It's adjacent to the Ball Band Biergarten and Ironworks Plaza.
- Battell Park: On the north side of the river, Battell is home to the historic bandshell and a terraced rock garden that dates back to the 1930s. It's a beautiful place for a walk. There are also tennis courts, playground equipment, etc.
- Kamm Island Park: A small yet beautiful park on the river and a favorite fishing spot. Home to Kamm Island Fest every year.
All these parks are connected by the Mishawaka Riverwalk, a 2.5-mile loop that encompasses both sides of the river. It’s a perfect setting to walk, run or bike and is one of the most Instagram-worthy locations around The Bend.
Other notable parks include Shiojiri Niwa Japanese Garden (beautiful, especially in the spring), George Wilson Park (known for tubing in the winter) and Merrifield Park (with a boat launch and a pool).
Ironworks Plaza and Ice Rink
Ironworks Plaza has quickly become one of the top places for visitors and locals in Mishawaka to spend time. Adjacent to Beutter Park, Ironworks Plaza is home to the Ball Band Biergarten, which partners with Indianapolis-based Sun King Brewery. Nearby the city is close to opening Ironworks Ice Rink. Winter activities there will include skating, ice bumper cars and more.
Family Friendly Indoor Adventure
Mishawaka leans into its outdoor options but also has plenty of indoor fun and games for the whole family.
Sky Zone, an indoor trampoline park, features wall-to-wall trampolines, ultimate dodgeball, a slam dunk zone and foam pit. Strikes & Spares Entertainment Center is another go-to spot for families. Bowling is the focal point of this entertainment center. But it also boasts glow-in-the-dark mini golf, go-karts and arcade games.
Generations AdventurePlex is another local favorite with an abundance of arcade games, laser tag, bowling and more.
Unique Shopping Options
Perhaps a seemingly endless array of locally-owned boutiques, retail outlets and fresh markets are more your style.
Favorite local shops include Indiana Rug Co. Studio & Gift Shop, a delightful family owned business that offers everything from outdoor-inspired clothes for men to aprons and home decor.
Centennial Place, a shopping center full of local shops, includes Vintage Charm and Ten Thousand Villages.
Of course, the Grape Road and Main Street corridor is known as a regional shopping district. University Park Mall anchors the area with an Apple Store, Barnes & Noble, Coach, lululemon and Macy's, among many other options. Nearby you'll find well-known brands like Target, Dick's Sporting Goods, Kirkland's, HomeGoods and more.
Food and Drink in Mishawaka
Food lovers need not worry when visiting Mishawaka: There are plenty of places that should be on your to-do list.
Any list of local favorites includes Evil Czech Brewery & Public House, Corndance Tavern and Jesús Latin Grill & Tequila Bar. All three — a craft brewery, fine dining restaurant and Latin-inspired spot, respectively — are owned by the same restaurant group. They feature some of the boldest, most unique menus our area has to offer.
Jesús Latin Grill anchors a burgeoning downtown Mishawaka dining scene. Other notable restaurants include Chicory Café, Vinyl Tap and Table, Doc Pierce's Restaurant, Scoobies and Zing Japanese Fusion.
Rocky River Tap & Table is another Mishawaka dining spot that’s not to be missed. Rocky River’s menu leans on locally sourced ingredients in a casual atmosphere.