As we pause over Memorial Day weekend to remember those that have paid the ultimate sacrifice in service of our country, it's often a time to gather with friends and family or get out and explore.

If you're looking for something to do over the long weekend, here are some ideas.

Find Your Favorite Patio

Summer vibes, a great meal and a cold beverage — that's a great way to spend any night in The Bend. Find one of our favorite patios over Memorial Day weekend to get a summer preview.

Visit Potawatomi Zoo 

It's always a good time to visit Potawatomi Zoo, especially so when the weather is warm and all the animals are out. Visitors can feed the giraffes, ride the Zoo Train and enjoy seeing so many other animals.


Hike through Area Parks

There are parks galore around The Bend, and beautiful spring weekends are among the best times to visit them. St. Joseph County Parks offer ample room to spread out for a hike, cycling trip or picnic. The jewel of The Bend's outdoor areas is Potato Creek State Park (photos below), which features beautiful Worster Lake.

Shop Local for Your Cookout

Nothing says Memorial Day weekend like a barbecue. If you're gearing up, there's no better place for fresh ingredients than our local farmers markets. South Bend Farmers Market, with its indoor setting, has been open all spring. Mishawaka's outdoor farmers market is open for the season.

Dogs Day Out

This is a simple formula: You + your pup = a great time. From restaurants to dog parks, there's a whole lot to do for man's best friend.

Hit the Trails on Two Wheels

Seeing as May is National Bike Month, it's a pretty good time to dust off your bicycle and take it out for a spin on The Bend's trails. You can ride between Niles, Mich., and the Mishawaka Riverwalk with much of the mileage along the St. Joseph River.

Tee It Up

Long weekends are practically meant for a jaunt to the golf course. Most area courses are open, albeit with some coronavirus-related guidelines and restrictions. Round up the crew, get a tee time and prepare your swing.

RELATED CONTENT: A Guide to Golf in The Bend