If you're looking to get the family out of the house this winter, we have some ideas for how to do so. Kid friendly activities are around every corner.

Ice Skating

Winter activities seem to officially begin when the skating rinks open. The ice trail at Howard Park in South Bend is wildly popular (as is the state-of-the-art playground). If you want to go, keep in mind that it's best to make reservations online in advance. They tend to fill up early. The rink at Merrifield Park in Mishawaka is another option. Admission there is done in person.

Bonus idea: If there's enough snow on the ground, tubing is a blast! St. Patrick's County Park, George Wilson Park and Potato Creek State Park all have tubing hills. Call the parks in advance to get the latest schedule.

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Indoor Fun and Games

Sometimes the weather sends you inside. Or the adventure just goes in that direction.

Generations AdventurePlex: A new addition to Mishawaka, Generations AdventurePlex has activities for all ages. Laser tag, bowling, a drop tower and the arcade are great for kids. There's also axe throwing and bocce ball.

Sky Zone Trampoline Park: A family favorite, Sky Zone in Mishawaka is like the best bounce house of all time. There's are several different ways to enjoy it, from a free climb area to a toddler zone exclusively for younger children.

Strikes and Spares Entertainment Center: Bowling, mini bowling, black light mini golf, go-karts, arcade, bumper cars — those are just some of the options at this popular Mishawaka family fun destination.

Waypoint VRcade: Considered one of the largest virtual reality and video game-based entertainment center in the country, Waypoint also includes free-roam virtual reality.

Winter Days at Potawatomi Zoo

Potawatomi Zoo puts on The Gift of Lights during the holiday season, a really fun holiday lights event. Then it typically has Winter Days after Jan. 1 for visitors to swing through during the colder months. Stay tuned for a schedule.

Family Friendly Food

Is there a meal more family friendly than pizza? Or tacos? What about breakfast? If you're wondering where to eat while you're in The Bend, it's time to start exploring your options.

South Bend Chocolate Co. Factory Tour

Ever wanted to take a deep dive into the world of chocolate? Here's your chance. Tours of South Bend Chocolate's production facility and museum are available. You'll learn about the chocolate-making process and make a chocolate spoon at the end.


Explore the University of Notre Dame

There are few places more beautiful than the University of Notre Dame, especially under a fresh blanket of snow. Families often take walks to explore some of the notable campus landmarks — the Golden Dome, Touchdown Jesus, the Basilica and the Grotto — and take a few photos.

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