Planning for spring break doesn’t have to mean a trip to the beach.
Sometimes you want to slow things down for a few days, stay close to home and have fun as a family. If you're looking for a destination that offers more than expected, it's time for a trip to The Bend.
Indiana’s first zoo reopens for the season March 31, just in time for spring break (there are also scheduled Winter Days on March 18-19). If you haven't been in awhile, or ever, it's time to go back and the giraffes! The zoo also features okapi, snow leopard, red pandas or any of the other 400-some zoo inhabitants. Don’t forget to hitch a ride on the Zoo Train and grab a snack during your visit.
Explore Area Parks
There are few better ways to bring in spring than by seeking out open spaces and fresh air amid warmer temperatures. Hiking and biking trails await at St. Patrick's County Park and Potato Creek State Park. You can walk along the St. Joseph River and explore the massive, ADA-accessible playground at Howard Park in South Bend surrounded by beautiful murals. There are dozens of play options at the parks in downtown Mishawaka, especially Central Park with its jungle gyms and other equipment, and you can walk along the Mishawaka River Walk.
Walk the University of Notre Dame
We always recommend taking a walk through one of the world's most well-known campuses to explore its iconic landmarks, no matter the season. Spring is particularly beautiful as flowers bloom around the popular landmarks. Instagrammable moments await near the Golden Dome, Touchdown Jesus, the Basilica and the Grotto.
Indoor Fun and Games
Just in case the weather isn't up to par when you're looking for something to do:
Dellstar VR: This virtual reality gaming spot is located in downtown South Bend.
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.
Family Friendly Food
When it's time to take a break and grab a bite to eat, is there anything more family friendly than pizza? What about tacos? Maybe you want an epic shake for dessert? We know where to find all this. Start exploring your options.
Visit the Museum District
Perfect for the young car lover, Studebaker National Museum is a wonderful showcase of local history and classic cars. You can also take a step back in time with The History Museum’s exhibits on regional history. Just down the street, the Civil Rights Heritage Center takes a look at local civil rights history.
South Bend Chocolate Factory Tours
Satisfy your sweet tooth by heading to the South Bend Chocolate Factory for a behind-the-scenes tour. You'll get a closer look at how the treats are made then grab a box to take home. If you’re in downtown South Bend, visit the café for a bit to eat and the kids play area.