We're heading into the heart of winter. February means we're one step closer to spring, but there are plenty of things to check off your winter to-do list before the big thaw arrives. Here are six ideas for things to do in The Bend this January. 

Experience Broadway in The Bend 

Who says you need to visit the big city for a night at the theater? Head to the Morris Performing Arts Center in downtown South Bend for a show and you're sure to be delighted. "The Simon & Garfunkel Story" is in town Feb. 4 for a one-night stay. Don't miss it. 

Celebrate Black History Month 

Black History Month is a great time to explore the rich history of the local African American community. There are several historic sites to explore, most notably the Indiana University South Bend Civil Rights Heritage Center. Built in 1922 as a segregated public pool, the CRHC is now an inclusive gathering spot and museum. 

Dine Out During Winter Restaurant Weeks 

Attention, fellow foodies: Some of South Bend's best locally owned restaurants are calling. Winter Restaurant Weeks takes place Jan. 24-Feb. 6 in downtown South Bend. Local favorites are offering up unique menus with special pricing. 

Go Ice Skating 

Ice skating is a winter staple in The Bend and there are a couple options. Howard Park in South Bend is wildly popular for its ice trail, not to mention the playground, hot chocolate and firepits. You're also close to several places to grab a bite to eat before or after your visit. You can also skate at Merrfield Park in Mishawaka, which offers a traditional rink. 

Try Cross Country Skiing, Tubing and Snowshoeing 

We're big into outdoor activities in the winter time — it's a fantastic time to try something new. Cross country skis and snowshoes are available for rent at St. Patrick's County Park. There's also a popular tubing hill. George Wilson Park in Mishawaka is another great place to take the family out for some tubing. Keep in mind, these activities require a great snowpack. It's always best to check snow conditions in advance.

Bowling, Laser Tag, Virtual Reality and More 

Some days just call for staying inside. You can find a bunch of fun activities — bowling, laser tag, virtual reality, bumper cars, etc. — at a few places in Mishawaka: Generations AdventurePlex, Sky Zone Trampoline Park, Strikes and Spares Entertainment Center and Waypoint VRcade.