Indiana's Tallest Outdoor Decorated Christmas Tree 

You might be wondering if this is a thing — it is! This massive tree is on display at the Inn at Saint Mary's, just off the Indiana Toll Road. It'll be officially lit for the season at 6:15 p.m. Dec. 7 and will make for a great photo op all season long.

Dasher's Drive Thru at the 4H Fairgrounds 

Admission is FREE (donations are encouraged) to this drive-thru holiday lights show at the St. Joseph County 4H Fairgrounds. It goes from 6-9 p.m. Dec. 3-5, Dec. 10-12 and Dec. 17-19. 

Holiday Lights at the Zoo

Visit Potawatomi Zoo between Nov. 26-Dec. 19 for The Gift of Lights. More than a million lights are wrapped around trees and free-standing displays throughout Indiana’s first zoo.

Winter Wonderland at Wind Family Fireside Terrace 

Wind Family Fireside Terrace, the outdoor patio at Rohr's inside the Morris Inn on Notre Dame's campus, is hosting a pop-up during the holiday season. This cozy, festive event takes place Saturdays and Sundays from Nov. 27 to Dec. 19. Hours are 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturdays and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sundays. Reservations should be made in advance to attend. Here's the schedule of events:

  • 6-9 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 27: DJ Jake Reno
  • 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 28: Kids ornament decorating 
  • 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 4: Holiday market 
  • 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 5: Kids holiday craft 
  • 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 11: Holiday market 
  • 5 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 12: Star Carolers 
  • 5 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 18: Cocktail mixing demo 
  • 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Dec. 19: Face painting 

Events in Downtown South Bend

Tree Lighting and December First Fridays

When: 5-9 p.m. Dec. 3 
Where: The Gridiron and downtown businesses

This year's tree lighting ceremony takes place from 5-6:30 p.m. with live holiday music, photo ops and giveaways. Santa will make his entrance just after 6 p.m. for the lighting or the tree; Santa's house will open around 6:30 p.m. and go to 9 p.m.

Visits with Santa

When: Dec. 3-24
Where: The Gridiron

Look for the little red house next to the South Bend Chocolate Café and you’ll soon find Santa. Bring your camera for a photo op. And don’t forget the wish list. Here are the Santa's house hours:

  • Fridays — Dec. 3, 10, 17
    • 5-9 p.m. 
  • Saturdays — Dec. 4, 11,18 
    • Noon-6 p.m. 
    • Santa's house will open at 12:30 p.m. on Dec. 4 
  • Sundays — Dec. 5, 12, 19 
    • 1:30-5:30 p.m. 
  • Thursday, Dec. 23 
    • Noon-4 p.m. 
  • Friday, Dec. 24 
    • Noon to 4 p.m. 

Elsewhere around downtown you'll find other holiday-themed things to see like a Gingerbread Village at the Courtyard by Marriott. 

Holiday Light Parade 

When: 7-8 p.m. Dec. 17 
Where: Jefferson Boulevard in the East Bank Village

Holiday Events in Mishawaka 

Tree Lighting 

When: 6-8 p.m. Dec. 3
Where: Ironworks Plaza 

Celebrate the beginning of the holiday season with the tree lighting ceremony. There will be hot chocolate, photos with Santa, live music and more.


When: 5-8 p.m. Dec. 4
Where: Merrifield Park 

Kick off the holiday season with Winterfest at Merrifield Park. The event features free ice skating at the Merrifield rink, hot chocolate, Santa visit and horse-drawn carriage rides.

Holiday Fun Night 

When: Noon-2 p.m. Dec. 11
Where: Battell Community Center

Toys for Tots and a visit from Santa kicks off an event where you can donate toys and get a photo with the big guy. 


Christmas in New Carlisle 

Head to this charming small town from 3-7 p.m. Nov. 28 for a new holiday market and holiday parade. The parade will take place from 6-7 p.m.

Howard Holiday Market 

New for South Bend this year, the Howard Holiday Market takes place over multiple weekends from Nov. 26-Dec. 12. Around 50 vendors will line the sidewalks at Howard Park to sell unique, local products. There will also be live entertainment, food vendors and more.

Christmas at Copshaholm 

Enjoy the wonder of the season from 4-8 p.m. Dec. 2 and Dec. 5 with self-guided tours of the beautiful, 38-room Oliver Mansion. Trees can be round on all three floors of the historic home. Purchasing tickets in advance is recommended.