Plan a Winter Weekend Getaway
Don't let a little snowy weather keep you inside — winter is an underrated time to visit The Bend! There are several fun ways to enjoy the area when temperatures start to dip. Whether you want to get outside or stay cozy, these are some of the best things to do and places to stay during the snowy season.
Things to Do
If you're not the type to stay inside just because it's a little cold, The Bend is your type of place. Skating along the ice trail at Howard Park in South Bend is wildly popular and puts you in the heart of the East Bank Village neighborhood with its walkable restaurants and shops. Skating is also on tap at the new Ironworks Ice Rink in Mishawaka — and that's not all. You can hop in ice bumper cars or on Icebykes there too.
Tubing at St. Patrick's or George Wilson parks, snowshoeing and cross country skiing are snow-dependent but some of our favorite winter outdoor activities.
You can also lace up your boots, bundle up and visit some of our favorite places for a winter hike.
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If you're a sports fan, head to the University of Notre Dame for some of its exciting winter sports: hockey, men's basketball and women's basketball. Big games draw enthusiastic crowds to cheer on the Fighting Irish.
Ever been axe throwing? Want to go bowling or try bumper cars? What about bouncing on a bunch of trampolines? Have you tried virtual reality? Exciting indoor activities await in Mishawaka at places like Generations AdventurePlex, Strikes and Spares Entertainment Center, and Sky Zone
Visiting during winter means you're likely to run across a show, perhaps even a Broadway production like "Fiddler on the Roof" at the Morris Performing Arts Center. The South Bend Civic Theatre produce shows throughout the winter as well.
Studebaker National Museum and The History Museum are among the best places to spend a winter day. You can take a deep dive into South Bend and Mishawaka history, whether it's by browsing classic cars or touring the nearby Oliver Mansion. Just down the street, the Civil Rights Heritage Center walks visitors through civil rights history.
Eat & Drink
If you're looking for a place to dine during winter, comfort food is probably calling. Looking up The Bend's best pizza places is a great place to start. Locals love Barnaby's South Bend, Bruno's, Rocco's Restaurant, Pasquale Rulli's and so many more.
Head to downtown South Bend for a variety of eateries, breweries, coffee shops and cocktail spots. Fiddler's Hearth is a great place to get cozy during the winter with its fireplace crackling in the background. Woochi Japanese Fusion is a top choice for sushi lovers. PEGGS and The Early Bird Eatery serve up delicious breakfast. Over in the East Bank Village, The Lauber Kitchen & Bar, The View Tavern and Howard Park Public House all attract dozens of diners.
Mishawaka is also bursting with flavor. Jesús Latin Grill has one of the most unique menus in the area. Nearby, Chicory Café is more than just a coffeeshop with its own delightful menu. Evil Czech Brewery has craft beer and one of the best menus around.
Places to Stay
Looking for a place to cozy up for the weekend? Or simply a place to crash before heading out for another day of adventures? Either way, we've got the ideal places to stay for your winter weekend.
Downtown South Bend hotels — Aloft, DoubleTree by Hilton and Courtyard by Marriott — put you right in the middle of the action. Near the University of Notre Dame, there is a beautiful Embassy Suites. You could even stay on campus itself at the Morris Inn, a AAA Four Diamond property. Mishawaka has a great collection of brand name properties like a Varsity Clubs of America, Hyatt Place and Home2 Suites.