Top Ten Things To Do in South Bend

by Nick Molnar on December 20, 2006

editors note: This article was written 12/20/2006. While most of it is still relevant, you might want to check the Facebook page 365 Things to do in South Bend for more ideas and an ongoing discussion

Visit Notre Dame:
Go for the tailgating and a football game. Or go for another sport “ many are free and fun and very successful, including women’s basketball and soccer. Go to jog almost two miles on a lake trail. Go to attend mass at the jaw dropping Basilica of the Sacred Heart, or just go to wander and see the statues, light a candle at The Grotto, Touchdown Jesus, and the lesser known attractions of this 1,250 acre campus.

Go to the College Football Hall of Fame:
Go to learn the history of the game as played at the college level, or to test your kicking, passing and blocking skills. Or just to play catch on the replica field.

Go to the Zoo:
The Potawatomi Zoo is the oldest zoo in Indiana. It has lions and tigers and bears, toucans, a children’s train and a snow leopard. Child Magazine has ranked it among the 20 best zoos for kids. Look here to see if they have your favorite animal.

Raft on the East Race:
A 1,500 foot artificial whitewater course challenging enough for Olympic kayakers, but also open to recreational paddlers. The South Bend parks Department operates it and rents rafts and equipment.

Fish the St Joe River:
If you don’t like to raft, you can fish on the St Joseph River. There are fish ladders which allow salmon and trout to swim around the dams and thrive in the river, which has been noted as a good river for steelhead as well as salmon.

Play in the Snow:
St. Patrick’s Park, Baugo Creek and Wilson Park rent inner tubes for an event that brings 1950’s era sledding to mind, but without the trip to the emergency room. Howard Park and Merrifield Park have skating rinks with hot chocolate. In the summer Wilson and Baugo offer Disc Golf courses.

Play Golf:
From fantastic public courses that start under $20 on the weekends to Country Clubs, there are eight courses in South Bend, and dozens more within a one hour drive of South Bend.

Look at Old Cars:
Visit the Studebaker Museum to see classic cars including the Muppet-mobile and the coach that carried Abraham Lincoln to the theater where he was shot in the same building with modern Hummers.

See a show:
The Broadway Theater League brings several shows a year, the South Bend Civic Theater has a newly rehabbed building, and the Morris-Civic Theater has attracts everything from Sesame Street to Rock concerts.

Catch a Silverhawks Game:
Coveleski Stadium is home of an Arizona Diamondbacks minor league team, the South Bend Silverhawks. Take the boys, the girls or the family for lots less than a game at Wrigley and still a lot of fun.

Eat in Style:
South bend has the usual suspects as far as restaurants, but also offers fine dining in unique settings – The Carriage House is in an historic church and Tippecanoe Place is in an 1889 mansion.

If you counted and noticed eleven, it’s because there is a lot to do here. I could have listed thirty things without scratching my head. If you live in South Bend and I left your favorite activity, why not share it in the comments. If you are from somewhere else and wonder if South bend offers something, ask in the comments and we’ll try to let you know.

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