Winter in Northern Indiana
The winter is a great time to take advantage of incredible Indiana Dunes Country shopping and restaurants. From downtown Chesterton, through Porter, along the Portage Lakefront to Valparaiso’s Lincolnway, there’s plenty of unique and interesting shops to explore—and lots of great places to stop in for a warm cup of coffee or hearty bowl of soup. Don’t forget to stop by The Schoolhouse Shop for a quirky and charming alternative to national department stores.
Join in the Christmas Candlelight Tour of Historic Homes. Each year private homes in LaPorte’s historic district open their doors to display holiday decorations. The event also includes a carriage ride, live music and refreshments.
Strap on your skates and practice your figure eights outdoors at South Bend’s Howard Park Ice Rink or indoors at the year-round Ice Box Skating Rink. If sitting around a hole in the ice is the perfect winter escape for you, Potato Creek State Park offers great ice-fishing opportunities.
There are so many holiday festivities to attend. From Tree Lighting events in just about every town, to visits from the jolly old elf and the Vespers at the Culver Academies, there’s always something fun to get you in the holiday spirit. One of our most memorable events is the Holy Walk in Bremen. Early in December, before Christmas, visitors journey back to Bethlehem during the annual Holy Walk, traveling in Mary and Joseph’s footsteps with stops along the way where you’ll meet hundreds of people in costumes from that time period who tell you about life then. It culminates in the last stop – the manger. Churches from Bremen and surrounding towns stage this event on a lovely 2,500-acre farm just outside of town.
Get the New Year off to a good start with the Fire and Ice Festival, a popular Goshen First Fridays event in January. Enjoy the stunning work of ice carvers as they transform blocks of ice into incredibly detailed masterpieces. Then warm up with a taste test of the many chili recipes submitted in the Chili Competition.
Whether you call it ice fishing or hardwater fishing, Koscuisko County has some of the best spots to catch your share of winter biters. Crappie, Bluegill and Perch are plentiful through the ice. Bass and Pike can also be found. And if you’re fishing on Lake Wawasee, you might even pull up a Muskie!
In February, we just prefer to stay warm and comfortable in our pajamas—especially when we’re shopping. The annual Shipshewana Downtown Pajama Sale starts before the sun rises, and many of the 100+ stores offer additional discounts for those in their pajamas.