‘Tis the Season in The Bend

There is so much to do during the holiday season. Finding the perfect tree, decorating and wrapping presents for loved ones are on everyone’s to-do list this time of year. If you’re around The Bend during the holidays, make sure to carve out time for these events too.

Events in Downtown South Bend

First Fridays – Downtown for the Holidays

When: 5-9 p.m. Dec. 6
Details: Live music on the Gridiron kicks things off at 5 p.m. There will also be holiday photo ops, a Santa letter station, giveaways, games and more. Santa arrives a little after 6 p.m. to light the tree with a fireworks show to follow. Santa’s House will be open to visitors from approximately 6:30-9 p.m. Free cookie decorating will take place at the DoubleTree atrium from 5-9 p.m.

Holiday Light Parade

When: 7-8 p.m. Dec. 13
Details: Lighted floats will make their way down Jefferson Boulevard during the third annual parade.

Santa’s House + Workshop

When: Dec. 6-24
Where: The Gridiron
Details: Look for the little red house and you’ll soon find Santa. Bring your camera for a photo op. And don’t forget the wish list.

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Cookie Decorating and Gingerbread Village at South Bend Museum of Art

When: Dec. 6-24
Where: South Bend Museum of Art Details: Stop by the South Bend Museum of Art while you’re downtown visiting Santa for free cookie decorating and to vote on your favorite house in the Gingerbread Village. Same dates and times as Santa’s House and Workshop.

Visits with The Grinch and Rudolph

When: Dec. 6-24
Where: South Bend Chocolate Café
Details: Snag a photo with the Grinch and Rudolph during your visit downtown.

Hours for Santa’s House and cookie decorating are as follows:

5-9 p.m. Dec 6, 13 and 20
Noon-6 p.m. Dec. 7, 14 and 21
Noon-4 p.m. Dec. 8, 15, 22, 23 and 24

Holiday Historical Walking Tour

Explore South Bend’s unique history from 1-5 p.m. Dec. 8 with a unique holiday twist. Take a trip through time with free, self-guided tours of 14 historic homes and businesses in the West Washington National Historic District.

Winter Wonderland in Mishawaka

Head to Merrifield Park on Dec. 7 for the annual Winterfest celebration. There will be free ice skating, hot chocolate, visits with Santa, horse-drawn carriage rides and more.

Battell Community Center is the host for Holiday Fun Night on Dec. 6. An appearance by Santa kicks off the event, where you can donate an unwrapped toy to Toys for Tots and get your photo taken. There will be a free holiday movie as well.

There’s also more to do than shop for gifts at University Park Mall this holiday season. Photos with Santa are available until Dec. 18 and there is a Holiday Celebration planned for 6-8 p.m. Dec. 7 in the food court.

Holiday Extravaganza at Four Winds Field

Join Stu, Swoop and Mrs. Claus on Dec. 7 at one of the best ballparks in minor league baseball as they get ready for the holidays by decorating ornaments and cookies, plus more activities.

Holiday Lights at the Zoo

Visit Potawatomi Zoo between Nov. 29-Dec. 22 for The Gift of Lights. More than a million lights are wrapped around trees and free-standing displays throughout Indiana’s first zoo.

Holiday Performances

Live theater performances around the holidays include “The Santaland Diaries” and “Elf the Musical” at the South Bend Civic Theater. Headlining shows at Morris Performing Arts Center during December are “The Nutcracker” ballet and South Bend Symphony Orchestra presents “Home for the Holidays.”

RELATED CONTENT: Upcoming schedule at the Morris Performing Arts Center

For more things to do in The Bend, check out our events calendar.