‘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 when the calendar flips to November and December. However, make sure to put these fun holiday-themed events and attractions on that holiday to-do list as well.

University Park Mall Is Holiday ReadyMall Winter
The University Park Mall in Mishawaka knows how important the holidays are to its visitors and, because of that, the mall has decided to add several community-focused amenities for visitors just in time for the holiday season. In addition to brand new holiday décor being installed, check out these fun holiday attractions coming to the mall.

  • Santa Photos (November 11 – December 24): All season long you, your family, and friends can get your picture taken with Santa.
  • Tree Lighting (December 2): Come out for the mall’s first-ever tree lighting event and enjoy food, fun, and free music.
  • Sounds of the Season (December 2 – 30): Take a break from shopping and enjoy live musical performances in front of the 24′ tree at the mall’s food court.
  • Caring Santa (December 3): This private event is designed for children and young adults with special needs and their families to visit with and have their photo taken with Santa Claus.
  • Santa Pet Night (December 10): Bring your pet to pose with Santa for a great holiday photo.

Deck the Halls in Downtown South Bend

Downtown South Bend sure knows how to decorate for the holidays as well as put on some great holiday-themed events. Whether you want to buy a tree or meet Santa Claus and his red-nosedSanta Claus reindeer, make your way downtown for a fun time with family and friends.

  • First Fridays: Downtown for the Holidays (December 1): Welcome Santa to South Bend and be there for the tree lighting. Afterwards, join Santa as he takes his sleigh to his house in front of the Gridiron with fireworks to follow.
  • Santa’s House & Workshop  (December 1 – 3, 8 – 10, 15 – 17, 20 – 24): Bring your camera for a free photo with Santa, then decorate cookies and enjoy live music.
  • Visit Rudolph & The Grinch (December 1 – 24): On the same dates and times as Santa’s House & Workshop, meet the red-nosed reindeer and the grump of the holiday season at the South Bend Chocolate Café located next to the Gridiron.
  • Free Cookie Decorating (December 1 – 24): After visiting Santa, head to the South Bend Museum of Art for delicious and free holiday cookie decorating.
  • Holiday Extravaganza (December 2): Just because it is not baseball season, does not mean the South Bend Cubs do not celebrate the holidays. Head over to Four Winds Field for ornament making, cookie decorating, and more with Stu, Swoop, and Mrs. Claus.
  • Historic Holiday Walking Tour (December 3): Take a free, self-guided tour of historic homes and businesses in the West Washington National Historic District.
  • Christmas at Copshaholm (December 3 and 10): Tours of the Oliver Mansion are always interesting. Now enjoy twilight tours of the mansion with holiday decorations up.
  • Roz Puppet Show (December 8): Bring the whole family for this free holiday-themed puppet show inside the Century Center’s Bendix Theatre from 6:00-6:45pm.
  • Holiday Light Parade (December 8): Lighted holiday floats and walking units will parade down Michigan Street.
  • Grown-Up Movie Night (December 15): Enjoy a special 21+ screening of the holiday classic National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation on the video board at Four Winds Field.
  • Polar Express Pajama Party (December 22): Kids are invited to wear their pajamas to this free screening of The Polar Express inside the Century Center’s Bendix Theatre.
  • Snowboard Simulator (December 23): See how long you can ride the snowboard inside the DoubleTree by Hilton’s atrium.
  • Snowball Fight (December 23): Who doesn’t love a good snowball fight? Kids of all ages are invited to take part in this friendly community snowball fight on the Gridiron from 2:00-4:00pm. And if there isn’t any snow on the ground, fake snowballs will be provided to keep the fun going on.

‘Tis the Season for a Holiday Performance


Another big part of the holiday season is holiday music. Instead of listening to those holiday tunes on the radio, why not see a top quality holiday show at one of South Bend’s great local venues, including the Morris Performing Arts Center and the South Bend Civic Theatre.

  • A Christmas Story (December 1 – 23): This delightful holiday classic tells the story of eight-year-old Ralphie and his quest of getting a Red Ryder BB gun for Christmas.
  • The Nutcracker Ballet (December 9 – 10): Share in South Bend’s favorite musical tradition along with the South Bend Festival Chorus.
  • South Bend Symphony Orchestra Home for the Holidays (December 16 – 17): Share in South Bend’s favorite musical tradition along with the South Bend Festival Chorus.

Winter Wonderland in Mishawaka

South Bend is not the only place to find holiday fun in the area. In Mishawaka, there is plenty of things to do that will get you in the holiday spirit.

  • Mishawaka Winterfest (December 9): At Merrifield Park, get a picture with Santa, go ice skating, and enjoy crafts, an outdoor movie, and a horse drawn carriage.
  • Holiday Fun Night (December 23): Have your picture taken with Santa, enjoy some tasty sweets, and stay for a free showing of The Polar Express at the Battell Community Center.

For even more fun things to do this holiday season in The Bend, check out the Visit South Bend Mishawaka calendar of events.