Being a family friendly destination is something The Bend takes seriously.
Many of our attractions feature something designed specifically for kids or, even better, are totally kid-centric. Sports fans, animal lovers, chocolate enthusiasts or adventure seekers — there’s a little something for all of them around here. Consider this your ultimate guide to planning a family getaway in The Bend.
Located right in South Bend, Indiana’s first zoo is home to around 500 animals. Kids can take a ride on the Potawatomi Zoo Train, stroll through Zoo Farm or watch North American river otters glide through the water. After you visit the zoo, stop by the playground and splash pad in Potawatomi Park for some extra fun.
South Bend Cubs
Nothing says summertime in The Bend like the South Bend Cubs. Four Winds Field is more than just a place to watch a ball game – it’s a full-on kid friendly experience. The splash pad is a perfect place to cool off on hot summer nights. The playground provides ample opportunity to burn off some energy, as do the bounce and slide in the inflatable Fun Zone.
Kids can practice their home run swing at the First Source Bank Performance Center in the same batting cages the players use.
There are dozens of reasons why Ballpark Digest in 2017 named Four Winds Field the best low-Class A ballpark in the country. These are just a few of them.
The History Museum
Kids can get a hands-on look at local history at The History Museum’s Kidsfirst Children’s Museum. Exhibits don’t get more interactive than Pierre Navarre’s Cabin, named for the first European to permanently settle the St. Joseph River Valley. It’s complete with a child-sized dining table, chair, bed and other hands-on household items. Kids can step back in history in the adjacent school house and “navigate” the St. Joseph River in a life-size birch bark canoe.
The Kitchen BMX Skatepark
One of the Midwest’s premiere indoor skating and BMX facilities, The Kitchen BMX and Skatepark offers a place for the more adventurous. Soar through the air on your bike, board, skates or scooter and show off some of your best tricks. The Kitchen also hosts several competitions throughout the year.
South Bend Chocolate Company
Get the inside scoop on how everyone’s favorite treat is made with a tour of the South Bend Chocolate Factory and museum. Don’t forget to try a piece of freshly made chocolate and grab a box to take home. South Bend Chocolate’s downtown South Bend cafe is a great place to fuel up and play. It has a food and drink menu that will please the kids as well as the parents, an indoor play area and the world’s largest chocolate store.
Sky Zone Tampoline Park
Head to Sky Zone Trampoline Park in Mishawaka to experience the weightlessness of bouncing and flipping on wall-to-wall trampolines. Kids can also enjoy a game of ultimate dodgeball, a high-flying basketball slam dunk or flying into 10,000 foam cubes.
Studebaker National Museum
Put on your work jacket and pop the hood at the Studebaker National Museum’s hands-on, interactive exhibit just for kids. The Super Service Center exhibit offers kids the chance to learn how a car works and try their hand at automobile repair. Equipped with tools and life-like sound effects, this exhibit is sure to keep their attention.
Ray & Joan Kroc Corps Community Center
There’s no shortage of fun ways to spend your day at Ray & Joan Kroc Corps Community Center. Climb the rock wall, play in the gymnasium, float along the lazy river, or travel down the winding water slide. There are plenty of recreational, educational and faith-based programs for people of all ages at the Kroc Center.
Strikes and Spares Entertainment Center
This is no ordinary bowling alley. The facility offers all types of indoor recreation from black-light mini-golf and go-kart races to bumper cars and mini-bowling, arcade games, and of course, bowling.
Bodine Fish Hatchery
Learn all about the trout and salmon that grow up at the Bodine Fish Hatchery. See them at all ages and sizes, learn all about the rivers and lakes they will one day call home and find out what they do to survive in the wild.