thoughts happenings
  • Nov 14 2022 9:08 AM

The Magic of Northwest Indiana During The Holiday Season

Every year during the holiday season, I am reminded of the magic that Northwest Indiana brings to its residents. From light shows and custom jams from our local farmers to plays to concerts to artisan markets to a variety of winter activities along the South Shore, we are most certainly blessed to live here. We even get to boast that the famous writer Jean Shepherd grew up in The Region and that the nostalgic 1983 film A Christmas Story was based on his short stories that drew upon his experience in his hometown right here in Hammond, Indiana! We’re so proud and celebrate this classic holiday film annually with an exhibit at the Indiana Welcome Center.

If you’re a new resident here, you may not be aware of the range of magical things we have to offer during the most magical time of the year. Hey, even if your roots are here, you may not realize how many wonderous things our area has to offer during the holidays—and that’s because there is just that much happening this time of year in The Region! Here’s a list of things to check out that make this the most wonderful time of the year here, including the gift of giving. Just click the event title to take you to the page for more information.


Annual “A Christmas Story” Comes Home Exhibit 

Runs November 12-December 30, 2022, at the Indiana Welcome Center

View classic Macy’s Window holiday displays just like Ralphie Parker. Take pictures with Santa and stop in the gift shop for "A Christmas Story" merchandise including your very own leg lamp souvenir!

Oh Fuuudge! Relay Race — Saturday, December 10, 2022

NWI fans of the holiday classic can participate in their very own tire changing relay race with the kids! The relay takes place at the Indiana Welcome Center and is open to children ages 4-12. What’s even better is that in lieu of a registration fee, participants are asked to bring nonperishable food items for the Northwest Indiana Food Bank.

Mommy’s Little Piggy Contest — Saturday, December 17, 2022

Who’s ready to eat a plate of mashed potatoes as fast as they can? Open to ages 4 and up; contestants are placed in groups based on their age. In lieu of a registration fee, contestants are asked to bring nonperishable food items for the Northwest Indiana Food Bank for this event as well.


Harvest Tyme Family Farm Christmas Tyme Lights
Runs Thanksgiving through New Year’s in Lowell, Indiana

A glorious nighttime Christmas destination with a winding trail through the farm that visitors can enjoy from the warmth of their vehicle.

Fair Oaks Farm Winter Adventures
Activities all season in Fair Oaks, IN

All season long you can visit their Holiday Market for local jams, honey, crafts, stocking stuffers, Christmas décor and more! And don’t forget to take the family for ice skating in their arena where you can try out their 135-foot-long ice slide! 

From mid-November through December, visitors can walk through their Forest of Lights to see changing scenes of lights along with bonfires for making s’mores and stations for warm drinks and adult beverages. 


Sledding Attractions
Go sledding outdoors at Devil’s Hill at the Indiana Dunes, at hills in our town parks, at golf courses and more!

Ice Skating Attractions

Skate in Downtown Valparaiso, play hockey in Crown Point’s Bulldog Park and more!

Cross-Country Skiing 

Enjoy the winter beauty of the Midwest! When there are at least a few inches of snow covering the trails in Northwest Indiana, skiers can go cross-country skiing! We even have a ski rental!


Gobble Gobble Turkey Walk in Michigan City, IN | November 24, 2022

Pumpkin Plod 10k Run/5k Walk in Highland, IN | November 24, 2022

Turkey Trot 5K in Valparaiso, IN | November 24, 2022

Turkey Trot Hike at the Indiana National Park | November 26, 2022


Check out all the seasonal events we have to offer. Ne-Yo at the Hard Rock Casino, The Nutcracker by the Indiana Ballet Theatre, local drive through lights in our quaint downtown areas, holiday gift fairs and celebrations, indoor activities for the whole family, new restaurants to try, breweries and wineries to explore—there are so many special winter and holiday activities in Northwest Indiana to choose from this season!


There are organizations in Northwest Indiana dedicated to bringing joy to families during the holidays. These families would not experience the joy of holidays without their assistance. If you’d like to contribute to this cause, we’ve provided a list of organizations in our area, just click their name to visit their website to learn more about their mission and how you can help.

Foodbank of Northwest Indiana

Meals on Wheels

United Way of Northwest Indiana

Goodwill Industries

There is so much more to explore than what we have listed here! Visit the South Shore Indiana website for a full list of everything magical to do in NWI this season.

Happy Holidays!