Summer Fun


I’m relatively new to the South Bend area, and am always looking to learn more about what this area has to offer. Recently I have been on two new adventures.

My first adventure was a trip to Winona Lake. This town has a lovely setting along a river and lots of great shops. While in Winona Lake, I went to a cafe for a quick dinner and then to an absolutely fantastic classical music concert. The concert was part of the Masterworks Festival at Grace College.  The concerts in this series are of extremely high quality, I’ve found, and in addition, they are free!    The concert hall was packed, and they had to bring in extra chairs.  In all, there were about 700 people at the concert.  So I recommend arriving early.  The only bad news is that they have concerts every day from July 10th-13th, but then they are done for the summer.  If you can’t make it this summer, I highly recommend going to some of the concerts next year.

The second adventure was a trip to New Buffalo, Michigan.  This town has great shops, excellent places to eat and an amazing beach.  You probably are already familiar with it, but if not, it’s a great place for a daytrip summer getaway.  In New Buffalo, I went out to dinner at a restaurant that had a terrace overlooking the water and then visited the beach.  After 8 pm, entrance to the beach was free, and many people were there swimming and walking and relaxing in the sand.  This quick visit, and the trip to Winona Lake, both made me feel like I’d been on a vacation, so I am planning to take several more daytrips this summer.

Here are some places that I have found helpful for finding more summer fun.  For events happening in South Bend, try WNDU’s Community Calendar, Downtown South Bend’s calendar or the South Bend Tribune’s In the Bend.  You can consult In the Bend online or get a paper copy at SJCPL.  You can also get a copy of the South Bend Parks and Recreation Activity Guide at SJCPL or visit the South Bend Parks department online.

For fun events happening around Indiana, check the Indiana Festival Guide online or pick up a print copy at SJCPL.  Also, you might want to take a look at the Indiana State Parks website and the St. Joseph County Parks website.


Also, try these great books for more ideas:

Best Hikes near Indianapolis by Nick Werner

Botanic Gems : Indiana Public Gardens by Alan McPherson

The Glaciers’ Treasure Trove: A Field Guide to the Lake Michigan Riviera by Jacqueline Widmar Stewart

A Guide to Caves and Karst of Indiana by Samuel S. Frushour

A Guide to the Knobstone Trail : Indiana’s Longest Footpath by Nathan D. Strange

Haunted Travels of Indiana by Mark Marimen

Indiana Breweries by John Holl & Nate Schweber

Kids Love Indiana

Lake Michigan Backroads: Your Guide to Wild and Scenic Adventures in Michigan, Wisconsin, Illinois, and Indiana by Robert W. Domm

My Indiana : 101 Places to See by Earl L. Conn


And finally, check SJCPL’s Travel Subject Guide for useful travel tools and information and our collection of travel magazines for more options for summer activities!


Do you have any suggestions for summer activities?  What resources do you use to find things to do?



  1. Visiting the Cove to see Silverhawks baseball is always a great summer activity, Last year I went further afield, and built a weekend getaway around a trip to Indianapolis to see their Triple-A team at beautiful Victory Field. Much cheaper than Comiskey or Wrigley, great fun, and high quality baseball!

    I’ve always imagined that canoeing down the St. Joseph river would be a great summer getaway, and I recently learned that the city has it all set up! (At

  2. I just went to the Krasl Art Fair in St. Joseph, Michigan. It’s up on the bluff above Silver Beach, in the shaded park. In addition to lots of great art (imagine the Leeper Park Art Fair on steroids), there are music acts in two places along the route, a food court, and just a block over, the cute shops and double dip waffle cones you associate with a beach town. Plus, when I got overheated and tired of walking, I just walked down the steps and out into Lake Michigan! Refreshing!

    I also recommend the Weko Beach concert series. The band plays from the deck of the food stand and the audience brings their beach chairs and relaxes in the sand. You can go swim and still hear the music. Twice a month, different styles of music. And as the sun sets, they play Taps on the trumpet! Dates here:

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