South Bend and its surrounding area has a lot to offer, from amazing theater productions to thrilling baseball games. As students, you’ll have access to free transportation across South Bend and parts of the surrounding area through the bus system. The bus has a stop at the Hesburgh Library on Notre Dame’s campus, making it easy to get anywhere without a car.
Morris Performing Arts Center
Originally a vaudeville house, the Morris Performing Arts Center now hosts all kinds of performances, including nationally touring Broadway shows, the critically acclaimed South Bend Symphony Orchestra, comedians and concerts of all musical genres. It has recently hosted the Broadway sensation “Dear Evan Hansen” and will host rock singer John Mellencamp this summer.
South Bend Civic Theatre
The South Bend Civic Theatre is a community-operated theater that puts on various productions ranging from musicals to dramas. Recently, the theater has performed a variety of shows from Shakespeare’s “Much Ado About Nothing” to the pop culture hit “The Spongebob Musical.” Anyone is welcome to volunteer with the theater in any area of production, including acting and working with the backstage crew.
South Bend Museum of Art
The South Bend Museum of Art hosts a variety of exhibitions throughout the year in addition to its usual collection of historical and contemporary art. It is open Wednesday through Sunday and admission is free.
Four Winds Field
Four Winds Field is home to the South Bend Cubs, a Midwest League baseball team. The atmosphere is relaxed and fun, and there are many good food options within the stadium including hotdogs, nachos and ice cream. The Cubs generally play from April through September, and their seasons consist of more than a hundred games.
Howard Park, located on the St. Joseph riverfront in South Bend, has something to offer in every season. It has a massive playground, a wide range of fountains in the summer months and an ice skating rink with outdoor fire pits and hot cocoa stands in the winter months.
Potato Creek State Park
Potato Creek State Park, located approximately 20 minutes from South Bend, is one of the most visited in the Indiana State Park system. Its grounds surround Lake Worcester, and it is a great place for kayaking, canoeing and fishing. Aside from water sports, Potato Creek State Park is also home to various biking and hiking trails and serves as a great spot for bird watching.
The Potawatomi Zoo is one of Indiana’s oldest zoos. Over 400 animals can be found roaming the grounds, from snow leopards to spider monkeys. The zoo is open from March 31st to October 31st in addition to certain days during the winter.
Eddy Street Commons
Located just south of Notre Dame’s campus, Eddy Street Commons features Irish favorites, such as Brothers Bar & Grill, O'Rourke's Public House, Chipotle, and other businesses. It was opened in 2009, and it is just a 5-minute walk from campus.
Have you ever wanted to try axe throwing? Well, now you can! Generations Adventureplex offers a variety of fun activities including axe throwing, a drop tower, a large arcade, climbing walls, and laser tag.
Skyzone is a trampoline park open to all ages. Open jump is available during all operating hours in which you and your friends can bounce on trampolines, pelt each other in trampoline dodgeball or jump into a giant foam pit. It’s also the best place to train for “American Ninja Warrior” — you can utilize its ninja warrior course and warped walls for practice!
Strikes and Spares
Strikes and Spares is a great place to visit for a night out with friends. In addition to its large cosmic bowling alley, it sports indoor go-karting, an obstacle course that they call the “ninja course,” a laser maze, an arcade, mini-golf, bumper cars and more. You could spend a whole day here trying out everything that it has to offer (and crashing into your friends on the bumper cars).
University Park Mall
University Park Mall in Mishawaka is one of the largest malls near campus. It is great for shopping and has a variety of stores ranging from bookstores like Barnes and Noble to clothing stores like Hollister and American Eagle. There is also a sizable food court with a plethora of different cuisines. There is no shortage of things to do at this mall!