Sunny Days in South Bend

Author: Emma Koster

The sun is finally beginning to peek through the clouds and the temperatures are rising. Whether it’s a good time for the next couple of weeks or you find yourself staying in the 46556 for the summer, South Bend offers a number of fun warm weather attractions and opportunities that you may not know about.

Located 30 minutes outside of campus is Potato Creek State Park. Still within the greater Michiana area, this park offers a number of activities and trails that can make for a day trip of nature filled fun. Rentals of bikes, canoes, kayaks and more are available to make use of the 327-acre Worster Lake or the miles of trails. With an abundance of options for outdoor excitement, Potato Creek State Park may be a lesser-known spot for Notre Dame students, but one all the more worthy to check out.

They’re bringing giraffes to the zoo! Beginning June 1, the Potawatomi Zoo will be open from 10 am to 8 pm before returning to the fall closing time of 5 pm on September 1. Let’s be honest, you’re never too old for a zoo. The Zoo hosts a wide range of animals from an African Lion to the Cotton-Top Tamarin to the Barred Owl. Potawatomi Zoo is so excited to be working on a new project to bring a giraffe savannah and watering hole along with a giraffe barn that will offer patrons the opportunity to feed and interact with the giraffes all year long. In addition to this new exhibit, the zoo is undergoing construction to expand the size of the lion habitat. These exciting changes provide visitors with even more ways to enjoy their days in the sunshine.

Howard Park may be known by many for their ice-skating path and hot chocolate, but there is lots more to see and do at 219 S. St. Louis Blvd, South Bend. Upcoming events can be found on the park’s website. Howard Park offers a range of outdoor exercise classes including Yoga Flow, Outdoor Pilates, Pure Barre and Zumba. The Riverwalk Trail could serve as a unique change of pace from the Notre Dame student’s reliable loop around Saint Mary’s Lake. With Howard Park Public House located at the park’s entrance, food and drink are never too far away. The Public House offers breakfast, lunch and dinner seven days a week.

Opening for the 2021 season on June 6, East Race Waterway may be something those students staying in South Bend for the summer should put on their calendars. The East Race Waterway was the first man made whitewater rafting course constructed in North America in 1984. A variety of options are offered at the waterway including a single ride pass for $6 that is good for one trip down the East Race to a $20 day pass for unlimited rides for a whole day to a $50 season pass that covers your whitewater adventures for the entirety of the 2021 East Race Season. Although Notre Dame’s spring semester will have come to end before the waterway opens for the summer, there will still be time to make your calendars for an excursion when students arrive back on campus for the fall. With party packages and private events, the East Race Waterway may even serve as an opportunity for clubs or residence halls to bond as the 2021-2022 school year begins in August.

Although it may not be accessible currently, students can keep in mind exciting ventures at Seitz Park and look forward to the things that are to come there. The park is currently undergoing construction as the University of Notre Dame is building a hydroelectric turbine underground at the park. In agreement with the city, once Notre Dame’s work is done, the university will be giving the park the funds to renovate Seitz Park in a newly imagined way.

Although this past year has caused many students to itch for activities and opportunities, the surrounding area offers a multitude of safe ways to enjoy the warmer weather and coming sunshine.