Holiday happenings in South Bend

Published 9:00 am Friday, November 27, 2015

Submitted photo

Submitted photo

SOUTH BEND, Ind. — The holiday season is a magical time filled with traditions that bring families together. That’s why each December, Downtown South Bend, in coordination with area businesses, hosts more than 30 holiday events and performances – most of which are free and fun for the whole family.

“Events like the annual tree lighting ceremony have become a Christmas tradition among many families in the area,” said Kylie Carter, events and operations coordinator at Downtown South Bend. “Many people attended the event when they were young and now have the chance to instill the same memories in their own children’s lives — it helps create a sense of pride and excitement within the city.”

Events happening in South Bend throughout the holiday season include:


Annual tree lighting ceremony and Santa’s arrival

Enjoy a celebration unlike any other. Santa arrives in style to join Rudolph, the elves and the mayor of South Bend to light the iconic Christmas tree at Jon Hunt Plaza. Following the parade, kids will have a chance to meet Santa in his workshop and watch fireworks light up the night sky at the Gridiron.

Date: 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 4

Location: Begins at Jon Hunt Plaza, ends at former College Football Hall of Fame Gridiron with fireworks


Holiday Extravaganza

Stop by Four Winds Field for a day filled with Christmas cheer. Children 12 and under can design ornaments, decorate cookies and watch a Christmas movie on the big screen. Mrs. Claus, Stu and Swoop will all make a special appearance for photos and Christmas stories.

Date: Noon to 4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 5

Location: South Bend Cubs, 420 S. William Street


Ice Skating at Howard Park ice rink

When the temperatures begin to dip below freezing it’s time to lace up your skates and hit the ice rink.

Dates: Nov. 27 to March 13, weather permitting

Admission: Adults $6, children $5, children 5 and under are free. Skate rental is $3 per pair/per session.


Santa’s workshop

If you aren’t able to see the big guy at the parade, don’t worry. He’ll be hard at work in his workshop throughout the holiday season. Stop by to say hello and pick up an “I Believe” sticker to receive special treats and discounts at local businesses. Kids can also enjoy coloring, holiday movies, cookie decorating and the chance to vote for their favorite gingerbread creations in Santa’s Gingerbread Village.

Dates: Throughout December

Location: Former College Football Hall of Fame


For a complete list of holiday happenings throughout South Bend, visit