Things to Do in Northwest Indiana

Things to Do in Northwest Indiana

There are 19 public parks in Crown Point and 15 in Merrillville that are great sources of outdoor family fun. Parks include a municipal pool, skate park, and ice rink. One of the largest area parks is Hidden Lake Park. The park is open 365 days a year and provides playgrounds, paddleboats, sledding, shelters, softball fields and open, natural areas.

Lake County Fair

For more than 150 years, the Lake County Agricultural Society, Inc. has presented the Lake County Fair as a source of great family fun, entertainment and agricultural awareness. The fair takes place each summer and hosts horse shows, coloring contests, carnival rides, fireworks, demolition derbies and much more. For more information, visit

South Shore of Lake Michigan

The South Shore of Lake Michigan is beautiful and provides countless activities including trails, the South Shore Civil War Memorial Trail, casino boats with hotels, golf, shows, beaches, shopping and restaurants. The South Shore Convention and Visitors Authority provides comprehensive information of all there is to see and do along the South Shore and in surrounding Indiana communities. Visit for more information.

Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore and State Park

The Indiana Dunes span 25 miles from Gary east along the shores of Lake Michigan. Visitors can explore sand dunes, wetlands, ponds, prairies and trails.

Deep River Water Park

Deep River Water Park is a family water park on Route 30 in Merrillville that is one of the largest and most popular water parks in the area. With lazy rivers, water slides, speed slides, beach volleyball, water wars and a play zone, Deep River Water Park is “simply splashtastic!”

Taltree Arboretum & Gardens

Located between Merrillville and Valparaiso, Taltree Arboretum & Gardens was established as a nonprofit foundation in 1998. The Arboretum encompasses 360 acres of gardens, woodlands, wetlands, prairies and savannas. Guests can visit and explore the Hitz Family Rose Garden, Children’s Adventure Garden, Monarch Waystation, Native Plant Garden, Oak Islands or Taltree Railway Garden and can enjoy hiking, music in nature concerts, classes and special events year-round.

Fair Oaks Farms

The Adventure is Growing! Fair Oaks Farms is the premier agri-tourism destination located in Northwest Indiana, right off I65 on exit 220. The farms feature an array of educational and entertaining family experiences that you and your family will never forget. Start your visit at The Dairy Adventure where you will learn the importance of dairy, the life cycle of cows and the nutrition of their products. You will be able to see over 60 interactive exhibits, a museum, a 4-D movie and watch a live birth of a calf in the Birthing Barn.

The Pig Adventure is a great addition to the farm family. There, you will be able to see the life cycle of a pig, walk with some virtual pork pals, check an interactive sonogram, and watch the live birth of piglets in their Farrowing Barn. In the Pork Education Center, the second portion of the Pig Adventure, you get to experience a high-flying rope maze and a beautiful custom tree house. Feed your curiosity at the café, which is located right on campus. Here, you are able to see Greek yogurt being made, sample some of their award-winning cheeses and taste their dairy fresh ice cream.

Get a taste of farm-to-table meals when you dine at The Farmhouse Restaurant, a gorgeous new addition to the campus that opened in 2014. The restaurant features farm fresh food, a beautiful wraparound porch, an indoor/outdoor fireplace and a venue for weddings or special events.

Check out the Fair Oaks Farms website at for more information and a list of upcoming special events.

Shady Creek Winery

“A great winery experience on the southern Lake Michigan shore.” Shady Creek Winery in Michigan City features custom crafted wines and a first-class facility situated on nearly 20 acres of grounds with expansive views, comfortable patios, covered porches, fireplaces, tasting room, specialty foods, gifts and local artwork.

The winery is situated between the Blue Chip and Four Winds casinos and close to Lighthouse Place Premium Outlets and Indiana Dunes National Park, as well as New Buffalo, Michigan and Harbor Country on Highway 212 just south of U.S. Highway 12.