Things To Do in Northwest Indiana for New Residents

When it comes to the Midwest region, Northwest Indiana is more vibrant and exciting than one might imagine. Not only is it next to Lake Michigan, but it's also close to major urban areas like Chicago, Milwaukee, and Grand Rapids. The best thing about Northwest Indiana is that there's a blend of natural beauty and urbanization without feeling too crowded or overwhelming. 


However, because this area is close to Chicago and other metropolitan cities, residents can still enjoy a taste of the big city without any of its downsides. Keep reading if you're interested in buying a new home in Northwest Indiana. We’re sharing many of Indiana’s hidden gems in this detailed article. 


Things to Do in Northwest Indiana 

Virtually everyone can find something entertaining to do in NW Indiana. Nature lovers can explore the Indiana Dunes. Foodies can attend the Pierogi festival. Art aficionados can experience popular musicians at spots like the Hobart Art Theater. But these attractions only just scratch the surface list of all of the great things to do in the area.


Northwest Indiana offers a diverse range of attractions for you to explore. Whether you're drawn to nature, history, or vibrant cultural experiences, this region has it all.


Indiana Dunes National Park 

Being next to one of the Great Lakes has quite a few perks. Indiana Dunes is one of the best national parks in the Midwest, thanks to its breathtaking natural beauty and abundance of outdoor activities. In addition to standard fare like biking, hiking and guided tours, you can also lounge on the dune’s beach.


Red Mill County Park 

If the beach isn't your ideal scene, you can venture further south and visit Red Mill County Park. This park was opened in 2002, and it sits on 160 acres of land, 108 of which are a dedicated nature preserve. Explore the preserve’s wetlands and diverse wildlife via foot, or pull out your fishing rod in the designated fishing areas.


Albanese Candy Factory 

Who doesn't love candy? Founded in 1983 by Scott Albanese, The Albanese Candy Company produces some of the "world's best" gummies and chocolates. No, the slogan is not just a clever marketing scheme. These candies are often rated highly by customers. Albanese uses high-quality ingredients and manufacturing practices, all of which are on display when you visit the Factory Store in Merrillville.


Fair Oaks Farms Adventure Center  

Many of us are far removed from the food we eat, so we don't really understand how the food we consume ends up on our plates. Fair Oaks Farms aims to change that with interactive tours and experiences that illustrate what it takes to put food on our tables. The farms have three main attractions: The Dairy Adventure, the Pig Adventure, and the Crop Adventure. There are also events throughout the year, and you can enjoy farm-fresh meals at the on-site restaurant. 


Hobart Art Theater  

The Hobart Art Theater (next to Lake George) is one of the oldest event venues in Northwest Indiana. Since it opened in 1940, the theater has hosted a wide array of acts to delight guests of all ages and backgrounds. This venue also books some pretty big talent in music, comedy and live entertainment. Many of the events offer VIP packages if you want a more intimate experience with your favorite artist.


Chesterton Art Center 

Hone your art skills at the Chesterton Art Centerone-part exhibition space and one-part art school. Guests can partake in classes where they can learn the fundamentals of creating art in different mediums. These programs are available for all ages, and the center often hosts exhibitions of students' works. 


Crown Point

About a half hour from the shores of Lake Michigan lies Crown Point, an incredibly historic town. At the center of the town sits the Old Lake County Courthouse, also known as the “Grand Old Lady”, which was built in 1878. This charming square has tons of brick shops lining the street and runs plenty of events. This includes the Crown Point Care Cruise at Bulldog Park, as well as the annual St. Patrick’s Day Celebration


Cedar Lake

Located a little further inland than other attractions, Cedar Lake is a 794-acre lake open to the public. It includes a complex within the town of Cedar Lake that has 18 acres of green space, picnic tables, gazebos, and The Museum at Lassen’s Resort. Whether you want to take a steamboat ride or spend a relaxing day on the shore, there are plenty of things to do at Cedar Lake.


Mascot Hall of Fame 

Whiting is about as close as you can get to Illinois without crossing the border, and the city is a vibrant cultural hub. One of the main attractions in Whiting is the Mascot Hall of Fame, where you can meet and learn about mascots from different sports teams. The site is also an interactive children's museum. This is one of the funkier things to do in Northwest Indiana.


Whihala Beach

If you're going to visit Whiting, you might as well stop by Whihala Beach. This beach spans 20 acres of white sand, and it's a great place to relax and watch the waves roll in. Whihala even has its own floating outdoor water park, the Whoa Zone. If you want to swim in the water, though, you have to make sure lifeguards are on duty.


Century of Progress Homes

In 1933, Chicago hosted the World's Fair, which spanned across much of the South Shore of Lake Michigan. One of the exhibits was the Century of Progress Homes, which was developed and built by Robert Bartlett. After the fair concluded, he brought a few of the homes to a new community called Beverly Shores. You can tour one of these homes, but be aware that the tour only occurs on the last weekend of September, and tickets sell out remarkably fast (usually within an hour). The tour is an incredible look at what the architects of 1933 envisioned as the future of home living. 


Lubeznik Center for the Arts

Much like the Chesterton Art Center, the Lubeznik Center for the Arts combines exhibition with education. This spot hosts some of the best artwork in Northwest Indiana, but it also hosts various classes, so guests can learn more about how to turn their artistic ideas into vibrant reality. The goal is to make art more accessible for everyone, so we highly encourage you to stop by and experience what Lubeznik has to offer.


Festivals to Attend 

When looking for new homes in Northwest Indiana, you may want to pay attention to where some of the biggest festivals occur in the region. This way, you can find a house close to your favorite festival, allowing you to easily attend every year. Here are the top festivals in the area. 


Pierogi Festival  

A pierogi is a boiled dumpling, and it's often found in Polish cuisine. But, Pierogi Fest is more than just a way to enjoy this delightful dish. It's also a way to experience another culture via its food, music, and arts. The festival spans three days during the summer, and it draws crowds of up to 300,000 from the Midwest and across the world. Make sure to not miss out on the Pierogi Toss!


Touch of Dutch 

Because NW Indiana is such a melting pot, it's the perfect place for festivals highlighting unique cultures from all over. As the name suggests, the Touch of Dutch Festival celebrates all things Dutch. This festival, featuring a parade, a car show, and more, occurs on the second Saturday of August each year, and it draws crowds of up to 6,000 people. 


Lake County Fair

County fairs are always a great time for everyone, but if you've never experienced a Midwest county fair, you're in for a real treat. The Lake County Fair spans just over a week in August, and there's always something to do (and eat). Carnival rides and midway games are some of the highlights, but there's also plenty of live entertainment. If you're a fan of fried concoctions, you'll be giddy at the various options available.


Festival of the Lakes

The Festival of the Lakes is a multi-day event in Whiting, and it takes place on Wolf Lake. This festival has tons of activities and attractions, and each year offers a new set of vendors, entertainers, and food options. Overall, if you're looking for an experience that delivers the best of Northwest Indiana, this festival is about as good as it gets.


Forest of Lights at Fair Oaks Farms 

Most festivals in Northwest Indiana happen over the summer, but the Forest of Lights at Fair Oaks Farms happens during the holiday season. At this festival, Fair Oaks Farms puts on a spectacular light show that will impress anyone. In addition to the light show, there’s plenty to eat, and you can even make S'mores at various fire pits throughout the property. 


The Perks of Living in Northwest Indiana 

As you can see, Northwest Indiana boasts a wide range of activities and festivals—it's no wonder why the area is an attractive choice for those looking to live near the Great Lakes. Whether it's live music, local theater productions, or seasonal events, the area offers diverse entertainment opportunities to cater to anyone and everyone. 


If you’re ready to make your move to Northwest Indiana, check out our new construction homes! We have an extensive selection of properties within the region. Whether you want to live in the exciting suburb of Whiting or further out in Chesterton or La Porte, we can help you find the home of your dreams. Start your search today! 

The statements contained herein discuss general factors and do not constitute professional, investment and/or financial advice.


This is not an offering of property to residents in any jurisdiction that may have restrictions on interstate offerings of real estate, unless the property has been so registered, qualified or exemptions are available. It is the intent of Century to sell its residential homes pursuant to an exemption from the registration requirements the Interstate Land Sales Full Disclosure Act (15 U.S.C. 1701, et seq.).