February’s “Fire & Ice” themed First Fridays will have live ice carvings (with some featuring a fire element), fire dancing, and a fireworks show! Plus warm up at downtown fireplaces located at Chicory Cafe, South Bend Chocolate Cafe, and Fiddler’s Hearth, and fire pits at Howard Park, South Bend Chocolate Cafe, Cafe Navarre, Jon Hunt Plaza, and Studebaker Plaza. A S'mores station will also be located at Studebaker Plaza.
Plus we will be revealing a special Valentine’s gift for the community on one of our downtown buildings!
Also, take advantage of value-priced menus at 17 downtown restaurants for Winter Restaurant Weeks. Check out all the details below.
Parking (on-street and in City-managed garages) is always free in downtown South Bend nights and weekends. For full details on downtown parking options, click here.
Entertainment & Activities
3:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
In keeping with the Fire & Ice theme of this month’s First Fridays, we will have nine live ice carvings taking place by MICA (Michiana Ice Carvers Artisans), and a special fireworks presentation taking place at 8:30 p.m. The fireworks will be set off from south end of Howard Park (that area will be closed off to pedestrians from 4:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. for the setup, display, and removal of the fireworks. There will be a special choreographed River Lights display to coordinate with the fireworks. Fireworks viewing locations include Howard Park and the Jefferson Bridge sidewalk, but the best place to watch both the fireworks and the River Lights show will be the Colfax Bridge sidewalk.
Live ice carvings will be taking place this First Fridays from 3:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at various downtown locations including:
The ice carvings are sponsored by the establishments listed above plus Downtown South Bend and the Downtown Dining Association. Click here for a map of this year's carving locations.
5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
120 S. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
The South Bend Museum of Art will be open late for First Fridays - until 8:00 p.m. - giving you the chance for a first look at the annual Scholastic Art Awards Exhibition, which runs through March 12th.
The Scholastic Art Awards Exhibition, located in the Warner and Jerome J. Crowley Community Galleries, showcases the talent of the region’s award-winning middle and high school artists. The Scholastic Art Awards Open House will be taking place the following day, February 5th, from noon to 5:00 p.m., and you can RSVP for that event here.
Fire Dancing Performance at Studebaker Plaza
6:00 p.m. & 7:00 p.m.
Dana will be giving two half-hour fire dancing performances at 6:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.
Several warming stations will be located throughout downtown this First Fridays. You can find fire pits at Howard Park, the South Bend Chocolate Cafe, Studebaker Plaza, Cafe Navarre, and in front of the Morris Performing Arts Center.
Studebaker Plaza's fire pit will also be featuring a S'mores station from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
7:00 p.m. to 9:05 p.m.
401 E. Colfax Ave.
Welcome to our newest First Fridays participant - Merrimans' Playhouse! They will be hosting the Buddy Pearson Trio this First Fridays as part of their Home Grown Jazz Performance Series. The trio will be playing everything from old standards to new originals in Jazz. Tickets are $10 General/ $5 Students and can be purchased here.
11:45 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.
219 S. St. Louis Blvd.
Enjoy extended hours on Fridays at the Howard Park Ice Trail & Pond from 11:00 a.m to 9:30 p.m. , with Kids' Skate Club 11:00 a.m. and 1:15 p.m. and DJ Skate Nights from 8:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. The DJ for this First Fridays will be DJ Sticky Boots. For more info on Howard Park Ice Skating and other activities there, click here.
5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
217 S. Michigan St.
Drop your kids off at The Pigeon & The Hen Pottery for a spin on the pottery wheel this First Fridays! They will get the chance to learn a new skill that is equal parts messy and fun while you dine in downtown!
In the first hour, kids will enjoy making, bowls, cups, and more. In the second hour, kids will paint their creations.
Projects will need to be dried and fired twice for food and liquid safety. Projects will be texted approximately 3 weeks later for pickup.
Please arrive 5-10 minutes early to check in with your ID, secure a pick-up person, and sign a photo/video waiver. This is a one-time class. Due to Covid-19, they will be restricting this session to five kids per session and the instructor will wear a mask; kids are encouraged to as well. Classes run $65 per child; ages 7+; drop-off only.
8:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.
111 N. Main St.
Live @ Aloft in the WXYZ bar will feature DJ Outlaw playing your favorite tunes on February 4th. Live @ Aloft features local artists, groups or DJs playing music every Friday from 8:00 to 10:00 p.m. in the WXYZ lounge.
They WXYZ bar also has "Cocktails for a Cause" with $1 from every cocktail sold donated to their featured charity of the month. Also take advantage of their First Fridays special - buy 1 flatbread pizza and get a 2nd flatbread pizza at 1/2 off.
The immersive concert-style theater show chronicles the amazing journey shared by the folk-rock duo, Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel.
8:30 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.
127 N. Main St.
7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.
1025 Northside Blvd.
South Bend native Lucas Miner will be playing at Ironhand Wine Bar this First Fridays, joined by bandmates Daniel Stewart Wilde on djembe and Kevin Leazenby on upright bass. Plus take advantage of their First Fridays wine special - 20% off bottles of MI Cabernet Franc.
Dining & Retail Specials
January 24th through February 6th
17 downtown restaurants
Downtown South Bend Restaurant Week offers diners the opportunity to experience the variety of cuisine downtown South Bend has to offer from Italian to fine dining, New Orleans inspired to Japanese flavors. The menus include breakfast, lunch, and/or dinner options, plus carryout options. 17 Downtown South Bend restaurants will offer valued-priced menus (view menus here.) Approximately 10% of the proceeds from each meal purchased will be donated directly to the Beacon Children’s Hospital.
Crab & Shrimp Feast for Two at Chicory
4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
105 E. Jefferson Blvd.
Chicory Cafe's famous Crab & Shrimp Feast is back!
Each dinner will include 1 lb of snow crab, gulf shrimp, andouille sausage, corn on the cob, seasoned potatoes, garlic butter, mini bottle of Tabasco, and a crab shell cracker tool, for $55.99 per order. Food will be hot on pickup or choose to get this meal cold and steam it yourself. (They will provide instructions.)
Orders must be placed by 10:00 a.m. Friday, and can be picked up between 4:00 and 7:00 p.m. to take away or enjoy at the Cafe. Also take advantage of their First Fridays special - 16 oz. Hurricanes and Blue Raspberry Long Islands for $5.
TakeOut 25 Downtown South Bend
Join the TakeOut 25 Downtown South Bend Facebook Group to discover new dishes and restaurants downtown. We encourage you to join the group post pictures of your downtown carryout and in-person dining experiences.
5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
212 S. Michigan St.
Idle Hours Bookshop will be featuring 20% off romance books this First Fridays.
12:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
333 S. Michigan St.
Enjoy amazing bargains on books, CDs, DVDs, magazines, and more for both kids and adults at The Friends of the Library Book Sale from 12:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
713 E. Jefferson Blvd.
$4 pints every First Fridays; also featuring a First Saturdays special each month: any large 2 topping pizza, an order of breadsticks, and a pitcher of pop (or a 2 liter on carry out orders) for only $22 plus tax.
131 S. Michigan St.
Get one 14″ 1-topping pizza for $15
428 Lincoln Way West
Get an 18" 2-topping pizza, garlic cheese bread, and a 2 liter of soda for just $24
105 E. Jefferson Blvd.16 oz. Hurricanes and Blue Raspberry Long Islands for $5
207 W. Colfax Ave.
50% off on online booking all day
1025 Northside Blvd.
Live music, 20% off bottles of MI Cabernet Franc
122 S. Michigan St.
2 for $20 any crunch/pretzel combo
111 N. Main St.
Buy 1 flatbread pizza and get a 2nd flatbread pizza at 1/2 off; plus monthly Cocktail for a Cause, with $1 from every cocktail sold donated to their featured charity of the month.