January 3, 2020

Come to Downtown South Bend and try out some tasty hot beverages on the Coffee & Cocoa Crawl, cozy up to a fireplace at the South Bend Chocolate Cafe, Chicory Cafe, Howard Park, or Fiddler’s Hearth, go ice skating at Howard Park, build a snowman on the Gridiron (weather permitting) or participate in a snowball fight. Enjoy winter a little before you get sick of it. 

Plus, as always, enjoy live music, art exhibits, dining specials, and much more. Check out all the details below!



Parking (on-street and in DTSB-managed garages) is always free in downtown South Bend nights and weekends.  For full details on downtown parking options, click here



As always, Transpo will be offering FREE shuttle rides on one of their new CNG buses from 5:30 to 8:30 pm. Click here for a map of the new 2020 shuttle route. Transpo shuttle service will pass each stop approximately every 15 minutes.

The shuttle service now has First Fridays Tour Guides! They will tell you all about the different activities and promotions taking place downtown at First Fridays, as well as give general info about the downtown businesses, mixed with historical tidbits and fun facts. Grab a seat on the new First Fridays Transpo Tour, and enjoy the informative ride!

As a special treat, The Music Village Jammers will be performing on the First Fridays shuttle from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Entertainment & Activities

Snowball Fight  

5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
The Gridiron

Enjoy a good old-fashioned snowball fight on the Gridiron (fake snowballs will be used if there is no real snow.)

Reindeer Craft at Friends of the Library Bookstore

5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

333 S. Michigan St.

The Friends of the Library Bookstore will be featuring a festive reindeer craft for all ages from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Ice Skating at Howard Park

1:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.

219 S. St. Louis Blvd.

Enjoy extended holiday hours at the newly renovated Howard Park Ice Trail & Pond from 1:00 p.m to 10:00 p.m.  Plus, Fridays through February are DJ Skate Nights from 8:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.. The DJ for this First Fridays will be DJ Grind Show. For more info on Howard Park Ice Skating and other activities there, click here

Horse-Drawn Sleigh Rides

6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Howard Park

Dream Coach Carriages will be offering 15-minute horse-drawn sleigh rides from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. The cost is just $25 per 15 minute sleigh ride, which can accommodate up to four passengers (excluding infants). Horses wear authentic sleigh bells, and warm blankets will be provided. Relax and soak in the winter lights as you jingle jangle through downtown. Pick-up, and drop-off, and ticket sales will be at Howard Park, at the corner of Jefferson and St. Louis. (Weather permitting)

Fonnie's 50th at Linden Grill

5:00 pm to 9:00 p.m.

119 S. Michigan St.

Fonnie Mack - the owner of Linden Grill - is turning 50 this First Fridays and is celebrating with half price appetizers and drink specials. Join in the celebration!

Laura Whidden at South Bend Chocolate Cafe

5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
122 S. Michigan St.

Laura Whidden will be performing a free concert at the South Bend Chocolate Cafe from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Also take advantage of their First Fridays special: 2 for $20 any crunch/pretzel combo. Plus South Bend Montessori High School will have a free snowman craft activity in the Rockne Room (for the first 50 kids.)


New Year Latin Friday at Vegetable Buddies

8:00 p.m. to 12:00 a.m.
129 N Michigan St.

South Bend Latin Dance will be hosting a Latin Dance party at Vegetable Buddies this First Fridays, with merengue, salsa, bachata, cumbia, and more. There will be a beginner's lesson at 8:00 p.m. with open dancing to follow.  21+, $5 cover, cash only.

Free Entry to South Bend Museum of Art

5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

120 S. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.

Enjoy free admission to the South Bend Museum of Art every First Fridays. This month, you can enjoy free hot cocoa, shopping in The Dot Shop, and view the current exhibitions:

Recent Artwork by Jeff Miracola, Michael Whelan, Donglu Yu and Kirsten Zirngibl
Through January 5, 2020
Art League Gallery

Video and Animations by Evan Mann and Julia Oldham
Through January 5, 2020
Project Room

SBMA's Permanent Collection
Carmichael and Rotunda Galleries

Sightlines | 2019–2021
Through May 16, 2021
Artwork located inside and outside the Century Center


Kennedy’s Kitchen at Fiddler’s Hearth

5:00 p.m. to 12:00 a.m.
129 N. Michigan St.

Enjoy free live music at Fiddler’s Hearth by local Irish band Kennedy’s Kitchen from 9:00 p.m. to midnight every First Fridays!


Jake from StarHeart at LKT

9:00 p.m. to midnight

115 W. Colfax Ave.

Enjoy free live music by Jake from StarHeart at LaSalle Kitchen & Tavern from 9:00 p.m. to midnight. 

Opening Reception at Fire Arts

5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

305 E. Colfax Ave.

Fire Arts will be hosting an opening reception for a retrospective exhibit of work by New Carlisle artist Randall J. Clark. His work includes leather sculpture, alabaster, and bronze sculptures. 

Specials on Retail & Services

Birthday First Fridays for The Pigeon & The Hen 

5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

217 S. Michigan St.

The Pigeon & The Hen Pottery co-owners both have their birthdays in January, and they invite you to celebrate with them this First Fridays!  The Pigeon’s birthday is 1/ 7 and The Hen’s birthday is 1/8. There will be cake and pottery painting to celebrate! Bring them a sparkling, calorie-free beverage (Bubbly, Waterloo, Polar, etc.) for birthday gifts and receive 15% off your entire purchase. If you have a January birthday too, show them your ID and get 15% off your entire bill when you come to paint all month (excludes birthday parties, group parties, classes, and events.)

20% off Self-Help Books at Idle Hours

5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
212 S. Michigan St.

Idle Hours Bookshop will be featuring 20% off self-help books this First Fridays.

Friends of the Library Book Sale 

12:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
333 S. Michigan St.

The Friends of the Library Book Sale is back open in their newly renovated space – with extended hours. Enjoy amazing bargains on books, CDs, magazines, and more for both kids and adults from 12:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Food & Drink Specials

Coffee & Cocoa Crawl

5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Throughout Downtown

Enjoy a hot beverage tour of downtown with the return of the Coffee & Cocoa Crawl. Several downtown businesses will be selling smaller sized hot beverages for smaller prices, to allow you the chance to try several, sipping and strolling through First Fridays. In addition, some businesses will be selling special hot beverages for adults (these must be enjoyed in the establishments where they are purchased.)


Barnaby’s (713 E. Jefferson Blvd.)

$1 Hot Cocoa

Chicory Cafe (105 E. Jefferson Blvd.) 

$1 Flavored Coffee and $1 Hot Cocoa

South Bend Chocolate Cafe (122 S. Michigan St.)

$1 Winter Blend Coffee; $2 Hot Cocoa

South Bend Museum of Art (120 S. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.) 
Free Hot Cocoa


South Bend Brew Werks  (216 S. Michigan St.)

$1 off pints of their Cocoa Velvet Chocolate Milk Porter, a decadent dark chocolate milk porter - brewed with lactose and cacao nibs. It's velvety-smooth and rich, with a chocolaty-dry finish. (6.9% ABV)

Tapastrie (103 W. Colfax Ave.)

$8 Adult Hot Chocolate (normally $10) or half size for $4


Baker’s Bar & Grill

123 N. St. Joseph St. 
Buy one appetizer, get one 50% off.


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 $19.69 plus tax.

Ben’s Pretzels

122 S. Michigan St.
3 pretzels for $10 (not including sauce).


131 S. Michigan St.
Get one 14″ 1-topping pizza for $12

Center Stage Pizza

428 Lincoln Way West

Get one 18" 1-topping pizza for $15

Chicory Cafe

105 E. Jefferson Blvd.
Live music, $1 cookies (while supplies last), and 16 oz. Hurricanes for $6

Edible Arrangements

123 S. Michigan St.
50% off a box of dipped fruit (pick-up)

Hair Crafters

602 Lincoln Way East
20% off for new guests and 10% off all retail

Ironhand WIne Bar

1025 Northside Blvd.

Live music, 20% off bottles of Henri & Madeleine 

South Bend Brew Werks

216 S. Michigan St.
New seasonal beer release

South Bend Chocolate Cafe

122 S. Michigan St.
2 for $20 any crunch/pretzel combo

Tippecanoe Place

620 W. Washington St.
1/2 price appetizers In the Studebaker Lounge 

Unique Boutique International

122 S. Michigan St.

50% off the entire store 


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