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Head Down(town) South (Bend) this Spring Break: A Staycation Guide

Spring break and warmer weather are just around the corner, which means spring fever is, too. Packing and making travel plans can be a hassle, so we put together a guide for spring break "staycation" right here in downtown South Bend. There are plenty of opportunities here for both kids and adults to find relaxation and fun downtown!

First Fridays will also take place on April 5th and it's a big one. DTSB will hold a "Dream Big Downtown" contest as a part of First Fridays. Visitors can submit an idea for a future First Fridays activity/experience. DTSB will pay (up to $1000) for the winning night to come true at an upcoming First Fridays! For a complete list of the night's activities and deals, click here.

Spring break activities for kids:

IF YOUR KID...loves sports and/or being outside:

Watch Notre Dame baseball take on the South Bend Cubs or play with the River Lights' secret features.

South Bend Cubs Exhibition Game versus Notre Dame

501 W. South St.

April 3, 6:00 p.m.

The Fighting Irish men’s baseball team will be playing against the South Bend Cubs in a 7-inning game before the Cubs’ Thursday opening night. This game at Four Winds Field is perfect if you’re looking for something a little earlier and less crowded than opening night. Tickets are $5 with all proceeds going to the Center for the Homeless & the Samantha Hickey Foundation (which raises money for Memorial Hospital’s Pediatric Cancer Center). Gates open at 5:00 p.m. Click here to purchase tickets.

These lights are hard to miss when driving by them at night, but did you know there are also some secret features?

Sensors built into the light pillars can detect motion and prompt the pillars to switch their colors or change patterns. Kids and other visitors are encouraged to experiment with how different movements affect these patterns and colors! Seitz Park, Colfax Bridge, Island Park, and Pier Park are all great viewing points.

IF YOUR KID...prefers quiet spaces to loud ones:

Try some of these lower-key activities!

304 S. Main St.

April 1

Design a travel poster for your own planet! Supplies, inspiration, and snacks will all be provided. Second floor, teen area. 2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. Ages 10-18.

217 S. Michigan St.

April 5

Join The Pigeon & the Hen in reading “Little Owl’s Egg.” Afterwards, kids can paint a magical owl with acrylic paint. Snacks will be provided and owls can be taken home at the end of the project. 10:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.  Appropriate for ages 3+. $20. Click here to sign-up.

Kidsfirst Children's Museum

808 W. Washington St.

Kidsfirst is an interactive, hands-on way for kids to discover history. They can explore a settler’s cabin, sit in a life-sized birch-bark canoe, and “practice” trades of South Bend’s early settlers. Tickets: $10/adult, $6/children aged 6-17. Hours: MWF, Saturday from 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.

113 W. Monroe St.

These guided step-by-step sessions promote your child's creativity and confidence while also encouraging mother-child bonding. There are seven classes to choose from this spring break. Click here for more info on dates and painting options. This two-hour session includes two canvases, aprons, and all supplies needed. Advance registration is required and can be done here.

IF YOUR KID...never seems to get tired:

The Kroc Center is a great place to let them unleash their energy!

Spring Break Day Camp

900 W. Western Ave.

The Kroc Center is hosting Spring Break day camps April 1-5. Your children can access the center’s rock-climbing wall, art studio, aquatic center, gym, and more all while remaining supervised. Breakfast, lunch, and an afternoon snack will be provided. Drop-off begins at 7:00 a.m. and pick-up ends at 6:00 p.m. Ages 5-13. $27/day for members. $30/day for non-members. Register your child at the Welcome Desk prior to the day you drop them off. Call (574) 233-9471 for more info, or click here.

IF YOU...don't feel like cooking for the whole family:

Take them out--where kids eat free!

Kids Day at South Bend Brew Werks

216 S. Michigan St.

Every Sunday, kids eat free at SBBW with any adult food purchase. Games and crafts are available to enjoy with your family. You can take advantage of their outdoor seating now that the weather is finally starting to warm up!

Spring break activities for adults:

IF YOU'RE...feeling creative:

217 S. Michigan St.

April 7, 1:00 p.m.

Play with glass frit and get walked through creating a beautiful decorative cross just in time for the upcoming holidays! Great for ages 12+. Registration is $32/person and can be found here.

Build Your Own Bloody Mary & Mimosa Bar

105 E. Jefferson Blvd.

Build your own deluxe drink for just $9. This bar has 18 toppings, 20 hot sauces, 6 rim choices, and house-infused pepper vodka! Peach and mango mimosas are also offered with fruit toppings. Every Sunday from 10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.

IF art but don't love making it:

Come marvel at the creative works already in our community!

South Bend Museum of Art

Open Wednesday-Sunday, 12:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.

SBMA’s permanent collection includes the work of historical Indiana artists and  significant contemporary regional artists. There also two unique exhibitions being presented until April 7, so make sure to see them before they’re gone! Exhibitions include Sounds Like Dancing, two video works by South Bend-born artist Mike Amato, and A Romantic Suppression of the Industrial, carvings by Mike Slaski. Free admission to members, suggested donation of $5 for non-members.

Helios (Art Show)

251 E. Sample Street

April 5

A series of futuristic immersive art installations by GIIIVENS with live sounds by FERRISBOOLER. GIIIVENS is a 21 year-old artist from South Bend. Her work consists of, “futuristic minimal sculpture and light works,” and has recently been featured at SXSW in Austin, TX. This event is free and will take place from 6:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m.

IF YOU’RE...looking to get away but don’t feel like making the drive to Chicago: Spend a night or two relaxing at one of South Bend’s charming and historic bed & breakfasts.

Still thinking of Chicago? Hit up the South Bend Cubs’ opening night afterwards!

Oliver Inn Bed & Breakfast

Built in the late 1800s, this Queen Anne-style home boasts a full candlelight breakfast with live music by the fireside each morning. Each of the eight bedrooms offers TV, a private bath, and air conditioning; some rooms even include a fireplace or

double Jacuzzi tub. Get a sneak peek of breakfast by checking out the recipes portion of their website!

Innisfree Bed & Breakfast

Located on the national historic registry and originally built in 1892, this historic home moved to its current location in the 1980s and finally became a bed and breakfast in 2004. Mahan and Stephanie Mirza, the innkeepers, are said to have endless stories from their national and international travels.

South Bend Cubs Opening Day

501 W. South St.

April 4, 7:05 p.m.; April 5, 7:35 p.m.

The South Bend Cubs will take on the West Michigan Whitecaps during their opening-night games on Thursday and Friday. Tickets can be purchased for $11-13 here or at the door for $12-14. Kids 2 & under free. Both opening nights will also include post-game fireworks!

IF YOU’RE...craving new food experiences:

Try some cuisine from a different country!

Cambodian Thai

This family-owned restaurant has been around since 2005. They enjoy serving authentic and Asian cuisine. Still feel like having a night in? Cambodian Thai also offers carry-out.


This unique, walk-up shop specializes in making their Argentinean fare as authentic as possible. Their empanadas are hugely popular!

Lights of India

Lights of India uses secret family recipes passed down from generations to provide fresh, healthy, and authentic Indian fare. Their lunch buffet is the perfect place to take a break from shopping downtown; or, enjoy dinner in the evening!

Nom Nom Pho

This vietnamese restaurant is the perfect place to get a warm bowl of pho on a chilly “spring” day. They even offer vegetarian and vegan ramen options!

Don’t forget about First Fridays on April 5th.

Here are a few places you can find live music during that time:

South Bend Chocolate Cafe

5:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.

Laura Whidden will perform pop/rock selections with her own song creations mixed in.

Fiddler's Hearth

9:00 p.m. - midnight

Local Irish band, Kennedy's Kitchen, will be performing.

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