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Trying to plan an evening with the family but you are unsure of what there is to do now that the weather is beginning to get colder and snow is getting ready to fall more often? Do not worry, we have got you covered! Northwest Indiana has a wide variety of family fun attractions for people of all ages to visit during the week, nights, and especially weekends. Grab your friends, grab the kids (or parents), and get everyone out to make memories at some of the best places The Region has to offer throughout the cold times of the year.

1: NEW William E. Urschel Pavilion ice-skating rink (Valparaiso, IN)

(Video via Youtube: Joey Lax-Salinas:

Having opened in the last weekend of November for the first time after being announced in 2013 that it would be constructed with the help of a $3 million dollar donation from the Urchel family along with others, this ice-skating rink has brought joy and beauty to Northwest Indiana in new ways for winter. As of right now, it is open all 7 days of the week. That means you can grab the kids and take them out for their first time on the ice, and hopefully not their last! They do offer skating lessons and birthday party bookings (call 219-462-5144 for more info).

Skate times
4pm – 8pm Monday-Wednesday
4pm – 10pm Thursday & Friday
8:30am – 10pm Saturday
10am – 7pm Sunday

68 Lafayette St, Valparaiso, IN

2: Horse-Drawn Sleigh Rides at Buckley Homestead (Lowell, IN)

Horse Drawn Sleigh Rides [photo via]

Horse Drawn Sleigh Rides – Photo via

Beginning in January when you look outside and see at least 4 inches of snow and no ice, get your boots on and drive out to the Buckley Homestead on either a Saturday or Sunday afternoon betwen 1pm – 3pm. They offer horse-drawn sleigh rides from “Dolly and Molly, the beautiful Belgian horses that call Buckley home“.

The rides generally average between 20 and 25 minutes and only cost $2 per person. Since there needs to be snow outside, assume it will be cold and grab your warmest jacket and blanket to bundle up with the family for this truly unique experience that everyone should enjoy at least once! More information on this can be found at

3606 Belshaw Road, Lowell, IN

3: Cross Country Skiing at Lemon Lake County Park (Crown Point, IN)

By SkiHoodoo (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

By SkiHoodoo (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

If you really want to be outside and keep yourself warm this winter, you could do some slight exercise by trying out cross country skiing at Lemon Lake Country Park in Crown Point, Indiana. With several miles of trails to go through in wooded areas and open fields, you will find this experience a great way to appreciate the beauty of one of Crown Point’s profound locations. Worried about your experience level? Don’t be! The trails are designed for beginners all the way up to experienced skiers so first timers should not be afraid.

If you want, you can also rent skis from the park on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from 10am to 4:30pm weather and snow permitting. All equipment must be returned by 4:30 with closing times varying depending on darkness. When there is at least 4 inches of snow, the trails are groomed to perfection to make the ski as enjoyable and smooth as possible for everyone.

For more information and rental costs, visit

6322 W. 133rd Avenue, Crown Point, IN

Have you had the opportunity to experience any of the 3 attractions above? Let us know in the comments below or recommend some other great places to visit in Northwest Indiana this winter!



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