Fun in Indiana … Yes, It’s Possible!

| August 14, 2009 | 2 Comments

Indiana-Dunes-National-lakeHow often do you think of our neighbors to the east when you’re looking for some recreation?  Not often?  Well, you should.  Northwest Indiana has a lot to offer.

Your first stop, at least in the summer months, should be the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore.  Billing itself as “the casual coast,” the dunes offer miles and miles of recreation along the shores of Lake Michigan.  There’s no crowding and difficult parking like at Chicago-area beaches.  You just pull up, park, and set yourself up on the beach.  Voila!  Instant relaxation!  Completely worth the drive.

And if natural bodies of water aren’t your thing, Indiana offers the nearby Splash Down Dunes waterpark, as well as Deep River Waterpark in Crown Point.

If you like candy, and who doesn’t, visit the Albanese Confectionary Group in Merillville.  You can take a tour of their candy factor, á la Unwrapped on the Food Network.  Stop by and purchase some of their World’s Best Gummies, or shop for them online.

Just down the road is my favorite train-themed restaurant (and I’ve been to a lot), Tyler’s Tender in Schererville.  It’s the only train-themed restaurant I’ve been to where there is an actual ride-on train on a track.  There’s also a neat model-train setup (courtesy of nearby Park Lane Hobbies) built right and kids’ eye-level and complete with buttons that kids can push to operate the trains.  And, like all train-themed restaurants, a train brings you your food.  There’s also a pretty large arcade in an adjoining space to the restaurant.

If you’d like to take a slightly longer trip, visit the Indiana Beach amusement park.  It’s a waterfront boardwalk-style park with free admission!

For agriculture-themed fun and education, visit Fair Oaks Farms.  Or take a trip to the northern Indiana Amish country.  The Chellberg Farm House adjacent to the Indiana Dunes also offers a look into Indiana’s past.

For more ideas for fun in Indiana, visit Indiana’s Official Travel Planning Source or the South Shore website.    Or stop by the Indiana Welcome Center, which offers a John Dillinger museum and an A Christmas Story exhibit at Christmas time.  Just make sure you don’t shoot your eye out. 

Photo Credit: via flickr by lapstrake

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Category: Featured, See & Plays

About the Author ()

Joining Shannon Capanna in Home Sweet Homewood are her professor husband, toddler son, and giant cat. Career-wise, Shannon worked as an elementary school teacher for three years before becoming an editor for math textbooks. She quit that job to try to achieve that elusive work-life balance, and she is now trying to cobble together some kind of career as a writer, editor, and mom. Shannon enjoys swimming, watching quality television, and cat-watching.She also blogs at Chicago Moms Blog, and at her personal site, Boringtown's Closed.

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  1. Tom says:

    Thanks for bringing some of what NW IN offers to everyone’s attention! Deep River Waterpark is the Chicgaoland’s largest at 46 acres and offers family packages + parking is FREE and we’re cooler friendly. FYI…Monday – Friday 8/17-21 all admission prices are reduced….check for all info.

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