Holiday Events 2017

Downtown South Bend will be bursting with holiday events and cheer this year, with new Themed Weekends and over 75 holiday events taking place, including visits with Santa, free cookie decorating, a festival of trees, and much more. 
Check out all the details below!


Note - events marked with an * require pre-registration, tickets, or reservations. 

New: Themed Weekends

Santa Claus is Coming to Town • Dec. 1-3

Tree Lighting Ceremony & Santa’s Arrival

Entertainment-filled program at the Gridiron with The Valleyaires, live reindeer, ND Jump Rope Club, costumed characters, and more as we await Santa’s grand entrance to downtown South Bend. Tree lighting, fireworks, and concert to follow Santa’s arrival.
Fri., Dec. 1 • 5:30 - 6:45 pm

December First Fridays: Downtown for the Holidays

Downtown businesses will be hosting activities throughout downtown, including holiday open houses at the South Bend Museum of Art and Dismas House, a European Market at Purple Porch Co-op, specials on food, drink, and retail, carolers, horse-drawn sleigh rides, and more!
Fri., Dec. 1 • 5 – 9 pm

Jingle Jams Concert

The Gridiron
Free holiday concert by The Angles. 
Fri., Dec. 1 • 7-8:30 pm

Cookie Decorating

The DoubleTree Atrium
Enjoy free cookie decorating across from the Gridiron in the DoubleTree lobby. Cookie decorating will continue throughout the month of December, but will move to the South Bend Museum of Art Dec. 2.
Fri., Dec. 1 • 5 – 9 pm

Historic Holiday Walking Tour

Free, self-guided tours of historic homes and businesses in the West Washington National Historic District. Click here for a PDF of this year's tour brochure.
Sun., Dec. 3• 1-5 pm

Deck the Downtown – Dec. 8-10

Roz Puppet Show

Century Center’s Bendix Theatre
Free holiday-themed puppet show
Fri., Dec. 8 • 6-6:45 pm

Holiday Light Parade

Lighted floats and walking units will parade down Michigan Street. Community members, local organizations and business are encouraged to join the parade and can download a PDF of the parade application by clicking here. The Holiday Light Parade will be followed by Jingle Jams with Mind Over Motion on the Gridiron.
Fri., Dec. 8 • 7-8 pm

Jingle Jams Concert

The Gridiron
Free holiday concert by Mind Over Motion
Fri., Dec. 8 • 8-9 pm

Holiday Window Display Contest Award Ceremony

The Gridiron
The winner of the Holiday Window Display Contest will be announced following the Light Parade, right before the Jingle Jams concert.
Fri., Dec. 8 • 8 pm

Holiday Adventures – Dec. 15-17

Grown-Up Movie Night *

Pepsi Stadium Club at Four Winds Field
Special 21+ screening of the holiday classic “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” on the video board at Four Winds Field. Tickets must be purchased in advance. Admission is $10 but drinks and snacks will be available for an additional cost.
Fri., Dec. 15 • 8-11 pm

Holiday Fitness Fest*

Beacon Health & Fitness
Balance all the holiday goodies with a morning of free fitness classes at the downtown Beacon Health & Fitness. Try one or many of the classes offered:
8:00 - 8:45 a.m. Holiday Spin Class
9:15 - 10:00 a.m. Pilates
10:15 - 11:00 a.m. Zumba
10:15 - 11:30 a.m. Yoga 
11:15 AM - 12:00 p.m. Yoga
12:15 - 1:00 p.m. Holiday Spin Class 

Class space is limited and advance registration is required. Registration will start Nov. 15th. (Details coming soon)
Must be 13+ to participate, no childcare available.
Sat., Dec. 16 • 8 am – 1 pm

Jingle Jams Concert

The Gridiron
Free holiday concerts by StarHeart (2-3 pm) and Trivial Nonsense (3-4  pm)
Sat., Dec. 16 • 2-4 pm

Winterfest – Dec. 22-24

Polar Express Pajama Party

Century Center’s Bendix Theatre
Kids are invited to wear their pajamas to this free screening of “The Polar Express.” Admission is free but beverages and snacks will be available for purchase.
Fri., Dec. 22 • 7-9 pm

Snowboard Simulator

DoubleTree Atrium
Sat., Dec. 23 • 1-5 pm

Snowball Fight

The Gridiron
Kids of all ages are invited to take part in this friendly community snowball fight (fake snowballs will be used should there be a lack of snow.)
Sat., Dec. 23 • 2-4 pm

Ongoing Holiday Events

Miracle at the General

The General Deli & Café
Render Kitchen & Bar is partnering with The General Deli & Café to bring this international Christmas-themed pop-up bar to South Bend.
Tues.-Sun., Nov. 24-Dec. 24 • 8 pm – 3 am

DTSB Holiday How-To Series*

Downtown businesses will be hosting a series of holiday-themed classes throughout the holiday season. 

How to Paint a Vintage Christmas Tree  -SOLD OUT
The Pigeon & The Hen Pottery​
Cheers to Grandma's Christmas Tree!! This tabletop version brings vintage charm to your seasonal decor. Glitter Glaze, Shiny Emerald Green, Fired Snow, Lights and all things FANCY included! Snacks too! Wine available for purchase at $4 each. 21+ only. Tickets are $75 and available for purchase.
Thurs., Nov. 30 • 7-9 pm

How to Find Your Festive Fashion
Ali on the Boulevard
How to Style Your Holiday Looks:
-Scarf How-To
-Day to Holiday Night Looks 
Tickets to attend are $10 and can be purchased on Ali on the Boulevard. Ticket proceeds with be donated to Pet Refuge.
Thurs., Dec. 7 • 6-7:30 pm

How to Destress During the Holidays 
Therapeutic Indulgence
Indulge your senses this holiday season with an aromatherapy bath soak from Therapeutic Indulgence. While shopping for your gifts, don’t forget to practice self care with a little Bath Soak. Join us on Thursday, December 14th during our Open House between 5p - 8p for a Holiday How To: Creating a Homemade Bath Soak! This simple recipe utilizes DoTerra Essential Oils to engage your senses and relax your body from head to toe. Each Bath Soak is $5, with no limit per person. Pre-registration is encouraged, please call 574-520-1664 to let us know you will be there!
Thurs., Dec. 14 • 5-8 pm

How to Make Spanish Paella & Craft Holiday Cocktails 
Participation is $65.00 per person ($58.50 for Tapastrie Wine and Dine Club members). This will include a glass of Sangria (the first instructional drink) with paella, a taste of the second cocktail and a paella pan to take home. Attendees of the class will also be offered 10% off food if they have dinner before or after the class. Reservations should be made prior to the event by calling Peggy at 574-232-9200.
Wed., Dec. 13 • 6:30-8:30 pm

Visits with Santa

The Gridiron
Bring your camera for free photos with Santa in his red house by the Gridiron. Each child who visits Santa will receive a special “I Believe” sticker that will allow them to receive discounts and trinkets all around downtown South Bend. Click here to see the flyer listing those specials. Note – in inclement weather conditions, Santa will be located inside the South Bend Chocolate Café.
Fridays – Dec. 1, 8, 15, 22 • 5 - 9 pm
(Santa’s house will open Dec. 1 right after Tree Lighting Ceremony, approximately 6:45 pm)
Saturdays – Dec. 2, 9, 16, 23 • 12 - 6 pm
Sundays – Dec. 3, 10, 17, 24 • 12 - 4 pm
Wednesday – Dec. 20 • 3 – 7 pm
Thursday – Dec. 21 • 3 – 7 pm

Cookie Decorating, Gingerbread Village, and DTSB Merchandise

South Bend Museum of Art
Visit the South Bend Museum of Art for free cookie decorating, activities, and to view the Gingerbread Village entries. Check out the galleries while you’re there (free admission) and the unique gift items in the Dot Shop, including the new line of DTSB Merchandise. (Note – cookie decorating will take place at DoubleTree atrium Dec. 1.)
Same dates and times as Visits with Santa

Visit Rudolph & The Grinch

South Bend Chocolate Café
Same dates and times as Visits with Santa


Tree & Wreath Sale

The Gridiron
Choose from a variety of fresh, locally-grown trees and wreaths from J & K Tree Farm. While supplies last. Cash only.
Dec. 1 – Dec. 17
Same dates and times as Visits with Santa, but only through Dec. 17

Festival of Trees

Studebaker Plaza
View holiday trees decorated by local sponsors and organizations, and vote for your favorite.
Nov. 25 – Dec. 25

Holiday Window Display Contest

Throughout downtown
Visit DowntownfortheHolidays for a list of participating businesses, and to vote for your favorite. The winner will be announced Dec. 8 following the Holiday Light parade.
Dec. 1 – Dec. 24

Jingle Jams Holiday Concert Series

Free holiday concerts on the Gridiron

The Angles
Fri., Dec. 1 • 7-8:30 pm

Mind Over Motion
Fri., Dec. 8 • 8-9 pm 

Sat., Dec. 16 • 2-3 pm 

Trivial Nonsense
Sat., Dec. 16 • 3-4 pm 

Downtown Holiday Trivia & Karaoke Series

Various locations
Attend one of these holiday-themed trivia or karaoke events

Holiday Karaoke (following their annual tree-lighting ceremony)
Fri., Dec. 8 • 10 pm

Holiday Trivia 
Chicory Café​
Wed., Dec. 20 • 7:30-9 pm

Holiday Karaoke (all ages – kids/families welcome!)
Chicory Café 
Thurs., Dec. 21 • 4-8 pm


Other Downtown Holiday Events

Small Business Saturday

Find the perfect gift in downtown on Nov. 25, and throughout the entire holiday shopping season! Stop by the DTSB Welcome Station at Ziker Cleaners on Jefferson for music, information and fun then head out into the streets of DTSB to take advantage of the special offers that day.
Sat. Nov. 25 • 10 am

Gingerbread Village Competition*

South Bend Museum of Art
Entry Deadline is Mon. Nov. 27

Winter Events at the Library

(Events hosted by Main Branch of St. Joseph County Public Library)

Garden Plaza
A Merry Evening: hot cocoa, carolers, decoration and lighting of library tree
Fri., Dec. 1 • 6:30 pm

Colfax Auditorium
Holiday Family Film Fest: enjoy a combination of new and classic holiday movie shorts
Sat., Dec. 16 • 2 pm

Humphreys Multimedia Room
Kwanzaa Celebration: celebrate the principles of Kwanzaa during a ceremony that describes the holiday and honors community elders
Wed., Dec. 27 • 4 pm  

Humphreys Multimedia Room
Animals of the Arctic Circle: meet live animals (including a reindeer!) from the frozen north
Fri., Dec. 29 • 3 pm

Reindog Prance*

Four Winds Field
Dress your pooch in holiday finery for this holiday parade! Adoptable dogs will also be on parade. For more information, visit their Facebook event page and click here for a parade application.
Sat., Dec. 2 • 10 am

Holiday Extravaganza

Four Winds Field
Join Stu, Swoop, and Mrs. Claus for a craft activity, cookie decorating, cocoa and more!
Sat., Dec. 2 • 10:30 am – 2 pm

Holiday Teas*

Tippecanoe Place
Holiday Tea 
Sat., Dec. 2 • 3 pm; Sat. Dec. 9 • 3 pm

The History Museum
Yuletide Tea
Sun., Dec. 3 • 1-4 pm; Sun., Dec. 10 • 1-4 pm

Oliver Inn Bed & Breakfast
Christmas Tea 
Sat., Dec. 9 • 12 pm

Saint Nick Six*

St. Joseph Catholic Church
6K Run, 3K Run, & 3K Walk
Sat. Dec. 2

Free Coloring Workshop

Color Out The Darknesss (located inside South Bend Chocolate Café)
Free coloring workshop for kids and their parents to create collaborative artwork. Recommended for 8 and up; children should be accompanied by an adult.
Sat., Dec. 2 • 1-3 pm

Christmas at Copshaholm*

Oliver Mansion
Enjoy the wonder of the season in these self-guided tours of the 38-room Oliver Mansion, decorated for the holidays.
Sun., Dec. 3 • 1-4 pm
Sun., Dec. 10 • 1-4 pm

Dining with Santa Events 

Tippecanoe Place
Brunch with Santa
Sun., Dec. 3, 10, 17, 24 • 10 am – 1:30 pm

Yellow Cat Café
An Afternoon with Santa
Sat., Dec. 9 • 3-5 pm

Yellow Cat Café
Pizza with Santa 
Sun. Dec. 10 • 3-5 pm

Museum After Dark: Snowflakes & Rainbows*

South Bend Museum of Art
Ring in the season with art, cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, and the eclectic jazz, funk & soulful sounds of The LowLifes at this benefit for TREES, Inc., & the SBMA.
Fri., Dec. 8 • 6:30-10:30 pm

Santa on the Race 

East Race Waterway near the Commerce Center
An evening with Santa for our community’s less fortunate children.
Fri., Dec. 8 • 4 – 6 pm

Live Performances*

Morris Performing Arts Center
Motown the Musical
Fri., Dec. 1 • 8 pm
Sat., Dec. 2 • 2 pm & 8 pm
Sun., Dec. 3 • 2 pm & 7:30 pm

The Nutcracker Ballet
Sat., Dec. 9 • 2 pm & 7 pm.
Sun., Dec. 10 • 2 pm   

South Bend Symphony Orchestra “Home for the Holidays”
Sat., Dec. 16 • 7:30 pm
Sun., Dec. 17 • 2:30 pm 

A Christmas Story
South Bend Civic Theatre
Fri., Dec. 1 – Sat., Dec. 23

Sing Michiana at the SBMA

South Bend Museum of Art
Community sing-along event where anyone who shows up will learn and sing a fun holiday medley.
Mon., Dec. 20 • 7-8 pm

Tippecanoe Place Holiday Entertainment

Mishawaka Madrigal Singers
Mon., Dec.1• 7 pm

Sweet Adelines
Tues., Dec. 2 • 7 pm

Joe Probst on Piano
Fri., Dec. 8 • 6-9 pm

Dennis Glazer on Piano
Sat., Dec. 9 • 6-9 pm

Suzuki Music School
Fri., Dec. 15 • 7 pm

John Adams High School Carolers
Sat., Dec. 16 • 7 pm

Christmas Carolers
Sat., Dec. 23 • 7 pm

Christmas Eve Prime Rib Buffet
$40 per person (Adults)/$18 (5-12 yrs.)
Sun., Dec. 24

New Years Eve Gala
Dinner & Gala Package $75 per person or Gala only $35 per person
(Four Course Dinner $50 per person or Prime Rib Buffet $45 per person)
Sun., Dec 31

Winter Events at Fiddler's Hearth

Complimentary Chestnuts; Kennedy's Kitchen

Stop by Fiddler’s for some complimentary roasted chestnuts during the December First Fridays. Kennedy’s Kitchen offers up Irish music starting at 9:00pm.
Fri., Dec. 1 • 5-10 pm

Kids Make Crackers for our Tree

Kids are invited to make crackers – little wrapped tubes filled with goodies – and exchange them for one of the gingerbread men hanging on our tree anytime up until Christmas Eve. Fiddler’s provides all the materials. No charge.
Fri., Dec. 1 - Sun., Dec. 24

Holiday Brunch

Sunday Brunch gets an upgrade with traditional holiday dishes from the Old Sod including a carving station with spiced beef, turkey, roast beef & Yorkshire pudding. Try some figgy pudding at the dessert buffet! $18 per person ($10 kids aged 12 & under). Reservations encouraged.
Sun., Dec. 17• 11 am-2 pm

Winter Warmer Night

Starting at 5:00pm, some very special craft beers begin taking over a good chunk of the 26 taps at Fiddler’s! Chefs Tony and Phil have some tasty nosh specials planned to pair perfectly with these brews.
Mon., Dec 18 • 5 pm

St. Stephen's Day Party

This second day of Christmas is traditionally a community celebration day at the local. Dinner specials starting at 5:00pm will include roast beef & Yorkshire pudding, roast turkey, and Christmas goose. (Regular menu also available.) Festive Irish Music Session begins at 8:00pm with old world carols, costumes, and rabble rousing. Join the rabble rousers and wren boys for some caroling!
Tue., Dec. 26

Greenwich New Year's Eve

Celebrate the new year as it arrives in Scotland (7:00pm Indiana time)! $60 per person includes a four course dinner, party hats & noisemakers, live Scottish folk music and the great highland bagpipes, and scotch or champagne toast during the traditional first foot celebration. Festivities start at 6:00pm and finish early enough to get you safely home in plenty of time to watch the apple drop on Times Square. Reservations with $10 deposit required.
Sun., Dec. 31

Twelve Days of Christmas

Kids help themselves to the crackers on our tree. These crackers are little gift wrapped tubes filled with candy, tissue paper crown, a joke, and a toy, made by kids visiting Fiddler’s Hearth during the month of December up until Christmas Eve.
Through Jan. 6

Downtown New Year’s Eve Celebrations

Aloft Hotel
Fiddler’s Hearth
Frank’s Place
Tippecanoe Place

Sun., Dec. 31



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