June First Fridays: Kids' Night Out

Join us for the June 2 First Fridays, which will be the "Best First Fridays Ever!" This is a signature event for Best Week Ever, and the theme will be "Kids' Night Out." We will have a frenzy of activity taking place downtown this night, with downtown businesses hosting activities and specials for kids, plus the addition of many Best Week Ever events, such as Meet Me on the Island, ROC Ur Body Family Fun Fest, Best Fireworks Show Ever, Sunburst Family Fun Walk, Riverlights Music Festival, and much more!

The South Bend Roller Girls will skating around downtown passing out programs of the night's activities, and we will also have some roving mascots out for photo opportunities.

Check out all the details below!




Transpo will be offering FREE shuttle rides on one of their new CNG buses with extended hours this First Fridays - from 5:00 p.m. to 10:30 pm. Please note: due to the road closures of Jefferson and Colfax for the Best Fireworks Show Ever, the route will be altered this First Fridays. Transpo shuttle service will pass each stop approximately every 30 minutes. Click here for the June route.

The shuttle service now has First Fridays Tour Guides! They will tell you all about the different activities and promotions that are taking place downtown at First Fridays, as well 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! 

If you're interested in being a First Fridays Tour Guide, click here for more information.

First Fridays Events & Promotions

Entertainment & Activities

Rockin' Wagon Rides

6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Howard Park

Take a "Rockin' Wagon Ride" around the East Bank area of downtown South Bend with the King himself - Elvis! Rides are $4 per person, excluding infants.  Children must be accompanied by an adult. Tickets will be sold just before 6:00 p.m. at Howard Park. Don’t forget your camera! Stay up to date on all horse-drawn events by liking Dream Coach Carriages on Facebook.  

Best Architectural Walking Tour Ever

5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
American Trust Company clock (corner of Washington and Michigan)

We will be adding to our normal architectural walking tour that takes place First Fridays in the summer to make it the Best Ever! Enjoy a fun and informative guided walking tour of South Bend landmark buildings, exploring their history and present day use. This tour will be extended an extra half hour, and will include a costumed tour guide, an exclusive look inside some of these beautiful buildings (including the Morris Performing Arts Center and The LaSalle Apartments), and a special appearance by Building South Bend, who will be bringing their virtual reality tour of historic South Bend to The LaSalle Apartments lobby. Cost is just $2/person. NOTE - there are no more spots available for this tour, but you can make your reservation for the July, August, September or October tours by clicking here or by calling 574-282-1110. Tours meet at 5:30 p.m. at the American Trust Company clock, located at the corner of Washington and MIchigan, in front of Cafe Navarre.

Magic Show, Balloon Artist, Face Painting and More at the Chocolate Cafe

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

The South Bend Chocolate Cafe will be an explosion of activities for kids this First Fridays, including face painting by Michiana Facepainting (5:00 p.m to 9:00 p.m.), a free magic show by Kevin Wilson (7:00 p.m. to 7:45 p.m.), free balloon art by Fun by the Yard (7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.), free soap carving with the Council Oak Woodcarvers Club, sidewalk chalk, hula hoops, and bubbles. In addition, John McDonough will be performing a free concert from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Also take advantage of their First Fridays special: 2 for $17 any crunch/pretzel combo. 

Free Entertainment at Studebaker Plaza

5:00 p.m. to 7:45 p.m.
Studebaker Plaza

Enjoy free entertainment by and for children throughout the night!

5:00 - 5:30 South Bend Civic Theatre: The Wizard of Oz
5:30 - 6:00 Perley Primary Fine Arts Academy
6:00 - 6:30 Kids Dance Party
6:30 - 7:00 Interactive Children's Concert by Wendy Daly from The Music Village
7:00 - 7:45 Bad Entertainment Dance Team

Also visit booths will be located at Studebaker Plaza with activities, and Olivet AME Church will be selling their strawberry shortcakes and brownie delights at Studebaker from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. 

Games and Activities at The Gridiron

4:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
The Gridiron

Enjoy drop-in games at The Gridiron (the fake football field next to the South Bend Chocolate Cafe) such as carnival games from Metronet Zing, potato sack races, cornhole, and a giant Connect 4 game. Also, several interactive booths will be located in the parking lot west of the Gridiron:

Meet Me on the Island

5:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.
Century Center Island

Kick off summer with art, music, refreshments and mingling on the Century Center Island. Who better to get your engines revving than Billy 'Stix" Nicks and The Motown Machine! You’ll be dancing all night. This will also be an excellent location to view the Best Fireworks Show Ever. Admission is $5 (kids under 12 get in free). South Bend Museum of Art (SBMA) and WVPE members will receive tickets in the mail. 

Virtual Reality Tours of 1920s South Bend

5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
237 N. Michigan St.

Explore downtown South Bend as it appeared in the 1920s with this unique immersive 3D virtual tour, presented by Building South Bend (BSB). They will be located in the in the lobby of the historic LaSalle Apartments from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. BSB is a collaboration between the Hesburgh Libraries of Notre Dame’s Architecture Library, the History Museum of South Bend, and the Historic Preservation Commission of South Bend and St. Joseph County. The goal of the project is to create an online resource to study the past, present, and future architecture in the city of South Bend.

Indika Reggae Band at Vegetable Buddies

129 N. Michigan St.
10:00 p.m. to 1:00 a.m.

Indika Reggae Band will be performing this First Fridays at Vegetable Buddies' "One Love Reggae Party." Indika Reggae is an award-winning Chicago reggae band and a South Bend favorite. Doors open at 4:00 p.m. with a 10:00 p.m. showtime. ($10 Cover)

Kennedy's Kitchen at Fiddler's Hearth

9:00 p.m. to midnight
127 N. Main 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!

People's Choice Award Ceremony at Fire Arts

5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
305 E. Colfax Ave.

Fire Arts will be holding the People's Choice Award Ceremony at 6:00 p.m. for their Sculpture Show which opened at the May 5 First Fridays. They will also be featuring an art talk at 7:00 p.m. by IUSB Professor Emeritus Harold "Tuck" Langland, creator of the Martin Luther King/Father Hesburgh sculpture being installed June 21 at Leighton Memorial Plaza.

Historic Hoffman Hotel Tours

5:00 pm to 8:00 pm
120 W. LaSalle Ave. 

The Hoffman Hotel Apartments will offer free tours of their renovated historic apartment spaces, along with live music by Kevin Scott Joiner, and free refreshments. The tours will be given every half hour (5:00, 5:30, 6:00, etc.)

Tour the Golden Roamer: Mobile Visitor Center

4:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
The Gridiron 

The Golden Roamer is a 24-foot recreational vehicle complete with brochures for visitors detailing the area’s offerings as well as satellite TV, and more. It will be parked near in the parking lot west of The Gridiron, and you are invited to go inside and explore.

Retail Specials

Best Book Signing Ever at Idle Hours Bookshop

6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
212 S. Michigan St.

Author A. J. Sarell will be at Idle Hours Bookshop this First Fridays signing her book "Itty Bitty the Kitty." This adorable book will make a great gift for your kids, grandkids, favorite teacher, neighbor, etc. Join in for a fun meet and greet and book signing. Sarell will also have her coloring book copy for sale as well, and Idle Hours will have their sale table out. There will also be a flamingo ring toss game taking place from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m..

Kids Paint & Take Clay Cookies at The Pigeon & The Hen

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

The Pigeon & The Hen Pottery will have summer-inspired paint & take clay cookies for just $5 each, plus their outside glitter station will be available, with an array of shiny new colors. 

Best Hair Ever Promotion at Hair Crafters

8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
602 Lincolnway East

Hair Crafters will be holding a Best Hair Ever promotion during Best Week Ever. Anyone who does a major hair transformation/makeover and/or cuts off more than 5” in length of hair will get a chance to win a salon prize package valued at $150+ of services and products. Hair transformations will be photographed before and after and put on their social media Facebook pages under the hashtags #bestweekever and #besthairever. The transformation with the most “likes” will win the salon prize package. They will also be holding a special AVEDA sale of 20% off all Aveda products from June 1 – June 3 as well as a retail sale on our other brands.

Jewelry & Craft Sale by Dismas Designs

5:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Studebaker Plaza

Dismas House is a nonprofit organization founded in 1974 to provide transitional housing and support services to men and women who have been recently released from incarceration. Through Dismas Designs, a social enterprise of Dismas House, residents are trained to make bracelets, earrings, necklaces, and other crafts. This gives residents a “second chance” and empowers them to develop their artisan and business skills for future employment. All of the profits from Dismas Designs are used to benefit Dismas House and its residents. 

Friends of the Library Book Sale 

4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. 
333 S. Michigan St.

Enjoy amazing bargains on books, CDs, magazines, and more for both kids and adults at the Friends of the Library's First Fridays Book Sale from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Ali Celebrates 15 Years in Business

10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
722 E. Jefferson

June is birthday month for Ali Oesch Jewelrey, and Ali will be celebrating 15 years in business with specials all day long at Ali on the Boulevard

Food & Drink Specials

Best Shrimp & Crawfish Boil Ever at Chicory

5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
105 E. Jefferson

Join Chicory Cafe for their Best Week Ever event: Best Shrimp and Crawfish Boil Ever. Each $15 order will receive crawfish (cooked right in front of you!), shrimp, potatoes, corn on the cob, and andouille sausage. Enjoy it there or to go, from 5:00 p.m. until they run out. 

$2 TV bars and Cookie Decorating at Cops & Doughnuts

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

Cops & Doughnuts will be offering kids a chance to decorate their own sugar cookies, 2 for $5, with a variety of decorations (frosting, sprinkles, etc.). Team members will be present to assist the children. $2 TV Bars will also be available.

Free Kids' Meal at Vegetable Buddies, plus Drink Specials for Adults

5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
129 N. Michigan St.

Vegetable Buddies will be offering a free hamburger and fries, or grilled cheese and fries, for one child (under 12) with each paid adult entree (5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.) They will also be featuring drink specials that evening for the adults: "Name your own Mule" for $6.00, and $3.50 Patron Tequila shots.

Best Taco Ever and Best Margarita Ever at Cinco 5

5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
112 W. Colfax Ave.

Cinco 5 is getting involved with Best Week Ever by putting out the Best Taco Ever: ($1 taco Mexican style -corn tortilla, onion and cilantro) with Al pastor (seasoned pork) with a purchase of a drink (dine in only.) They will also have the Best Margarita Ever: $5 Classic Margarita with Tequila Jimador or $5 Spicy Cucumber Margarita (all day Friday.)

$4 Pints at Barnaby's

5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
713 E. Jefferson Blvd.

Take advantage of the regular First Fridays special at Barnaby's of $4 pints. They are 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 $19.95 plus tax. 



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 $19.95 plus tax. 


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

Chicory Cafe

105 E. Jefferson Blvd.
Live music, $1.50 one scoop gelato, and 16 oz. Hurricanes for $6.00

Edible Arrangements

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

South Bend Brew Werks

216 S. Michigan St.
New seasonal beer release 

South Bend Chocolate Cafe

122 S. Michigan St.
2 for $17 any crunch/pretzel combo

Therapeutic Indulgence

904 E. Jefferson
20% off gift cards

Tippecanoe Place

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


Other Best Week Ever events in downtown this First Fridays



ROC Ur Body Family Fun Fest

5:30 .m. to 8:00 p.m.
Howard Park

Be a ROC Star and help the The Reducing Obesity Coalition of St. Joseph County in the fight against childhood obesity. Join us for an entertaining evening of family fun activities, dancing, playing, and learning! Tons of vendors will be all around Howard Park, providing activities and information on health, wellness, and fitness. Have fun with a giant parachute and other games in the park. This free event is proud to be a part of the 1st Source Bank Family Fun Night. Here is a list of the organizations taking part in ROC Ur Body, and the activities they plan on having there:
enFocus: Hands free CPR (dance)
Entertaining History: Royal Rat Pucking
​Farmer's Market: Cooking/food demo
​Fresh Thyme: Food demo
HealthWorks!: Various fit festival
Health Link: Physical activity
​IUSB: Cornhole
​Kroc Center: RJ
​Martin's: School of cooking
Memorial Children's Hospital: Ambulance
​Notre Dame: Chef Alan food demo and athletes
Police Athletic League: Michiana swims program
Purdue Ext: Food demo
​SB City Church: Grace station
SB Cycles: bike repair and cycling safety info
SB Elks: Drug Awareness Truck
SB Fire Department: Fire truck and hose equipment drag
​SJRMC: This counts! Jump rope activity
T2 Sports Performance: Kids Fitness Challenges
​Therapeutic Indulgence: Kids yoga
Urban Adventure Games: Game
U93: Remote/music
VPA: Kids rock climbing wall
YMCA: Paint, archery, human sling shot, and kids cardio/hip hop

Plus, every kid who attends ROC Ur Body will receive a sticker that will entitle them to the following promotions from downtown businesses:
Access Imprinted Sportswear:15% off all I Heart SB T-shirts, 25% off select Donna Sharp handbags.
Ali on the Boulevard: 10% off total purchase
Hair Crafters: $10 Kids Cuts by Gavin or Cynthia, plus 10% off retail
Just Goods: Free South Bend flag bumper sticker or laptop sticker 

Best Fireworks Show Ever

9:45 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.
Jefferson Bridge

The best and biggest fireworks show South Bend has ever seen will be shot off the Jefferson bridge in downtown South Bend starting at approximately 9:45 p.m. Watch from the Colfax bridge or Howard Park and enjoy the show. This is a free event.

Riverlights Music Festival

3 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.
Seitz Park & Emporium Parking Lot

Riverlights Music Festival (RLMF) 2017 is gearing up this year with 70+ bands spotlighting great diverse Midwest artists June 1-3. RLMF is a collaboration between artists, community leaders and local businesses seeking to illuminate South Bend as a prime destination for original music in the Midwest. Shows will take place this First Fridays from 12 p.m. to 10 p.m. Click here for band line-up, pricing details and to purchase tickets. The event is all ages but will have alcoholic beverages available for those 21+.

Best Movie Night Ever

10:00 p.m. to midnight
Howard Park

After the biggest and best fireworks show in South Bend, a free screening of Star Wars: Rogue One will take place near the old ice rink shelter at Howard Park. Bring your blankets, chairs, and food, and relax and have fun. The event is proud to be a part of the 1st Source Bank Family Fun Night.

Best Latin Dance Ever

8:30 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. (with after-party at Cinco 5)
Studebaker Plaza

South Bend Latin Dance will be hosting the Best Latin Dance Ever this First Fridays, with a beginner lesson at 8:30 p.m., followed by open dance at 9:00 p.m. with local DJs, live percussion and congas (note: there is a $5 cover charge for this event.) The party continues at Cinco 5 (112 W. Colfax) from 11:00 p.m. on. At Cinco you can quench your dancer's thirst, eat a Best. Taco. Ever., and keep on moving to great salsa, bachata and more. 

Best Live Art + Fashion Ever VIP Bash

5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
121 N. Niles Ave.

A.R. Drew Art and Luxe Wagon are teaming up for the Best Live Art + Fashion Ever VIP Bash. Experience East Bank fusion all under one roof in the historic Emporium building, with live painting, boutique shopping, and a cash bar. 10% of the event's proceeds will be donated back to The LOK Foundation. LOK supports children in the arts and furthering carbon monoxide education.

Best Library Ever Truck Rally

4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
304 S. Main St.

The St. Joseph County Public Library is revving up its Summer Reading Kickoff Party with a truck rally! Meet some of the biggest trucks on the road in celebration of Best Week Ever. Register for their all-ages Summer Reading Challenge and enjoy music and food. Free t-shirts for those who register– while supplies last. This event will be located in the parking lot east of the main library.  

Touch-a-Truck Presented by Century Builders

5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Howard Park 

Ever wondered what it's like to sit in the driver's seat of some of the biggest and fastest trucks on the road? Now is your chance. After exploring the truck rally at the Main Library, head down to Howard Park and see even more trucks at the Touch-a-Truck event presented by Century Builders. This free event will house racecars, emergency vehicles, construction trucks, and more. Trucks will be staged in the Howard Park parking lot and on the old ice rink from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. The South Bend Elks Lodge will also have their drug awareness trailer at this event.

Best ATM Ever

11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. & 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
210 S. Michigan St.

Visit the Best ATM Ever this First Fridays at the downtown branch of Notre Dame Federal Credit Union. What will your prize be?  The Best ATM Ever is made from thousands of LEGOS and it hands out prizes! To operate the Best ATM Ever you need the LEGO "ATM" card which can be found at their downtown branch.

Best Lounge Ever

6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.
211 N. Michigan St.

Join the University of Notre Dame - Special Events and Stewardship for an evening of relaxation at Jon Hunt Plaza at the Best Lounge Ever. South Bend Brew Werks and Bare Hands Brewery will have bars set-up to serve drinks for purchase. Food will also be provided by Navarre Group. Enjoy music by DJ Chuck Fry from 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. and hang out on comfortable lounge furniture spread throughout the space!  Admission to the event is free. Must be 21+ to enter.

Best Donut Day Ever

8:30 p.m.to 9:45 p.m.
Colfax Bridge 

Enjoy a free donut from the Kroc Center while you wait for the fireworks to begin on the Colfax Bridge. Cops & Doughnuts has donated hundreds of donuts to give away for National Donut Day. Have a treat and get a good seat for the fireworks! The Kroc Center will also be giving away donuts in the morning at the Kroc Center, as well as delivering donuts to area veteran associations. National Donut Day was created to help the needy during the Great Depression and to commemorate the work of the “donut lassies” who served donuts to soldiers during World War I.

Best Backstage Ever: Emerald City Tour

6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
403 N. Main St.

Travel down the yellow brick road with Dorothy and her friends. Take a magical trip through the South Bend Civic Theater with surprises around every corner. Melt the Wicked Witch and meet the Wonderful Wizard of Oz! This event is family friendly with a free craft station. Dorothy will lead guided tours from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., with tours beginning every 15 minutes.

Fridays by the Fountain

11:45 a.m. to 1:15 p.m.
211 N. Michigan St.

Kennedy's Kitchen is headlining the first Fridays by the Fountain of the summer. The Morris Performing Arts Center presents Fridays by the Fountain on the Jon R. Hunt Plaza, in front of the Morris Theater, from June to August. A free outdoor lunchtime concert series, Fridays by the Fountain is a summertime tradition in downtown South Bend. Food vendors are available and they offer a variety of lunchtime favorites including pizza, sandwiches, salads, and smoothies.  You may choose to bring your own lunch. Tables are set in and around the plaza to give concertgoers a space to eat – or bring a blanket and relax on the lawn.  

Best Office Ever

12:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
214 S. Michigan St.

The Best Office Ever is an experience being held under the State Theater Marquee during the afternoon this First Fridays. Spend the afternoon working in the most non-office, office. Presented by St. Joe CEO, Startup South Bend – Elkhart, and HeadQuarters at Ignition Park. The three partners will stage a functional office space open to the public and free of charge under the State Theater Marquee. Enjoy fresh air, interactive art, and collaboration while finishing out your work week. Bring your whole office down to work. The space will have electric hookups (bring your laptop), Wifi (thanks City of South Bend!) and a creative space to work in.

Sunburst Family Fun Walk

6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Starts at Century Center

The Sunburst Family Walk is a secured course that begins at the Century Center parking lot on Wayne St. and proceeds to Howard Park via the pedestrian bridge. The walk is $5 per person or $17 for 4 or more. Donations are also accepted, all of which will go to benefit the Memorial Children's Hospital. Register online here before 6:00 p.m. on June 2. 

East Race Rafting

5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
East Race Waterway

The East Race is opening early this year for Best Week Ever! Enjoy white water rafting in downtown South Bend  and prepare to get wet!  All equipment is provided, however, rubber soled shoes with heel straps are required. Flip-flops, sharp jewelry and sharp objects may not be worn. Required height for rafting is 54” and children under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult. This event costs $5 dollars per person per ride.

Metronet's Carnival Games on the Gridiron

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

Metronet Zing will be hosting a series of fun mini carnival games on the Gridiron this First Fridays, including a water balloon toss, ball toss, ring toss, and rubber duckie game. These games will be free to play, and prizes will be awarded.

Best Tennis Game Ever

5:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
837 N. Lafayette Blvd.

Have fun with the best game of tennis ever at Leeper Park this First Fridays and learn some new skills! Hit a giant blow-up ball using racquets and have a blast playing badminton. In addition, instructors will be on site to provide you with guidance and helpful tips. This is a free event, and concessions will also be open.



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