Ongoing Events

*Pre-registration, tickets, or reservations are required for these events.

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

Tues., Nov. 20 • 6 – 8 pm

How to Make Cocktails


Tues., Nov. 20 • 7 pm (classic cocktails) & Tues., Dec. 11 • 7 pm (holiday cocktails)

How to do Mindfulness Minutes

The Brain Lair

Sat., Dec. 1 • 10:30 am

How to Play a Holiday Carol on Guitar

The Music Village

Learn a holiday carol on guitar at The Music Village. Cost is juts $5 per participant, and ages 12 & up are welcome to attend. Guitars (including kid-sized) will be provided, but participants are welcome to bring their own. Advance registration is required, and can be made by calling The Music Village at 574-245-SONG (7664) or by emailing them at [email protected] Class size is limited to 15 people.

Sat., Dec. 8 • 11 am & Sat., Dec. 15 • 11 am

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. Note – in inclement weather conditions, Santa will be located inside the South Bend Chocolate Café.

Fridays – Dec. 7, 14, 21 • 5 – 9 pm (plus 12 – 4 pm on Dec. 21)
(Santa’s house will open Dec. 7 right after Tree Lighting Ceremony, approximately 6:30 pm)
Saturdays – Dec. 8, 15, 22 • 12 – 6 pm
Sundays – Dec. 9, 16, 23 • 12 – 4 pm
Wednesday – Dec. 19 • 3 – 7 pm
Thursday – Dec. 20 • 3 – 7 pm
Monday – Dec. 24 • 12 – 4 pm


Cookie Decorating, Activities, 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. Be sure to check out the galleries while you’re there (free admission) and the unique gift items in the Dot Shop. (Note – cookie decorating will take place at DoubleTree atrium Dec. 7.)

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 wide variety of fresh, locally-grown trees and wreaths from J & K Tree Farm. Tree sales benefit local nonprofit groups. While supplies last. Cash only.

Here are the nonprofit groups that will be working the tree sale events this year:

Unity Gardens – December 7th (5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.) and 14th (5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.)

Cub Scout Pack 541 – December 8th (12:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.) and 9th (12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.)

Relay for Life – December 15th (12:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.) and 16th (12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.)

Same dates and times as Visits with Santa, but only through Dec. 16


Festival of Trees

Throughout downtown

View holiday trees decorated by local sponsors and organizations, and vote for your favorite. Voting will take place on DTSB’s Facebook page December 7-24. Click here to vote for your favorite. 

Dec. 7 – Dec. 24

Holiday Window Display Contest

Throughout downtown

Take a tour of the downtown décor to view all of the contestants in this year’s Holiday Window Display Contest and vote for your favorite. Voting will take place December 7-24 on DTSB’s Facebook page. Click here to vote for your favorite.

Dec. 7 – Dec. 24

Santa Claus is Coming to Town • Dec. 7-9

Presented by EventSys

Tree Lighting Ceremony & Santa’s Arrival

Join us at the Gridiron by the South Bend Chocolate Cafe at 5 pm for live holiday music by The Erly, a letters to Santa station, roving costumed characters like The Grinch, Rudolph, Stu, and Swoop, plus live reindeer, holiday photo ops, giveaways, and more! 

Santa will make his grand entrance to downtown in a horse-drawn sleigh a little after 6 pm for the lighting of the Gridiron Tree and a fireworks show. Santa’s House will officially open for visitors after the fireworks, approximately 6:30 pm to 9 pm If the line is too long on the night of the Tree Lighting, don’t worry – you will have chances to visit Santa throughout the month of December (visit for Santa House dates and times.)

Free cookie decorating will take place in the DoubleTree atrium from 5 pm to 9 pm. that evening, and you’ll find a variety of First Fridays activities and promotions all around downtown. Also enjoy more live music from The Erly 6:30 pm to 7:30 pm. 

Free parking is available on-street and in the DTSB garages nights and weekends, and a free shuttle is provided by Transpo – South Bend Public Transportation Corporation every First Fridays. The December shuttle will feature holiday carols and singalongs with The Music Village Jammers!

Thank you to our sponsors for this event, EventSys and U93 :: Today’s Best Music.

Fri., Dec. 7 • 5 – 6:30 pm


December First Fridays: Downtown for the Holidays

Downtown businesses will be hosting activities throughout downtown, including holiday open houses, specials on food, drink, and retail, carolers, and more!

Fri., Dec. 7 • 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 brochure. This year’s tour includes the following locations:

Rose Morey Lamport House
The Good House
Tippecanoe Place
St. Patrick’s Catholic Church
St. Hedwig Church
South Bend Heritage Apartments
The Oliver Inn
Gemini Apartments
South Bend Heritage Renovated House
Kizer House
Civil Rights Heritage Center
Notre Dame Center for Arts and Culture
St. Paul’s Memorial United Methodist Church

Sun., Dec. 9 • 1 – 5 pm


Downtown Delights – Dec. 14-16

Presented by Visit South Bend Mishawaka

Holiday Light Parade

Lighted floats and walking units will parade down Michigan Street. Applications for entries are still being accepted. Click here for more information.

Fri., Dec. 14 • 7 – 8 pm


Holiday Fitness Fest*

Beacon Health & Fitness

Balance all the holiday goodies with a morning of FREE fitness classes at Beacon Health & Fitness South Bend located in the Leighton Healthplex Building, 111 W. Jefferson Blvd. Third Floor, South Bend, IN 46601 

Try one or many of the classes offered:

8:00 – 8:45 AM Xcelerate Spin Class (w/Mila)
8:30 – 9:00 AM Grit (w/Jessica)
9:15 – 10:00 AM Strength (w/Jessica)
9:15 – 10:00 AM Pilates (w/Brittany)
9:30 – 10:30 AM Water in Motion (w/Brenda)
10:15 – 11:00 AM Zumba (w/Kimmi)
10:15 – 11:30 AM Yoga (w/Carolee)

Class space is limited and will be first come, first served.

Must be 13+ to participate, no childcare available.

Sat., Dec. 15 • 8 – 11:30 am


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. 15 • 12 – 4 pm


Grown-up Movie Night: “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation”*

Four Winds Field

DTSB and the South Bend Cubs are partnering once again to bring you the second annual, special 21+ screening of the holiday classic “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.” The film will be shown on the video board at Four Winds Field and viewed from the Pepsi Stadium Club (indoors!)

Doors open at 7 pm, with an optional buffet from 7 pm to 8 pm. Christmas Vacation Trivia will take place 8 pm to 8:30 pm, and the movie will start right after that. 

Tickets must be purchased in advance, and can be purchased at this link. Admission is $10 for the film only, and $25 for the film/buffet combo. The buffet will include pulled pork, brisket, mac & cheese, and freshly-made kettle chips. Drinks will also be available for purchase.

Sat., Dec. 15 • 7 – 10:30 pm


Holiday Adventures – Dec. 21-23

Presented by PNC

Roz Puppet Show

Century Center’s Bendix Theatre

Free holiday-themed puppet show

Fri., Dec. 21 • 6:30 – 7:15 pm


Holiday Movie: “Elf”

Century Center’s Bendix Theatre

Free entry with donation of canned food or $1 to Food Bank of Northern Indiana

Sat., Dec. 22 • 1 – 3 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. 22 • 2 – 5 pm

More Downtown Events

Holiday Performances at The Morris Performing Arts Center*

 “Straight No Chaser”

Wed., Nov. 28 • 7:30 pm

“Sound of Music”

Fri., Nov. 30 • 8 pm; Sat., Dec. 1 • 2 pm & 8 pm; Sun., Dec. 2 • 2 pm

“The Nutcracker Ballet”                     

Sat., Dec. 8 • 2 pm & 7 pm; Sun., Dec. 9 • 2 pm

“Mannheim Steamroller Christmas”          

Wed., Dec. 12 • 7:30 pm

“South Bend Symphony Orchestra: Home for the Holidays”

Sat., Dec. 15 • 7:30 pm; Sun., Dec. 16 • 2:30 pm

“A Charlie Brown Christmas”     

Thurs., Dec. 20 • 7:30 pm

Holiday Performances at South Bend Civic Theatre

“A Nice Family Christmas”

Fri., Nov. 30 – Sat., Dec. 15

“The Christmas Schooner”

Sat., Dec. 1 – Sun., Dec. 23

Winter Events at Fiddler’s Hearth

 Winter Warmer Night

Special selection of craft beers and small plate pairings

Mon., Dec. 17 • 5 pm

Annual Holiday Luau

Luau with Kennedy’s Kitchen, tropical food & drink specials; Hawaiian shirts encouraged.

Sat., Dec. 22 • 9 pm – 12 am

Holiday Brunch

Featuring old world traditional dishes including roast beef & Yorkshire pudding; turkey & stuffing; spiced beef; and figgy pudding

Sun., Dec. 23 • 11 am – 3 pm

St. Stephen’s Day Party

St. Stephen’s Day Party with traditional Irish music session, wren day costumes, and old world traditional dishes on special including roast beef & Yorkshire pudding, roast goose with chestnut stuffing, spiced beef, and figgy pudding.

Wed., Dec. 26 • 6 pm

New Year’s Events

New Year’s Masquerade Ball*

The History Museum

Mon., Dec. 31 • 8 pm – 1 am

New Year’s Eve Party


Mon., Dec. 31

New Year’s Eve Gala*

Tippecanoe Place

Mon., Dec. 31

Scottish New Year’s Eve*

Tues., Dec. 31 • 6 pm

Other Downtown Events

Small Business Saturday

Find the perfect gift in downtown on Nov. 24, and throughout the entire holiday shopping season!

Sat. Nov. 24

Boutique Hop

Various participating shops

Sat., Dec. 1 • 11 – 5 pm

Saint Nick Six*

St. Joseph Catholic Church

6K Run, 3K Run, & 3K Walk

Sat. Dec. 1

Brunch with Santa

Tippecanoe Place

Sun., Dec. 2, 9, 16, 23 • 10 am – 1:30 pm

Community Menorah Lighting

Jon R. Hunt Plaza

The public is invited to attend the first annual Community Menorah Lighting on the first night of Hanukkah.

Sun., Dec. 2 • 6 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.

Fri., Nov. 30 & Dec. 14 • 5 – 8 pm; Sun., Dec. 2 & 16 • 1- 4 pm

Yuletide Tea*

The History Museum

This charming tea includes a private tour of the Oliver Mansion, decorated for the Yuletide holidays.

Sun., Dec. 2 & 16 • 2 pm


Gingerbread Village Competition*

South Bend Museum of Art

Click here for more information.

Entry Deadline is Mon., Dec. 3

Holiday Extravaganza

Four Winds Field

Join the South Bend Cubs for holiday games, free hot chocolate and cookies, and get your picture taken with Santa and Mrs. Claus. Plus visit the variety of craft and vendor tables along with great sales at the Cubs Den Team Store.

Sat., Dec. 8 • 10 am – 2 pm


Pizza with Santa*

Yellow Cat Cafe

Pizza, drink, craft, snacks, & story time; $12 person; reservations can be prepaid by phone (574.233.2233) or in person.

Sun., Dec. 9 • 4 – 6 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. 14 • 4:30 pm

Feast of the Seven Fishes Dinner*


An Italian Christmas tradition and an all seafood meal with optional wine pairing

Tues., Dec. 22

Christmas Kick-off Dance Party


Ugly sweater contest, Christmas cocktails, and more

Tues., Dec. 22

Chef’s Tasting Wine Dinner*


Each course will be paired with a sparkling wine from around the world

Sat., Dec. 22 & Mon., Dec. 31

Christmas Eve Prime Rib Buffet*

Tippecanoe Place

Mon., Dec. 24

Animals of the Arctic

SJCPL Main Branch

Wed., Jan. 2 • 11 am & 2 pm

Free two-hour on-street parking is available on most downtown streets and in all three parking garages (see list below; excluding Main & Colfax garage when there is a special event at the Morris Performing Arts Center.) 

Parking is free every weekend, and after 5:00 p.m. on the weekdays on-street and in the garages.  

Parking Garages
Free two-hour parking, and free nights (after 5:00 p.m.) and weekends
•Main-Colfax Garage (enter via Main St.)
•Leighton Garage (enter via Jefferson Blvd.)
•Wayne Street Garage (enter via Wayne St.)

Event Sponsors