Top 10 bend Christmas events in South Bend, Indiana

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South Bend, Indiana is a great town.  I really love visiting there.

But perhaps it might be the most special during the Christmas season.  You can feel it in the air and see it in beautiful decorations around town.  That includes the gingerbread village you can see in the lobby at Courtyard South Bend Downtown (you can book that hotel at a great rate here, by the way).  Or Indiana’s largest outdoor Christmas tree, which you can see at Saint Mary’s Inn (you can book a great rate for this hotel here).  And there are also a lot of great things to do in South Bend and the surrounding Michiana area.

Today, I want to highlight eight of the best of those activities.

1. South Bend Symphony Orchestra: Home For The Holidays

One of South Bend’s favorite holiday traditions is Home for the Holidays.  It’s a performance by the South Bend Symphony Orchestra and guest artists.  You’ll hear beloved Christmas carols and songs.  It is sure to get you excited for Christmas.  It takes place the weekend before Christmas weekend.

There are two different performances of this show.  One is on Saturday, December 17, 2022, at 7:30 PM, and the other is on Sunday, December 18, 2022, at 2:30 PM.  You can click here to buy a ticket for one of these concerts.

2. Tree Lighting Ceremony

Another popular holiday tradition in South Bend is the Tree Lighting Ceremony at the Gridiron in downtown South Bend.  This year, it takes place on Friday, December 3, from 5:00 PM to 6:30 PM.

In addition to the Christmas tree lighting, this event has:

  • Live holiday music by The Erly
  • Dance performances by the IU South Bend Kickline & Southold Dance Theatre
  • A Santa letter-writing station
  • Holiday photo ops
  • Holiday giveaways
  • and more!

Santa Claus will make his grand entrance to downtown South Bend after 6:00 PM for the Christmas tree lighting.  Afterward, Santa’s House will be officially open for visitors from 6:30 PM to 9:00 PM.  You can make an online reservation, but walk-ups are welcome.

After that, you can find out when Santa will be there on the weekend on the Tuesday before the weekend by looking here.

3. Elf – The Musical

Is Elf one of your or your family’s favorite Christmas movies?  Then how about seeing the live, musical version of it?  Join Buddy on his journey to New York City to find his birth father, discover his true identity – and help New York City find the true meaning of Christmas!

Elf – The Musical will be coming to the Lerner Theatre in Elkhart, Indiana.  There are three different performances of the musical:

  • Friday, December 16, 2022, at 7:30 PM
  • Saturday, December 17, 2022, at 7:30 PM
  • Sunday, December 18, 2022, at 3:00 PM

You can buy a ticket for one of these performances here.

4. Cubs Holiday Extravaganza

The South Bends will once again hold their free Holiday Extravaganza on Saturday, December 4, 2022, from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM.  The event takes place at Four Winds Field and you can enter the event via the Cubs Den Team Store.

Holiday activities at this event include:

  • Photo ops with Santa and Mrs. Claus
  • “12 Days of Christmas” Scavenger Hunt
  • Free hot chocolate and cookies
  • Letters to Santa station with a mailbox to Santa
  • Holiday movies on the video board
  • Holiday music playing
  • Special ornament decorating contest
  • And more!

You can read more about it here.

5. Charlie Brown Christmas

Watching A Charlie Brown Christmas during the holiday season has been a long-standing tradition for many families ever since it first aired on CBS in 1965.  Now, you can see it live with actors playing your favorite PEANUTS characters like Linus, Lucy, and of course Charlie Brown himself.  The action of the play is set to the memorable Vince Guaraldi musical score.

You can catch the play at the Silver Creek Event Center inside Four Winds Casino in nearby New Buffalo, Michigan.  You can see it on Saturday, December 17, 2022, at  8:00 PM or  Sunday, December 18, 2022, at 5:00 PM.  Click here to book a ticket.

6. The Glory & Majesty of Christmas

Want to see a great retelling of the Greatest Story Ever Told?  Well, The 9th Annual Glory and Majesty of Christmas is coming to a venue near South Bend!  This family-friendly show features the Rick Webb Family (one of America’s Premier Family Vocal Groups), veteran actor and narrator Bill Brooks, professional dancers, and a 28-member cast of characters.

The show will be at Blue Gate Performing Arts Center in Shipshewana, Indiana on Friday, December 16, 2022, at 7:30 PM, and Saturday, December 17, 2022, at 2:00 PM.  Click here to buy a ticket.

7. Christmas with the Nelsons

Christmas with the Nelsons tells the story of three family Christmases in the lives of our country’s First Family of Entertainment: the Nelsons!  It stars Nelson family members Matthew and Gunnar Nelson, who have had two Top 10 Billboard Christmas singles in the last two years and have sold out Ricky Nelson Remembered shows.

Their Christmas show blends Everly Brothers-style harmonies, quick humor, and state-of-the-art big-screen video.  They tell the story of their family’s Christmases, starting with the”Holly Jolly” 50s when their father, Ricky, was a little boy intent on duct-taping antlers to the family cat.  This show may be about the Nelsons, but it is a family Christmas that all families can enjoy.

Christmas with the Nelsons will be coming to nearby Shipshewana at Blue Gate PAC on Tuesday, December 6, 2022, at 8:00 PM.  You can buy a ticket to the show here.

8. A Very Electric Christmas

Do you remember Lightwire Theater from America’s Got Talent?  They were a light-up dance group from AGT’s Season 7.  And now they have a great Christmas show set to classic holiday songs by artists like Mariah Carey, Nat King Cole, and Tchaikovsky.

You can catch the show Blue Gate Performing Arts Center in nearby Shipshewana, Indiana on Saturday, November 26, 2022, at 4:00 PM.  Click here to buy a ticket.

Notre Dame Christmas Ornaments

If you live in South Bend, there’s a fairly decent chance you love Notre Dame.  So why not check out these Notre Dame themed Christmas ornaments?