What To Do Around The Bend
Eric Prister | Saturday, August 22, 2009
What to do, what to do? You’ve arrived on campus, gone to your dorm, moved a life-time’s worth of belongings into a room the size of a walk-in closet, met your roommate and had a meal in North Dining Hall.
But now, you have a weekend to spend (albeit with some Frosh-O activities) in South Bend, Ind. with your parents before they return home and leave you to your own devices. Now, South Bend has never been described as the most interesting city in the world, but you do have options for entertainment in the city and the surrounding areas.
For sports fans, or at least college football fans, South Bend is home to the College Football Hall of Fame. From busts of the greatest athletes to ever step on the gridiron to interactive areas allowing visitors to feel included in the game, the Hall of Fame would provide hours (though maybe only two) of enjoyable family time. Also, stop by the South Bend Chocolate Café while you’re downtown and try their homemade chocolates.
For those families who prefer something more active, South Bend is home to the East Race Waterway, a whitewater rafting facility and one of the 2004 Olympic Trial locations. For both beginner and advanced kayakers, the East Race can provide an afternoon of fun for you and your family.
Golf fans have a multitude of choices for hitting the links in South Bend. Notre Dame itself is home to two courses, and South Bend’s Blackthorn ranks in the top 50 public courses, according to “Golfweek.”
Lake Michigan is also within an hour of campus. Although the Lake Michigan beaches do not compare to either the Pacific or Atlantic coast, they do serve as a decent replacement. The beach in New Buffalo, MI is particularly appetizing, if only because of its proximity to Redamak’s, which serves some of the best hamburgers in the area.
However, one could still contend that the most exciting, beautiful and enjoyable place to spend time in the South Bend area is the very place that you will be spending your next four years. Notre Dame, with its park-like atmosphere, is a perfect place to enjoy your last few days with your parents.
Take a walk around the lakes, visit the Golden Dome, the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center, the Rolfs Sports Recreation Center and the Grotto, or just play catch and have a picnic on one of the quads. Your experiences at Notre Dame will surely shape your life, and your parents certainly would enjoy experiencing some of its greatness with you.