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Things to do over fall break

Scene Staff | Thursday, October 13, 2011


Fiddler’s Hearth

You may have seen Fiddler’s on your way to Finny’s or Feve, but downtown South Bend’s other “F” should not be passed over. From its authentic pub atmosphere with Anglo-Irish food and drink to its live Irish music and old school rugby jerseys adorning the walls, the “F” in Fiddler’s must stand for food and fun. The pub is always packed and the atmosphere is infectiously lively, so when looking for a place to eat, drink and be merry this Fall Break, stop by Fiddler’s.

Quincy’s Café

Walking distance from campus and with free WiFi, Quincy’s Cafe is the perfect Fall Break spot to get a jump on some homework, hang out with other stranded pals and drink a cup of some of the most delicious coffee around. Thursday is open mic night, and Quincy’s will have other events throughout the week as well. Its very close proximity to frozen yogurt deliciousness at Let’s Spoon isn’t the most terrible thing ever.

Sunrise Café

Found on Lincoln Way West, this hole-in-the-wall restaurant inhabits a tiny building, but more than makes up for its small size with delicious food and heaping portions. With friendly service and inexpensive prices, Sunrise Café is the perfect place for a breakfast treat when the dining halls aren’t open.

Ari’s Grill

This delightful Greek restaurant is located walking distance from campus, so it’s perfect for people without access to cars. The friendly atmosphere truly reminds you of the chaotic nature of Mediterranean restaurants and the authentic food helps. Gyros, spanakopita and saganaki (pan-seared Greek cheese) will delight your taste buds. Aris’s is perfect for the cash-strapped college student with a student discount and $5 meal deal on Wednesdays.


Good Italian food is an amazing find. And after tasting the real thing while studying abroad, it’s often hard to go back to American-Italian cuisine. Ciao’s Restaurant and Pastry Shop, however, brings authentic Italian cuisine straight to South Bend. Tucked away near Madison Center, the warm brick building gives the delightful restaurant an intimate atmosphere. Ciao’s also has a mouthwatering array of pastries available during the day for the perfect pick-me-up.


Family-owned and student-approved, this restaurant specializes in baklava, falafels and kebabs. Invite your friends to join you for one of South Bend’s more unique dining experiences and they’ll forever be grateful. Go out for a reasonably-priced plate and head home both happy and full.

Uptown Kitchen

You may be familiar with its brother restaurant, The Mark, but check out where it all began with a visit to Uptown Kitchen. While everything on the menu is good, you won’t regret ordering from their breakfast section, no matter what time of day it is.

Gino’s East

You may already be planning a trip to Chicago over the week off, but if not then head over to Gino’s East and sample some of Chicago’s very own deep-dish pizza. Not for the faint of heart, Chicago-style pizza is loaded with cheese, tomato sauce and any other topping you can imagine. Gino’s East is the most authentic Chicago-style pizza this side of, well, Chicago.


Dollar movie theater

Paying for stuff is the worst. And movie theaters are just so gosh darn expensive. Nobody wants to pay $12 for a movie and $200 more on concession stand treats. While you may not be able to find a free admission movie theater, there is a pretty cheap option in town – the Cinemark 6 dollar theater. All tickets are just $1, and the movies are usually recent releases that have just left the mainstream theaters. Cinemark 6 can be found at 6424 North Grape Road in Mishawaka, across the street from the University Park Mall.

“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II”

“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II” is playing at the dollar theater (in some circles known Cinemark Movies 6) this week on Grape Road, which is a must-do over Fall Break. Maybe even a third, fourth and fifth time must-do.

“Captain America”

“Captain America” is also playing, which might be worth the dollar if you’ve got nothing else to do. If you’ve got a movie that somehow slipped out of theaters the first time, or one you want to take a second run at, this is a perfectly cheap way to spend an afternoon.


Umphrey’s McGee at Club Fever

With a week of freedom and the first night game at Notre Dame stadium in over 20 years, you probably won’t feel ready to head back to class and hit the books right away. Celebrate the last night of Fall Break with a concert by former Notre Dame jam band Umphrey’s McGee at Club Fever on Sunday, Oct. 23. Tickets are only $25.00 in advance, $27.00 the night of the show. You must be 21 or older to enter.


Flourish Boutique and Gallery

If there is one thing that can take any fashionista’s mind off academic challenges, it’s shopping! And Fall Break is always the perfect time to assess your wardrobe and add key pieces for the upcoming winter season. While you might think South Bend offers nothing in terms of fashion havens, there is one boutique which stands stilettos and fedoras above all the rest: Flourish. 

Owned by Saint Mary’s alumna Vanessa Cooreman Smith and conveniently located on Cleveland Road in Granger, Flourish offers basic and statement pieces at affordable prices. You can find Herve Leger imitation bandage dresses alongside bejeweled jeans and animal-print blouses. Smith has an eye for color, and the store carries accessories to match every item on its premises. Peruse their offerings on their Facebook page before making the journey and your shopping extravaganza will be even more worthwhile!


Leininger Farms Corn Maze

You’ve probably been to a corn maze before, but not like this one. Each year, Leininger Farms sets up a corn maze with a different shape — in the past, they made maps of the World and the US as guides for their maze. This year, they’ve made a map of Indiana with its major roads and have created stations to test your knowledge of Indiana history. Admission to the maze is only $5, with a canned food $1 off special on Wednesdays and Thursdays. The maze will even be open late on October 15 and 28 for flashlight nights! Don’t forget to visit the pumpkin patch while there to satisfy your fall and Halloween needs.

Playing with Pumpkins

Speaking of pumpkins, Halloween isn’t complete without a few Jack-O-Lanterns decorating your house or dorm. Head out to any of the local farms or markets to find locally grown pumpkins, perfect for carving and display. If the mood strikes you, save what you don’t use and make a homemade pumpkin pie. If that seems too much of a challenge, there is no shame in just buying the ingredients at the store. Don’t forget to pair it with apple cider, though.

Apple picking in Michigan

Nothing signals the beginning of fall fun like apple picking. A simple Google search will yield many options for farms to visit and most are no further than an hour away. They offer apple picking, as well as pumpkin picking and other delicious fall treats for purchase, like caramel apples. An apple picking adventure is the perfect way to break up a Fall Break spent on campus and to bond with friends while bringing home some healthy, delicious treats.

Beer tasting at Granite City Brewery

Strictly for those 21 and over, Granite City Brewery located at University Park Mall offers a wide selection of home-brewed beers sure to please every taste. Call and see if they offer a formal beer tasting, which allows you to try the various types of beer available. If not, go with friends and order some of each, testing a variety until you find the one you like best.

South Bend Farmer’s Market

Scene has already raved about the South Bend Farmer’s Market this year, but Fall Break is the perfect time to check it out. With everything from locally grown produce to handmade pizza dough, the Farmer’s Market features the best South Bend has to offer. Wander the various stands and sellers and scope out the best looking, smelling and tasting food you can find and then bring it all home and whip up the most exciting dinner you’ve had in ages. If you can’t be home for Mom’s cooking over break, then this is the next best thing.

Visit a winery in Michigan

If you’re bored and 21, take a quick drive up to Michigan for a taste of the local wine. Visit Michigan’s Travel and Tourism site, www.michigan.org, for a list of the many wineries scattered throughout the state.

Go to the Indiana Dunes

Fall Break may be the last time the sun shines in South Bend, so try and take advantage of the final sunny days by heading to the dunes one last time this year.

There’s no better way to de-stress after midterms or gear up for the USC game than by frolicking on the sand with some of your closest friends. Bring a football, baseball, Frisbee or soccer ball and just relax. Be sure to check the weather before you go, though — no one wants the changing Indiana weather to rain on his or her parade.