Things to Do

What to Do in Indiana When It’s Cold and Snowy Outside

The winter weather isn’t cutting anybody a break this year, so like all good Midwesterners, folks in Indy and the surrounding area learn to adapt.

In fact, Indiana is a great place to be when it’s cold outside and the snow won’t stop. There are tons of things to do that will make you forget all about the chill.

If you’ve handled all of your home maintenance issues for the winter and are just aching to get out, here are some suggestions:

Spend Time in an Igloo at Urban Vines

Can’t stand the cold? Still love the idea of sitting around outside with your close family and friends, sipping some wine while you watch the snow come down — but dread the cold? Well, you can solve that problem by heading over to Urban Vines.

November through March, they have heated “igloos” that seat up to eight people at a time. These clear domes are outfitted with heaters, music and lights — and good wine is never more than a few steps away while you’re there!

Go for a Toboggan Run at Pokagon State Park

If you think fondly back on the sled-riding days of your youth, why not take that experience to an adult level and go on a toboggan run at Pokagon State Park near Angola, IN?

The park’s refrigerated Toboggan Run is legendary among Indiana natives, and roughly 90,000 riders every year are a testament to just how fun this adventure can be. With a 30-foot tower, a quarter-mile of twists and turns and an overall 90-foot drop, you can find yourself sliding along at 30 miles per hour — or more!

The refrigerated run only operates through the end of February, however, so make your reservations today if you plan to go.

Ski Your Way Down Paoli Peaks

Who says a ski vacation is out of your reach? Paoli Peaks in southern Indiana is ready and waiting for skiers, snowboarders, tubers and anybody else who likes to experience the joy of the slopes.

There are 17 different runs available to accommodate different skill sets. Even better: You can easily take refuge in the local resort, experience the fine dining accommodations and do some shopping when you decide you’ve had enough of the cold.

Take the Kids Sledding at a Local Park

If you’re absolutely yearning to show your kids how to ride a sled, the ongoing snow is giving you a prime opportunity to do it!

Indianapolis makes it easy on you, too, by keeping track of all the parks that have been designated “sled zones.” Bundle up the kids in their warmest clothes, tuck some plastic bags in their boots to protect against dampness, and head out for a ton of snow-covered fun from dawn to dusk at any of the local parks on the list. 

Retreat to a Snow-Covered Lodge to Enjoy Some Natural Beauty

The Indiana State Park system is one of the most expansive and beautiful park systems in the nation — and you can take advantage of the view all year long.

In winter, you might enjoy spending a night or two in one of the seven luxury lodges where you can wake up, sip your coffee or tea and, wander the snowy trails as much (or as little) as you like. In a world that often seems chaotic, going on a mini-nature retreat in the solitude of winter can be exactly the break you need.

Take the Whole Family on a Main Event Adventure

If you’re firmly of the opinion that the best part about the winter cold and snow is that it’s outside, the whole thought of an outdoor winter adventure can leave you feeling less-than-enthusiastic. Why not try an indoor adventure, then, at Main Event?

You can schedule parties and private events, and blast those winter blues away with billiards, arcade games, indoor rock climbing, karaoke, gravity ropes and mini-golf. If the cabin fever in your household has reached a peak, this is a great place to go.

Visit the Indy Winter Farmers’ Market

Who says farmers’ markets are only for the summer and fall? The Indy Winter Farmers Market opened in November and continues through April 24 this year, and it’s filled to the brim with delights.

If you love locally sourced food and produce, winter greens, handmade goods, artisanal food creations, and the occasional flea market deal, this is the place to visit. Not only can you enjoy everything the market has to offer, but you’ll also be doing a good thing by supporting your small businesses and contributing to the vibrant local community. 

Check Out the Indianapolis Zoo

If you don’t mind the cold that much, there’s nothing like visiting the Indy Zoo in winter. For one thing, some of the cold-climate animals you have a hard time seeing in the summer are much more active at this time of the year, including the Arctic foxes, walruses and sea lions.

If the chill does start to get a bit fierce, you can still head inside to check out the zoo babies, the snake house and other indoor exhibits. Just remember to plan your visit ahead of time, since the number of visitors the zoo can accommodate at one time is currently limited.

Go for a Sweet Surprise at the South Bend Chocolate Company

If you’re a chocoholic, there’s no better place to visit in the winter than the South Bend Chocolate Company

Home to one of the world’s largest collections of chocolate memorabilia (including artifacts that go back more than 1,000 years!), the chocolate company offers interactive tours that will take you behind the scenes of this grand confectioner’s operations and even let you dip your own “chocolate spoon” to take home.

Whatever you decide to do with your time, there’s alway more to explore in Indy and throughout the state!