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Things to See & Do


Located less than one hour from downtown Chicago, 2.5 hours from Indianapolis, just over one hour from the University of Notre Dame, and less than one hour from Amish Country it is one of the finest luxury inns in the Midwest. Songbird Prairie Bed and Breakfast is located in Valparaiso, Indiana, just minutes from a wealth of major shopping, dining and entertainment options.

Songbird Prairie is one of the finest award-winning romantic inns in the Midwest. Our awards and accolades speak for themselves – and comments from our past guests enjoying romantic weekends away are a testament to the fact that Songbird Prairie truly is one of the best luxury inns in the Midwest...
  • Named “One of the 20 Perfect Summer Getaways for 2008” by Travel & Leisure Magazine
  • Named “One of the Top 25 ‘Best Undiscovered Incredibly Romantic Inns” by BedAndBreakfast.com
  • Recipient of the coveted “2008 Top 10 Romantic Inns’ Award” from American Historic Inns, Inc.
  • 2008/2009 winner of "Best in the Midwest" from BedAndBreakfast.com
  • Winner of the 2004, 2006, 2008, 2011, 2017, "Hotel of the Year" for the Casual Coast of Indiana” as selected by Indiana Dunes Tourism
  • 2010 Midwest Living "Out and About Chicago"
  • 2011 Midwest Living "One of Our 30 Favorite B&Bs"
  • 2012 Midwest Living Travel "One of Our 25 Favorite B&Bs" May/June
  • 2014 Midwest Living Travel "Indiana Dunes Bucket List" May/June
  • 2017  R.O.S.E. Awards Songbird Prairie is the "Peoples Choice" Hotel of the Year!

Experiencing the luxury of Songbird Prairie is just the beginning! From our beautiful grounds – replete with towering oaks, meadows of green grass and serenading songbirds – to our decadent guest suites that include sumptuous linens, in-suite Fireplaces and therapeutic whirlpools, to complete your getaway experience.

Conclude your romantic weekend getaway with a delicious homemade artfully presented hot breakfast enjoyed on our beautiful sun room . Choose from fresh bakery breads and muffins, farm-fresh fruits and hot artfully presented entrees.

And to make your stay at our romantic bed and breakfast even more inviting, our fabulous location brings you close to so much, but retains your solitude with our quiet country location. For unforgettable romantic getaways or a girlfriends’ getaway, choose Songbird Prairie Bed and Breakfast in Northwest Indiana. Songbird Prairie offers more than a Valparaiso, IN. hotel.

RestaurantsBACK TO TOP

indiana dunes country culinary tour
Midwest Living created a list of their favorite restaurants in the Indiana Dunes Country. Click on the image to download their Culinary Tour in PDF format.
Culinary Tour 2015
Midwest Living created a list of their favorite restaurants in the Indiana Dunes Country for 2015. Click on the image to download their Culinary Tour in PDF format.
Located just 25 minutes from our Indiana Dunes bed and breakfast is the famed Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore. This area features more than 1,135 native plant species distributed over six plant communities. Among all the national parks in the United States, it ranks seventh in plant diversity. This is an amazing feat for 15,000+ acres. (Source 2006: National Park Service - US Department of the Interior)

Enjoy it all and then retire to your Lake Michigan bed and breakfast at the end of a long day exploring nature.

At the Lakeshore, you'll enjoy:
Steep sand dunes and magnificent lake views
Waves crashing on sandy beaches
Karner Blue butterflies landing on wild lupines
Sweaty draft horses working on the Chellberg Farm fields
Peaceful silence lingering along winter trails
Bank Swallows flying from their nests inside the dunes

Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore is a treasure of diverse natural resources located within an urban setting. The national lakeshore features communities that have both scientific and historic significance to the field of ecology. In addition, four National Natural Landmarks and one National Historical Landmark are located within its boundaries.

The park is comprised of over 15,000 acres of dunes, oak savannas, swamps, bogs, marshes, prairies, rivers, and forests. It contains 15 miles of Lake Michigan shoreline spanning the distance from Gary to Michigan City. Lake Michigan is part of the largest complex of freshwater lakes in the world. The national lakeshore's beaches are the park's most significant recreational resource.

The wildlife is also diverse. A wide variety of habitats coupled with the moderating effects of Lake Michigan make the region an ideal home for hundreds of animal species. The park is renowned for its bird life; more than 350 species have been observed here.

                                                                        365 Things to do

Afternoon Tea at Songbird Prairie Inn and Spa

Take a walk along the shores of our natural treasure Lake Michigan

Pumpkin Time at Coulter's Farm

Porter County Fair

Westville Pumpkin Festival 

Porter County History Museum

Michigan City Old Lighthouse Museum

Indiana Aviation Museum at Porter County Airport

Learn to play golf at Creekside or Forest Park

Brauer Museum of Art at VU

See an IMAX movie in Portage

Paint your own ceramics at Ceramix 101

"Buckley Homestead" in Lowell

Attend an Indiana Ghost Trackers Meeting

Find hidden treasures while geocaching

Attend the Valparaiso Kiwanis Club Hot Air BalloonFest (2nd weekend in September)

Valparaiso Noon Kiwanis Club pancake breakfast, March 13, 6 am to 1 pm

Kiwanis Veterans Day celebration

Annual Rooftop Luau put on by the Valpo Chamber of Commerce

Chesterton European Market, every Saturday May through October

Chapel of the Resurrection

Watch sandhill crane migration at Jasper-Pulaski

Portage Lakefront Park

Task Force Tips fire equipment museum

VU Visualization Lab

College of Engineering

VU Weather Center Department of Geography and Meteorology

Northwest Indiana Paddling Association activities

Canoe or kayak on Long Lake, Flint Lake, etc

OE Marathon

Valpo YMCA, Portage Township YMCA

Studebaker Mansion restaurant in South Bend

Take classes at VU, Ivy Tech, Purdue NC, Purdue Cal, IUN

Be a mentor through a program such as Nexus (contact first Methodist Church) or Discoveries Unlimited

Old Jail Museum, downtown Valparaiso

Bellaboo's Play & Discovery Center

Joyful Noise at Sunset Hill Farms

Passion Play at Family Christian Center

Walk or bike the Link (pathways around the "island" along Vale Park and up to Rogers Lakewood)

Sunflower Festival at the Art Barn

Three Floyds Brew Pub in Munster

Go Ice Skating, workout or participate in gymnastics for all ages at Midwest Training & Ice Center in Dyer

Lake-Front Arts Festival, Michigan City

Tri-state Regatta, Michigan City

Samaritan Skedaddle usually in April, Michigan City

2 Big Hearts 5k- Memorial day week-end, Michigan City

Holiday Festival of lights-Washington Park, Michigan City

Heart shaped pizza at Duneland Pizza in Chesterton

Breakfast at Suzie's Cafe, Valparaiso

Chellberg Farm and Bailey Homestead

Nativity's Rummage Sale

Northwest Indiana Meetup

Holly Days on the Square, Valparaiso 

Twilight Christmas Parade, Chesterton 

Fresh produce at Camacho's Tent on Calumet

Afternoon tea at Songbird Prairie

Attend a church service

Shop at Bass Pro Shop and eat at their World Famous Islamorada Fish Company restaurant

Eat at Egg on Your Face

Adler Planetarium in Chicago- there's a free day March 23!

Visit Conner Prairie

Get a spray tan at Endless Tan One or Planet Beach

Go to Veteran's Park in Munster- the only Veteran's Park in the country that recognizes all the wars/conflicts we have been involved in

Spend the day at Centennial Park in Munster

Play Golf at Centennial Park's 9 hole challenging course

Attend a play at the Center for Visual and Performing Arts in Munster

Attend the Annual Grape Escape wine festival,at Centennial Park in Munster  

Check out some books, movies or music from the Lake County Public Library 

Attend a meeting of a major service organization in the area, Kiwanis, Rotary or Lions club- They are a terrific asset to every community they are in!!

See the fireworks at Thomas Jefferson Middle School on the 4th of July

Attend the Independence Day Parade in Portage

Enjoy some fudge at the Chocolate Cafe

Go for a drive in the country side

Music in the Park at Woodland Park in Portage

See a play at one of the theaters that are part of the Northwest Indiana Excellence in Theatre Foundation or audition for a show

Cruise Night in Rensselaer

Taste of Rensselaer

Little Cousin Jasper Festival in Rensselaer

Challenger Learning Center of Northwest Indiana

Enjoy a picnic lunch with the family while watching an Iron Diamonds baseball game! All games are free!

Utilizing the National Lake Shore

Movies in the Park in Downtown Chesterton every Friday

Walk/Hike/Bike/Run at Coffee Creek

Spring Out to Sunset at Sunset Hill Farm County Park

Buy fudge and other good things at the Simply Amazing Market

Get some art supplies at Glenn L Firme & Associates on U.S. 12 and try your hand at art at the dunes

Visit The Artist's Den on Jefferson in Valpo

Learn to knit at Sheep's Clothing in Valpo

Take an art class at the Art Barn, or Chesterton Art Center

Take a cooking class at Regal Rabbit in Chesterton

Midwest Corvette and Chevy Show

Harley Cruise-In Nights at Harley Davidson of Valparaiso

Tri Kappa Taste of Valpo

Perch Fest in Portage

Lake County Fair

Festival of the Lakes

Northwest Indiana Earth Day at Sunset Hill Farm

Michigan City Boat Show

Pumpkin Fest in Crown Point

Come out to Cedar Lake Summerfest for fun for all ages: live entertainment, fireworks, games, rides, food and more!

Get the famous fried perch at Teibel’s restaurant in Schererville.

Experience the Stations of the Cross on a moving and inspirational journey at The Shrine of Christ’s Passion in St. John.

Catch one of the amazing performances by Indiana Ballet Theatre.

Feel the music at a LaPorte County Symphony Orchestra concert.

Be inspired by visiting the South Shore Arts galleries throughout Northwest Indiana.

Go to a show at Horseshoe Casino in Hammond and stay to try your luck at the tables.

Enjoy a casino that has action, great dining and comfortable hotel accommodations with Majestic Star in Gary.

Celebrate National Park Week and Earth Day with the annual Green Gary event.

See some great local talent in the wide range of performances at Theatre at the Center in Munster.

Retreat, relax and renew at DunesWalk Inn at Furness Mansion in Chesterton.

Rock out to the bands in the Summer Concert Series at Wicker Memorial Park in Highland.

Take in a show at Towle Theater in Hammond.

Head to downtown Crown Point for the weekly Car Cruise.

Bring your family out to “Explore the South Shore” to discover all kinds of family fun there is along the South Shore.

Learn about the encampments of French Voyageurs, Native American and military units at Voyageur Rendezvous at Grand Kankakee Marsh County Park.

Enjoy artisan breads and sweets from the bread booth in downtown Lowell on Wednesdays in the summer.

Celebrate Crown Beer Fest at the Lake County Fairgrounds in Crown Point.

Paddle, bike or walk the Little Cal at the Little Cal Fest in May.

Join in on the Cobe Cup Car Cruise as it “re-races” the 1909 Cobe Cup Race from Crown Point to Lowell.

NWI Natural Family Living Expo at the Lake County Fairgrounds Industrial Building

Midwest Zest Fest in Highland

Healthy Mom and Baby Event

Browse the selection of tunes at Orbit Music in Mishawaka.

Order double crust pizza at Captain's Pizza in Edwardsburg.

Eat at Hilltop Restaurant in Lakeville.

Enjoy a year-round water park at Splash Universe in Shipshewana.

Relieve history at the Niles-Brandywine Civil War Re-enactment that takes place in the spring at Brandywine High School in Niles.

Shop for fresh produce and plants at Shelton's Farm Market in Niles.

View the world's largest collection of Hudson Cars at Hostetler's Hudson Auto Museum in Shipshewana.

Eat a Whoopie Pie at the Baker's Nook in Elkhart.

Show your Notre Dame pride at the Legends of Notre Dame.

Attend the Maple Syrup Festival in Wakarusa.

Watch locally made films at the River Bend Film Festival in South Bend.

See a show at the Morris Civic Auditorium in South Bend.

Walk through the galleries at the South Bend Museum of Art.

Browse Vinyl LP's, used books and movies, and vintage clothing while sipping coffee at Rumor Has It in Niles.

Shop for discounts in your pajamas on the first Saturday of February at the Shipshewana Pajama Sale.

Savor a dessert from Designer Desserts in Valparaiso, IN.

Annual Lake George Duck Race in downtown Hobart.

Mud Volley Ball Tournament held for charity by the Jaycees.

Try the 3 Dunes Challange at Indiana Dunes State Park.

Pinhook Bog at the National Lakeshore.

Fly or watch remote control airplanes in Wheeler.

Take a tour at Fair Oaks Farms.

Attend a concert by the NWI Symphony Orchestra.

Star gaze at the Lowell observatory field or attend a meeting of the Calumet Astronomical Society.

Come hear a concert of Valparaiso's own South Shore Orchestra.

Watch the Rocky Horror Picture Show every Saturday at midnightat the Art Theater in downtown Hobart.

Dine al fresco at Lucrezia in Chesterton under the tallest Japanese Maple Tree in Porter County.

2015 NWI Comic-Con in Schereville at the Halls of Saint George.

Take the whole family to Family Day at the Douglas Center.

Take the kids to the National Lakeshore Visitor's Center for a Sunday full of fun. 

Spend a Saturday enjoying the Indoor Market at Good to Go by Lucrezia.

Enjoy dinner at Jalapenos and then a night of music and dancing at Woodhollow After Dark

Have a night of laughs at Wisecrackers Comedy Club

Have a fun day full of waterslides and swimming pools at Seven Peaks Water Park.

Have a picnic, learn to windsurf and have the kids splash around at Wolf Lake Aquatic Center.

Bring the kids for some indoor fun at Bellaboo's Play and Discovery Center.

Go where the buffalo roam at Broken Wagon Bison.

Go on an outer space adventure at the Challenger Learning Center.

Enjoy a Hoosier wine experience at Carpenter Creek Cellars.

Ditch the boring butter flavor and try something new at Chicagoland Popcorn.

Spend a warm summer camping with friends and family at Caboose Lake Campground.

Learn to sail at the Hammond Marina.

Take a tour at the world famous Hoosier Bat Company (appointment only).

Tour the JT Shrimp Company and see where all that tasty shrimp comes from. 

Spend some time bowling at Olympia Lanes.

Learn about the environment of Northwest Indiana at the Paul H. Douglas Center for Environmental Education.

See where the famous Dr. Scholl started his business at Lake of the Red Cedars Museum.

Take an old fashioned train ride at Griffith Park Train Rides.

Learn about all those who have served our country at The Community Veterans Memorial

Enjoy some authentic Dutch cooking at the Touch of Dutch Fest.

Go bird watching at one of many locations throughout Northwest Indiana. 

Take a walk along the Rotblatt-Amrany Trail.

Play your favorite sport, no matter what the weather is at The Courts of Northwest Indiana.

Have a Mardi gras party for the whole family at the Crown Point Family Fun Center.

Engage in some paint based combat at Blast Camp Paintball.

Unwind and relax at The Great Escape Spa & Art Shop.

Take a look at some amazing modern art at Blink Contemporary Gallery

Buy furniture, vinyl or even candy at Captain Ed's Furniture Showroom.

Visit the genealogy department of the Valparaiso Public Library

Take the kids to open gym at Horizon Gymnastic and Cheer Academy (HGCA) Valparaiso

Roller Skating at Ben Franklin Middle School (courtesy of the Valparaiso YMCA).

Frozen Yogurt at YoAmazing Frozen Yogurt Shoppe.

Take a cake decorating class or painting class at Michael's in Valparaiso

Enjoy some delicious, homemade food at Fiddlehead Restaurant

Go ice skating in the winter at Valpo's William E. Urschel Pavilion.

Go apple picking at Garwood Orchard.

Take a brew tour with the South Shore Brewery App.

Hike the Calumet Dunes Trail

Hike Cowles Bog Trail

Have dinner at Sage Restaurant

Get something sweet to eat at Butterfingers in Highland.

There's fun for all ages at JAK's Warehouse in Schererville.