Blake Walsh

15 Best Things to Do in Hammond, IN

  • Published 2023/05/14

Explore one of the oldest cities in northern Lake County through Hammond.

The city’s origins can be traced back to the mid-19th century when its first settlement was established.

They worked as foreign farmers, having arrived from Europe to seek greener pastures.

From there, the city thrived with its convenient location and became a prominent area for tourist attractions.

You’ll find an array of modern recreation, leisure establishments, and surreal nature within the city.

It’s a real treat for travelers of all kinds and preferences!

Browse this list for a glimpse into the best things to do in Hammond, Indiana.

Make Bets in Horseshoe Hammond

Exterior of Horseshoe Hammond

Bohao Zhao, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Horseshoe Hammond is a luxurious hotel that’s most famous for providing vibrant casino entertainment.

This casino is situated near the sandy shores of Hammond Marina Whihala Beach, providing stunning backdrops.

Once you step inside, you’ll be in a gambler’s paradise!

Horseshoe Hammond is filled with over 1800 of the hottest slots in Chicagoland, as well as table games and poker tournaments.

Performers in Horseshoe Hammond

Jim Vallee /

There’s also a space for full-service sports betting, totaling to about 350,000 square feet worth of gaming haven.

If you’re not into casinos, don’t worry because this building has much more in store.

At Casino Center Drive, you can explore casual dining options, live acts, dynamic lounges, gift shops, and more.

Horseshoe Hammond is proudly a place that has something for everyone!

See the Exhibits in Indiana Welcome Center

Along Corinne Drive, take a moment to explore the exhibits of Indiana Welcome Center.

W.F. Wellman Exhibit Hall showcases an impressive collection of local artworks and historical pieces.

It’s a good way to learn more about the south Shore area and its rich cultural traditions!

The building itself is a work of art, made with a unique structure that tells a story of the venue’s surroundings.

Woven into the fabric of the building, you’ll see thoughtful design and intricate symbolism.

In case you’re in need of gifts or souvenirs, Indiana Welcome Center is a hub for all kinds of novelty items.

From travel brochures and maps to various themed knick knacks, there’s plenty to see around the center.

Browse Artworks in Paul Henry’s Art Gallery

For a memorable experience in art, Paul Henry’s Art Gallery is the place to be.

In downtown Hammond, this gallery thrives in a former 19th century hardware store which was beautifully repurposed.

It’s now home to a vast array of intricate works from dozens of local and international artists.

A walk inside the gallery will present you with well-curated exhibits, enveloped in a casual atmosphere.

You can also go beyond the usual browsing of artworks!

Paul Henry’s Art Gallery presents opportunities for interactive art events and classes to their customers.

They’ll also bring in live music or host an open mic night, adding lively touches to the tranquil building.

Locate this cool gallery and discover your own creative spirit at Sibley Street!

Feel the Fear in Reaper’s Realm Haunted Attractions

A chilling, heart-pumping experience can be found at Reaper’s Realm Haunted Attractions.

This haunted attraction features a stone mansion from the 1920, entertaining guests for more than 25 years.

With 3 explorable floors, it’s likely to offer you with an array of scary, thrilling entertainment!

They use a mix of strobe lights, fog machines, and music to foster a horrifying atmosphere as you explore the building.

You’ll also glimpse actors dressed in realistic costumes, bloody props, and eerie scenery for maximum thrill.

At 177th Street, Reaper’s Realm Haunted Attractions is best for those interested in terrifying adventures.

However, none of the actors will touch their guests and you and always take a break!

Whether you’re a seasoned horror fan or simply trying something new, this attraction can be a great way to spend the night.

Immerse in Gibson Woods Nature Preserve

Gibson Woods Nature Preserve can be your escape from the hustle and bustle of city life!

At Parrish Avenue, this attraction aims to highlight the pristine beauty of Indiana’s natural environment.

Spanning 131 acres, this park is one of the last remaining lands of high-quality dune and swale topography in the region.

Most of those lands have been eliminated because of widespread urbanization in Northwest Indiana.

This makes Gibson Woods Nature Preserve a rare, hidden gem that should be given proper care.

A hike into this place presents you with views of over 300 species of plants, some of which are threatened.

For nature enthusiasts, this preserve is full of opportunities for discovery, learning, and photography.

You can venture into a unique ecosystem and connect with nature.

Play a Game of Bowling in Olympia Lanes

An easy, fun way to spend your days off is to venture into the classic Olympia Lanes.

Located within Calument Avenue, this establishment provides one of the most popular methods of recreation, bowling.

With fully equipped facilities and rentable shoes, they’ve got everything you need for a relaxed game.

It’s a convenient destination that can be enjoyed with families, friends, or maybe even co-workers.

Olympia Lanes is also home to a snack bar, presenting a menu full of staple American treats like pizza and beer.

You can also check out the pro shop if you’re interested in elevating your bowling skills.

In case you’re unsure of where to go, the bowling alley can always be a safe choice for recreation.

Take Pictures of the Animals in Hammond Lakefront Park and Bird Sanctuary

At Casino Center Drive, Hammond Lakefront Park and Bird Sanctuary transports you to a scenic, mystical oasis.

With over 270 observable bird species, this place is paradise for bird enthusiasts and nature lovers.

It’s most visited during the spring and fall seasons because many birds pass through for migration.

For some of those birds, Hammond Lakefront Park and Bird Sanctuary has become their sweet home.

This sanctuary also boasts of a small, 600-meter track nestled in the middle of an industrial area.

For those seeking tranquil vibes, Hammond Lakefront Park and Bird Sanctuary is the ultimate choice.

Make sure to witness the sounds and beauty of migratory birds in their natural habitats!

It’s an experience that you must try at least once in your lifetime.

Experience Challenger Learning Center’s Vibrant Laser Show

Primarily, the Challenger Learning Center is an educational facility for children interested in learning STEM.

However, their doors open to the public through their bright, vibrant planetarium and laser shows.

Their facility is proud to be the only one in Northwest Indiana that offers colorful, dazzling laser shows.

They also present full-dome planetarium shows, featuring topics like space history, star gazing, and the moon.

Meanwhile, their laser shows use music from popular musicians like Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, and Michael Jackson.

You can book private showings, schedule one with a group, or simply join field trips.

At 173rd Street, the Challenger Learning Center is a cool place to be!

No matter your age, a virtual encounter with space can likely be a memorable experience.

Have a Family Day at Hessville Park

Hessville Park is the perfect destination for families and friends to have some quality time together.

With its lush greenery, this park provides a casual, scenic backdrop to conversations and explorations.

It also has a selection of facilities that can keep a person entertained for a few hours.

You can play with the interactive water feature, play sports in the baseball field, or try the skate park.

Hessville Park is also known to host a local baseball tournament during the summer season!

Otherwise, guests can take bike rides or simple walks on the paved pathway, enveloped in beautiful scenery.

Located between 173rd Street and Kennedy Avenue, this park offers plenty of ways for easy recreation.

Book a Tee Time at Lost Marsh Golf Course

Lost Marsh Golf Course takes pride in being one of Midwest’s most stunning yet challenging courses.

With breathtaking views of George Lake and the Chicago city landscape, this attraction is believed to be a golfer’s dream.

It also features a mix of verdant greenery and diverse terrains, maintained in top conditions.

Whether you’re an experienced player or a beginner, the course has different designs to provide everyone with enjoyment.

They’re even home to a 9-hole championship course, built to challenge the most seasoned of players.

After a game, you can make a stop to the Club House for top-notch food and beverages year-round.

This Club House is well-known for being designed in the Frank Lloyd Wright architecture.

At 129th Street, Lost Marsh Golf Course is a splendid place for recreation!

Grab a Pint in 18th Street Brewery

If you’re a craft beer kind of person, you might want to check out 18th Street Brewery.

Drew Fox launched this small brewery in 2010, achieving success as it became one of Northwest Indiana’s biggest breweries.

They’ve grown to the point of having a large warehouse in Hammond!

This warehouse has now become home to their production, packaging, taprooms, and full-service kitchen.

From saisons and pilsners to lagers and double IPAs, 18th Street Brewery has gained a vast selection of beers.

Each one features distinct flavors which cater to many kinds of preferences.

You can also relax with the brewery’s cozy atmosphere, offering both indoor and outdoor seating.

Along Oakley Avenue, check out this local brewery!

Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth in Dairy Belle

Since 1950, Dairy Belle has remained as one of the original ice cream shops in the Indiana region.

From classic chocolate and vanilla to twist flavors, they’ve been serving mouth-watering sweet treats.

They’re also known for specialty sundaes, shakes, and the banana split!

It’s no surprise that Dairy Belle is often lined up with patient customers, especially during warm weather.

With delicious flavors and affordable prices, why not treat yourself to a scoop or two at Dairy Belle?

Discover why this local shop has become a favorite among the area’s residents!

You can find this cool destination along the lengths of Calumet Avenue.

Glimpse Beautiful Scenery at Wolf Lake Aquatic Play Center

No matter the season, Wolf Lake Aquatic Play Center is a fun place for gorgeous views and recreation.

This park presents an endless backdrop of Wolf Lake, since it’s settled along its banks.

You can take advantage of the ice-skating rink in winter and hit the walking trails for any other time of the year.

The venue’s highlight is the exceptional aquatic play center!

It’s got a wide splash pad, so the place is a perfect way to cool off on a hot summer day.

There’s also a concession stand if you’re ever in need of some snacks or drinks.

This venue is likely going to be a treat for families with children!

Locate this cool destination as you go through the streets of Calumet Avenue.

Discover Unique Terrains at Seidner Dune & Swale

Seidner Dune & Swale is a nature preserve that presents a unique combination of natural beauty.

At Kennedy Avenue, this attraction is a treat for outdoor fans who want to see different sides of the environment.

You’ll see a mix of dune-and-swale topography and floodplain marsh!

There’s also an outstanding display of wildflowers because of the Grand Calumet River.

This river has brought newfound life to the venue’s greenery, including black oak savannas and prairies.

Seidner Dune & Swale is also the natural habitat of several animals like turtles, bald eagles, and falcons.

More than its picturesque scenery, this attraction proves just how resilient nature is.

What had once been damaged lands has now become a new source of pristine natural beauty.

Get Active in Hammond Civic Center Stadium

Hammond Civic Center Stadium offers a change of pace for travelers who love to exercise and work out.

This venue is equipped with facilities like the indoor running track, perfect for when it’s raining outdoors.

It also features an indoor pool that visitors can use to freely swim or join a scheduled water workout.

Finally, this center has its own version of a fitness center.

It’s equipped with various training equipment, weights, bicycles, and even a stand-up tanning bed.

After a workout, you can also relax and unwind at the on-site jacuzzi to soothe your tired muscles.

Check out Hammond Civic Center Stadium at Sohl Avenue!

Final Thoughts

From natural spots and scenery to modern recreation, Hammond has something for everyone.

This makes it a splendid destination for different kinds of travelers!

You can choose to relax or have fun with the city’s various attractions.

Experience what the city has to offer in Hammond, Indiana.

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