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Friday, March 1, 2024
The Observer

Scene in South Bend: January in the Bend


Welcome back to campus! January is practically bursting with exciting things to do in South Bend. Now that you’ve settled into your dorm rooms and located all of your classes, please accept Scene’s humble suggestions for how to spend your next weekends.


Taste test craft beers at South Bend Brew Fest

If you’re 21 years or older and interested in craft beers, the South Bend Brew Fest is the place to be on Saturday. From 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., guests will be able to sample more than 150 varieties of beer. General admission tickets are priced at $45. Visit the website,, for more information.

  • What: South Bend Brew Fest
  • When: Saturday, Jan. 19
  • Where: The Century Center, 120 S. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.

Gaze at the night sky from the comfort of indoors …

For stargazing aficionados and those eager to learn more about the night sky, the Penn Harris-Madison Digital Video Theatre/Planetarium offers public shows on a variety of fascinating topics. On Jan. 23, the planetarium will show “Ice Worlds,” exploring the Arctic regions of the Earth on the venue’s fantastic screen. This event is technically in Mishawaka, but we’ll let it slide. Return in February for a high-quality laser music show. A full list of dates can be found at
  • What: Virtual stargazing and tours
  • When: Wednesday, Jan. 23
  • Where: Penn Harris-Madison Digital Video Theatre/Planetarium, 55860 Bittersweet Rd., Mishawaka

… Or brave the cold and witness a spectacular eclipse

This Sunday, witness a spectacular total lunar eclipse in the company of park rangers, physicists and astronomers from the University of Notre Dame and plenty of enthusiastic fellow stargazers. The event, held at St. Patrick’s County Park, will begin at 9:30 p.m. and include an optional short hike, a bonfire, hot cocoa and, weather permitting, an amazing view.  

Celebrate Martin Luther King Day with the community

Celebrate the impact of civil rights leader Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with the South Bend community at the Century Center. The center has a packed schedule for the day, including free talks and slam poetry, and more than 45 vendors will be selling food and other items from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The traditional march from the County City Building to the Century Center begins at 11:45 a.m. Visit for a full list of events.  

Dine for cheap during Winter Restaurant Weeks

Twice a year, South Bend’s downtown restaurants offer a slew of deals known as Restaurant Week. Every participating restaurant features a value-priced meal for $11, $22 or $33, depending on the venue. This year’s annual winter restaurant week has a promising lineup. Participating venues include but are not limited to: Cafe Navarre, Chicory Cafe, Peggs, Woochi Japanese Fusion & Bar, Fiddler Hearth’s Public House, Render Kitchen & Bar and many more. A full list of participating restaurants can be found online.  

Tap into your poetic vein with the Civil Rights Heritage Center

Each fourth Sunday of the month, poets and interested individuals gather at the Indiana University of South Bend’s Civil Rights Heritage Center to share and listen to original poetry performances. Organizers intend to create a “safe and welcoming” environment for the sharing and receiving of the written word. This event is recommended for ages 18 and older.
  • What: Poetry Den
  • When: Sunday, Jan. 27 (every fourth Sunday of the month)
  • Where: The Civil Rights Heritage Center, 1040 W. Washington St., South Bend