When you picture Miller Beach, you might imagine warm summer days lounging on the south shore of Lake Michigan. But did you know that this hidden gem in Northwest Indiana is just as idyllic during the wintertime?
Just a 40 minute drive from Chicago, the quaint Miller Beach neighborhood offers a festive and serene backdrop for your holiday getaway. From the twinkling lights in Downtown Miller to the snowy dunes nearby, the holiday season in Miller Beach is a magical experience.
Our holiday guide below shares everything you need to know to have a memorable Christmas and New Year’s in Miller Beach. Come cozy up at one of our Miller Beach Vacation Rentals and enjoy the holiday season!
Miller Beach Winter Weather
Photo Credit: Tom Gill via Flickr CC 2.0
When you visit Miller Beach during the month of December, you can expect a winter wonderland. Temperatures drop drastically, with highs in the 30s and lows in the 20s. You most likely will also see some snow when you visit during the holidays! There is a 24% chance of rain and snow on any given day during the month of December!
The sun rises around 7 am and sets around 4:30 pm, so be ready for fun-filled snow days and cozy evenings. We recommend packing all the winter essentials: coats, gloves, and snow boots are perfect for keeping warm during the holidays. And don’t forget your bathing suits! It might not be summertime, but it’s the perfect weather to enjoy the hut tubs at our vacation rentals.
Holiday Activities in Miller Beach
Go Sledding at Indiana Dunes National Park
Photo Credit: Ihor Kochet
- Address: N 25 E, Chesterton, IN 46304 (public parking spot)
- Website: nps.gov/indu
When it snows, Indiana Dunes National Park turns into the ultimate spot for winter sports. And we can’t think of a more quintessential holiday activity than sledding!
Devil’s Slide, a 192-foot slope, is the only location inside the park where sledding is permitted. On any given snow day, you’ll see people of all ages enjoying sledding down the slope. Whether you’re a sledding pro or it’s your first time, Devil’s Slide is the perfect spot to give it a go. Bring your gear and game face – it’s time to hit the slopes.
Go Holiday Shopping Along Lake Street
Photo Credit: nito
If you’re looking to pick up some last-minute Christmas gifts, there’s no better place to shop than Lake Street! Nestled near Lake Street Beach, The Shops on Lake Street offer a variety of unique stores, coffee shops, boutiques, and local restaurants.
We recommend heading to Indie Indie Bang! Bang! for all things clothing, home goods, and wellness first. Lake Street Gallery is the perfect place to find handmade items and local art. Head to Tiny’s Coffee Bar next to buy a bag of beans for the coffee enthusiast in your life.
Be sure to check out our Miller Beach restaurant guide to get your grub on after all that holiday shopping!
See a Light Display at Sunset Hill Farm County Park
Photo Credit: gardener41 via Flickr CC 2.0
- Address: 775 Meridian Rd #8507, Valparaiso, IN
- Website: portercountyparks.org/sunset-hill
Just 20 minutes from Miller Beach in Valparaiso, Sunset Hill Farm County Park is a 238-acre park that offers year-round events for the whole family.
One of our favorite Christmas traditions is their Winter Lights display. Every winter season, the park transforms into a magical winter wonderland with Christmas lights and life-size displays scattered all around. The lights display drive-through is open every night from mid-November til the end of December. It is free and open to the public!
Grab hot cocoa, put on your favorite holiday tunes, and enjoy a scenic drive through the Winter Lights display at Sunset Hill Farm County Park.
Attend A Christmas Carol by Miller Beach Arts & Creative District
Photo Credit: Marcos Castillo
- Address: 540 South Lake Street, Gary, IN
- Website: millerbeacharts.org
Miller Beach Arts & Creative District is a local organization that provides a range of events, art exhibits, and festivals for the community. The organization operates the Marshall J. Gardner Center for the Arts, an event space in the heart of Miller Beach.
During the Christmas season, guests are invited to attend a showing of Dicken’s A Christmas Carol, presented in the style of reader’s theatre. It’s the perfect way to kick off the holiday season!
Take Photos with Santa at the Indiana Welcome Center
Photo Credit: Lizardflms
- Address: 7770 Corinne Dr, Hammond, IN
- Website: southshorecva.com/plan-your-visit/indiana-welcome-center
Located just 20 minutes west of Miller Beach in the town of Hammond, the Indiana Welcome Center offers an array of family-friendly holiday activities.
For those hoping to get some special snapshots of your Christmas getaway, there’s no better place for photos with Santa. Children are invited to tell Santa what they want for Christmas before snapping a photo and sliding down a big red slide! Photos with Santa takes place on Saturdays and Sundays in December.
And if you brought your furry friends along for the trip, don’t fret! You can bring your cats and dogs by for photos on Wag Your Tail Wednesdays. Appointments with Santa are $10 each and include one photo.
Celebrate New Year’s Eve in Miller Beach
Photo Credit: silverkblackstock
Miller Beach is the perfect location to ring in the New Year. Whether you are looking for a night in at one of our cozy vacation rentals or a fun night out with your group, there is something for everyone – especially along the South Shore!
For a celebratory night out, head to Whiting, Indiana, for the annual Pierogi Drop, where you’ll find live music, delicious food, fireworks, and the main event: a 10-foot pierogi that drops 90 feet at midnight! For a quieter night out, head to Marquette Park and Beach for a night of s’mores by a beachside fire pit. You’ll surely catch a fireworks display or two along the shore!
Enoy the Holiday Season at Miller Beach
It’s no secret that we’re big fans of Miller Beach, no matter the season. But if you’re looking for the perfect place to celebrate Christmas and New Year’s, we can’t think of anywhere better than this little hidden gem.
Miller Beach offers everything from festive light displays and Santa photo ops to snowy winter sports adventures. It’s the perfect spot to cozy up, enjoy the local community, and spend time together during the holidays.
We hope you enjoy your holiday getaway at our Miller Beach vacation rentals!