Denise Mathews, Realtor, is a Northwest Indiana born, raised, and lifelong resident and multiple business owner. Join her in exploring The Region thru the Northwest Indiana Living website & social media sites.

Now that the weather is breaking, it’s time to get out and find some fresh things to do in NWI.  So call the babysitter, put on your dancing shoes, warm up the car, and let’s find a few fun, adult only things to do right here in The Region!

adults having fun listening to live music at a nightclub

Casinos In NWI

Remember when you had to plan a costly trip to Las Vegas or Atlantic City if casino  gambling was on your bucket list? That is not the case anynore in NWI.

In the 1990’s, new laws put into place to help our economy made way for riverboat gambling in The Region. The gambling boats have changed ownership many times throughout the years.  But they still remain one of the most exciting things to do in The Region, any time of the day or night, adults only.

Tip: Go to the casino with the right attitude.  Don’t expect to come home a big winner.  (You do realize a casino would never host a game where your odds were better than theirs?? The are a business, not a charity…). Go to the casino to have fun! It’s a different kind of adult entertainment, and just know that it costs a little money to have that exciting evening.

However, it’s still the only fun evening out where you could possibly come home with alot of money, unlike any other date night!

The casino’s are not for everyone. The patrons may smoke, cuss, and/or drink. But if you are fine with an adult environment then consider the casinos a lively outing.

Hard Rock Casino Northern Indiana

5400 West 29th Ave., Gary

Over 1800 slots and table games await you in this brand new casino, the first land-based casino in The Region. High rollers can enjoy the VIP treatment in two luxurious High-Limit Rooms. The High-Limit Room runs table games and slots. The Asian Games High-Limit Room hosts games such as Baccarrat.

The foodie can get their fix here too with five different eateries, including the famous Hard Rock Cafe.  Elevated cocktails are quietly served at the Council Oak Bar, while the HRC Center Bar is in the middle of all the gaming floor fun.

Live music is in the house every Friday and Saturday night.  The Hard Rock Live venue is sure to bring in huge entertainers, making this brand new casino one of the newestthings to do in NWI for adults. for more information, refer to the Hard Rock Casino Northern Indiana website.

Ameristar Casino and Hotel East Chicago

777 Ameristar Blvd., East Chicago

Ameristar is the only NWI Casino with a hotel on site, making it a great choice for a quick staycation without the kids.  One of the original riverboat casinos, this vessel has 4 floors of the traditional gaming fun, as well as a High-Limit Room with luxury surroundings and it’s own bar.  The dedicated Baccarrat floor has 20 tables with all the variations, and The Noodle Bar.

For the waging sport fan, here’s one of the newest things to do in NWI casino’s…sports betting.  Place your bets and watch the games on the huge wall of big screens while enjoying food and drink in the sports bar. Bugatti’s Steak & Pasta provides an upscale dining experience, or Burger Brothers gives you something fast.  There’s even a private club for VIPS and Owners.

Horseshoe Casino

777 Casino Center Dr., Hammond

Hosting the most slot machines in the Chicagoland area, plus over 100 traditional table games, a poker room, and sports betting is easy inside this huge casino, owned by The Caesars chain. The race and sports book shows off with its socially distanced recliners and over a dozen 85 inch TVs.

Gambling is just one of the many things to do in NWI’s biggest casino though.  The Venue continually stages amazing national acts. Jack Binion’s Steakhouse is a weekend favorite – reservation needed – as well as the new Eatery adjacent to the casino floor, and the ever-popular Noodle Bar Restaurant.

The Sixth Street Bar at Horseshoe Hammond is the casino’s newest tavern, a true “beer bar.”  A full list of craft beers and bar food in a relaxed bar scene is the vibe, and surely on its way to being on every beer lovers list of things to do in NWI.

The Breweries Of NWI

Northwest Indiana has become a hotspot for local breweries and their unigue craft beers. Starting the trend off is NWI’s oldest brewery, Three Floyds Brewing Company, founded in 1996.  Like many local, successful breweries, they eventually added in distilling production to bring even more to this booming trend.

One of the reasons that the breweries are one of the favorite things to do in NWI for beer loving adults over 21 is because each brewery makes a distinctly different craft beer. Half the fun is exploring the breweries to uncover your favorite brew! Below is a short list of NWI Breweries with links to their websites.

South Shore Poster honoring The Regions craft beer breweries of a drawing of a girl holding a beer
Crown Brewing
211 S East St., Crown Point
Byway Brewing
2825 Carlson Dr., Hammond
Wildrose Brewing
1104 E Main St., Griffith
18th Street Brewery
5725 Miller Ave., Gary
Malt Brothers Brewing
9585 N Industrial Dr., St. John

Enjoy The NW Indiana Breweries Responsibly

Plan ahead for the amazing tastes of the breweries by naming a designated driver for the day.  This is the safest way to make sure you get back home safe from the many alcohol-involved things to do in NWI.  Better yet, reserve a seat (or the whole bus) on one of the areas Brew Buses and leave the driving to a professional!  Click logo below to find out more about each Brew Bus.


illiana brew bus is a safe way to enjoy brewery types of things to do in NWI

Illiana Brew Bus

Tours, private event bookings, concerts…

south shore brew bus lets you rent the entire bus for adult group things to do in NWI

South Shore Brew Bus

All inclusive tours, airport runs, wedding shuttles, concerts…


Fine Dining In Northwest Indiana

Eating is one of everybodys favorite things to do in NWI.  Fine dining is a sport best left to adults seeking a quiet atmosphere and decadent food and drink, regardless of the cost. From steaks to pasta to Vietnamese food, our NWI restaurants certainly have something for everybodies preference. Here’s a handy list of fine dining establishements around NWI, with website links to see their tasty menus.

lobster tail is on the menu  when you are fine dining

Lighthouse Restaurant

Cedar Lake  Website

Prime Steakhouse

Crown Point  Website


Merrillville  Website

Gino’s Prime & Surf

Dyer  Website

Cafe Borgia

Munster  Website

Bugatti’s Steak & Pasta

East Chicago  Website

Lucrezia Ristorante

Crown Point and Chesterton  Website

Gamba’s Ristorante

Merrillville  Website

The Bait Shop

Valparaiso  Website

The Abby

Valparaiso  Website

Things To Do In NWI For The Whole Family

Do you need some things to do in NWI with the kids too?  Here’s a nice seasonal list of mostly free outings, sure to keep both old and young kids entertained…