A Notre Dame football weekend is an experience unlike any other. There is truly something to do for everyone and every age! This list of things to do in South Bend, Indiana is your complete guide to a weekend of fun. There’s so much activity on campus, you’ll want both Friday and Saturday to enjoy it all with your family and friends. Here is a handy map to help you plan your time on Notre Dame’s campus.
Situated at the far end of campus, you’ll discover the Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes, a beautiful reproduction of the famous shrine in France. There is a reason why visiting the Grotto is one of the most popular things to do in South Bend! We recommend visiting The Grotto during both the daytime and the evening. The Grotto at night is breathtaking with all of the lit candles.
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Watch the Notre Dame Band trumpet section play ND favorites in front of the Main Building from 4:10pm – 4:20pm each home game Friday. This is one of Notre Dame’s most storied traditions, so make sure to catch the trumpeters the Friday before each home game in the Golden Dome.
Stop by the Eck Visitors Center from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on the Friday before a home game for all sorts of activities: Food, interviews with Notre Dame celebrities, student group performances and photo ops. Admission is free.
Come support the Fighting Irish! This student centric pep rally is free and open to the public. Locations change each Friday. You can find the updated locations for each pep rally here.
Each Friday night at midnight before home football games, the Notre Dame Drumline holds their traditional Drummers’ Circle in front of the Main Building. The Midnight Drummer’s Circle will have you humming along to the fight song and more before calling it a night!
The Hammes Notre Dame Bookstore is truly a one-stop shop for all things Notre Dame. Offering 65,000 square feet of retail space to members of the Notre Dame community, the store supplies textbooks, trade books, gift items and apparel, including the full line of Notre Dame Under Armour gear. A central meeting place for campus visitors, the Bookstore is full of Irish spirit throughout the year, especially on home football weekends. Celebrated Notre Dame authors come in to sign books and musical groups perform guests’ favorite Irish tunes. Check for special events, as you never know who may be expected at the bookstore!
The awe-inspiring beauty of the campus is a trademark feature of Notre Dame. Regularly listed among America’s most beautiful college campuses, the University makes for stunning pictures of beauty year-round. Here is a handy map to find the spots we are mentioning.
Some sights not to miss:
TOUCHDOWN JESUS: With Jesus depicted in a famous mural as “the Word of Life,” facing Notre Dame Stadium as the great teacher, the 14 stories of the Hesburgh Library make an impact on football fans and on scholars from around the world. The image, also known as “Touchdown Jesus,” can be seen over the north end zone. It is 132 feet high and 65 feet wide, containing 81 types of stone from 16 countries.
THE BASILICA: The Basilica is a magnificent, Gothic-inspired, cross-shaped place of worship and welcome, nurturing Notre Dame’s Catholic identity. The stained-glass windows were first installed in 1873, giving Notre Dame the largest collection of 19th-century French stained glass in the world. You can find the mass schedule here.
THE GROTTO (ALWAYS GOOD TO SEE ON GAMEDAY): To Notre Dame students and alumni, the Grotto is a special place to spend a few quiet moments, and especially during football weekends and finals, you might have difficulty finding a candle to light. Hundreds of students have proposed marriage here; outdoor Masses are celebrated regularly; and the Rosary is prayed every day at 6:45 p.m., every day of the year, rain or shine.
MAIN BUILDING: The Main Building is where you will find the Golden Dome! The Main Building, with its famous Golden Dome, is a centerpiece of Notre Dame’s past and present. Today, it serves primarily as a headquarters for administration. The Golden Dome was added to this building in 1882 and was most recently regilded in 2005. The regilding process uses only about a fist-full of gold leaf to cover the entire structure. Atop the Dome, you will find a 19-foot-tall, 4,000-pound statue of Mary, the Mother of God, “Notre Dame” (“Our Lady”). With this beautiful adornment, the Main Building is 187 feet tall, making it the second tallest structure on campus after the Basilica of the Sacred Heart.
Tailgating is at the heart of many Notre Dame fans game day focus! Fans collect in the parking lots early in the morning and the revelry carries on all the way up to kickoff. Lots are scheduled to open at 8 a.m. on game days. Tailgating takes place at several places throughout Notre Dame’s campus, but the tailgate scene is centered on the parking lots just south of Notre Dame Stadium and the Joyce Center.
Many dorms and student organizations treat gameday as a massive fundraising opportunity, offering cookouts and grill stands throughout campus for fans to explore.
Head coach Brian Kelly and the team arrive at the Guglielmino Athletics Complex on Saturday morning for final preparations. They later walk from the Gug to the Hesburgh Library, then turn south toward Notre Dame Stadium and enter through the Tunnel gates. Fans line the walk to catch a glimpse of their favorite players and fire up the team one last time before kickoff.
If you have any questions about real estate Notre Dame or South Bend in general, we are here to help! You can reach any member of our team at 574-360-2569 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will get right back to you.