Kickstart Your Holiday Spirit: 10 Places to Visit This Christmas Season

The interior of Stacks in Valparaiso decorated for Christmas
Interior shot of Stacks in Valpo decorated for Christmas
Igloos on the patio of Stacks in Valpo
Staircase at Stacks in Valpo decorated for Christmas

stacks

With its academia-themed décor and locally loved balcony, Stacks feels like its shelves have been waiting for elves all year. Giant ornaments hang from the high ceilings giving the place an old-world vibe that contrasts with its modernist sensibilities in a good way.  Their rooftop seating is an attraction year-round, but it’s even more compelling with Valparaiso’s downtown decorated for the holidays in massive displays of colored lights with the skating ring next door at the height of its season.

- Chris Zervos

Website: https://stacksvalpo.com

The outside awning of Tavern On Main in Crown Point
The inside of Tavern On Main in Crown Point decorated for Christmas
Tavern On Main in Crown Point decorated for Christmas

tavern on main

If you like Christmas then you're in for a treat heading into Tavern On Main in Crown Point. Like Stacks, Tavern has decoration from wall to wall to floor to ceiling and provides the perfect backdrop for a dinner date or a spot to drink a ton of craft beer and cocktails.

There are no reservations so make sure to show up at a traffic friendly time to ensure a spot.

Website: https://tavernonmaincp.com

Inside of the bar at the Lighthouse
Inside the bar at the Lighthouse in Cedar Lake
Inside of Lighthouse in Cedar Lake decorated for Christmas
Christmas Tree on the Patio of the Lighthouse in Cedar Lake

the lighthouse

Normally a date night destination, the Lighthouse's Christmas decoration makes it a must date night this holiday season.

They will be having Santa come on the patio on December 12th and 19th for the kids, and if you've ever been, then you know it makes a lot of sense to make a reservation before attempting to walk-in.

Website: https://cedarlakelighthouse.com

The exterior of Gamba in Merrillville
Santa Clause at Gamba in Merrillville in a lobby decorated for Christmas
The bar at Gamba in Merrillville decorated for Christmas
Bartender at Gamba pouring drinks at the bar
Santa Clause at Gamba Sitting On The Bar

gamba ristorante

Nothing sums up Gamba’s take on Christmas like their Santa Claus: I’m pretty sure he’s in as good of shape as I am. Nothing overdone or excessive, they’re all decked out in pointsettas and simple additions to their already-festive giant chandeliers and light-strewn courtyard. If your idea of holiday spirit is a liqueur served in a snifter this what it’s like to surround yourself in it.

- Chris Zervos

Website: https://www.gambaristorante.com

The outside of TRUE BBQ in Crown Point decorated for Christmas
TRUE BBQ in Crown Point decorated for Christmas
TRUE BBQ in Crown Point decorated for Christmas
TRUE BBQ in Crown Point decorated for Christmas

TRUE BBQ

Most of the people who go to TRUE enjoy the high end barbeque menu and extensive whiskey and bourbon options, but this time of year it's all about the decorations in addition to their staples.

Not only is the interior completely decked out in Christmas decor, but the exterior of the building has a wall of LED lights to give you those Xmas feels from the very beginning of your experience.

Website: https://truebbqandwhiskey.com

Teibel's sign at sunset
The inside of Teibel's in Schererville decorated for Christmas
The inside of Teibel's in Schererville decorated for Christmas
Decoration inside Teibel's Restaurant in Schererville for Christmas

TEIBEL'S RESTAURANT

Where classic Christmas decorations and holiday gatherings that have been annual since your parents were children are concerned, you’re not going to outdo Tiebel’s in the Region. Multiple generations have toasted the season there, and their Christmas décor is fit for a department store window of the 20th century or a theme park. Model trains, animated Ferris wheels, life size snow men, and small, furry creatures that you’ve never seen anyplace before adorn the whole place. You’re likely already visiting this season, but if you hadn’t planned on it and classic Christmas is what you’re looking for, chances are that’s where you’ll find it.

- Chris Zervos

Website: https://www.teibels.com

Full LED Exterior on the building of Ricochet Tacos in Crown Point
The interior of the Lighthouse in Crown Point decorated for Christmas
Ricochet Tacos in Crown Point decorated for Christmas
The interior of Ricochet Tacos in Crown Point decorated for Christmas

RICOCHET TACOS

Once Tavern On Main was the first to decorate their interior for this Christmas season, the bar seems to continue to get set higher and higher for adjoining restaurants on the Crown Point square.

With one of the most impressive exterior presentations, the entire top of the building has a video and light presentation that shuffles throughout the night that includes color cycling similar to a Pink Floyd light show to reindeer hopping across the screen.

While the exterior is innovative for this holiday season, the interior has lights strung about and accent lighting that offers a new feel for an already beautifully designed spot.

Website: https://ricochettacos.com/

The outside of Square Roots in Crown Point with Christmas decorations
The inside of Square Roots in Crown Point Christmas decor
The inside of Square Roots in Crown Point Christmas decor
The outside of Square Roots in Crown Point with Christmas decorations

SQUARE ROOTS

The square has become a destination this holiday season, and Square Roots did an amazing job of adding to the mix of decor happening on corner to corner.

While often a place where people love the menu and extensive beer list (at least for me), Roots added a LED screen at the top of the building--as well as--a mixture of christmas trees, garland and strung lights to create an even better atmosphere than it already has daily.

Website: https://squarerootscp.com/

Igloos outside of Provecho in Crown Point
Igloos outside of Provecho in Crown Point
Igloos outside of Provecho in Crown Point

PROVECHO LATIN PROVISIONS

Normally a destination patio on the square, Chef/Owner Chris Pappas brought in four outside structures to revamp their patio while maintaining the ambiance of the courthouse looming in the background.

There are two "cabins" that seat four and two "igloos" that seat five to eight people. Prices range from $100 to $150 for a maximum of a two hour reservation.

To make a reservation: exploretock.com/provechocp

Neon sign at Hydad's in Merrillville
Inside of Hydad's in Merrillville decorated for Christmas
Inside of Hydad's in Merrillville decorated for Christmas

HYDAD'S MODERN AMERICAN PUB

The nights are long this time of year, and colored lighting is something the rest of the world borrows from bars and taverns for the holidays. With its glowing red sign the same as it was when your uncle picked your aunt up there in 1976, glass ashtrays that probably used to be larger and heavier that are still there none the less, and iconic wood-grain carpeted walls, you probably know some regulars at Hydad’s if you aren’t one already. 

- Chris Zervos

Website: https://www.facebook.com/Hydads.Pub/