The ADA accessible, state-of-the-art playground is over 13,000 square feet of innovative and traditional playground equipment. The playground is located within the ice trail footprint and various levels of terrain. Each area of the playground is designed specifically for different age groups from ages 2-12.

Event Center

Accompanying to the ice-skating trail, water fountain and playground is a mixed-use event center. The new building is situated at the corner of Jefferson Boulevard and St. Louis Boulevard, modeling the urban area surrounding the park by bringing the building to the street edge for a vibrant, active space. Illustrating our commitment to sustainability, the building is LEED v4 certified, the first in the state to claim this designation. The facility provides spaces for all-season activities, from educational to fitness to social events. Located at the west end of the facility is a restaurant/café space, which boasts commanding views of the park and the St. Joseph River with both indoor and outdoor seating options.

Howard Park Public House

The west end of the community building features a full-service, local restaurant that is open year-round for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The café space features a bar and family area with outdoor patio seating to be enjoyed all four seasons. The patio is heated during colder weather months to allow for a one-of-a-kind outdoor seating option in the winter. Large, floor-to-ceiling windows will also open up to create a cohesive indoor/outdoor space that makes the interior feel like it is part of the park.

Support Building

The park is served by a support facility which contains restrooms, skate rental, concessions and maintenance. Restrooms are open to the public during park hours from 6 am – 11 pm daily. During ice skating season, visitors will first go to the windows at the support facility to purchase admission and retrieve skates.

Ice Trail & Pond

The 16,000-square foot ice feature transforms into usable a park space in warmer seasons. During winter months, the trail will gently extend along rolling hills and over a bridge into the park, giving visitors a one of a kind winter skating experience. Connected to the ice trail is an ice pond—an extra area for special activities and slower-paced ice skating. Surrounding the ice-skating area are several fire pits with seating and landscaping. In warmer weather, the ice trail will be integrated in the park landscape as a patio space and path for public use.

Chocolate Café To-Go

A concession stand serves the park year-round from a window located at the support building. Concessions offered include seasonal snack items and beverages.

The Rask Family Fountains

A primary summer amenity of the park is the 1,500- square foot interactive series of water fountains and jets. In regular mode, the fountains doubles as a play area where people can interact with the water. When in show mode, the water feature transforms into a nighttime attraction with a colorful light show and impressive bursts of water.

Play Mode: 10:00AM - 8:00PM
Show Mode: 8:00PM - 11:00PM

Event Lawn & Festival Lawn

Directly in view of the iconic South Bend River Lights, is an event lawn capable of accommodating major concerts and performances that exceed 3,000 in capacity. The event lawn includes an area for stage setup with a sloped grassy area for seating directly in front.
The festival lawn is level to accommodate space for vendor set up, activities, and other festival-type events.

Riverwalk Trail

The Riverwalk trail along the west edge of the park is suitable for both pedestrian and cyclists and provides another entrance to the park. The trail connects to a larger network of trails that extend to all of South Bend’s downtown parks.


The south portion of the park holds the Vietnam Memorial and Workers Memorial in a peaceful, landscaped setting with benches and gardens.

Fire Pits

Fire pits are a first-come, first-served amenity within Howard Park, surrounding the Ice Trail. Staff members turn them on at 6:00 AM and off at 11:00 PM, per park hours. Eight Adirondack chairs surround each of the three fire pits to enjoy.