At O'Brien Fitness Center, nationally certified personal trainers are always on hand to help orient visitors to the full-size exercise facility. The center houses 16 cardio machines with heart-rate monitors, 14 strength-training machines, and a full selection of free weights. Additionally, the gym offers a full slate of fitness classes—such as Zumba, cycling, and Dancercise—that take place in a specially designed aerobics room.
The Studebaker National Museum highlights the company's successful transition from carriages to autos with three levels and 55,000 square feet of classic cars and historic vehicles. The space displays up to 70 vehicles at any time from its collection of 120 antiques. Expertly unearthed treasures include the 1956 Packard Predictor, the 1934 Bendix SWC, and the 1922 Carriageless Horse, unpopular for its inability to transport entire little league teams. The Presidential carriage collection is one of the nation's largest, exhibiting the chassis of four former chiefs. Another current exhibition on display through April showcases recognizable wheels extracted from both big and small screens, including Herbie from The Love Bug film series, and The General Lee from television's The Dukes of Hazzard. A fully-stocked museum store offers a selection of videos, books, apparel, and collectibles that allow auto aficionados to create miniature Studebaker menageries in their own garages.
The Beaux Arts Ball After Party evokes the artists' balls of the 1920s and '30s as guests don costumes and dance to celebrate the avant garde artists and fashion designers whose ideas evolved costumes into wearable art. Guests strut their stuff in outrageous costumes during the Beaux Arts Grand Procession as they contend for prizes from South Bend's local dining and entertainment hotspots. Guests can rub elbows or velvety antlers with newly crowned Lifetime Achievement recipients Mayor Steve Luecke and sculptor Tuck Langland while sipping adult beverages from a cash bar, munching on sweet treats, and mingling in support of the South Bend Art Museum. Toes tap as the live tunes of The Marquis with Terry Austin float in and out of aural canals, much like the advice of a loving Q-tip.
Wind whistles and engines roar as custom go-karts zip around Jet Karting's outdoor race track at speeds of up to 45 miles per hour. Rented – along with all necessary safety equipment – to guests of all experience levels, the low-riding vehicles cruise the course in 15-minute bouts, during which up to 15 riders race each other. Speed School classes tailored to three different age groups prep more experienced racers to take laps in powerful spec racers and Rotax karts. The staff recommends guests bring long pants, close-toed shoes, and a desire to move quickly while basically in the fetal position.
The South Bend Silver Hawks, a Class A affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks, swoop down on their foes with a flurry of fastballs and swinging bats. Instead of digging a tunnel directly to the pitcher’s mound, fans can catch one of seven home games from sturdy box seats that offer stately views of the infield. This year, first baseman Yazy Arbelo has led the slugging stats with 27 homers and 86 RBIs over 120 games. In 83 innings, southpaw David A. Holmberg has logged 81 strikeouts and cultivated a microscopic 2.39 ERA in a petri dish. Fans can also enjoy nonathletic festivities at the ballpark, including fireworks and a concert on August 26, Canines at the Cove on August 27, and an autograph session with the team’s stunt doubles. Meanwhile, a new downtown entrance greets visitors at Coveleski Stadium, where they can look for their likenesses on a recently installed jumbotron. As one of the only Minor League fields that features cleat-gripping turf, the Cove enables lightning-fast sprints and prevents the Hawks from floating away.
On the River Fest blankets the St. Joseph riverfront in 1,500 tons of sand for an annual summer extravaganza of live music and authentic Caribbean cuisine that benefits the Center for the Homeless. In the early afternoon, Family Day beckons kids to construct sand castles; become the canvas for a face painting or the inspiration for a caricature drawing; and romp around inflatable moonwalks. Settle intra-family dishwashing disputes with a round of cornhole toss or volleyball, which offer open play until 3 p.m.