by Laurie Sherck
I’ve known Shipshewana all my life and it is shear pleasure for me to share with you what I find so special and amazing about this little town. For me to narrow my focus to just 12 Amazing Things To Do In Shipshewana seems so confining. The truth be told, there are way more than 12 Amazing Things to do in Shipshewana. It is for that reason I want to extend an invitation to you to come to Shipshewana to discover and explore for yourself the charming, simplistic place that is dear to my heart. For the purposes of this blog, however, I will narrow my focus and give you just 3 more “things to do” ideas gleaned from the Shipshewana video released earlier this year.
Shop the Historic Downtown Shipshewana
The allure of the quaint, charming stores that line Harrison Street and Morton Street, located in the historic portion of Shipshewana is hard for me to resist. Charming stores filled with all sorts of shopping surprises makes shopping fun. Turn of the century homes and store fronts are filled with everything from antique furniture, glassware, collectibles, hand-crafted and repurposed or reclaimed items to delightful ladies boutiques and beautiful Home Décor items. The Davis Mercantile is also located in the heart of the historic downtown and houses 21 uniquely different shops. Nearly all of the shops here in Shipshewana are independently and family owned, so when you visit these shops, you’re supporting local families and their dreams. The stores are open all year round, 6 days a week. I think you will love what’s in store for you when you stroll the sidewalks of historic downtown Shipshewana.
It may be a little old-fashioned, but in keeping with local religious and family traditions you will find that most businesses are closed Sundays. We locals have discovered that Sundays and evenings are a great time to enjoy the beautiful parks and take scenic drives.
Enjoy a Show!
It’s hard not to notice the Blue Gate Theater ticket booth in the video. Blue Gate Theater showcases quite a variety of programs throughout the year: Southern gospel, family-friendly comedy shows, bluegrass, country and contemporary Christian artists. I have laughed and cried, and laughed again watching the entertaining, delightful musicals produced by Blue Gate. If you are able—you really need to see the musicals Stolen, Half-Stitched, and Josiah for President, just to name a few of my favorites. The musicals are based upon popular books whose stories are staged in Amish communities. Holiday-themed shows are always offered and enthusiastically anticipated. The theater is elegant, the shows are top-notch and there isn’t a bad seat in the house. Blue Gate also hosts well-known and loved artists at the larger venue of The Shipshewana Event Center.
If you’re looking for something to do in the evenings, you should definitely check out what’s showing at the Blue Gate Theater. The performances are always family-friendly, and matinee shows during the peak visitor season mean everyone gets a chance to enjoy the show.
There is a saying- that if you want to find the best places to eat – follow the locals. Following the locals in Shipshewana would lead you to pretzels. Featured in the video is JoJo’s Pretzels. Better than 25 years ago, Levi & JoJo (Joanna) King started rolling dough, and now on a busy day, it is not uncommon to see a line of people winding and twisting (pun intended) throughout the building anxiously awaiting their turn to bite into a salty, buttery pretzel. JoJo’s Pretzels is a destination well-loved by many people. School groups often come in to hear the history of the pretzel and students try their hand at pretzel making. There is nothing like the aroma of baking pretzels hitting your nostrils when you enter The Davis Mercantile. Even better yet, is getting that yummy pretzel treat in my tummy!
We are so blessed in Shipshewana to also be home to Ben’s Soft Pretzels, started by Ben & Elizabeth Miller. What began as a business selling home-made pretzels at farmers markets has now expanded to opening their own storefront in 2016 at the south end of Shipshewana. In 2013 they also began franchising their pretzel business. Their pretzel recipe comes from an old Amish recipe and is a uniquely different pretzel experience. Ben’s Soft Pretzels Barn is a favorite after-school stop for many locals, as well as visitors. I also enjoy their yummy Pretzel dogs.
If you asked me which pretzel you should eat, I’d tell you Both! They are uniquely different recipes and both amazingly scrumptious pretzels. Never say no to scrumptious is my recommendation!
I hope you have enjoyed some of the ideas I threw at you in the four part series of 12 Amazing Things To Do in Shipshewana. If you didn’t get the opportunity to read the other blogs, but would like to, check them out here: Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3. Looking for even more ideas for amazing things to do in Shipshewana? Visit www.shipshewana.com.
Laurie Sherck, Director of Shipshewana Retail Merchants, is a wife of 42 years, mother of 4, grandmother of 11 and loves to tell people why Shipshewana is so special…. Just ask her!