Tag Archives: Things to Do in Shipshewana

Shipshewana Spring Bucket List

by Laurie Sherck

Ready to say good-bye to grey skies and begin to celebrate Spring? I thought so! A road trip to Shipshewana just may be the ticket! Welcome and celebrate Spring with a few ideas of things to do from this Shipshewana Spring Bucket List.   

Ride Bike

Pumpkinvine Trail
Enjoy Amish Country by bike on the Pumpkinvine Trail
  • Pedal the Pumpkinvine Trail.  The ride passes through small towns, past Amish country schools and meanders past scenic farms.   Every third Saturday in June, around 1,000 people join in the annual Pumpkinvine Bike ride

Take a Horse and Buggy Ride

Buggy Rides & Tours
Tour the Amish Countryside in a horse and buggy
  • Buggy drivers have the best stories.  Rides and tours are available around Shipshewana and through the countryside. You can’t help but fall in love with the Amish country scenes. Even though I’m a local, it’s still one of my most favorite things to do. Check out all of the possibilities here.

Take in a Rodeo

Bull Fest at The MEC May 24th & 25th
Bull Fest will be at The MEC May 24th & 25th, 2019
  • The PBR Bull Fest is taking place at The MEC on May 24th & 25th. Top bull riders from across the nation are coming to Shipshewana!  If you can’t make it to Shipshewana those dates, there are some awesome equestrian events scheduled throughout the year.  I’m super excited about the upcoming Shipshewana’s Majestic Frontier!

Visit A Flea Market

Visit the Shipshewana Flea Market
You’ve never experienced shopping like this at the Shipshewana Flea Market
  • Shipshewana is home to the Shipshewana Flea Market, the midwest’s largest flea market filled to the brim with aisles and aisles of everything you can imagine!  The flea market is open every Tuesday and Wednesday, May through September and they will be open Memorial Day, 4th of July and Labor Day. This year they’ve added a couple of week-end markets as well (June 14th & 15th and Aug. 16th-17th).  I plan weekly trips to the Flea Market just to visit the awesome produce aisle.

Watch a Musical

A Simple Sanctuary at The Blue Gate Theatre
A scene from A Simple Sanctuary now showing at The Blue Gate Theatre
  • Blue Gate Theatre has a brand new musical this year- A Simple Sanctuary. Part suspense, part romance, A Simple Sanctuary is a compelling story of love tested, the cost of freedom, and the solace found in true community. The musical is based on the best-selling books by Beverly Lewis.  If you’ve never been to a musical at the Blue Gate Theatre, you’re in for a treat.   The theatre is elegant and there isn’t a bad seat in the house.  Blue Gate Theatre also hosts a wide variety of shows throughout the year at the Shipshewana Event Center, soon to be the New Blue Gate Performing Arts Center.

Plant some flowers

Flower gardens
Stop to admire the Flower gardens in Shipshewana

Visit a zoo

Dutch Creek Animal Farm Park in Shipshewana
Feed & pet the animals at Dutch Creek Farm Animal Park
  • Dutch Creek Animal Farm Park opened May 1st.  Feed, touch and pet a wide variety of animals from farm animals to exotic while on a guided horse drawn safari style wagon ride.  My grandkids look forward to this every year!  They are open Mon-Saturday, and will be open Memorial Day.  This farm is Amish owned and will be closed May 30th  to observe Ascension Day.

Go on a Picnic. 

Going on a picnic at the park
  • LaGrange County is home to some gorgeous lakes and beautiful town and county parks.  A family favorite is to pack a picnic lunch, head to one of the area parks for a hike, and some good ole’ R & R.

Visit a museum

Menno-Hof in the Springtime
  • Menno-Hof is the best place to start your pursuit of learning the ins and outs of Shipshewana.  This interactive museum allows you to take a fascinating hands-on journey through the unique history of Amish and Mennonite Cultures. Here’s a little secret..my favorite part is the tornado room.

Take a canoe trip

Kayaker on Fawn River
Meander down the Fawn River
  • If you enjoy the great outdoors, you’ll enjoy a leisurely paddle down the Fawn River with T & L Country Canoes. Breathe in the beauty of the serene scenes along the Fawn River.

For more ideas to add to your Shipshewana Spring Bucket list, check out the things to do at www.shipshewana.com.   Plan your visit to Shipshewana and order your Visitor’s Guide here.

Laurie Sherck, Director of Shipshewana Retail Merchants, is a wife of 43 years, mother of 4, grandmother of 12 and loves to tell people why Shipshewana is so special…. Just ask her!

New Blue Gate Performing Arts Center Announced

Shipshewana, IN- (March 14, 2019) This week, Blue Gate Theatre announced the construction of a new 1500+ seat, $3 million dollar theater space at the Blue Gate Performing Arts Center. The new theatre is set to break ground before May and will be completed by January 2020.  The rapid expansion of the Blue Gate’s Concert Schedule, limitations of the current space and improving customer experience all played key roles in the decision to build. 

Lobby rendering of Blue Gate Performing Arts Center

The number of visitors discovering the Blue Gate and Shipshewana has continually been growing since its founding in 1984, with the combined businesses hosting over a half million people in 2018. A large part of those steady increases can be accredited to the Entertainment Division whose constant effort to increase and improve their offerings has attracted hundreds of thousands of visitors and led to an estimated $16.6 million-dollar economic impact for the new theatre. 

Rendering of new Theatre

The customers of the Blue Gate, known for its hospitality, were of course a key factor to the decision according to vice-president and co-owner Phil Heyerly, “What we really wanted to make sure we got right, above all else, is the customer experience. The new theatre will reduce the distance from the stage to the most distant seat by a third creating a much more intimate space, increase the number of patrons that can attend each concert and all while greatly improving the view from each seat.”

1500 + seating capability

The new space will also feature an increased staging area, allowing for the larger production shows many national touring acts often use.  “There are many performers who require the area above a stage and the mechanicals to support the lights and sound they travel with be a certain size or be configurable to their needs. Our current space fails to accommodate many of the more production-intensive shows, but the new space will solve many of these restrictions.” said Ryan Riegsecker, president and co-owner.

The project was also recently helped along with an economic development grant from the Town of Shipshewana and LaGrange EDC totaling $377,000 over 10 years. Town Manager Bob Shanahan stated the project, “is a good solid use of available funds… and this project will improve the community’s quality of place and create increased economic activity.”

Formerly known as Shipshewana Event Center

The Blue Gate Performing Arts Center was formerly known as the Shipshewana Event Center/Hudson Car Museum and is located at 760 S Van Buren St, Shipshewana, IN. Blue Gate Theatre, is a division of the Blue Gate Hospitality group. Sister organizations include the Blue Gate Restaurant and Bakery, Blue Gate Musicals, Blue Gate Garden Inn and Shipshewana Furniture Company.