Date: Aug 18, 2017

15 Best Things to Do in Shipshewana, Indiana

By Anna Camburn

Shipshewana brings simple living, Amish hospitality, amazing shopping, and fun activities to Northern Indiana.

 

Take in the area's best attractions including shopping the Midwest's Largest Flea Market, catching a musical at the Blue Gate Theatre, or eating a home-cooked Amish meal. (All group-friendly!) You'll want to spend more than a day exploring this town, so be sure to include this list of top 15 things to see and do in Shipshewana when making your travel plans.

 

1. Shipshewana Auction & Flea MarketOverhead view of Shipshewana Flea Market

Love finding a good bargain? You'll want to shop the 26 aisles of vendors at the huge outdoor market in Shipshewana.

 

Known as the "Midwest's Largest Flea Market," people from all over the country come to find deals on everything under the sun. Be sure to watch their hours though - the flea market is seasonal and open every Tuesday & Wednesday from May through September.

 

Visitors can also bid on antiques & vintage finds in the Antique & Miscellaneous Auction Building on property - which has 10 auctioneers simultaneously selling every Wednesday, year-round.  

 

For more information about visiting the Shipshewana Auction & Flea Market, download the Flea Market's Trip Planning Packet.

 

Plan Flea Market Trip

 

2. Blue Gate Restaurant & Theatre

Flowering Tree outside of Blue Gate Restaurant & Bakery

Photo: Blue Gate Restaurant & Theatre / Facebook

To enjoy some of the best Amish\Mennonite cooking around, watch outstanding entertainment, or shop for locally crafted furniture, look no further than the Blue Gate Restaurant & Theatre.

 

After indulging in their famous home-style cooking, you'll want to take a stroll around the beautiful Blue Gate property - complete with a wrap-around porch that is always tastefully decorated for the season. Be sure to catch one of their award-winning musicals or concerts, and shop the bakery or one of their specialty shops. 

 

3. Amish In-Home Dining

Local farm in Shipshewana, Indiana Amish Country

If you want an authentic "Amish Country" experience, you'll want to enjoy dinner at an Amish home. Not only is the food amazing, but so is the hospitality! Get all of your questions answered about Shipshewana's heritage by conversing directly with the Amish.

 

Try booking a meal at Hoosier Banquets or Yoder's Homestyle Cooking - Amish Dining experiences that can serve large groups. Or, reserve a Meal Tour with Miller's Buggy Line where you can ride in a Amish buggy through Amish country in and around Shipshewana culminating in a Thrasher's Meal in an Amish home with all the fixings! 

 

4. Heritage Ridge Creamery

Samples of Guggisberg Cheese from Heritage Ridge Creamery

Taste some delicious, fresh cheese that starts with high-quality milk from local Northern Indiana dairy farms, plus watch the cheese-making process right on site at the Heritage Ridge Creamery

 

Cheeses made at the creamery include colby, colby-jack, pepper-jack, cheddar, garden vegetable cheese, siracha cheese and amish cream.

 

5. Dutch Creek Farm Animal Park

Girl feeding animals at Dutch Creek Farm Animal Park in Shipshewana

Dutch Creek Farm Animal Park in Shipshewana will give you an absolutely unforgettable experience petting and feeding a huge variety of animals - from camels to ostriches to zebra!

 

Owned and operated by an Amish family, Dutch Creek gives visitors he opportunity to take a wagon ride through the fields where both exotic and farm animals will come right up to you to be fed. 

 

6. Rise 'N Roll Bakery

Box of Rise n Roll Cinnamon Caramel Donuts

Photo: Rise 'n Roll / Facebook

Famous for their cinnamon caramel donuts (yeast raised donuts covered in a homemade caramel icing and powdered with cinnamon), Rise 'N Roll Bakery & Deli in Middlebury is a must stop for everyone in Indiana's Amish Country. They have some of the highest quality handmade baked goods around.

 

 Browse through the store and you’ll find cinnamon rolls, pecan sticky buns, breads, pies, cookies and more.  Plus, the deli offers breakfast and lunch to eat in or take out. Rise 'N Roll also has a selection of gluten-free products. 

 

7. Downtown Shipshewana 

Jo Jo's Pretzels cafe in Shisphewana

 You are guaranteed to find a shop or cafe to love in downtown Shipshewana. Take a stroll down Harrison Street and you'll find so many amazing shops with home decor, crafts, and more. At the end of the street, there is the Davis Mercantile with lots of shops inside including JoJo's Pretzels, Aunt Millie's Chocolate & Candy, and a coffee shop! 
 
Downtown Shipshewana is a must-see during Christmas time as well. The stores have amazing lights and lots of family-friendly Christmas events to help you celebrate the season the traditional way.
 

8. Menno-Hof Amish/Mennonite Information Center

Outside of Menno-hof amish information center

Menno-Hof is a non-profit information center in Shipshewana that teaches visitors about the faith and life of Amish and Mennonites. 

Menno-Hof's multi-image presentations, historical environments and colorful displays take visitors on a fascinating journey inside the unique world of the Amish and Mennonites. Visitors see where the Anabaptists had their beginning in a Swiss courtyard and how they were persecuted for their faith in the dungeon. They then travel with the Anabaptists down the cobblestone streets of Holland and board a 17th century sailing boat on a journey to America and freedom.

 

9. Amish Country Guided Tours

Miller Buggy Line Booth with Horse and Buggy Tour

There's no better way to get up close and personal with the Amish than to go on a group guided tour. Some of the activities on a tour include visits to working farms, shops and homes. 

 

There are a variety of Amish tour guides to choose from. Some visitors' favorites include Buggy Lane Tours, Cathy's Countryside Tours, Blue Gate Tours or  Miller's Buggy Line Tours.

 

10. Barn Quilt Trail or Walldogs Trail

W.L. Reifsnider Painted Wall in Shipshewana

View over 30 hand-painted quilt murals on the LaGrange County Barn Quilt Trail, or learn about the town's heritage by viewing 16 wall murals painted by the "Walldogs." Each one is unique and tells a story!  

 

11. E&S Sales

Aisle in E&S Bulk foods store Shipshewana

Although shopping this Amish-owned bulk foods store may not seem like a typical Amish Country vacation destination, once you enter, you will understand why this is a must-experience! 

 

E&S Sales has unbelievable deals, a huge variety of foods and baked items, and an awesome deli / ice cream counter. The foods available at this grocery store is so unique...you'll find many items that you've never seen before.

 

Shipshewana Hotel Farmstead Inn

 

12. Yoder's Meat & Cheese

Outside of Yoder's Meat & Cheese Shoppe Shipshewana

This store is known for offering over 80 kinds of cheese and 20 varieties of smoked meats. The meats and cheeses and made right on the premises for freshness and quality. Shoppers can sample the many varieties and also shop the Yoder's Meat & Cheese market to find quality jams, noodles, popcorn, candies, salsas and more. It's recommended to bring a cooler for all of your foodie finds.

 

While you're there, head next door to the Yoder's Red Barn Shoppes for even more quality shopping.

 

13. Das Dutchman Essenhaus

Essenhause Dutch Country Gifts Barn

Photo: Essenhaus / Facebook

Known for its pies, the Das Dutchman Essenhaus is Indiana's largest restaurant. It's located in Middlebury, Indiana (just a short drive from Shipshewana), and serves homestyle American fare. Visitors can order from the menu, eat at the buffet, or get served family style! Favorites include chicken and noodles, burgers and breaded pork tenderloins.  

 

The Essenhaus also has gift shops, a bakery, classic car cruise-ins, a theatre and more. 

 

14. Yoder's Shopping Center

Yoder's Department Store Shipshewana Indiana

For unique shopping experiences all under one roof, visit Yoder's Shopping Center. There is a department store inside with an amazing shoe selection...complete with old-fashioned shoe salespeople who will measure your feet! If you're looking for quirky novelties or housewares, there is also a Hardware store that one could spend hours in.

 

Relax in a rocking chair (a perfect people-watching station), get some ice cream or coffee at the Fireside Cafe, or shop the fair trade store that's inside as well.

  

15. Shipshewana Corn Maze

Overhead view of Shipshewana Corn Maze

The Shipshewana Corn Maze, open Labor Day weekend through the middle of November, is the perfect fall event. Created with the goal of quality family fun in the traditional American way, there is a huge corn maze, a petting zoo, straw pyramids, human hamster tracks, hay rides, corn cannons, and fire pits.

 


These are just a few of the amazing group-friendly things to do in Shipshewana. Did we miss your favorite? Tell us in the comments below. 

 

Want more information on planning a trip to Shipshewana, Indiana? Download our free trip planning packetDownload Amish Country 2019 Shipshewana Trip Planner

 

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