If you've ever been in Shipshewana, Indiana on a Sunday, then you know how much the community values taking the day off to relax and rejuvenate with friends and family.
Most businesses around town embrace the Amish / Mennonite culture and are closed on Sundays. It's a very different feel than the typical hustle and bustle of Shipshewana during the week.
However, what most people don't know is, that there is a plethora of fun things to do on Sundays in the surrounding areas that will entertain you and help you embrace the slow-pace and focus on the most important things in life. Here 11 great Sunday activities in Northern Indiana.
1. Visit a Park
Get outside and visit one of LaGrange County's gorgeous parks! Go fishing, play at a playground, bird-watch, swim, hike, picnic, try archery...the list goes on and on! Most parks are open 8:00 a.m. to sunset unless otherwise posted. There are also natural areas to explore and plenty of beach access!
Here are two of our favorite county parks:
Dallas Lake Park
Dallas Lake Park has a beach that is staffed by lifeguards from noon to 7 pm in the summer - perfect for hot days. The park consists of 144 acres south shore of Dallas Lake. There is also playground, picnic, hiking, and a wetland observation deck for wildlife and bird watching. Admission is $5.00/car.
Delt Church Park
Frisbee golf anyone? Play at Delt Church Park, a 119 acre park bordered by the Little Elkhart River. There is also a "MegaTower Playground," wooded hiking trails, a restored prairie, and picnic pavilions.
2. Take a Road Trip to Amish Acres
Photo: Amish Acres / Facebook
Just a 45-minute drive from Shipshewana is Nappanee, Indiana, where you'll find Amish Acres. At Amish Acres, you can experience the restoration of the Stahly-Nisley-Kuhns farmstead, the only Amish farm listed in The National Register of Historic Places! Best of all...they have Sunday hours!
3. Relax at a Winery
Relax , have a glass of wine and enjoy the scenery at one of the local wineries!
Fruit Hills Winery & Orchard
Fruit Hills Winery is a family-owned and operated winery in Bristol, Indiana, only about 20 minutes from Shipshewana!) Open on Sundays 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (believe it or not, they can sell wine on Sundays!), you can sit in their beautiful tasting room or relax with a glass of wine or slushie on the scenic deck.
Stoney Creek Winery
Located at 10315 CR 146 in Millersburg, Indiana, Stoney Creek Winery is another quaint family-owned winery in Northern Indiana with Sunday hours (1 p.m. - 5 p.m.).
4. Canoe or Kayak on the River
Spend a day relaxing on the area's waterways in a rented kayak or canoe! You'll love spotting turtles, ducks, geese, beavers and other wildlife while you paddle along. You can choose to spend just a couple of hours or even the whole day depending on what trip length you take. Here are some of the area canoe and kayak rental places that are open on Sundays:
5. Go on the Barn Quilt, Heritage, or Quilt Garden Trail
Did you know that our local Visitors' Centers offer self-guided trails? Take an easy Sunday scenic drive through Indiana's Amish Country to experience one of these three trails:
The Barn Quilts of LaGrange County
Indiana’s first Barn Quilt Trail celebrates the history of agriculture, the time-honored tradition of quilting, the community’s passion for art, community pride and Hoosier hospitality. Connecting six communities throughout LaGrange County in Northern Indiana, the Barn Quilt Trail features a series of murals painted in a variety of quilt patterns. Stop by the Shipshewana & LaGrange County Visitor Center to pick up your Self-guided trail map.
Heritage Trail Driving Tour of Elkhart County
Voted a USA Today Readers Choice and named one of America’s “Most Scenic Drives”, this scenic winding loop explores welcoming communities, area attractions and Amish life.Download the tour, or visit the Elkhart County Visitor's Center for your free Heritage Trail Audio CD.
Quilt Garden Trail of Elkhart County
View 19 gigantic gardens patterned after quilts May 30 - October 1 along the Heritage Trail. The Quilt Gardens along the Heritage Trail joins quilting, gardening and art into a one-of-a-kind event. Every quilt garden and quilt mural has its own intricate pattern, many are original designs and each has its own unique story. Each of our unique communities that host quilt gardens & murals has its own special character and fun finds you’ll want to explore.
6. Take a Bike Ride
Tour Shipshewana on a bicycle! There are great cycling routes in the area (including the awesome and scenic Pumpkinvine Nature Trail). Bring your own bikes, or rent them from Shipshewana Bike Rental! They have rental locations at the Farmstead Inn and the Visitor's Center.
7. Golf at Heron Greek Golf Club
Play a round of golf at Lagrange, Indiana's Heron Creek Golf Club. The course features natural wooded terrain and well-kept grounds. You can even book a stay-and-play golf package with the Farmstead Inn in Shipshewana which includes a 2-night stay for two in a classic room, a round of golf and cart fees.
8. Visit a Museum
Take a short drive to neighboring cities and you'll find some great museums to keep you occupied on a Sunday afternoon. While you're there, you are sure to find a variety of restaurants to choose from that are open on Sunday.
- Midwest Museum of American Art (Elkhart)
- Hall of Heroes Superhero Museum (Elkhart)
- Ruthmere Mansion (Elkhart)
- Studebaker National Museum (South Bend)
9. Stroll through a Garden
Go on a romantic Sunday walk through one of area gardens and connect with nature and those you love. Try one of these great gardens within driving distance of Shipshewana:
- Krider Wrold's Fair Garden Park (Middlebury) - This is a gorgeous garden at one of the trail heads for the Pumpkinvine nature trail. There is a variety of plants, shrubs, and trees with a fountain, mill house, reflecting pool, toadstool sculptures, perfola, arbor with swings and a double waterfall. And during the summer, you might as well stop at the famous ice cream stand on your way back into Shipshewana, Yup's Dairyland, just a 6 minute drive North!
- Linton's Enchanted Gardens (Elkhart) - Indiana's largest Home and Garden Center!
- Wellfield Botanic Gardens (Elkhart) - Over 20 individual gardens!
10. Take a Ride on the Dixie
For over 80 years, a ride on the historic Dixie Sternwheeler has been an annual tradition for many hoosiers! The Dixie is the state's oldest stern wheel tour boat. The boat does daily public cruises on Webster Lake in North Webster, Indiana, Memorial weekend through Labor Day. Cruises last approximately 75 minutes and tickets are $7. Sunday cruises are available at 2:00, 3:30, 5:00, 6:30 and 8:00 pm.
11. Visit an Animal Park or Zoo
Learn about and see the animals! It will be fun for the whole family.
- Black Pine Animal Sanctuary (Albion) - The non-profit refuge, home to nearly 100 rescued and surrendered captive-raised exotic animals has general visitation hours and guided feeding tours on Sundays.
- Potawatomi Zoo (South Bend) - The oldest zoo in Indiana, Potawatomi Zoo has more than 400 animals with lots to see and do! Daily hours are 10 am - 5 pm.
Hope you liked these things to do on Sundays in Amish Country! If none of these sounded good to you, you could always relax with a good book, swim in your hotel's indoor pool, or play some board games! Or, just do what I do on Sundays...nap! It's good for the soul.
Want more travel tips and advice about Shipshewana? Download our free Shipshewana Amish Country Trip Planner Guide.