With its informative museums, Amish heritage, and many places to eat, shop and explore, Shipshewana provides an inviting getaway at any time of the year. But during the holidays it dresses up in its seasonal finery and shows visitors how to celebrate in style. Starting in November, decorations, events and shows turn an already fascinating town into a destination that is truly magical.
The fun kicks off on Nov. 5 with the Lighting of Shipshewana, Watch the light parade, sing along to Christmas carols and see the two-story tree switched on to sparkle and glow throughout the best time of the year. Nov. 12 is Chocolate Day, when you’ll be able to buy a special box at Aunt Millie’s Candy and Nut Shop in the Davis Mercantile and then fill it with delicious chocolates when you shop with local merchants all over town. In the true spirit of the season, all of the net proceeds from the sweets will go to a local charity.
Another date to mark for holiday cheer is Nov. 29, Wana Night Out. Festive merchants will be holding sales from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. for that evening only. Join in the fun and get your shopping done in plenty of time to wrap and ship. But save some of your budget to spend at the Ship-Chic Craft and Vintage Show on Dec. 3. At this event, hosted by the Shipshewana Antique and Flea Market, you’ll find everything from clothing, soaps and jewelry to baked goods, home décor and gift items — all curated to make sure that the items you purchase are of the highest quality.
Mark your calendar for the Lights of Joy Light Drive-Thru which opens Nov. 18, 20 and will run seven days a week from Nov 25 through December 31. (Closed 12/8, 12/25, & 12/26). Here you’ll take part in a spectacular mile-and-a-half-long display of more than 2 million colorful LED lights that celebrate every aspect of the season — all set to music that you can listen to on your car radio.
Santa Claus comes to town on Kid’s Day, Dec. 3, settling in for his annual visits with children at Santa’s Village in the Courtyard of Arts. After they tell him what gifts they’d like they can stop at other stations for hot cocoa, cookie decorating, gift bags and a chance to win a prize. At participating stores they’ll be able to play games, color and enjoy treats.
Start a tradition of taking the whole family to a show. One possibility between Dec. 7 and 17 is the “Shipshewana Majestic Noel” at the Michiana Event Center, which tells the original Christmas story with one of the largest living nativity scenes anywhere and live animals that include horses and camels. There will also be a cow that thinks it’s a reindeer and a dance-off between a horse and a ballerina. A VIP add-on allows you to meet the cast backstage and interact with the animals.
Or get tickets to “Our Christmas Dinner” at the Blue Gate Music Hall between Nov. 3 and Jan. 2. This hilarious musical takes a look at customs, expectations, unexpected guests and what the true meaning of the holiday is all about.
Check it all out at VisitShipshewana.org