story by GLENDA WINDERS
Get your holiday shopping off to a great start with a visit to Shipshewana. Here you’ll find locally made items you won’t be able to buy anywhere else to delight everyone on your list.
At Teaberry Wood Products look for signs, symbols, baskets, animal puzzles and just about anything you can imagine created from wood. Their manger scenes make perfect holiday gifts, too, but you may be tempted to keep the one you purchase to decorate your own home.
For belts, handbags, wallets, keychains and the like there’s Silver Star Leather. Choose from alligator, shark, eel and many other types of leather. Riverwood Pottery offers mugs, plates and more in clever textures and designs you won’t see elsewhere.
Making your presents this year? Colorful textiles and quilting supplies await at Yoder’s Department Store, Lolly’s Fabric and Leann’s Quilts. Maybe you’ll head to the Shipshewana Antique Auction on Wednesdays to discover thousands of treasures you can repurpose, upcycle or recycle into a memorable gift.
To keep up the strength you’ll need to visit all of the shops and haul all of your packages stop in the heart of Amish country at E&S Bulk Food to pick up a sandwich or snack and perhaps some enticing groceries to take home. Other possibilities are Yoder’s Meat & Cheese, Dutch Kernel Popcorn and JoJo’s Pretzels. When the day is finished and you’re ready for a full meal you’ll have plenty of choices, too. Tasty options include the brand-new Black Sheep From Scratch Kitchen, Shawna Rae’s Bakery, Corn Crib Café and nearby Coody Brown’s, Linder’s Tavern on Main, Fireside Burgers & Brews and Destination 814.
Why not extend your shopping day to a holiday getaway? Reward yourself with a stay at the Blue Gate Garden Inn and have dinner at the Blue Gate Restaurant Buffet. Then take in a show at the Blue Gate Theatre. Playing from Nov. 9 to Dec. 30 will be “The Christmas Candy Caper.”
More seasonal fun is to be had Dec. 8 to 16 at the two-hour nonstop Christmas extravaganza, “Noel, The Majestic,” which features trapeze artists, a live nativity and even a Christmas Pig! And while you’re in town don’t miss the 2-million-light, half-mile drive-thru, the “Shipshewana Lights of Joy,” which will brighten the nights between Nov. 17 and Dec. 31.
The fun doesn’t end here when the holidays are over. Shake off the winter blahs and enjoy in-person ice-carving demonstrations at the Annual Shipshewana Ice Festival Jan. 19-20. And be sure and bring your appetite so that you can enjoy the chili cookoff. Then on Feb. 3 grab your girlfriends and come in your comfy PJs to enjoy large shopping discounts, tons of giggles and loads of fun during the annual Shipshewana Pajama Days. Book your hotel room now for the night before because shopping and savings begin at 6 a.m., and you don’t want to miss a moment.
For more information visit: www.visitshipshewana.org