The Indiana Insider Blog

Shipshewana – Playground for All

front porchMom and I took a quick road trip to Shipshewana (about 3 hours from Indy) this past weekend. Shipshewana is in the heart of Northern Indiana Amish Country. We stayed at the Amish Country Inn part of the Wana Waves Splash Universe complex, just on the outskirts of downtown Shipshewana. The Complex is two years-old and the indoor waterpark is extremely fun (recommended for kids 13 and under). There are also other fun activity areas to keep the kids entertained – arcade, craft time and ice cream shop to name a few.

Amish mode of Transportation Next door to Splash Universe is Shipshewana Town Center (it’s an event and attraction center). The Center houses the the local visitors center and the area’s newest attraction – Hostetler’s Hudson Auto Museum, the largest collection of Hudson automobiles in the Midwest. On Saturday, Town Center hosted a Taste of Summer event with grilling experts Mad dog and Merrill. The event also featured a wide variety of food and summer related exhibits, food and beverage sampling, cooking demonstrations and a grilling contest. There’s no better way to kick off the summer! I’m already looking forward to next year’s event.

After some grilling, we headed to downtown Shipshewana for a little shopping…and there was a lot to be had! We started at the Davis Mercantile, a three-store unique shopping experience with a carousel on top. Then we walked the quaint shops nearby and mainstreet city block. Shop wares range from local artisan pottery and wood furniture to clothing, home accessories and antiques. Shipshewana’s bakeries, almost one on every corner, serve up delicious pastries, breads, homemade Amish noodles and canned preserves.Menno-Hof

For dinner we chose the main restaurant in town, Blue Gate Restaurant. Where they serve up wonderful family-style meals featuring pressure-cooked fried chicken, Amish noodles and pie (25 varieties!). The Coconut Cream pie is great! The Blue Gate also provides evening entertainment in their upstairs theater June through January with gospel shows, plays, musicals and more. This Fall, Broadway play: The Rock, Redeemer & Resurrection Morning comes to Blue Gate. It’s the story about Simon Peter’s life as a disciple of Christ and features Christian music artist Allen Asbury. Songs include: Love Divine, It’s All about Grace and He’s Alive.

The biggest attraction in the area is the Shipshewana Auction & Flea Market which runs Tuesdays and Wednesday, May through October. We missed it this time, but we won’t the next! And you shouldn’t either. Also, while your in the area, you should learn the Amish-Mennonite story at Menno-Hof. This interactive museum will explain the story of how this unique culture came to settle in the area and the journey to get here.

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