Whether you’re a quilt-maker looking for new techniques or traditional patterns, a weekend woodcarver wanting to see how the masters do it, a cook (or food taster) seeking out wonderful, mouth-watering recipes, or a novelist or songwriter in search of a good tale, Shipshewana, Indiana has it all. And with summer in full swing, things are jumping in this quaint Amish town.
A visit here has to start out with a stop at Menno-Hof (I’ve been numerous times and learn something new about the history of the Amish and Mennonites each time).
If you like to shop, there are plenty of places to satisfy that desire. Shipshewana has plenty of quaint shops, general stores, and handmade quilt and furniture showrooms.
The Shipshewana Quilt Festival was on June 25-28 this year, and quilt patterns can also be seen year-round in the town’s Quilt Gardens, which are beautifully spread out at different locations throughout the area.
All that shopping always makes me hungry, and good food is never far away when you’re in Shipshewana. It’s hard to beat The Blue Gate Restaurant’s fried chicken or sugar crème pie, Rolling Dough’s doughnuts, and all the other restaurants and eateries in town.
If you’re lucky enough to catch the antique market, the horse auction, or any of the street fairs (including the Flea Market with over 900 vendors), you’re in for a treat. I love going to the auctions and listening to the cadence of the auctioneer.
Other activities to do while in Shipshewana are visiting a cheese factory, going for a ride in a horse and buggy, eating dinner in an Amish home, and taking in a show, from the special concerts at the Shipshewana Event Center (featuring such artists as Kenny Rogers, The Oak Ridge Boys, Pat Boone, and more) to Broadway style, faith-based musicals at The Blue Gate Theater (The Confession, Half-Stitched, and the newest musical, Josiah for President, opening July 14th and running through mid-December.
Before you leave, be sure to spend a day driving around and taking in the beauty of the Shipshewana countryside, and hopefully meeting some of the locals. I guarantee it’ll take you back to a time when the pace was a lot slower, technology wasn’t so intrusive in our lives, and common sense wasn’t nearly so rare.
Nothing wrong with that.
Martha Bolton is the author of 87 books, including her newest, Josiah for President, which has now been adapted into a play at the Blue Gate Theater. She was a staff writer for Bob Hope for fifteen years, and received an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Achievement in Music and Lyrics. She has also written for dozens of comedians and entertainers, including Phyllis Diller, Wayne Newton, and Mark Lowry. Her popular series of books for middle-agers (Didn’t My Skin Used to Fit?, Cooking With Hot Flashes, and others) have addressed the subject of growing older in a fun and fresh way.
Connect with Martha: Website
Purchase Martha’s books here.
Purchase your tickets to Josiah for President, the musical here.
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