It’s a great idea to call an attraction, restaurant and shop to make sure they’re open before visiting.
⇒ 29 minutes to Goshen Farmer's Market
1. Every Tuesday and Wednesday from May through September, the huge Shipshewana Flea Market has a dedicated section of garden produce and plants among the vendors offering typical flea market goods….everything from fine creations to curious finds. Bring home fresh garden produce, or whatever fruit is in season along with your flea market treasures.
Want to make a weekend getaway and learn more about the Amish? Find your inspiration in our Amish Adventures!
⇐ 29 minutes to Shipshewana Flea Market ⇒ 26 minutes to Wellfield Botanic Gardens
2. Elkhart County’s farmers markets are more than bins full of delicious produce, they offer the opportunity for shoppers to create their own healthy farm-to-table meals. Goshen Farmer’s Market is open year-round, and you will find not only the farmers who grew the produce and the meat, but also bakers and artisans selling their creations. Look for the Elkhart Farmer’s Market during the summer as well as other farm markets that pop up.
Find more of the region’s Best Farm Markets and you will most likely come home with more than just produce.
⇐ 26 minutes to Goshen Farmer's Market ⇒ 1 minutes to Quilt Gardens
3. Surround yourself with breathtaking greenery at Wellfield Botanic Gardens, with over 20 unique gardens like the Japanese Garden, the Waterfall Garden, and the Adventure Path. A children’s garden was added in 2018. The 36 acre gorgeous setting includes lakes, streams, waterfalls and other water features.
Discover more amazing gardens in Indiana’s Cool North.
⇐ 1 minute to Wellfield Botanic Gardens ⇒ 55 minutes to U-Picks
4. Follow the iconic Quilt Garden along the Heritage Trail, winding its way through six communities—Bristol, Elkhart, Goshen, Middlebury, Nappanee, and Wakarusa— where colorful patchwork quilt-inspired gardens are free for the viewing. Every garden has it’s own pattern, and the 16 gardens combined showcase more than a million blooms.
Explore other trails in Northern Indiana in the Art and Earth Trail.
⇐ 55 minutes to Quilt Gardens ⇒ 23 minutes to Friendship Botanic Gardens
5. It’s blueberry picking season, so now is the time to take advantage of one of the blueberry farms that abound in LaPorte County. This Northern Indiana region is known for its prime growing conditions, especially when it comes to this tasty fruit. Feel a sense of accomplishment when you use those berries to make blueberry pies, muffins, pancakes, and jam!
Blueberry picking is often done early in the day, so you may want to stop for breakfast at one of the restaurants from Indiana’s Cool North Breakfast Wars contest.
⇐ 23 minutes to U-Pick Markets ⇒ 7 minutes to Farm Markets
6. The Friendship Botanic Garden is a secret garden of 105 acres of woodlands, beautiful formal gardens and statues. The Gardens offer an extensive selection of nature and wildlife as well as great playground equipment in the ArcelorMittal Children’s Garden. Kids can try out a hydraulic hand pump, and explore a special plot featuring flowers and herbs chosen for their senses of smell, touch and sight.
You are close to Lake Michigan, so you may want to make a weekend of it, and plan more adventures in the area.
⇐ 7 minutes to Friendship Botanic Garden ⇒ 11 minutes to Brincka Cross Gardens
7. Today’s farmers markets are more than just the locally grown fruits and vegetables. You may find artwork, flowers, and crafts, along with artisan breads and cheeses, homemade pies and cookies. Both Michigan City and LaPorte have weekly Saturday markets spring through fall, where you can make new friends and bring home your discoveries.
Maybe you are ready to have someone else prepare your next meal, but still use ingredients from the local farms. Try one of these farm to table restaurants.
⇐ 11 minutes to Farm Markets ⇒ 11 minutes to Chesterton Feed and Garden Center
8. Experts and enthusiasts from across the country come to marvel at the Brincka Cross Gardens. Once a private residence, this architecturally unique home and garden includes a wide variety of trees and plants—including 250 different types of hostas, 450 varieties of daffodils, 25 kinds of crabapple trees, 40 cultivars of ornamental grasses, and 25 varieties of forsythias. The gardens were developed and nurtured by an artist and professor at the Art Institute in Chicago over a 40 year period, and the beauty of his creativity has been reclaimed by the current park staff.
Ready to spend time on the water? Discover water adventures ranging from Lake Michigan to the smaller lakes and rivers.
⇐ 11 minutes to Brincka Cross Gardens ⇒ 20 minutes to Valparaiso Gardens
9. Chesterton Feed and Garden Center is not just another garden center. It’s a friendly atmosphere filled with unique gardening ideas. Be inspired by walking the sunny parkways and the shady paths, and then take home the things needed to create your own unique garden or water garden.
Want to do more shopping? Indiana’s Cool North has many communities where antiques take center stage. Create your own Antiques Roadshow.
⇐ 20 minutes to Chesterton Feed and Garden Center
10. Valparaiso is home to two beautiful garden settings – The Gabis Arboretum and the Ogden Gardens. Gabis Arboretum is at Purdue NorthWest, and is a popular birding location, with miles of walking trails and a half-mile model railway garden complete with waterfalls and elaborate bridges. The Ogden Gardens features a gazebo, and a Japanese garden including a Teahouse, shaded trails, and a 22,000-gallon koi pond.
Want to continue on leisurely walks? Find RiverWalks in Indiana’s Cool North; great places to be soothed by rippling waters as you wander.
Auctions are held every Wednesday, year-round
Auction Buildings and Barns at Shipshewana Trading Place
Six to ten auctioneers simultaneously sell antiques, collectibles, estate items, and more.View Details
December 10 - March 31, 2023
Grab your friends, bring the kids, snag your spouse and come out to skate at the William E. Urschel Pavilion.View Details
See individual theatres for schedule of shows and concerts.
Indiana's Cool North
Indiana's Cool North has a number of theatres. See the individual theatres for their show and concert schedules.View Details
February 04, 2023
Make plans for the annual trip for overnight pajama parties, and early morning shopping in jammies to take advantage of the sales. giveaways, drawings and deep discounts.View Details
Whether you are looking for a night out with your Valentine, or just want something warmer to do while you wait on spring, Indiana’s Cool North has some amazing foodie experiences and top-notch show and concert options.Learn More
Want to make the most of your precious vacation time when you travel to Indiana’s Cool North? Check out our top 15 things to do that are anything but ordinary.Learn More