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.
See individual theatres for schedule of shows and concerts.
Indiana's Cool North
Indiana's Cool North has several theatres that are currently scheduling shows.View Details
Every Saturday from the beginning of May through the end of November
Broadway and Third St., next to Thomas Centennial Park
Our European Market provides a strong tradition of quality shopping, live entertainment, and a festive community experience.View Details
Every Saturday, 8am to 1pm, May to October
Providing our community with the freshest produce, providing a space filled with locally grown food and artisan goods.View Details
Thursday-Sunday, September 26-October 31, 2020
The Barns at Nappanee
Fall is one of the most beautiful seasons in Indiana with its cool, comfortable days and crisp October evenings. The Barns at Nappanee (Home of Amish Acres) will be celebrating fall!View Details
September 29 - October 31, 2020
Thistleberry Farm is a favorite fall destination for families with its corn maze, sunflower field, pumpkin patch and more.View Details
October 23-25, and 29-30. See website for hours
Pumpkins, lights, and decorations will transform the Potawatomi Zoo into the perfect spot to celebrate Halloween safely in 2020.View Details
October 24, 25, and 31
Washington Park Zoo
Make plans to fly your broomstick down to the Washington Park Zoo with your young goblins, ghosts, princesses, and zooperheros to spend a day with the animals.View Details
October 30, 2020
The Barns at Nappanee
Put on your favorite costume and join us at The Barns at Nappanee for our first Halloween BarnFest, including games, hayrides, candy, and much more!View Details
Autumn spells adventure in so many ways – with lively celebrations, quiet moments, and a blaze of glorious color framing every byway. So slip away to Indiana’s Cool North in the most glorious of seasonsLearn More
Looking for some exciting fall family fun in 2020? Here are some of the best must-see autumn events to make the most of the season in Indiana’s Cool North.Learn More