Kick Off the Holiday Season in Shipshewana, Indiana

The holidays come early in Shipshewana, and we love that. The end of October the elves are out hanging lights and decorating all over town. It’s a nice mix of fall and Christmas decor for a period of time, but once November arrives, it’s an all-out Christmas mood. The Lighting of Shipshewana is the official start, followed by plenty of events, shopping and great deals to put you in the holiday spirit.

The Lighting of Shipshewana Parade & Ceremony

Light Parade

Every year the holiday season is kicked off the same way with a tree lighting ceremony and parade. On November 10, the holiday spark will come alive. Santa even flies in to give gifts and spread cheer to the children, while parents enjoy cookies and hot chocolate. The sound of Christmas music fills the air as performers jump start everyone’s spirit before the parade starts at 6 pm. The festive floats travel through the entire town, so pull up a chair, grab a hot drink and enjoy. Following that, the famous Blue Gate Christmas tree is lit, officially declaring it Christmas in Shipshewana. Click here for full event information including the parade route and times.

Shipshewana Lights of Joy Drive Thru

Lights of Joy

New for 2018, Shipshewana’s first ever Lights of Joy Drive Thru begins on November 16. Every Thursday-Sunday, load up the car and hit the “dusty trail.” This mile-long cruise will guide you through more than 2 million LED lights in fun holiday scenes. The displays are sure to spark holiday cheer in you. So much so, you’ll want to start a new tradition, so why not start with the first year?!

Christmas in Paradise

Christmas in Paradise

Every now and then the holiday season can seem stressful, and the Blue Gate Theatre’s musical, Christmas in Paradise, brings this to life in a light-hearted drama. The inspirational and uplifting journey reveals unexpected treasures in the most unlikely of places. There’s plenty of showtimes, so catch one while in town for an event, or make a special evening of it.

Chocolate Day

Chocolate Day

There aren’t many people in the world that wouldn’t be intrigued with Chocolate Day. On November 17, purchase a one-of-a-kind chocolate box at Aunt Millie’s Candy and Nuts, then hit the town to try and fill it up! Different stores will have different kinds, letting you end up with a delicious variety. As if you needed another reason to participate, all proceeds will go to a local charity.

Wana Night Out

Wana Night Out

It’s the biggest town-wide sale of the year! Wana Night Out always falls on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, which is November 27 this year. Make a night of it and shop Shipshewana for some great deals as the gift-giving season is coming up. Whether you’re shopping for the clothing lover, home decorator, or antique collector, the variety of stores will have something for everyone. Click here to see a list of participating stores and their deals.

Kids Day

Kids Day

If you see Santa flying over your house early this year, he’s on his way to Shipshewana. He’ll be making a visit on December 1 for Kid’s Day. Children will enjoy visits with Santa, along with plenty of other activities. Pick up a “passport” at J. Farvers Books that will send you throughout town for a different craft or game at each store. Just a warning, after coming to Kids Day your children will be begging you to come back every December.

Christmas Markets

Christmas Market

You can never have enough places to shop when it’s the holiday season, so plan to visit one of our specialty market days, you might find exactly what you’ve been looking for. The Shipshewana Farmhouse Vintage Christmas runs November 9-10 and will be full of farmhouse Christmas decor, antiques, boutique clothing, and other trendy goods. Then, mark your calendars for December 8 for the Ship-Chic Craft & Vintage Show at the Shipshewana Auction Barn. The vendors specialize in antiques, crafts, handmade items, baked goods, and so much more. The barn will be full of unique items, plus there’s shopper door prizes and giveaways.

The Great Holiday Passport

The Great Holiday Passport

You’re going to shop, you’re going to dine, and you’re probably going to stay the night, so why not win some extra spending money in the meantime? The Great Holiday Passport is new for this year, just print off a passport or pick one up at the Visitors Center to start filling the ornaments. How it works: visit any of the participating shops, restaurants, or hotels and the cashier will stamp your passport to equal the amount you spent. Once you spend $500, turn in your passport to be entered into a drawing to win a $250 gift card. Click here to learn more about The Great Holiday Passport and the participating businesses.


Whether you need to pump up your holiday spirit or find the perfect gifts for the special ones in your life, Shipshewana delivers. Aside from the many things going on, the beautifully decorated town and cheerful locals make any November/December day magical. Not sure where to start? Stop in the Visitors Center for guidance on events, stores, or to pick up a Great Holiday Passport.

Do Amish Celebrate Christmas?


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