Experience all that Porter County has to offer – Get out of the house and try something new

Written by Ken Kosky. Posted in Business, Business Spotlight, Dining & Entertainment, Entertainment, Featured

Published on January 28, 2015 with No Comments

If you want to get out of the house and experience all the great things going on in Porter County, check out these ideas:

Looking for something to do?

There are plenty of events to get your mind off winter in coming weeks, like the 12th Annual Garden Show, which is 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Jan. 24 at the Porter County Expo Center in Valparaiso.

And if you’ve never enjoyed local theatre, now is the time to watch a great play. At the Memorial Opera House in Valparaiso (www.memorialoperahouse.com or 219-548-9137) Les Miserables runs Feb. 13-March 8.

At Chicago Street Theatre in Valparaiso (www.chicagostreet.org or 219-464-1636) Tammy: A Coming of Age Story About a Girl Who is Part T-Rex can be seen Jan. 23-Feb. 7.

At 4th Street Theater in Chesterton (www.4thstreetncca.org or 219-926-7875) Waiting for Godot is Feb. 27-March 15.

A restaurant to try this month

Valley Kitchen and Bar

Part of my job at Indiana Dunes Tourism, the official agency for promoting Porter County, is to eat at all the local restaurants and blog about my experiences. So for this month, I’ll tell you about the amazing Valley Kitchen and Bar in downtown Valparaiso (www.eatvalley.com or 219-531-8888).

This dinner-only restaurant features local, seasonal ingredients – “farm-to-fork” freshness – and an ever-changing menu. The chefs take simple ingredients and do wonderful things with them. My favorite place to sit is at the counter that overlooks the kitchen. Look for fun touches like the restrooms being labeled “roosters” and “hens,” or the bill being presented in a tiny tin watering can. Valley is featured in the 2015 Indiana Travel Guide.

Start exploring the Beyond the Beach Trail

Air One Photography

Three million people visit the Indiana Dunes each year, but we’ve put together a list of 60 great natural, cultural and historical sites that you have to check out “Beyond the Beach.”

This month, check out the Westchester Township History Museum/The Brown Mansion. Tour the mansion and check out the exhibit Gen Xmas: Toys and Gifts of the 70s and 80s, which runs until Feb. 22

Made in Northwest Indiana

Each month I am sharing a “Made in Northwest Indiana” product. This month, I’m sharing the amazing posters and aerial photographs for sale at Air One Photography in downtown Valparaiso (www.aironephoto.com or 219-462-1182). The store even sells a book compiling numerous great aerial shots of Northwest Indiana.

Local businesses among state’s best

The state of Indiana’s tourism website – www.visitindiana.com – just wrapped up having the public vote for best “Toy and Hobby Stores” and best “Christmas Tree Farms” in Indiana. Two Porter County businesses were among the 22 vying for toy and hobby store honors: Galactic Greg’s in Valparaiso and Alice’s Garden Toy Boutique in Chesterton. Galactic Greg’s finished second and Alice’s Garden finished fourth.

Take a day trip

There are plenty of fun things to do outside of Porter County, like visiting Barker Mansion in Michigan City. Enjoy a guided tour at 10 a.m., 11:30 a.m. or 1 p.m. Monday through Friday all year, or at 12 or 2 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays from June through October. There is a fee. Call 219-873-1520 for information.

For more information about fun things to do in the area, visit www.indianadunes.com or call 219-926-2255 to request Indiana Dunes Tourism’s Activities Guide, which is a complete guide to Porter County.

I also invite you to visit our Visitor Center, located at 1215 N. State Road 49 in Porter. Our friendly, knowledgeable is ready to assist visitors and locals alike.

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About Ken Kosky

All opinions, conclusions or recommendations expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Chronicle. Ken Kosky is promotions director at Indiana Dunes Tourism, the official tourism agency for Porter County. For more information, call 219-926-2255.

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