Is there anything to do around here?

Written by Ken Kosky. Posted in Entertainment, Featured, Home & Garden

Published on November 11, 2015 with No Comments

Once the chilly air returns to the region, people start asking me if there’s anything to do around here.

So I came up with my Top 5 list of things to do in late autumn.

1. Get a jump on holiday shopping

Purchase items like these at the Mistletoe Market

There are a lot of craft shows and local markets to check out.  The Holidaze Arts & Crafts Show is Saturday, Nov. 21 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday, Nov. 22 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., at the Porter County Expo Center, 215 E. Division Road, Valparaiso. There is a $2 admission fee.

The Christmas Craft Show is Saturday, Nov. 28 and Sunday, Nov. 29 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Woodland Park, 2100 Willowcreek Road, Portage.

The Kouts Annual Christmas Open House – which involves homes, churches and businesses opening their doors to sell handcrafted gifts – is Saturday, Dec. 5 and Sunday, Dec. 6 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. in Kouts. Each site has a sign, and maps are available. Visit koutsevents.com for more information.

If you like Chesterton’s European Market, check out their indoor Mistletoe Market, Saturday, Dec. 5 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Westchester Intermediate School, 1050 S. Fifth St., Chesterton.

And don’t forget Shipshewana on the Road, Saturday, Dec. 12 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday, Dec. 13 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Porter County Expo Center, 215 E. Division Road, Valparaiso. There is a $4 admission fee.

2. See the sandhill cranes

See the sandhill cranes at Jasper-Pulaski

Head to Jasper-Pulaski Fish & Wildlife Area, 5822 North Fish and Wildlife Lane, Medaryville to watch the tens of thousands of sandhill cranes that stop there during their fall migration. The birds are there until mid-December, but peak in mid-November.

Jasper-Pulaski features an observation tower, and the path leading to the tower has interpretive signs designed to test people’s knowledge about sandhill cranes and educate people about the birds. There is no cost to participate.

One of the best ways to learn even more about sandhill cranes is to go on Sunday,

Nov. 22 sandhill crane field trip organized by Indiana Dunes State Park.

Field trip participants meet at the Indiana Dunes State Park Nature Center at 2 p.m. CST. The group will return to the Nature Center about 6 p.m.

The field trip cost is $20 for adults; $5 for children younger than 18; and free for children younger than 3. Space is limited, and advance registration is required. For more information and to register, call 219-926-1390. Indiana Dunes State Park is at 1600 N. 25 East in Chesterton.

3. Watch live, local theatre

Catch live theater, like Junie B. Jones at Chicago Street Theatre

Chicago Street Theatre in Valparaiso (www.chicagostreet.org or 219-464-1636) has Junie B. Jones The Musical from Friday, Nov. 20 to Sunday, Dec. 6, then Every Christmas Story Ever Told (And Then Some!) from Friday, Dec. 11 to Sunday, Dec. 20. The Memorial Opera House in Valparaiso (www.memorialoperahouse.com or 219-548-9137) has A Christmas Carol, The Musical from Friday, Nov. 27 to Sunday, Dec. 13. 4th Street Theater in Chesterton (www.4thstreetncca.org  or 219-926-7875) has Charley’s Aunt through Sunday, Nov. 22.

4. Enjoy the Indiana Dunes

Late fall is a nice time for a hike at Indiana Dunes State Park or one of the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore sites. Visit www.indianadunes.com for information.

5. Eat at a restaurant you haven’t tried before

Visit www.indianadunes.com/culinary-tour if you need a suggestion.

For more information about fun things to do year round, 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 staff 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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