It’s been a while since I posted a travel post, and this is the perfect time to throw out another awesome destination! It’s finally December, my favorite month of the year. Christmas, lights, holiday music, garland, ornaments, hot chocolate, giving, and cheer. It’s my favorite. That means it’s perfect to introduce the perfect Christmas store!
Bronners is the Christmas Wonderland that each of us needs in our lives. The store, located in Frankenmuth, Michigan, is over 2 acres big with almost any Christmas item you can think of. The ornament section is beyond unbelievable. If you can think it, they have it. Inside is nothing but Christmas, from their products to the decorations lining the walls near the ceiling. There is no way, if you love Christmas, that you can leave that store emptyhanded. Trust me.
Growing up, my family always went down with my dad’s parents at least once a year. I say down because it was about 2 hours south of where I grew up. These were trips that I’ll always remember. We’d go shopping and then go out for lunch at the Bavarian Inn or Zenders. They have awesome chicken. We also found that going mid-summer was the best time for us as the store was far less crowded than it was nearer to Christmas.
Even the grounds are decorated and lit up at night for people to drive their cars around to see it all. I haven’t been able to see this since I was in middle or high school, but it’s on my to-do list again. If you’re in the area after dark, you should check this out.
For more information, please check out the site below. Also, you can sign up for their catalogue (which of course I’ve done). And PS they’re doing Facebook live visits with Santa, so check out the website for more details on this!
Welcome to one of my favorite places on Earth: Shipshewana, Indiana! You’ve probably never heard of it, and that’s okay. It’s a small town in northern Indiana with some of the best shopping and food imaginable!
What I would say is the biggest attraction to Shipshewana is the Flea Market. Rows upon rows of vendors with some unique items all for a fair and cheap price! It’s fun to see the popular items that change year after year as so many people will sell those. There are staples that my family checks out every year, and new vendors we find along the way. One of our favorites is the Spice Guy. I’m not sure what his shop is called at the moment, but that’s our family nickname for him. He’s got a multitude of variety in large containers. If you love to cook, he’s a must see.
It doesn’t matter who you are, there’s something for everyone! There’s booths with clothes, dresses, purses, tools, wooden crafts, guitars for kids, movies, books, flowers, and so much more! And let’s not forget the food vendors. There are lots of those too. Depending on how fast or slow you go through, it could take all day to explore!
The flea market itself is open with individual booths being covered by buildings, tarps, or nothing but open air. In rainy weather this can be an issue, but we’ve rarely ran into this situation. For us, it’s almost always been sunny and HOT. Very hot.
Also, unless specified as a special weekend event, the flea market is only open on Tuesdays and Wednesdays weekly and runs throughout the summer. You never know what you’re going to find. It changes year to year!
Right behind the flea market (or in front depending on which way you’re facing) is Yoder’s Meat & Cheese Co. Let me tell you, they have the BEST cheese ever! It’s also a great price. Plus, the variety of cheese they have makes me a happy person: they have samples I can try! (or so they did before this year, and I’m unsure if the pandemic has affected this or not)
My dad would say the best part are their pickles. They’re huge and whole. He likes to buy them by the 5 gallon bucket.
Now, for my second favorite place of all (and reason for going) is The Blue Gate Restaurant. Their family style chicken dinner is AMAZING!!! It’s now a buffet style meal, and you can’t go wrong with all you can eat of the best food around. Plus THE PIES!!! Yummy!! There’s always new flavors as well as the staples. Come with an empty stomach because you’re going to want all the room you can get for this food. They also have little bread loaves you can spread peanut butter and/or apple butter over. Their peanut butter and apple butter are both homemade and you can even buy them in the Blue Gate’s store. The store also sells pies, candy, mugs, knickknacks, Christmas ornaments, and soooooo much more food. I can’t name it all. And outside they have small ponds with fish (the kids in our family always find this facsinating)
Across the street and all throughout town are stores with furniture, decorations, and food! These stores are open during the week and after the flea market closes so there’s always something to do on days the flea market is closed.
The Shipshewana area is celebrated for being home to the third largest Amish community in the United States, for having the Midwest’s largest flea market, and for its reputation of hand-crafted wares.
While you’re planning your future family trips, make sure Shipshewana is on that list. You’ll never regret it. I wasn’t able to go this year when some of my family visited because I had car trouble on the way, but I can’t wait for my trip next year! (Pictures taken by my mom)