5 holiday traditions nwindiana crown point sunset hill michigan city barker mansion

Create a Holiday Tradition

Create a New Christmas Tradition Today!

     We believe one of the best things about Christmas is the family traditions that build up around it, creating happy memories that last long after the last of the Christmas is gone. So, continue your family tradition or start a new one, and here’s five special ideas we’ve chosen from 34 years experience in Northwest Indiana to celebrate Christmas 2020! We promise you’ll go home with memories that last a lifetime.
Michigan City Festival of Lights Christmas Drive Thru Washington Park nnFESTIVAL OF LIGHTS Drive Thru – MICHIGAN CITY
     The Washington Park Festival of Lights is held each year in Michigan City, Indiana during the month of December and continues through the first week of January with special events held on the first Saturday of December, 5th 2020 thru January 3rd, 2021. Lights come on at dusk and stay on until midnight! See 18 Photos of the Lights on the PanoramaNOW Facebook Page, click here!
     Over five million individual bulbs light up a variety of holiday and traditional displays that are truly a sight to behold! It is the largest free drive-through light exhibit in the Midwest. This unbelievable display often includes fun and entertaining light graphics, such as elves shooting gifts out of cannons, firetrucks, dinosaurs, and much more. This has been an annual event for over 22 years at Washington Park. Opening Day is After the Snowflake parade.
     Washington Park is Location on Lake Michigan and the Indiana Dunes Lakeshore at 115 Lake Shore Drive or 2 On the Lake, Michigan City, IN 46360. For more info Call 219-873-1506 (Gate Phone) or 219-873-1548. 

sunset hill winter lights valparaiso indiana 4WINTER LIGHTS DRIVE THRU AT SUNSET HILL PARK:
     Don’t forget that the Winter Lights Drive Thru is open nightly at Sunset Hill Park from 6-9 pm Nov 28th, 2020 through January 4th, 2021! It’s FREE! But, donations are gladly accepted. The drive thru features a lighting of a display of myriad, dazzling light displays throughout the park.
     The light displays are unique to the park, and many of them were custom-made by members of the maintenance staff. Some of the displays include farm scenes consisting of various pieces, a roller coaster in lights over 20 feet tall, and Santa taking off into the sky pulled by his reindeer and many more.
     The Winter Lights Drive Thru has been going on since 1999 – now in its 18th year. For more information on this event, or any other questions related to Porter County Parks and Recreation, call 219-465-3586 or e-mail pcparks@porterco.org.
     Get a sneak peak at some of the displays in the photo album on PanoramaNOW ‘s facebook page  

a christmas story comes home displayA CHRISTMAS STORY COMES HOME – HAMMOND INDIANA
     This holiday season, the “A Christmas Story” Comes Home exhibit, presented in collaboration with Warner Bros. Consumer Products, will be on display from Nov. 13, 2020 until Jan 3rd 2021, at the Indiana Welcome Center in Hammond, Indiana. A Christmas Story Comes Home exhibit features six animated scenes from the holiday movie. The exhibit takes visitors to the streets of downtown Hohman, a fictional Indiana town which was a disguise for author, Jean Shepherd’s, hometown Hammond, Indiana.
     Letters to Santa, live entertainment and more! Bring the whole family to enjoy live entertainment on the weekends and write letters to Santa and drop them in the big mailbox in the exhibit hall!  For a complete list of special events, contests, hours of operation and directions click here. The Welcome Center gift shop offers an array of movie memorabilia including the infamous leg lamp!

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Grammy Contender, Keenan Baxter, has Specialized in Christmas Music for the past 10 years. Book him today!

Click here so see the animated displays with music by Keenan Baxter  
crown point indiana courthouse decked out for holiday events santa winter market tour of lightsChristmas in Crown Point Indiana

     Join Mayor David Uran and the City of Crown Point as they light the trees on the Court House lawn. They will be joined by the Harmony Handbells & CPHS Choir for the celebration.
      Crown Point celebrates the season in style all season long. There are a series of annual events occur throughout the Season including: Tree Lighting Cerermony, Tank Lighting Ceremony, Santa Parade, Winter Market, Tour of Lights and Santa Claus Zoom (normally in the courthouse) Continue Reading . . .

Barker Mansion by Dan Sheehan michigan city

Photo By Dan Sheehan


     An annual holiday tradition, Michigan City’s Barker Mansion will open its decorated rooms to the community for viewing in December.   Please note that the mansion is only open during advertised dates and times; the building will be closed on Sundays and Mondays for upkeep and City holidays. The Barker Mansion is located at 631 Washington Street in Michigan City, Indiana. The 38-room mansion was built by freight car industrialist and philanthropist John H. Barker in 1905.
   Self-Guided Mansion Tours: Tuesday – Sunday in December (except Dec 24 & 25) from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. CST, $8/adult & $5/youth or senior, with last entry at 2:15 p.m.  View the Barker Mansion at your own pace during a self-guided tour. Participants will browse through all three floors of the elegant mansion at their leisure. Online Reservations are required.
     The 38-room mansion was built by freight car industrialist and philanthropist John H. Barker in 1905, after he expanded onto his father’s original 1857 home on the same site. Barker took advantage of the mansion’s location right next to the Haskell and Barker Car Company, bringing many of the factory’s advanced mechanical amenities to the home. The Mansion contains original furnishings, art objects, a ballroom and has and architectural style sunken garden.
     The Barker Mansion’s Christmas schedule varies by week; tickets on Eventbrite. (219) 873-1520 for details.
Christmas things to do Holiday tree lightings santa story
Christmas in Northwest Indiana:
5 Holiday Traditions – Thru Dec 31st – 5 Things to do For the Holidays Your Family Will LOVE!
Valparaiso Tree Lighting And Winter Fest –  Nov. 30th
What’s on Theatre Stage this year cancelled 2020
Candlelight Tour in Laporte cancelled 2020
Whiting’s Holiday Home Tour – Dec 8th, 2019
Winter Lights Drive Thru – Valparaiso Nov 28th Thru Dec 31st, 2020
Holly Days in Valparaiso – Friday,  Dec 4th, 2020
A Christmas Story Comes Home – Hammond Indiana Nov 14th – Jan 3rd
Christmas At Barker Mansion – Michigan City Thru Dec 28th!
FESTIVAL OF LIGHTS DRIVE THRU – Michigan City Dec 5th thru Jan 3rd 2021!
The Nutcracker – 2 shows – Dec 11th and 12
Michigan City Snowflake Parade, Sat. Dec. 5th 

cedar lake parade of lights christmas parade
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Sue Baxter