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 2019! We promise you’ll go home with memories that last a lifetime.
     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, 2019 thru January 5th, 2020. 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. 
     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 or visit

     Don’t forget that the Winter Lights Drive Thru is open nightly at Sunset Hill Park from 6-9 pm Nov 24th through January 4th, 2020! 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
     Get a sneak peak at some of the displays in the photo album on PanoramaNOW ‘s facebook page

     This holiday season, the “A Christmas Story” Comes Home exhibit, presented in collaboration with Warner Bros. Consumer Products, will be on display from Nov. 10, 2019 until Dec. 31st 2019, 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!   Photos with Santa on Santa’s Mountain are available between Thanksgiving and Christmas, every Saturday and Sunday between 11:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. at the Indiana Welcome Center; photos on Christmas Eve will end at 2:00 p.m. Photos are also available on Nov 24 from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and Dec. 22 from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Children have the opportunity to slide down a big red slide into a pillow of snow. Photos are $6 each. Visit for a complete list of special events, contests, hours of operation and directions. 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 :
     Christmas is the most wonderful time of year, and here at Albanese Candy, we love to get into the holiday spirit helping parents and their children make sweet memories that will last a lifetime.
     That’s not all – meeting Santa won’t cost you a dime. Not only is Santa’s workshop located in the center of the candy factory, but we also have TV shows playing kid movies, coloring books, Christmas wish lists, and more to keep your kids entertained as they prepare for their visit with the big guy himself. Albanese makes this a true winter wonderland for all your family to enjoy during this very special time of year!
     You’re invited to Capture the Moment with a Professional Portrait thru Dec 24th!   Children grow up too fast – capture the magic of Christmas through the eyes of your kids with a professional Santa & Me portrait. Throw on your best (or should that be your worst?) holiday sweater and deck the kids out in their festive best to meet Santa. Just don’t forget to take advantage of our very special offer.
     Albanese Candy Factory is located at 5441 East Lincoln Highway (Highway 30) Merrillville, Indiana 46410 and can be rachedat 877-718-6269 or by visiting at

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.
     Glowing Lights Nights: Saturdays in December from 4pm – 6pm, Dec. 8th, Dec15th, 22nd, and Dec 29th, Christmas tree lights will be the only source of illumination.
     Guided Mansion Tours: Tuesday thru Saturday at 1 p.m. CST, $8/adult & $5/youth or senior, Experience all three floors of the grand Barker Mansion during a guided tour. Reservations are not necessary.
   Self-Guided Mansion Tours: Saturday from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. CST, with last entry at 2:15 p.m. $8/adult & $5/youth or senior, 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. Reservations are not necessary.
     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; visit for a printable calendar or call (219) 873-1520 for details.

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 Thru Dec 25th!
Candlelight Tour in Laporte Dec 7th and 8th
Whiting’s Holiday Home Tour – Dec 8th
Winter Lights Drive Thru – Valparaiso Thru Dec 31st !
Holly Days in Valparaiso – Friday,  Dec 6th
A Christmas Story Comes Home – Hammond Indiana Nov 14th – Dec 31st!
Christmas At Barker Mansion – Michigan City Thru Dec 28th!
FESTIVAL OF LIGHTS DRIVE THRU – Michigan City  thru Jan 6th 2020!
The Nutcracker – 5 shows

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Sue Baxter