A Guide to Nightlife in South Shore and Shipshewana

Activities, Magazine Features

The fun doesn’t stop when the sun goes down in Northwestern Indiana

Nestled in the heart of Northwest Indiana, the quaint, lakeside communities of South Shore and Shipshewana, Indiana come alive at night with a diverse offering of nighttime entertainment to cater to a range of interests and preferences. From high-energy concerts to intimate theatrical performances, this region is a perfect destination for groups looking to fill their nights with unforgettable experiences.

Embrace the nightlife in the in the heart of Indiana’s Amish country

You’ll be amazed at the wide variety of world-class entertainment options offered year-round in the third largest Amish community in the US. Broadway-style musicals and plays featuring the best talent in the region are put on throughout the year at the Round Barn Theater at Amish Acers, a beautifully repurposed barn turned into a performing arts center.

Shipshewana’s Blue Gate Theater is a state-of-the-art venue for concerts, musicals and other live entertainment shows. From plays that will make you laugh, to touching performances to bring tears to your eyes, groups are guaranteed an unforgettable performance. But a trip to this region isn’t complete without sampling traditional Amish or Mennonite cuisine, so make the most of your trip by bundling a ticket and a meal at Blue Gate Restaurant, connected to the theater.

With a newly renovated theater that seats 1,500 spectators, the Blue Gate Performing Arts Center hosts some of the nation’s most sought-after musical guests, comedy acts, and family-friendly performances. From chart-topping country and rock bands to world-renowned gospel choirs and tribute acts, there’s something for everyone at the Blue Gate. The venue also boasts an exceptional sound and lighting system that enhances the overall experience for spectators.

Shipshewana, as quaint and tranquil as it is in the day, boasts a considerable array of entertainment options to satisfy any seasoned thrill-seeker. The Michiana Event Center is the region’s home to nighttime entertainment. From rodeos and their bull-riding cowboys to circuses and death-defying acts, to thrilling sports tournaments, and unapologetically loud monster-truck derbies, a night at Michiana is a night full of laughs and exhilaration. During the summer, Michiana hosts a Food Truck Rally and Jam Session, inviting novice strummers to the main stage for the evening.

The Chicago Street Theater offers up its space to new talent, including singer-songwriters, playwrights, and stand-up comics.

The South Shore comes alive after-hours

South Shore boasts a diverse nightlife that has something to offer every group, from the energetic atmosphere of lively music halls and the local casino to the more refined experiences at the concert halls and opera house.

The Indiana Ballet Theater is a must-visit attraction. As the premier school of ballet in the region, the theater boasts some of the most talented and skilled performers in the state. Visitors can enjoy a range of full-length classical ballets, including the perennial holiday favorite, “The Nutcracker,” the timeless classic “Swan Lake”, and beloved fairy tales such as “Peter Pan” and “Thumbelina.”

For over 81 years, the Northwest Indiana Symphony Orchestra has been committed to providing exceptional musical performances and fostering community engagement. Under the skilled direction of conductor Kirk Muspratt, the 75-peice orchestra offers a full season of subscription concerts and free summer evening concerts that are a favorite among locals and visitors alike.

For over 81 years, the Northwest Indiana Symphony Orchestra has been committed to providing exceptional musical performances and fostering community engagement.

For fans of classical arts, the Memorial Opera House is also a must-visit destination. The historic venue showcases a range of theatrical productions and live performances throughout the year, including plays, musicals, and concerts. And for those who love Broadway shows, Theatre at the Center is the region’s only professional theater dedicated to bringing the best of Broadway to Indiana audiences.

The Horseshoe Casino in Hammond, Indiana is a premier entertainment destination that offers an endless array of gaming options, dining experiences, and live entertainment. The casino’s state-of-the-art facilities, including a spacious gaming floor with over 1,500 slot machines and 70 table games, make it a favorite among visitors seeking an adrenaline-fueled night out. In addition to its gaming offering, the Horseshoe is also home to The Venue, a 90,000-square-foot entertainment complex that hosts some of the biggest names in music and comedy. With its comfortable seating and luxurious VIP amenities, guests will have a hard time remembering they’re not in Las Vegas.

South Shore’s entertainment venues are an incubator for up-and-coming talent. Beatniks on Conkey and Chicago Street Theater are both intimate venues that often offer up their space to new talent, including singer-songwriters, playwrights, and stand-up comics.

Experience the magic of summer nights in South Shore by taking in a live performance at the Dunes Summer Theatre. Located in an idyllic setting along the Indiana Dunes National Park, this beloved venue offers a range of musical acts and performances through the season, making a perfect nightcap after a day spent enjoying the sun and sand at the beach.

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By Isabella Wilkes

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