Theater, Dining, and Amish Acres at The Barns at Nappanee in Indiana
By Meg Brunson
When we arrived at our campsite in Northern Indiana we noticed that some of our neighbors were Amish. It’s been a long time since I learned about the Amish community and since I was not prepared to answer the questions my kids had, we decided to seek out a “field trip” to learn more about the Amish lifestyle.
We truly lucked out to discover the Barns at Nappanee. Formerly known as “Amish Acres” the venue offers tours that introduce you to the Amish, and also other attractions, like a restaurant and theater.
Upon arriving the first thing we did was tour an Amish home and take a wagon ride around the venue. We learned about Amish clothing, prayer bonnets, religious beliefs, schooling, and more.
Because we visited in the fall, we also got to make a visit to the pumpkin patch to pick out a pumpkin. A variety of activities and games were available including marshmallow roasting, apple butter demonstrations, a see-saw, and fun little games to play. Plus, plenty of beautiful fall decor and shopping opportunities... plus, so many tasty treats at the sweet shop.
Between the tour and the theater we enjoyed lunch at the Lasalle Farm & Table. My husband and I enjoyed the “farm feast.” We were able to choose one of four starters, 2 main dishes, all the sides, and pie. The kids all got hot dogs and fries - I definitely sampled each... the fries were SO good and lightly seasoned. The hot dog was definitely an all-beef hot dog, so hearty and delicious.
Honesty time: we did not have room for pie - the food was so good and so filling. We took our pies to go and everyone left with full happy bellies. It was very likely the best meal we've had all year. No exaggerations. If you visit the Barns at Nappanee and decide not to dine at the LaSalle Farm & Table you're doing yourself a disservice!
The Barns at Nappanee offer a variety of family-friendly stage performances throughout their season - we got lucky to be visiting during Into The Woods! The cast was incredible. The performance was amazingly well-done and we loved all the characters - even the not so nice ones. Our family favorites included the witch, Prince Charming, Rapunzel, Little Red Riding Hood, Cinderella, Jack, and the Baker... and the Baker’s Wife... and even the giant! Basically, all the characters - Into The Woods is now a family favorite.
There were concessions available for purchase at the beginning (and again at the 15 minute intermission). The kids enjoyed some popcorn, while dad had a pumpkin whoopie pie, and I enjoyed a peanut butter cookie - all delicious! I love when it's allowed to eat at the theater - luckily my kids are old enough now to remain attentive throughout the show, it's always nice knowing you can toss a snack their way if need be.
The entire show lasted nearly 3 hours - though it did not feel that long, it was SO good. The other great thing, is that if (sadly) staying the whole time is not in the cards, we COULD have left at intermission, the story was pretty "wrapped up" at that point and the second act was very much like a Part 2. Now, I am glad we saw the whole thing, but it's nice knowing leaving early could be an option without feeling like you're missing the end of the story.
We visited in September 2020 during the Coronavirus Pandemic and they had great precautions in place.
- At the theater: We all had our temps taken before being admitted to the theater with our masks on. Only every other row had people sitting in them, and there were at least 2 vacant seats between parties in the same row.
- At the restaurant: This was the first time we've dined in a restaurant since Covid. The tables were all spaced out more than 6 feet apart and all staff wore masks.
Tips for a terrific visit:
- Arrive early and plan to stay all day – we definitely could have spent a second day here, we really loved it.
- Don’t skip the farm feast – I know I said it before, but I’ll say it again, it was such a good meal and reasonably priced.
- Plan ahead for gift giving – there were a few different shops full of items that would make amazing gifts, from food to woodwork, and apparel to décor. There were plenty of things I wanted to buy for myself, and I also found tons of gift ideas for others.
Spending the day at the Barns at Nappanee was the best way to spend a beautiful Fall day! We got to tour an Amish home and learn all about the Amish way of life, eat a farm feast, see an amazing stage performance, and more. The Barns at Nappanee also offer holiday activities - if you're going to be in Northern Indiana, I HIGHLY recommend checking out this amazing attraction. If/when we return to Indiana, we'll definitely be back!
Check out the upcoming performances, current menu, and vacation packages at https://thebarnsatnappanee.com/.
Read about some of the other adventures we're having on our Indefinite Road Trip!
© 2020 Meg Brunson
Thanks to the Barns at Nappanee for sponsoring this review! All opinions expressed are my own. See more on Instagram!
Meg is a mommy blogger, Facebook marketer, and much more. She is a mom to four daughters who live full-time in an RV exploring the US! As a former Facebook employee, Meg remains a Facebook addict and handles KidsOutAndAbout.com's Social Media Marketing in addition to providing freelance services for other small businesses on how to best leverage Facebook as a part of their marketing strategy. Meg also hosts the FamilyPreneur Podcast, a podcast for parent entrepreneurs raising entrepreneurial children. Learn more about Meg at MegBrunson.com!