The Aviation museum is a collection of aircraft from WWII and Vietnam. There are about a dozen aircraft. What makes this museum fun is that you can get right up and touch the planes. Each is in working order and if you're interested, you can arrange for a ride.
Museum Hours: Saturday 10:00am - 4:00pm
Sunday 1:00pm - 4:00pm
A new place, even though it was the middle of winter. This is especially nice when the kids have been couped up for sometime, at home, in the car, or doing adult things. There is a prairie restoration and a play area. It's off the roads and in summer there are numerous birds, including Canadian Geese at the pond at the entrance. It's a good place to let the kids run.
Have you ever walked a labyrinth? They're architectural wonders in the Medevil Churches of Europe and they've come to the U.S. in great numbers. Here, they're more garden style. Valparaiso has two.
Orginally designed as a meditative discipline, labyrinths have become ways of getting closer to god, concentrating on a problem in life to find solutions, and for celebrating the joys of life. You can do it along, among strangers or with a group of friends. Each time, you'll have a different experience, new insights and you may even find a bit of piece.
Valparaiso University, Chapel of the Resurrection, has a labyrinth to the east.
Valparaiso United Methodist Church as a labyrinth next to it's education building at Chicago Street and Morgan.
There is a modern labyrinth mowed into a pasture south of Kouts. See Kouts, Indiana.
The Labyrinth: Resources for Medieval Studies
The Labyrinth, resource guide
The Labyrinth Society
The Courthouse has been the center of the City since it's creation. The cities historic commercial district is Lincolnway on the north side of the square. County services have been supported on the southside with the old County Jail and Sheriffs Office on the SE corner of Indiana & Franklin. Today, commercial services are still prevelant along Lincolnway.
Historic Commerical Building in downtown Valparaiso.
See my travelogue on Courthouse Square. For a sample of other County Courthouses in Indiana, see my Courthouse travelogue
Valplayso is a commuity built kid's place. Climbing, swinging, jumping, sliding and more. Valplayso was designed by the 9-13 year olds and built by the adults several years ago. It's divided between little kids (toddlers to age 5) and bigger kids. On a sunny day, there are plenty of kids having fun.
I specifically did not take any pictures of kids at play (it was cloudy) but there were some, because parents are not comfortable with strangers taking pictures of their kids. Large groups where individuals don't stand out is one thing, 2 or 3 kids, not a good idea.
The Historical Society of Porter County operates the Old Jail Museum, which houses artifacts from around the county. There is the ledger of Joseph Bailly (1807), a mastadon tusk, the old jail itself and items from daily life in Porter County. Hours: Wed, Fri & Sat; 1 - 4 pm. Donations Accepted.
Located in the Center for the Arts on the Valparaiso University campus, the Brauer Museum of Art is home to a nationally recognized collection of 19 th- and 20 th - century American art and includes works by Frederic Edwin Church, Asher B. Durand, Childe Hassam, Georgia O'Keeffe, and Ed Paschke.
It also houses the largest known collection of works by Junius R. Sloan, a Hudson River School painter who lived and worked in the Midwest. Other focus areas within the collection include world religious art and Midwestern regional art. As well as displaying selections from its permanent collection, the Brauer Museum hosts a full schedule of special exhibitions and events.
Two recent special exhibits 'The Art of Frank Dudley' - See 2nd picture) and 'Sand Islands of Northwest Indiana' have been tremendous. Dudley lived and painted the Indiana Dunes in the 1920's and recorded scenes that have disappeared under industrial development and housing communities. The museum has a collection of Dudley paintings which have remained open since the special exhibit closed in December 2006. The other exhibit 'Sand Islands' reveals a unique land form of the Grand Kankakee Swamp. Once considered the 'Everglades of the north', the Kankakee Swamp has been drained and turned into fertile farm lands. The Barchan Dunes, i.e., 'Sand Island' remain as visible landforms throughout the area. Although no longer surrounded by wetlands, they remain, mostly untouched, although they have become favorite places to build homes.
The county fair is the highlight of the summer. We're still a farm county and it shows. The 4H barn is a great place to see the work of the local kids and the animal barns show off the best the county has in lifestock. The midway each year draws the younger kids at the dinner hour with their parents and the teens and young adults begin to arrive in the evening as the sun goes down.
Each night there is a major show with country and westerns stars, christian music groups, and the biggest night (still) is the demolition derby.
Washington Street Historic District' has 43 historic homes in a six block area. It is bounded by two other historic streets and is the heart of the old town.
Washington Street, Lafayette Street, and Franklin Street
Historic Homes of Valparaiso
See my travelogue on Washington Street
Valparaiso is the home of Redenbacker Popcorn. Orville was the Extension Agent here for a while and began his work to develop the best popping corn around. Slowly, the community began to celebrate the popularity of Popcorn with the annual fall (last weekend in September) Popcorn Festival.
Crafts, food, dancing, and a big parade now highlight Saturday of the week long festival. Thousands come for the one day. All go home tired and happy.
Valpo has been around a long time. Well since the middle 1800's. Many buildings have come and gone since then, but there is still a smattering of old historic buildings around. Many date back to the turn of the Century, (1899-1900 that is). On a warm spring day, take a walk around downtown. Besure to look across the street for the best views. Shops line the streets, but you'll only see in their windows, unless you look across the street and see the upper floor and the corniche. Styles are as varied as the people who've made this town home.