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Special Events
Barker Birthday Bash

National Register of Historic PlacesFamilies are invited to a brand new event at Michigan City’s Barker Mansion this fall. The Barker Birthday Bash will celebrate forty years of placement on the National Register of Historic Places, an official list of sites significant to the history of their community. The list is managed by the National Park Service and sites must meet criteria before being admitted. The Barker Mansion was admitted due to its “architecture and statement about American life”, according to the official October 10, 1975 report.

To celebrate, families can play old-fashioned games such as jacks, pick-up sticks, musical chairs and four square, which would have been popular during the Barker’s time. Kids can make paper hats, decorate treat bags with nostalgic candy and enjoy cupcakes. All activities will take place in the garden, though the party will be moved indoors if raining.

The Barker Birthday Bash runs from 1-4 pm on Saturday, October 10 and is sponsored by the Friends of Barker Civic Center. A $2 per person fee applies. Anyone interested in volunteering at the event can call the director at (219) 873-1520.


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Kids’ Nature Program at Barker Mansion

Kids’ Nature Program at Barker MansionA final Kids’ Nature Play in the Garden session will be offered at the Barker Mansion on October 15 at 3:30 pm. The theme of the program will be “Getting Ready for Winter” and may include a visit from a live reptile as well as a story, snack time, and an art project. The hour-long program will encourage youth to explore nature just as Catherine Barker may have done as a young girl.

The interactive session is ideal for ages 10 and under and will be led by Indiana Master Naturalist Cookie Ferguson. A $2 fee per child applies; each accompanying adult is free. Registration is not necessary. Participants are encouraged to dress for the weather, though the program will be moved indoors if raining.




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Sweetest Day Deal

Bring your sweetie for the 1 pm mansion tour on Sweetest Day October 17 and receive a buy-one-get-one-free admission when you give ‘em a smooch at check-in!


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A Victorian Hallow's Eve

Step back in time and celebrate Halloween like the Barker family would have done over 100 years ago. This family-friendly, non-scary event on October 31 from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm will feature Victorian era games and traditions. Cost is $2 per person; those arriving in costume receive free admission.


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First Fridays at Barker Mansion

Enjoy First Friday at Barker Mansion on November 6 from 5-8 pm. Stroll through select first-floor rooms of the mansion and meet our featured artist. Barker Mansion tea and homemade Victorian-era treats will be served. Event is free of charge.


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Christmas is Almost Here & We Need Your Help!

Would you like to help decorate the mansion for Christmas? We’ll begin in November. Call (219) 873-1520 or email for details.


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Educational Tours and Programs Available at the Barker Mansion

A Historic Setting for your Fairytale DayA visit to Michigan City’s Barker Mansion enriches students’ knowledge of Indiana’s industrial heritage, the early history of Michigan City and surrounding area, and the role of the Barker family. Barker Mansion features exceptional programs that meet our state educational standards, as well as students’
requirements for fun!

We offer programs in Victorian lifestyles, early 1900’s school life, and clue problem solving skills. These individual tour topics can be designed to fit the Indiana Standards or individual curriculum needs. Because of time limitations, only one topic is offered per tour. If a large group wants to visit, arrangements can be made with other local museums or the Washington Park Zoo to alternate our program with their programs so your students have many opportunities to learn during their trip.

The Historic Mansion Tourbegins with an introductory video about the history of Michigan City and the Barker family. A tour of the mansion and gardens (weather permitting) follows, highlighting the Barker furnishings and the lifestyle of a well- to-do Victorian family. This tour is suitable for kindergarten through high school and is offered from February through October.

The Early 1900’s Schoolroom Touris a hands-on turn-of-the-century classroom program presented in Catherine Barker’s third- floor schoolroom. A slate board is provided for each child to complete classroom activities. Games, singing, and reciting exercises are also included. This tour is suitable for grades 3-5 and is limited to thirty students; it is offered from February through October.

The Clue Gameis a lesson in following directions as students complete a word search puzzle. They solve the mystery of the theft of Barker silver by recording clues found throughout the Mansion in a “detective log booklet.” This game is suitable for grades 3-6, is limited to thirty students, and is offered from February through October.


631 Washington Street, Michigan City, Indiana 46360

Reservations are required for all tours. A special school admission rate is $1 for students and $2 for aides and accompanying adults;
one teacher per class is admitted at no charge.






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