Food & Fall Fun in Northern Indiana
Be sure your group wears their stretchy pants. Our tours are nicknamed “ten-pound tours.” Feast on locally baked goods, jumbo jelly beans plus other candies galore. Dine in a famous diner on retro food, tour Indiana’s largest apple orchard and buy chocolates fit for Presidents! Take a break from your culinary adventure to see flour ground at Indiana’s oldest operating grist mill. This tour is a food frenzy of favorites and guaranteed to tempt every taste bud plus bursting with Fall colors and fun!
Depart for Northern Indiana, Arrival Goshen
Noon-1 p.m. Lunch at the South Side Soda Shop— - pricing varies by menu selection $13-$16 pp incl
Dine in a restored diner with dining car & a 1940s soda fountain on classic American eats, shakes & malts. Featured on The Food Network “Diners, Drive-ins and Dives” and in Gourmet magazine. In-house bakery, daily specials, fresh seafood, chili, homemade soups, sandwiches & pie.
1:15-2:30 p.m. Kercher’s Sunrise Orchard “Apple Guided Tour” --$5 per child, $4 per adult
Combine fun with an educational agricultural experience as Maureen Kercher tells all about running a modern day apple orchard and farm. Maureen has 25 years of experience in talking with groups all ages, and her sense of humor and appreciation of what it takes to operate the business shines as bright as her smile. The Apple guided tour includes apple picking, hay ride, a “corny” field walk, a cup of fresh apple cider, and a 20 minute video on “Just what does it take to grow apples and get them ready for the grocery store”
2:45-3:15 p.m. Olympia Candy Kitchen Shopping for Chocolates served to Presidents—no admission fee
The Olympia Candy Kitchen has been welcoming visitors for almost a century in its unchanged location in downtown Goshen, Indiana remaining a family run business, passed through 4 generations over 100 years. All of their candies are handmade from scratch including the famous Turtles, which are made with their own home- made caramel, plus the famous Chocolate-Covered Cherries, which were so popular that they were served at the Inaugural Balls of both President Reagan and President George H.W. Bush. They also offer a wide variety of the highest quality hand-dipped sweets, such as creams and chocolate covered peanuts plus a great selection of gummy candies, jelly beans, licorice, and other non-chocolate treats.
3:30-4 p.m. Popcorn Olympics at Shirley’s Gourmet Popcorn—Classic Flavor Game-- $10 pp incl (adults or children) with small bag of either Windy City or Jelly Bean flavored popcorn bags for each person
Compete against your teammates/group friends and family members in this fun, interactive game by Shirley’s Gourmet Popcorn in Goshen. Race the clock, test your skills, and munch on freshly popped Original Movie Theatre flavored popcorn kernels as you have fun. Some games are independent, some in teams of 2 or more. All are led by the Shirley’s Popcorn staff and coaches complete with supplies and instructions.
4:15-4:45 p.m. Roll your own Pretzel at Jo Jo’s Pretzels--$5 pp incl
Hear the story behind the pretzel shape! Roll your own soft pretzel made from the King family secret pretzel dough recipe perfected by generations over the years. Some say they are the “world’s greatest soft pretzels”! In a flash, your pretzel will be hot out of the oven and will be served with your beverage of choice.
5 p.m. Depart Goshen for your host hotel to check-in
6:15 p.m. Depart for the evening
6:40-8:40 p.m. Dinner Buffet & shopping at Southgate Crossing—see below
Southgate Crossing offers a stunning Amish built wooden peg and beam barn venue with a unique shopping and dinner experience. Shop for locally made items, food items and home décor in the Big Red Barn. Enjoy a BBQ buffet dinner in the atrium on arrival! Optional Corn Maze available.
Return to your host hotel following your dinner
6:30 – 8:30 a.m. Breakfast at your host hotel
8:45 a.m. Depart hotel for the day
9-10 a.m. Coffee with the Curator at the Midwest Museum of American Art--$10 pp incl
This neo-classical style bank building, in the heart of downtown Elkhart, houses 19th and 20th century art from American Primitives to Pop art and includes original works by Grant Wood and Norman Rockwell. Each Fall the Midwest finest artists from 24 regional counties submit their best and finest art for a juried competition. Your group will have an opportunity to see and hear about some of these amazing Midwest artists on this “coffee walk/chat” with the expert curator of the Museum and exhibition.
10:15-11:15 a.m. Craft Elkhart Glass Blowing Demo—$6 pp incl
Get ready to be amazed! From pottery, to jewelry, to paintings, to furniture, Craft Elkhart is the place to find unique handmade pieces of art from local and global craftsmen along with fine art pieces from a well-established dealer. This unique retail shop offers one-of-a-kind gifts you can’t find anywhere else – all while supporting the art community! Craft Elkhart also offers an opportunity to expand your horizons, step out into the unknown, learn something new, and explore new passions. Featured glass blowing artist will share his passion for glass blowing while bringing art to life in front of your eyes.
11:30-12:30 p.m. Lunch at the Baker’s Nook, downtown Elkhart
12:45-2:15 p.m. Hands-on Fall Painting Fun at the Elkhart Public Library --$15 pp incl
Your group will sit down with local artist, Linda Pieri, and be shown painting secrets developed throughout the ages. Linda has taught over 1000 people in the art of acrylic painting encouraging them to “not just look at what you are drawing or painting, but to see what is really there.” You will be able to observe a demonstration and follow step-by-step instructions that will help you create your own masterpiece. This is not a paint by number situation. Linda helps each person discover the creative artist inside of each of them. Everything is provided including: easel, canvas, acrylic paints, brushes, brush basins, palettes, and paint clothes. Acrylic paintings are on 5” x7” canvas board postcards. Everyone leaves with a finished painting reflecting a single pumpkin design that they will be proud to display or give as a gift.
2:30-4:30 p.m. Light Afternoon “Witches Brew Tea” & Tour at Ruthmere--$20 pp incl for tea & tour PLUS $50 total for “witch”
NOTE: This is NOT “high tea” but a “light tea” with primarily assorted scones, macarons, mini treats, light cucumber slices, etc with water & hot tea. It is not intended to be a luncheon or “high tea”.
Who remembers the famous Alka Seltzer advertisement, "Plop, plop, fizz, fizz, Oh, what a relief it is"? Elkhart, Indiana was the home to entrepreneur Mr. Albert Beardsley who helped found the company that created Alka Seltzer. His elaborate 1910 Beaux-Arts style house, Ruthmere, named after his deceased daughter Ruth, is available for your groups guided tour. You'll see a fine art collection including Tiffany leaded glass, Rodin sculptures, velvet window coverings, hand painted walls, and walnut woodwork. Following your mansion tour, enjoy the “Witches Brew Tea”. You’ll shiver as the ghostly shape materializes right before your eyes! You’ll hear the wolves howling announcing your arrival at THE WITCHES BREW TEA! A special guest is expected to fly in all the way from the wicked west - Willow the Witch! But, don’t be afraid, my pretties, you will be among friends. (You hope!) Come; pick your poison - ah - tea, at Ruthmere’s Witches Brew Tea. There will be ample parking for your broomsticks or bicycles. You’ll have a bewitching time with delicious teas and tea foods!
Return to your host hotel to relax and freshen up a bit
6-8 p.m. Meadow Brook Farm Tour with catered BBQ dinner--$7 pp incl for Meadow Brook Farm PLUS $23 pp incl for Catered BBQ dinner including beverages, tax, tip, delivery and 2 comps
Constructed during the Civil War by a wealthy Chicago family, the home and barns at Meadow Brook Farm were built with oak, maple and poplar wood from the surrounding land. Guests enjoy seeing five original structures, including the home, two barns, a granary, and the smokehouse, all of which are certified on Indiana’s Historical Registry. Hostess will greet and share on the bus followed by a self-guided tour the original 1860 historical home, barns and smokehouse including Amish built furniture, themed décor in each of five bedrooms & six baths, plus see antique farm implements and a “Jesus Donkey”. Following your tour enjoy a catered buffet dinner in the restored beautiful barn. Optional evening entertainment or hands-on fall craft available for an additional fee
Return to your host hotel following the theatre production
6:30 – 8:15 a.m. Breakfast at your host hotel
8:15 a.m. Depart Elkhart for Goshen
8:45-9:45 a.m. Fall Edibles at Ox Bow Park—$2 pp incl
Taste delicious fruit native to Indiana, such as Pawpaws, Persimmons and other wild edibles found in the fall. The first part of the program will include a hike at Ox Bow, where the class will learn to identify edible plant species found locally. Following the hike participants will learn foraging basics and will have the chance to taste some of our foraged finds.
9:45 a.m. Depart Goshen for Bristol
10:10-11 a.m. Stone Ground Flour at Bonneyville Mill, Bristol--$2 pp incl
Feel the floor shake as giant millstones rumble into action grinding grain into flour at Indiana’s oldest continuously operating gristmill. A friendly miller tells all about the process and types of grain. Explore the 150 plus year-old mill where there’s a story on every floor. The mill is picture perfect and the surrounding county park is ideal for a nature-filled walk along well marked paths
11:15 a.m. Depart Bristol for Wolcottville
Noon-2 p.m. Cook’s Bison Ranch Wagon Farm Tour & Chuckwagon BBQ Buffet--$25 pp incl
Take a hay-wagon ride with your local expert guide into the pasture to hand feed the great American Bison in its own habitat. Learn the intricacies of raising, feeding and managing this wild animal. A unique experience for all ages. Dinner tonight is an old fashioned chuck-wagon bar-b-que featuring bison and pulled pork plus all the fixings and sides including a dessert & beverages that groups love. (Tour first, then buffet)
Depart for home