Gardens & History along the Heritage Trail in Northern Indiana

Grab your cameras and get ready for so many memories on a tour filled with beautiful gardens and stunning history.

The MEC Horses

BOOK NOW - SPECIAL EVENT: Saturday, July 29 -  Saturday, August 5, 2023 (excluding Sundays & Mondays)
Shipshewana Majestic presents “UNTOLD” and dinner buffet/pre-show - $54.95 pp incl

Shipshewana’s town history will unfold through animal and aerial acts joined by power house vocals and professional dance during this 2 hour entertainment experience. You’ll hear how Abraham Summey and his “Summey Town” joined the Davis family and his “Davis Town” to build and create the beloved small community of today.  Theirs family feuds, forbidden love and tales of the Potawatomi Indians woven throughout this fast paced evening.  Enjoy a dinner buffet and pre-show entertainment. Upgrade for a post-VIP Behind the Scenes animal experience and tour. More Info.

 

DAY ONE

Arrival in Amish Country of Northern Indiana, Elkhart
11 a.m. - Noon Shopping at Linton’s Enchanted Gardens - no admission fee

Visit the Quilt Garden at Linton’s at your leisure. Then explore this huge garden center with its many themed gardens including the Japanese Tea House, Southwestern garden with Mine Shaft, Victorian House, Dutch Gardens and Grist Mill. Shop in the 25,000 square foot gift emporium featuring Vera Bradley, kitchen items, home décor, ladies apparel, jewelry and garden supplies. Enjoy the Quilt Garden while on site

12:30-2 p.m.   Garden Party Picnic Box Lunch and Krider Garden Tour - $15 pp incl for box lunch PLUS $5 pp incl for guided garden tour

Enjoy the Quilt Garden displayed at historic Krider Garden. Take time to stroll through the “World’s Fair” garden that blends a wide variety of plants, shrubs, trees and waterfalls with area history. The gardens were originally designed by Krider Nurseries for display at the 1933/34 Chicago World’s Fair. The community restored those original garden elements for future generations to enjoy.

2:15-3 p.m. Amish rug weaving demo & Cookie break - $3 pp incl

Leo & Lorene Miller welcome you to their Old Order Amish home where Leo has been handweaving rag rugs for years. Taught by his family, Leo will demonstrate how he weaves and creates his beautiful and functional rugs. Meanwhile Lorene, his wife, will serve you her fresh from the oven cookies and cold lemonade as both the Miller’s welcome your group and answer questions about their personal Amish lifestyle.

3:15-3:45 p.m. Flower Power Petal Pin / Pin Cushion at The Quilt Shop at Das Dutchman Essenhaus - $10 pp incl

Groups will love the fun and fast “Make and Take” fabric flower project. Each person makes a fabric flower pin or pin cushion with no sewing machine or prior sewing knowledge required. Materials are provided. Best yet it takes just 30 minutes to complete and everyone takes home their flower creation! Discover how fast fabric flowers bloom at The Quilt Shop!

 

Das Dutchman Essenhaus

4 p.m. Check-in at your host hotel
6 pm - 7 p.m.  Dinner at Das Dutchman Essenhaus - $29.25 pp incl, note this rate is for 2022, 2023 prices haven’t been set yet.

Das Dutchman Essenhaus offers a unique combination of dining, lodging and shopping opportunities. The attractive Amish style restaurant seats 1,100. Manicured grounds invite a leisurely stroll or perhaps a carriage ride through a quaint covered bridge. Enjoy the Quilt Garden & Mural during your visit. Enjoy shopping in The Village Shops, coupons provided for gift items, ladies apparel, home décor, baked goods, books, cooking supplies, games and much more.

 

Quilt Gardens

Return to your host hotel following your evening

DAY TWO
6:30 - 8:30 p.m.   Breakfast at your host hotel
8 am  Meet your guide in your hotel lobby

8:15-4 p.m. Quilt Gardens Tour Step-on Guide for the day - $230 per guide (tip optional)

The Quilt Gardens, designated a TOP 100 EVENT and a BEST OF THE BEST by American Bus Association, this one-of-its kind experience starts annually May 30 and continues to September 15.  We’ve packed 150,000 plants, with over 1 million blooms into 16 giant gardens planted in the shape of Quilt Patterns in 6 welcoming communities along the 90 mile Heritage Trail.  It’s a quilters and gardeners dream tour! Join your local expert gardener and get the inside scoop on a guided tour of the official Quilt Gardens and Murals along the Heritage Trail.

Your day will include with the guide to determine final routing/timing:

Visit the Quilt Garden in Wakarusa and shop at the Wakarusa Dime Store for old-fashioned candy treats - no admission fee
Explore additional downtown shops as time allows. Be sure to see the giant jumbo jelly bean quilt.

Enjoy the Quilt Gardens along the Heritage Trail with route and stops determined by the guide

 

The Nappanee Center and Historical Collection PLUS paint an Amish Quilt Barn Art piece - $15 pp incl

Explore inside the Nappanee Center and see the quilts depicting historical Quilt Gardens while enjoying the fascinating display chronicling Nappanee’s storied past.   Enjoy the beautiful Quilt Garden on site and then 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.  

Emma Schrock Quilt Art Exhibit at the Nappanee Center - no admission fee

We are sure that you have heard of Grandma Moses but have you heard of the “Grandma Moses of Elkhart County”? Not only does Nappanee serve as home to six nationally known cartoonists, an Air Force One pilot and a NASA aeronautical engineer but it also serves as home for the naïve folk artist, Emma Schrock, who was of Old Order Mennonite faith. Growing up with physical challenges, Emma Schrock used painting as a way to work outside of her home.

Quoted as saying “I live what I paint and I paint what I see”, Emma Schrock truly captured the Old Order Mennonite way of life and it is an excellent example of what makes our area so unique. The Nappanee Center is now home to fifty-seven Emma Schrock paintings and has a dedicated gallery for her works of art. Not only does the Nappanee Center tell the story of Emma Schrock but also the well-crafted storied past of Nappanee including its cartoonists, kitchen cabinets and so much more!

Lunch, Tea and Tour at The Coppes House B&B, Nappanee - 1-15 guest:  $18 pp incl  for 1-15 people, $16 pp incl for 16-25 people, $14 pp incl for over 26 guests

Don’t wait for the queen’s approval for a tea party! You are invited to Nappanee’s historic house of Frank and Katherine Coppes, an 1887 Victorian style home. The Coppes Family helped pioneer Nappanee with flour milling, furniture & cabinet making, the Coppes Hotel and so much more.  Four generations of Coppes Family members lived in the house before it was turned into a Bed and Breakfast in 1987. You will be greeted by the 4th InnKeepers of the historic house.

From the moment you enter, your eyes will instantly be drawn to the beautiful, hand-carved woodwork on the walls and large stairway to the rooms upstairs. The gorgeous Lamb Brothers and Greene-stained glass windows throughout the house is also a piece of Nappanee history. This house embodies a unique time in history, truly setting the stage for what Nappanee would become, for cabinet making and tourism.  Your time with us will include a tea served with vintage teacups and fine china, stories of the rich history of Nappanee and places to visit. For lunch, enjoy hot tea, delicious chicken salad, egg salad, cucumber sandwiches, scones, fruit, and pastries for your lunch.  We will give you a tour of the historic house, where you will learn about historic pieces made by the family business, a painting that was created in the attic of the house and stories.  You will also have an opportunity to see guest rooms that are used today for The Coppes House Bed and Breakfast.

4 p.m.  Say good-bye to your guide

5-8:30 p.m.  Amish Quilt Trunk Show and Amish Wedding Feast - $8.50 pp incl for Trunk Show PLUS $28 pp incl for Wedding Feast

Rebecca Haarer, a nationally known quilt historian and collector of vintage Indiana quilts, tells the history of Amish quilting. In a format she describes as her “quilt museum on the road,” Rebecca shows vintage Amish quilts and discusses how they’ve been influenced by the Amish culture including how changes in society have affected the Amish and their quilts.

For dinner enjoy the Amish Wedding Feast.  It’s a once of a lifetime experience feasting on a traditional Amish wedding dinner in the charming setting of “The Carriage House”. Elaine and her son Seth explain what an Amish wedding day is like complete with this special meal that would be traditionally served by the Amish to their wedding guests. Groups see an Amish bride’s wedding dress up close, and hear the customary German Wedding song sung at an Amish wedding.

- Choose 2 meats from Baked Chicken, Grilled Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs, Seasoned Pork Roast, Baked Chicken Breasts Parmesan, Ham, Ham Loaf, Meatloaf, Poppy Seed Chicken Breasts, Roast Beef, or Salisbury Steak

- Served with Mashed Potatoes, Gravy, Noodles, Homemade Bread, Butter & Apple Butter plus Amish Peanut Butter Spread - Choose 1 salad from Broccoli & Cauliflower, coleslaw or tossed salad

- Choose two buttered vegetables:  Corn, Mixed Vegetables, Green Beans, Peas & Carrots

- Choose 3 pies Angel Cream Pie, Apple, Banana Cream, Blueberry, Bob Andy, Cherry, Black Raspberry, Chocolate Cream, Chocolate Peanut Butter Cream, Butterscotch Cream, Coconut Cream, Custard, Pumpkin, Fruit in Season, Lemon Cream, Peanut Butter Cream, Peach, Pecan, Raisin Cream, Red Raspberry Cream

- Served with Angel Food Cake Dessert

- Served with Homemade Ice Cream with Homemade Caramel Sauce

 

Return to the hotel following your evening

DAY THREE
6:30 - 8 a.m. Breakfast at your host hotel
Check-out

 

Hall of Heroes

8:30-9:30 a.m.  Hall of Heroes Superhero Museum - groups of 20-30 people - $6 pp incl, groups 31+--$5 pp incl

The Hall of Heroes Museum is filled with 80 years of history that makes you feel like a kid again. Located in Elkhart is the largest superhero collection in world of 70,000 comic books, 10,000 toys, original artwork and cartoons and Hollywood props from WW II to present day. Do you remember the song, “Na Na Na Batman!!!”?  Go back to your childhood when by seeing Adam West's Batman costume from the 1960's television series. If you are a western fan, you will love Clayton Moore's “Lone Ranger” costume on exhibit.

See rare comic books such as the first appearance of Captain America #1 in 1941 and the Wonder Woman comic in 1942. Visitors love to pose for pictures with the full-size “Incredible Hulk” statue that is life size 9.5 feet tall and weighs 600 lbs. See two vehicles from Marvel studios including the 1965 Shelby Cobra from the first “Iron Man” film and the Nicholas Cages Hellcycle from “The Ghost Rider” films. Complete your visit by enjoying the free superhero arcade with classic arcade and pinball machines!

 

wellfield

9:45-10:45 a.m.Wellfield Botanic Garden & Quilt Garden - $6.50 pp incl for self-guided tour, $10 per guide for guided tour, optional golf cart rental of $10 each for ease of transportation if desired (2 carts max)

Wellfield Botanic Gardens accepts as truth that mankind is inseparable from nature while sharing a natural and man-made environment of unique beauty that attracts, inspires, and educates. The Gardens is situated on 36 acres including 18 acres of water and includes a ½ mile paved walking trail-path to a variety of themed gardens featuring water displays, sculptures, plants and beauty of nature. Enjoy the Quilt Garden while on site.

 

Ruthmere_2

11-12:30 p.m.  Ruthmere Mansion Tour - $8 pp incl, 2 comps per groups over 25

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.  Enjoy the Quilt Garden while on site.

 

12:45-1:45 p.m. Five Star Dive Bar Group Meal - price dependent on menu selection

Welcome to downtown Elkhart’s popular Five Star Dive Bar.  When you are hungry and looking for some delicious American food, Five Star Dive Bar is the place to come in Elkhart. Discover their extensive menu including such items as salads, soups, wraps, fish, and sandwiches that will bring you back for more.

Featuring fresh, never frozen burgers. Locals love the loaded tot appetizers, yummy breadsticks, and giant loaded nachos with plenty to share!  A full bar is available on site for individual purchases on their own if desired. 

 

Depart for home

NOTE: Prices subject to change without advance notice.

For more information contact

Director of Group and Experiential Sales & Promotions

Sonya Nash, CTIS, CTP

Director of Group and Experiential Sales & Promotions