Girlfriends, Giggles & Gifts...
Grab your girlfriends and get ready for miles of smiles on a tour filled with a distinctly feminine flair!
See exquisite quilts and award-winning Quilt Gardens along the Heritage Trail. Watch artisans at work in their studios. Visit Amish homes and discover secrets to making melt-in-your-mouth cinnamon rolls. Sniff and sample at a perfumery. Enjoy wine tastings and cooking classes. Take a delightful evening theatre production. Bag som fun and lots of goodies on an Amish backroads shopping excursion. That's just a sampling of the fun in store on this tour designed for girls of all ages.
NOTE: Prices subject to change without advance notice.
DAY ONE (Arrive in Nappanee)
2:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. Ice Cream Treats & Historical Feats at Coppes Commons, Nappanee [Ice cream treat on arrival from Rocket Science; $6 pp incl, followed by self-guided tour/shopping - no fee]
Nappanee’s colorful history comes alive when touring Coppes Commons. Originally the factory for Coppes Cabinets that once produced the famous “Hoosier Cabinet,”
the 100,000 s.f. renovated factory now houses a variety of small businesses perfect for shopping for locally made, hand crafted and fresh baked. Groups are given a fascinating historical glimpse into the Coppes Kitchens on this self-guided tour, once ordered by Frank Sinatra and President John F. Kennedy, while touring this rustic and rambling brick structure. Then enjoy an “out of this world” ice cream that is flash frozen right before your eyes at over 320 degrees below zero from Rocket Science.
3:15 p.m. - 4:45 p.m. Paint an Amish Quilt Barn Art piece inside the Nappanee Center [$15 pp incl]
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” x 7” canvas board postcards. Everyone leaves with a finished painting that they will be proud of. Class takes place inside the Nappanee Center which is a site of an official Quilt Garden PLUS historical Nappanee exhibits. Time will be included to explore the Quilt Garden and exhibits.
5:30 p.m. Check-in at your host hotel
6:15 p.m. Depart for the evening
6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. Haystack dinner with Amish buggy rides [$21 pp incl PLUS $5 pp incl for Amish Buggy Rides]
The Amish often host fund-raisers to help families pay for unexpected hospital bills or other needs. The Haystack Meal originated for this type of event because families could donate vegetables grown in their gardens and beef raised on their farms without having to purchase many ingredients. The goal is to create a haystack shape by layering the ingredients into a hearty blend of flavors and textures. It may not sound like it goes together, but trust us, it’s delicious. Your meal this evening is at Yoder’s Homestyle Banquets, the home of Henry & Carolyn Yoder. Following your meal you will have an opportunity to ride in the Yoder’s personal buggies down the country gravel lanes for an enjoyable summer evening. Return to your host hotel following your evening
NOTE: Prices subject to change without advance notice.
6:30 a.m. - 8:30 a.m. Breakfast at your host hotel
8:30 a.m. Meet your guide in the hotel lobby
8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Brown Bag Backroads Tour & Quilt Gardens of Amish Country [$195 total for guide (tip optional for guide) PLUS $16 pp incl for bag items PLUS
optional stops as listed. Bag is provided with goodies at each stop including 4 items from Amish stores]
Learn about the fascinating lifestyle of the Plain People known as the Ana-Baptists while “bagging some fun”! Learn about the fascinating lifestyle of the Amish as your
knowledgeable guide tells all about the area and the history, traditions, and customs of the Amish. You’ll stop at a variety of welcoming country stores and quaint shops as you load up your Brown Bag with locally sourced goodies. Choose your specific 4 stops from a variety of options. While traveling enjoy some of the beautiful Quilt Gardens
along the way.
Guide to determine timing and routing for the following stop:
- Choose 4 Grab Bag Stops for $16 total pp incl, additional stops can be included for no fee or for extra gifts:
Amish sugar free jelly maker
Amish leather shop
Amish noodle maker
Amish Cheese factory
Amish wind chime maker
Amish Toy Maker
E&S Bulk Food Store
- 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.
- Lunch on their own at a location determined by the guide
- Great Life Tours “Meet & Make” program - Create a “Square in a Square” Wooden Quilt Block at Teaberry Wood Products [$28 pp incl]
Meet LaVern and Rachel, the Amish-Mennonite dynamic duo that has made Teaberry Wood Products one of our most requested stops. Together with their family they produce beautiful wooden baskets, whimsical vertical puzzles, charcuterie boards and charming home décor. Groups enjoy one-on-one time with this artisan team as they create a quilt block pieced entirely exotic and local hardwoods. Participants leave with a work of art worthy of gifting or kept as a treasured memory of their travels. Highly collectible, a new pattern will be offered each season—keeping it fresh and new year after year. This meet & make opportunity is endlessly customizable with two frame choices and optional seasonal or decorative laser engraved center tiles.
- Fruit Hills Winery Wine Tasting PLUS Old Hoosier Meats Appetizer Trays [$15 pp incl for wine tasting including cheese/cracker/meat trays]
David & Michelle Muir invite you to join their family inside their wine tasting room at Fruit Hills Winery in the scenic fruit hills of Bristol. Featuring several varieties such as Riesling, Cabernet and Traminette (Indiana’s signature wine). Your group will be seated under the new open-air pavilion sampling 5 different wines (1/2 ounce each) while hearing direct from David, the Vintner, as he shares the history, tones, and notes of each wine. Buckets will be on each table for those who wish to discard any wine they wish not to taste or finish. Assorted Cheese, cracker and meat trays will be offered to compete the experience. After your tasting, shop for a bottle to take home, buy a glass of your favorite, or simple enjoy the view and the conversation.
5:00 p.m. Say goodbye to your guide
6:00 p.m. Evening fun on the Das Dutchman Essenhaus campus [enjoy the following anytime until 8 p.m.]
Welcome to Das Dutchman Essenhaus, home of Indiana’s largest restaurant and a peaceful escape in the country which offers a unique combination of dining, lodging and shopping opportunities. The attractive Amish style restaurant seats 1,100 and is the largest restaurant in the state of Indiana. Manicured grounds invite a leisurely stroll or perhaps a carriage ride through a quaint covered bridge.
Tonight enjoy the following at your own pace:
- Horse Drawn Carriage Ride and Shopping inside the Village Shops [optional and on their own]
Enjoy the beautiful Essenhaus grounds! Relax on horse drawn carriage ride around the immaculate grounds, play a round of miniature golf, or go shopping in one of several Village Shops (coupons provided) all on the same facility grounds. Shop for quilts, baked goods, home décor, ladies apparel, Vera Bradley, jewelry and more.
- Evening Entertainment in Heritage Hall [shows vary by date and season. $42.25pp incl for buffet, non-seasonal pie, beverage, tax, tip & show. NOTE: this is the price for 2021; please budget accordingly.]
Enjoy faith based entertainment suitable for all audiences in this quaint theatrical setting. Laugh and enjoy family friendly productions with a message from the heart. Shows vary by date.
- OR -
- Buffet dinner at Das Dutchman Essenhaus & shopping [coupons provided; $27.76 pp with beverages, tax, tip, and pie included]
Dine on traditional family recipes passed down through generations in Indiana’s largest restaurant now seating over 1,100 guests. Enjoy the all-you-can-eat Buffet Dinner which includes 2 soups, salad bar, 4 entrees, numerous sides and cobblers/puddings for dessert. Beverages are included with your meal. (Buffet on arrival, followed by shopping until departure.)
Return to the hotel following your evening
6:30 a.m. - 8:30 a.m. Breakfast at your host hotel and Check-out
8:30 a.m. Meet your guide in the hotel lobby
8:45 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. Heritage Trail Guide for the day [$195 total (tip optional)]
Continue your girls adventure with the following stops to be routed/timed by the guide:
- Ben’s Pretzels Make your own Pretzel demo [$5 pp incl for 50 or more people, $7 pp incl for 20-50 people, $10 pp incl for 10-19 people]
Bens Pretzels was founded in 2004 by Ben and Elizabeth Miller, an Amish family from Shipshewana Indiana, needing to provide for their family. Ben and his wife, 3rd generation Amish bakers, spent years perfecting the Amish/Dutch dough recipe that makes a perfect soft pretzel. Ben’s has grown to over 71 locations nationwide as well as a mobile/concession program. Today your group will enjoy a short presentation highlighting Ben’s story and history of the company followed by an opportunity to roll your own pretzel, watch it being baked before your eyes. Beverages are included for your tasty handmade afternoon snack.
- Shopping in downtown Shipshewana at the Davis Mercantile [no admission fee]
Visit downtown Shipshewana where the streets are filled with shops & stores filled with crafts, apparel, food, quilts, jewelry, handbags, home décor and art. Wander and explore for your favorite find and “must have” memory to take home.
- Homemade Cinnamon Roll Making Demonstration & Soup/Salad Luncheon at The Carriage House, an Amish family farm [$6 pp incl for cinnamon rolls PLUS $19 pp incl for luncheon]
Enjoy a homemade cinnamon roll, just out of the oven, plus coffee or tea as you watch Elaine, the Amish baker, demonstrate how she makes her special delicacy. Take home some of the rolls to share with your family or friends. Cost includes a cinnamon roll, beverage, demonstration and rolls for taking home. While in Elaine’s Carriage House, enjoy her fresh-picked-from-the-garden (seasons vary) homemade soups & salads served to the table with fresh baked bread, homemade apple butter and of course, delicious pie.
- Annie Oakley Perfumery Studio Tour [$5 pp incl]
Learn the enchanting story of how a fragrance and its brand is born on this fun adventure through Annie Oakley Perfumery. Meet perfumer and owner Renee Gabet as you take a walking tour thru the perfumery process including the bench lab where fragrances are created and blended to bottling and distribution. See perfumes being hand-made and have an amazing sensory experience including some rare and vintage essences. Sample more world class fragrances and essences in the gift shop after your tour and perhaps even create your own signature personalized fragrance just for you!
3:00 p.m. Say goodbye to your guide
Depart area for home - OR - ask for other touring options to extend your tour
Pizza Night Dinner at Hoosier Banquets, an Amish farmstead [$17 pp incl]
Hoosier Banquets - Amish homemaker Linda Miller welcomes you to her farmstead for her family favorite Pizza Night. She’ll make her homemade pizza sauce and dough and serve your group the following tasty evening meal at your table in her banquet hall perfect for groups.
Your Pizza Night includes:
- Fresh Strawberry, Pecan, Romaine Salad served with a vinaigrette dressing on the side
- Chicken Bacon Ranch Pizza
- Supreme Pizza
- Veggie Pizza
- Fruit Pizza made with a cookie dough crust topped with a cream cheese base and covered in fresh fruit
- Key Lime Cheesecake
- Homemade Chocolate Cake
- Coffee, Ice Tea, Water
Casual Fun Food (lunch or dinner) at South Side Soda Shoppe [Price depends on options listed below. NOTE: this is the price for 2021; please budget accordingly. ]
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.
- Option 1:
Choose two from: 1/2 salad (choose from tossed, greek or spinach salad) OR 1/2 sandwich (choose from tuna, egg or chicken salad) OR mug of soup (choose from chili, snapping turtle or soup of the day) served with assorted pie slices and beverage [$17.72 pp incl tax & tip]
- Option 2:
Cheeseburger & fries, served with pie slices and beverage [$16.62 pp incl tax & tip]
- Option 3:
Full Sandwich (choose from turkey club croissant, Veggie Pita, Breaded Pork Tenderloin, or Reuben) served with dish of ice cream and beverage [$16.25 pp incl tax & tip]
- Option 4:
Full Philly Cheese Steak Sandwich served with dish of ice cream and beverage [$18.05 pp incl tax & tip]
- Option 5:
Full Sandwich (choose from turkey club croissant, Ham & Cheese, Veggie Pita, Breaded Pork Tenderloin, or Reuben) served with EITHER 1/2 salad (choose from tossed, greek or spinach salad) OR mug of soup (choose from chili, snapping turtle or soup of the day) served with pie and beverage [$18.25 pp incl tax & tip]
Amish Wedding Feast [$25 pp incl]
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.