Handcrafted & Historic...along the Heritage Trail
From BUGGIES to RV’S and AMISH, celebrate the creativity and ingenuity of today and yesterday throughout Northern Indiana’s Amish Country.
Learn how Mae West and an RV impacted the 1930’s movie industry. Get up close to the works of some of the Midwest’s greatest artists including Indiana’s largest Norman Rockwell collection. Revel in the majesty of a Beaux-Arts mansion that “Alka-Seltzer built” while admiring Tiffany’s and Rodin’s. Take a walk in a vibrant downtown hearing about the legendary creations of Hoosier Cabinets then see the quilt art of our very own version of “Grandma Moses”. Chat with Amish handcrafters in their workshops. Watch and make creations from wooden quilts to fresh baked scones and more.
YOU’LL BE AMAZED AT THE STORIES, ADMIRE THE BEAUTY, AND LEARN HOW ELKHART COUNTY’S HISTORY HAS IMPACTED OUR NATION!
DAY ONE (Arrive in Elkhart)
3:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. RV/MH Hall of Fame Museum, Elkhart [$8 pp incl]
This shrine to the RV in the “RV Capital” traces the history of RVing from early 1913 travel-trailers to today’s state-of-the-art motor homes. The 80,000 sq. ft. museum
showcase a fascinating collection of one-of-a-kind camping cars, house trailers, and house cars including a gem custom built for Hollywood screen siren Mae West and the touring RV for Charles Lindbergh. Follow the time trail of vintage RVs arrayed among murals of scenic America. A knowledgeable guide shares RV folklore and the industry’s remarkable stories with groups.
4:00 p.m. Check-in at your host hotel in Elkhart, Indiana
5:45 p.m. Depart hotel for evening dinner experience
6:00 p.m. - 9:30 p.m. Hell’s Kitchen Inspired Interactive Hors D’oeuvre and Wine Pairing Evening at LEX530 [$90 pp including tax & tip. Minimum group size is 25; maximum group size is 60. 2 comps for bus driver & escort.]
Get your hands messy and dirty, don a chef’s hat, plan to laugh and learn, while having fun with your fellow group members!!! Vintner and businessman Carl Tiedemann took his passion for discovering exceptional wines and his love of sharing those wines with others and combined it with more than 30 years of business experience to launch a successful wine distribution company, Tiedemann Wines, in Elkhart Indiana.
In addition to bringing several boutique wines from all over the world which are distributed exclusively in Indiana, Carl also produces and blends seven of his own wines which are made one-on-one with his favorite Napa Valley winemakers. Tonight, your group will enjoy the “Hell’s Kitchen inspired Interactive event”. Participants will be welcomed and then split into groups for a friendly competition! Each group will be led by a chef and encouraged to learn about and participate in preparing and executing the task their group has been assigned. They will then serve the rest of the group the course they prepared and explain why it pairs well with the wine chosen. Your evening includes an Amuse Bouche, along with 3 individual courses then completed with a dessert course, each paired with an appropriate full glass of delicious wine. Water, coffee and iced tea will also be available. Tiedemann Wines and Glenwood Cellars Wines will be available for purchase. It will be an evening you won’t soon forget!
Return to the hotel following your evening
6:30 a.m. - 8:30 a.m. Breakfast at your host hotel
9:00 a.m. - 10:30 a.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.
10:45 a.m. - 11:45 a.m. Hands-on 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 design that they will be proud to display or give as a gift. A variety of designs are available for advanced selection.
Noon - 1 p.m. “Pick Two Lunch” at The Bakers Nook Café [$16 pp incl dessert & fountain beverage OR Large Salad Lunch; $18 pp incl pie & fountain beverage]
This locally owned café serves up homemade goodness handed down through generations past. With so many delicious choices, it’s sometimes hard to settle on just one, so why not pick two. Select 2 options for your group from: cup of soup (2 options to choose from), half sandwich (hot or cold option to choose from), side salad or side of baked macaroni & cheese. Groups can pre-select the 2 options for the entire group OR groups can make individual selections and call in the order the morning of arrival. The Large Salad Lunch option offers a choice of a Cobb Salad, Mandarin Spinach Salad, or Chef Salad. Also available as individual orders.
1:15 p.m. - 2:15 p.m. Indiana’s Largest Norman Rockwell Collection exhibit at the Midwest Museum of American Art [$8 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 Grandma Moses and Norman Rockwell. The Main Gallery provides a unique setting for corporate/private parties, weddings and receptions. Groups can choose from two
excellent presentations. “Learning to Look” is a presentation that highlights stories, places and people that bring art to life for the visitor. “Norman Rockwell: The Making of an American Legend” gives the visitor a chance to explore both the myth and the reality of this American icon while viewing the largest Rockwell print collection in Indiana.
2:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. Craft Elkhart Glass Blowing Demo with time to shop [$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. A featured glass blowing artist will share his passion for glass blowing while bringing art to life in front of your eyes.
Refresh at your host hotel after your glass blowing
6:30 p.m. - 10:30 p.m. Threshers Dinner & Theatre at The Barns at Nappanee [$56.95 pp incl]
Enjoy the delicious Threshers Dinner served inside the historic barn restaurant at The Barns at Nappanee followed by a musical theatre production inside the majestic Round Barn Theatre featuring classic stories, musicals and original productions. Shows vary by date and season.
Return to the hotel following your evening
6:30 a.m. - 8:00 a.m. Breakfast at your host hotel
8:15 a.m. Meet your guide in the hotel lobby
8:30 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. Great Life Tours Heritage Trail Handcrafted Backroads Tour [$195 for guide (tip optional) PLUS components listed below]
Travel the nationally recognized by LIFE Magazine on the scenic Heritage Trail thru the nation’s third largest Amish area. Your local step-on guide will share the stories, history and details of the hardworking local Amish craftsmen. You’ll meet them in their shops, in their homes and enjoy the opportunity to get to know them too.
Your day will include the following with the guide to determine final routing/timing:
- Create a Wooden Quilt Block [$28 pp incl for hands-on crafting class, woodshop tour & shopping time]
Meet LaVern and Rachel, the Amish-Mennonite dynamic duo that has made Teaberry Wood Products one of Great Life Tour’s most requested stops. Groups enjoy one-on-one time with this artisan team creating a wall quilt pieced entirely with beautiful exotic hardwoods. The experience will include a woodshop tour, “weaving” demo, hands-on wood quilt kit with choice of materials and shopping time. Participants leave with an 8”x8” quilt block complete with engraved center tile and hanger. Highly collectible, a new pattern each season—keeping it fresh and new year after year.
- Meet & Make Scone tasting & demo at an Amish home with Victorian Tea Party Luncheon [$21 pp incl for tasting, demo and lunch]
Get to know the Amish where they live and work. Meet Linda Miller and her Amish friends and watch as Linda shares her scone making techniques and tips. Enjoy a coffee break and scone as you learn everything you need to know to ensure perfectly baked scones time and time again. This experience includes tasting, recipe and sconces to take home. For lunch enjoy an Amish version of an elegant Victorian style tea party featuring elegant place settings served with fine china, two flavors of teas and or coffee.
- Authentic Visit at an Amish Toy Maker [$4 pp ($100 min)]
Step inside an Amish toymaker’s workshop where an internet connection is not required to keep the kids entertained. Meet Owen a self-taught toy maker who crafts fine wooden toys and games for children of all ages. This experience includes a workshop tour, Q&A discussion and shopping time.
- Authentic Meet an Amish Harness Maker [$4 pp ($100 min)]
Horses and buggies are part of the Old Order Amish identity requiring specialized equipment and craftsmanship to provide their transportation needs. A skilled saddle and harness maker could earn an excellent living in colonial America but how does this work for a 21st century Amishman? Meet Owen and see how he makes harnesses and horseshoes to meet the needs of his community without power from the grid. This experience includes a workshop tour and ample time for Q&A.
- 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!
- 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.
6:30 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. Dinner at Heinne’s BackBarn, Elkhart [$24 pp incl tax & tip for 1/3 lb. cheeseburger or grilled chicken or pork tenderloin with fries, cole slaw, dessert and soft drink included. Other beverages on their own. NOTE: Pricing subject to change. Additional menu options available.]
Bill and Troy DeShone, are the 3rd generation of the DeShone family to continue the “Heinnie’s Tradition!” For over 56 years, folks have been enjoying the great steaks,
Heinnie’s hamburgers and more at Heinnie’s Back Barn. “Heinnie’s” has won the “Best Steak” and “Best Prime Rib” category in the Elkhart voting area. Their “Heinnie
Cheeseburger” was just recently added to the top cheeseburger stops in the United States by hamburger author and film writer George Motz! Groups enjoy sitting in rustic barn stalls in small table settings.
A full bar is available for individual selection. Homemade soups, fresh salads, and a variety of sandwiches & entrees are offered. An Elkhart tradition!
Return to the hotel following your evening
6:30 - 8:00 a.m. Breakfast at your host hotel // Check-out
9:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m. RV Factory Tour [no admission fee]
Welcome to the “RV Capital of the World”! Over 80% of the world’s inventory of Travel Trailers, 5th Wheels, Class C & A Motorhomes, Truck Campers and Fold-Downs are all manufactured in this area. Your group will enjoy a plant tour through one of the numerous RV manufacturing facilities.
NOTE: Guests must wear closed toe shoes. Anyone with open toed shoes will not be allowed on the tour. Waiver forms must be signed by all participants. Group will be split in to two parts to take trolley to factory itself.
10:00 a.m. Depart Elkhart for Nappanee
10:45 a.m. - 11:45 a.m. 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!
Noon - 2:00 p.m. Lunch on your own, shopping and the Hoosier Cabinet Exhibit Guided Tour at Coppes Commons [$2 pp incl for tour]
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 square foot renovated factory now houses a variety of small businesses perfect for shopping for locally made, hand crafted and fresh baked. Visit the historic Hoosier Cabinet “museum/exhibit” and enjoy a guided tour. Groups are given a fascinating historical glimpse into the Coppes Kitchens, once ordered by Frank Sinatra and President John F. Kennedy, while touring this rustic and rambling brick structure. While in Coppes Commons today, enjoy lunch on your own at a variety of locations. Save room for “out of this world” ice cream from Rocket Science. YUM!
2:15 p.m. - 3:15 p.m. Homes of the Kitchen Industry Guided Walking Tour [$5 pp incl]
Tour homes built for and by the men of the Kitchen Industry! Homes of the Kitchen Industry takes you through the historic area of Nappanee on a short walking guided tour where you’ll learn about the Mutschler, Coppes and Zook family homes, the history behind them and the men who built them. Learn what home in Nappanee was designed by well-known architect E. Hill Turnock and find out what home used to be three floors but now only has two. Discover how one home was relocated to make way for Nappanee’s post office and find out which house in Nappanee was the “house the depression” built You will also learn about how Nappanee was once the “kitchen capital of the world.”
This informative and educational tour has hidden surprises, secrets and tales for all to enjoy!
Depart for home
NOTE: Prices subject to change without advance notice.