Discover over 150 thousand colorful blooms in nineteen super sized quilt patterned gardens in the Amish communities of northeast Indiana. Experience the Amish lifestyle and enjoy your two night stay in the countryside at the Essenhaus Inn.
Sunday, August 30, 2020 – Thursday, September 3, 2020
Tour starts at the Comfort Inn & Suites lobby, 7007 Grover St, Omaha
$735 double / $961 single
Price includes coach transportation, attraction admissions, four included meals, driver gratuity, and four nights hotel accommodations
Tour reservation deadline July 29, 2020 – payment due by July 29, 2020
Highlights: Quilt garden tour with local step-on guide - Wakarusa Dime Store - Evening dinner at Das Dutchman Essenhaus - Amish lifestyle tour with local step-on guide - Traditional Amish evening wedding feast in Amish carriage house - Shipshewana Auction & Flea Market
DAY 1: Sunday, August 30, 2020
Discover the Amish community of northeast Indiana and their beautiful countryside quilt patterned gardens. We begin the tour with a journey across Iowa to our overnight destination of Merrillville, Indiana. After checking into the Hampton Inn, we will travel around the corner to have dinner at the nearby Golden Corral Buffet and Grill.
DAY 2: Monday, August 31, 2020
The next morning we continue to travel east to the Elkhart Valley Visitor Center in Elkhart, Indiana. After a brief welcome and introductory film, our local guide will join us for the rest of the day. Our journey begins with a 90 mile guided driving tour to view gigantic quilt garden displays consisting of 150,000 plants with over one million blooms. We will make a few shopping stops between viewing these beautiful floral displays. The group will visit the Wakarusa Dime Store, which is filled with hundreds of kinds of candy and vintage sodas. We will also explore historic Coppes Commons, a former cabinet factory that now houses a variety of small businesses specializing in locally made crafts and fresh baked items. This afternoon enjoy an ice cream treat at Rocket Science Ice Cream. Liquid nitrogen freezes the warm cream into frozen ice cream right before your eyes. Our accommodations for the next two days are at the popular Essenhaus Inn & Conference Center in the countryside. Room décor consists of Amish furniture and reflects the local community charm and culture. Guests enjoy old fashioned quality with all the modern conveniences. Within walking distance are village shops specializing in everything from Christmas theme items to home decor. Nearby is the famous Das Dutchman Essenhaus restaurant. Tonight we will experience their family style dining known for their Amish and Mennonite home style cooking. They feature entrees like broasted chicken, tender roast beef, real mashed potatoes with rich homemade gray, and made from scratch noodles. Their home style bakery offers 29 varieties of pies. After dinner you might choose to walk back to the hotel to burn a few calories or do a little evening shopping.
DAY 3: Tuesday, September 1, 2020
Have you ever wondered what it is like to run a household without electricity or live without owning a car? Today we explore the unique lifestyle of the Amish people. A local step-on guide will meet us at the hotel and join us for the day. Hear the story of the Amish from the Amish themselves. We will start the morning with coffee, tea, and homemade scones at an Amish home. There will be a scone baking demonstration with special tips on making the special bakery treat. Later visit a number of Amish run businesses to see how they creatively work around technology issues presented by their beliefs. Learn how an Amish buggy is constructed and watch baskets being woven by an Amish-Mennonite family. Finally go back to school–one room that is–to sit where the scholars would as an Amish teacher explains how she manages eight grades at once! Every good student deserves a treat after school, so we will make sure your group goes home with a yummy treat to sweeten a memorable day. Tonight, we experience a traditional Amish wedding dinner in the charming setting of The Carriage House. Elaine and son, Seth, explain what an Amish wedding day is like complete with the traditional special meal that the Amish would serve 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.
DAY 4: Wednesday, September 2, 2020
Tomorrow morning we visit the Shipshewana Auction & Flea Market before departing for home. The open air market covers 100 acres with nearly 900 booths. We will spend the night in Davenport, Iowa
DAY 5, Thursday, September 3, 2020
Today we travel back to Omaha and arrive back around 2:30 pm.