Get ready for miles of smiles on a tour with a distinctly feminine flair. See exquisite quilts and Quilt Gardens. 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 and so much more.
Duration: 3 Days
Available: Year round
This Itinerary is Ideal For: Adults
Arrival in Nappanee
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, handcrafted and fresh baked goods. After groups are given a fascinating historical glimpse into Coppes Kitchens on this self-guided tour, enjoy an out of this world ice cream flash-frozen right before your eyes at over 320 degrees below zero from Rocket Science.
Sit down with local artist Linda Pieri and be shown painting secrets developed throughout the ages. Linda helps each person discover their creative artist. 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. Class takes place inside the Nappanee Center, which is a site of an official quilt garden. There’s time to explore the quilt garden and exhibits.
Check in at your host hotel before departing for a Haystack Dinner at Yoder’s Home-style Banquets and Amish Buggy Rides.
The Amish often host fundraisers to help families pay for unexpected hospital bills or other needs. The goal is to create a haystack shape by layering the ingredients into a hearty blend of flavors and textures. Following your meal, you will have an opportunity to ride in personal buggies down the country gravel lanes for an enjoyable evening.
Return to your host hotel for the evening.
Breakfast at your host hotel before meeting your guide in the hotel lobby for the Grab Bag Back Roads Tour & Quilt Gardens of Amish Country.
Travel scenic back roads passing horse-drawn buggies, tidy farm homes and whitewashed barns. Learn about the lifestyle of the Amish, 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 goodies. Choose your specific four stops from a variety of options. While traveling, enjoy some of the beautiful Quilt Gardens along the way.
Leo and Lorene Miller welcome you to their Old Order Amish Home where Leo has been hand-weaving rag rugs for years. Leo will demonstrate how he weaves and creates his beautiful and functional rugs. Meanwhile, Lorene will serve fresh from the oven cookies and cold lemonade. The Millers welcome your group and answer questions about their Amish lifestyle.
Meet LaVern and Rachel, the Amish-Mennonite dynamic duo that has made Teaberry Wood Products. 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 of hardwoods. Participants leave with a work of art worthy of gifting or a memory of their travels.
David and Michelle Muir invite you to join their family at Fruit Hills Winery’s new wine tasting room in the scenic fruit hills of Bristol. Featuring several varieties such as Riesling, Cabernet and Traminette (Indiana’s signature wine), your group will be sampling 18 different wines (1/2 ounce each) while hearing direct from David, the Vintner. Assorted cheese, cracker and meat trays will be offered to complete the experience.
There is hands-on fun with Quilty Note Cards at The Quilt Shop at Das Dutchman Essenhaus.
Located inside a restored chicken barn, The Quilt Shop located on the grounds of Das Dutchman Essenhaus in Middlebury, offers an activity that will make one special “quilty” notecard that is blank inside. Basic quilt block components in various colors (special green-themed patterns will be featured for this tour in March) are precut and you can arrange them to create a quilt block for the front of your card. This is a beginner activity and only requires the ability to use a glue pen. A short introduction talks about the history, technique, construction, and sample of a locally-sourced quilt. Allow 30 minutes for one completed card per person.
Tonight it’s dinner & theatre at Das Dutchman Essenhaus and Heritage Hall featuring the famous Chicken family-style dinner.
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. Today dine on the famous family-style dinner complete with homemade pies fresh from their bakery. You’ll want to take one or two home afterwards too from their selection of 31 flavors of pie! 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.
Enjoy a family-friendly theatre production inside Heritage Hall featuring heart-warming messages with fun humor all can enjoy.
Ben and Elizabeth Miller, an Amish family from Shipshewana Indiana, founded Ben’s Pretzels in 2004. Ben and his wife spent years perfecting the Amish/Dutch dough recipe. Your group will enjoy a short presentation highlighting Ben’s story followed by an opportunity to roll your own pretzel and watch it being baked. Beverages are included for your tasty handmade snack.
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 at The Carriage House. While in Elaine’s Carriage House, enjoy her fresh-picked-from-the-garden (seasons vary) homemade soups & salads served with fresh baked bread, homemade apple butter and of course, delicious pie.
At Annie Oakley Perfumery Studio 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.
Say good-bye to your guide and depart area for home, or ask for other touring options to extend your tour.