Award-winning Wassailing Weekend: Celebrate Christmas Currier and Ives Style!

Above Photo Courtesy of the Woodstock Chamber of Commerce

Departure Date: Thursday, December 7         Return Date: Sunday, December 10, 2017
Tour Length: 4 Days/3 Nights

Named the “quintessential New England Village", the town of Woodstock is chock full of charming Americana, including a covered bridge smack in the center of town. And, according to Country Living Magazine, “Christmas in Woodstock is just as magical as you would imagine, and labeled it one of the country’s “best small towns for Christmas!”

Join in on a winter wonderland outing that you thought would only happen on Christmas cards. Witness carolers serenading in the streets, gather ‘round for the lighting of the town tree and warm up with a cup from the wassail bowl. Visit decked halls in historic homes and celebrate rural, small-town holiday heritage. It truly is a “Wonderful Life!”

Day One, Thursday, December 7:

hildene-dining-room

Photo Credit: Hildene

Arrive in Manchester, VT mid afternoon and visit Hildene, the Lincoln’s family home. Explore this grand 24-room estate that was built in 1905 by Abraham Lincoln’s son, Robert Todd Lincoln. Gaze in awe at the artfully placed greenery, berries and bows, as the home as been beautifully decorated as if it were the year 1912, the last year the Lincoln family celebrated Christmas at Hildene.

Next, travel over the river and through the woods to King Arthur Flour, America’s oldest flour company, founded in Boston in 1790. More than 220 years later, the company is the nation’s premier baking resource. Your visit at the flagship campus features the retail store and an opportunity to watch the bakers at work in the state-of-the art cooking stations. There are thousands of ingredients, tools, pans and gifts for the bakers on your list. Indulge in delicious samples spread throughout the store.

Arrive at the Lake Morey Resort, your home for the next three nights. Witness the array of twinkling holiday lights as they reflect on the newly fallen snow. The resort is nestled in the Vermont hills above the Connecticut River, where the natural beauty immediately draws you in. This 100 year-old resort offers an exceedingly high level of hospitality and will make you glad to have chosen to celebrate the holiday season at the Lake Morey Resort. You’ll feel instantly welcome with a reception of hot tea and freshly-baked gingerbread.

Gather for an included dinner served in the lovely dining room.

Day Two, Friday, December 8:

After a hearty breakfast at the resort, board the coach and travel north past snow covered fields and red barns adorned with holiday greens. Your first stop is at Morse Farms. Watch how real maple syrup is made, from the trees to the finished product, on a traditional Vermont maple sugar farm. You will tour the sugarhouse, sample fresh-made maple syrup and visit the most unique maple, craft and mail order shop in the area. A traditional Vermont “sugar on snow party” will sweetly end your tour.

Late morning, tour the historically restored State House. Vermont’s capitol is the smallest of all the capitol buildings still in use in America. View the State’s Christmas tree and see the Victorian-inspired decorations on display during your guided tour.

ben-and-jerrysA visit to Vermont is not complete without a stop at the Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream Factory. From Chunky Monkey to Cherry Garcia, a scoop of "Vermont’s Finest" is a must.

Lunch will be served at the renowned Trapp Family Lodge. The “Sound of Music” resonates as you arrive at this classic Austrian chalet and restaurant, currently owned and operated by the von Trapp family. Decorated trees and Austrian ornaments are around every corner. Stroll through the library lined with greens while on your way to a delicious Austrian luncheon buffet served in the dining room.

After lunch, head into Stowe Village, “Ski capital of the East.” This quintessential New England village will be decked out for the holidays. Tucked between the Stowe Community Church, with its triumphant steeple and the venerable Green Mountain Inn, you will find shops that have provided the necessities of life for residents and visitors since 1840. Stowe’s Main Street has kept its turn-of-the-century look, while being home to popular galleries, antique shops and craft stores. Stop at the sweetest store in town, Laughing Moon Chocolates, and watch chocolate dipping at its finest.

On your way out of Stowe, visit “The Vermont Annex,” a retail outlet that offers a vast variety of Cabot Cheeses and Lake Champlain Chocolates. Enjoy the free samples! You will also find the Smugglers’ Notch Distillery and Danforth Pewter. This is a must stop for holiday shoppers!

christmas-cookiesReturn to the resort late afternoon. There will be time to unload your packages and refresh before you gather for a cookie decorating class, led by a member of the resort’s culinary tearm. Learn how to adorn the sugar cookies with embellishments galore; from frosting to sprinkles. Keeping in the nature of the holiday, the cookies will be donated to the local homeless shelter, to spread a bit of holiday cheer.

An included dinner will be served at the resort’s Lakeside Dining Room. After dinner, enjoy a classic movie shown in the resort’s theater, or gather in the Steamboat Lounge for a hot toddy.

Day Three, Saturday, December 9:

Start your day with a hearty breakfast served at the resort. Then, board the coach and travel to Woodstock for Wassail Weekend! Begin your day at Billings Farm and Museum, one of the finest dairy farms in America and a museum of Vermont's rural past.

Here, you will tour the 1890 Farm House – authentically decorated for the season and attend a candle-dipping workshop. The candle is yours to take home as a souvenir.

Head over to the 1807 Dana House, decorated in holiday tradition. Enjoy hot cider and seasonal treats while you embark on a self-guided tour of this beautiful historic home.

brittishboysmall

Photo Credit: Woodstock Chamber of Commerce

Witness the Wassail Weekend parade as it winds through the center of town. There are over fifty horses and riders dressed in holiday costumes and period dress from the early 19th Century. This “Christmas-card-perfect” setting will transcend you into Christmas Past with the clippity clop of hooves, to the jingle of the bells and an occasional Ho, Ho, Ho! Troupes of carolers line the streets and welcome you to browse through the fascinating shops and boutiques.

Stop at one of the many delightful restaurants for lunch on your own, or have a mobile lunch in the Wassail Tent on the Village Green.

Late afternoon, visit the renowned Simon Pearce Glass Studio. Watch their exquisite pieces being made and see the finished products in their store. The store is lined with wreathes on every window and looks as if an elf decorated it from inside out. See the dazzling, glass-blown tabletop Christmas trees, hurricane lamps and glassware displayed throughout the store. Witness glassblowing demonstrations and pick up some gifts that are certain to please even the grouchiest Scrooge on your list.

By this time you will be ready to return to the resort to warm up and have some holiday cheer for yourself! During your beer tasting, the resort’s brew master will tell you about the local flavors that have inspired craft beer makers, building Vermont as the “Napa Valley” for beer lovers.

After a farewell dinner at the resort, gather around for a caroling sing-a-long led by a local entertainer. This is also the perfect time for a Yankee Swap gift exchange!

Day Four, Sunday, December 10:

Check out of the resort after breakfast. Board the coach and begin your travels home. Before you depart Vermont however, there are two “must visit stops” to round out your holiday happening vacation.

Arrive at the Rockwell Exhibit-Sugar Shack in Arlington, Rockwell’s home for 14 years. Your visit includes a tour of the sugar house, a video of Rockwell’s life in Arlington and time to explore the Norman Rockwell Exhibition. He created many of the famous Saturday Evening Post covers in Arlington and had many local folks pose for him. Inside the exhibit, either Mr. Don Fisher, a model in the 1954 Saturday Evening Post cover, “Breaking Home Ties,” or Ruth Skellie, a model in the 1939 Post cover, “Marbles Champion,” will speak to your group about their experience posing for Rockwell, and will be happy to autograph a print for you!

dominoes-1912440_640-2Your last stop is at the Village Peddler. Here, you will sweetly enjoy a chocolate tasting, presented by an award-winning chocolatier. Sample a variety of chocolates and learn how they were created. Take a walk through the Chocolatorium, an exhibit dedicated to the world of chocolate that traces this wonderful ingredient through history.

Depart the Village Peddler late morning and continue your travels home. Along the way. fill your coach with carols of the season and share stories of your most favorite Christmas ever!

Details

Departure Date: Thursday, December 7         Return Date: Sunday, December 10, 2017
Tour Length: 4 Days/3 Nights

Your Package Includes:

  • 3 Nights accommodations
  • 3 Breakfasts
  • 1 Lunch at The von Trapp Family Lodge
  • 3 Dinners
  • Gingerbread Welcome Reception
  • Admission to Hildene
  • Time to shop and sample at King Arthur Flour
  • Tour at Morse Farms with sugar on snow party
  • Guided tour at the Vermont State House
  • Tour and taste of Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream Factory
  • Time to shop in the Village of Stowe
  • Stop at the Annex for Cabot Cheese, Danforth Pewter and Lake Champlain Chocolates
  • Cookie decorating class
  • Admission to Billings Farm and Museum
  • Candle dipping session at Billings Farm
  • Visit to the historic Dana House
  • Wassail Weekend in Woodstock
  • Wassail Weekend Parade
  • Time to explore Woodstock’s village green and covered bridge
  • Visit to Simon Pearce’s flagship store
  • Vermont Craft Brew Tasting
  • Christmas carol sing-a-long
  • Admission to the Norman Rockwell Exhibit and the Sugar Shack
  • Chocolate tasting at the Village Peddler
  • Baggage handling for one piece of luggage per traveler
  • Breakfast, dinner, baggage handling and accommodations for the motor coach driver
  • Taxes and gratuities (Note: Gratuity for the coach driver is not included and is at your discretion based on service).
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Pricing Information:

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