On this tour of Pennsylvania, discover old-world ways as you dine with an Old Order Amish family in their home, tour the Longwood Gardens, seeing the famous Christmas flower display, and peruse the National Christmas Center, which reveres Christmases past and present. In Brandywine Valley, visit the 1,000-acre American country estate of Winterthur and also see the beautiful Du Pont home and gardens magically decorated for the holidays.
Day #1 Lancaster, PA - Tour Begins - Experience the beauty and good cheer of Christmas in the pristine farmlands of Pennsylvania Dutch Country, where tradition is a way of life. This idyllic region is home to a thriving Amish community, the second largest Amish population in America. You’ll come to marvel at their self-sufficiency and peaceful lifestyle during your sojourn in Lancaster.
Day #2 Amish Farmlands - Discover fascinating Amish history and customs on a tour of the area’s farmlands. Experience a heartfelt “Wilkum” at an authentic Amish feast* in the home of a local family where you will have a first-hand look into their hard-work, ingenuity and humble way of being. Visit the Farmer's Market and Kitchen Kettle Complex where you can shop for traditional holiday decorations and pick up unique, hand-crafted gifts. Tonight, explore Lancaster on your own during some free time; your tour manager will be on hand with suggestions. Perhaps you will enjoy an optional dinner and performance at the Sights & Sounds’ Millennium Theatre, where elaborately-costumed actors dramatize stories from the Bible before detailed theatrical sets.
Day #3 Brandywine Valley - Wind your way into the beautiful rolling hills of the Brandywine Valley. Your visit to Winterthur finds the magnificent Du Pont estate enrobed in lavish holiday decorations. Festive greenery, lights, trees and holiday treasures decorate the mansion set on 1,000 acres of hills, meadows, forests and gardens. Winterthur’s collection of antiques and Americana boasts over 85,000 objects made or used in America between 1640 and 1860, arranged in 175 “period rooms.” Journey to Chadd’s Ford to visit the Brandywine River Museum, home to an unparalleled collection of works by N.C. Wyeth, his son Andrew and grandson, Jamie. With the proceeds from his illustrations to the beloved classic, Treasure Island, N.C. Wyeth purchased land and settled his family in Chadd’s Ford in 1911. The museum is housed in a 19th-century grist mill and celebrates its annual exhibit, “A Brandywine Christmas,” during your visit. Next, step into the majestic heated glass conservatories, the largest in the world, at Longwood Gardens. Thousands of poinsettias, along with living wreaths, swags and live floral trees, fill the senses during your visit. Settle into Longwood’s lovely Terrace Restaurant, located on site, for dinner before returning to Lancaster.
Day #4 Paradise - Visit the Landis Valley Museum and experience an old-fashioned Pennsylvania German Christmastime. This living history museum is dedicated to preserving rural traditions and a visit during the Christmas season is especially memorable. Learn about an earlier way of life from costumed interpreters as you travel through the buildings and grounds which are charmingly decorated in the spirit of the season. Then, visit the National Christmas Center Museum located in Paradise! Dedicated to preserving and sharing precious memories of Christmases past and present, the museum boasts over 20,000 square feet of exhibits. From its nostalgic store display to its collection of crèches from around the world, you are sure to be charmed by the vast collection of Christmas memorabilia carefully assembled. Tonight, join your fellow travelers for a dinner show at the Dutch Apple Dinner Theatre.
Day #5 Lancaster - Tour Ends - From the humble lifestyle of the Amish, to the rich collections of art and antiques in Chadd’s Ford and Winterthur, the memories of this journey celebrating tradition will surely be a part of all your Christmases to come!