Tour prices can vary, based on date you choose and how far in advance you reserve space. Lodging at The Trapp Family Lodge is available to you, and we have rooms available during Woodstock’s ‘Wassail Weekend.
Day 1 – Step into the magical world of a “Currier and Ives” holiday. . . . . welcome to Vermont! Witness gently rolling hills covered in “marshmallow snow”, gaze at twinkling lights that adorn village homes, appreciate the simplicity of a hand-made evergreen wreath decorating a barn door, listen to the jingle of sleigh bells as a team horses pulls carolers over the river and through the woods. Bring back fond memories and create new ones, as you wrap yourself in the warmth of the holiday season in Vermont.
Arrive late afternoon at your Stowe area hotel, your home for the next three nights. A welcome dinner is served at the lodge where a candlelight atmosphere creates the perfect setting. After dinner enjoy some of the hotel’s amenities including an indoor pool, hot tub, game room, sitting area with a fireplace and lounge. (D)
Day 2 – After breakfast at the hotel, join your local guide and visit Morse Farms. Watch how real maple sugar 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 largest and most unique maple, crafts and mail order shop in the area. A traditional Vermont “sugar on snow party” will sweetly end your tour.
Next you tour the historic State Capitol. Vermont’s Capitol is the smallest of all the Capitol buildings in America. View the State’s Christmas tree and see the Victorian inspired decorations on display. Your Vermont State House tour will be even more memorable when you have lunch at the Capitol Café. This casual restaurant offers a truly unique experience in dining, just steps away from the Governor’s office, House and Senate Chambers, in an atmosphere accented by skylights, granite and marble.
Embark on a tour and taste at Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream Factory. Learn how $5.00 an online course and a beat up truck turned into “Vermont’s Finest” ice cream. Next, visit “A Special Place,” a retail outlet that offers a vast variety of Cabot Cheeses and Lake Champlain Chocolates. Enjoy the samples! You will also find Snowfarm Wines, this is a must stop for holiday shoppers. Stop at Ziemke Glassblowing Studio, Vermont’s premier art glass studio. The studio features a large gallery showcasing the complete line of classically inspired art glass. From the observation room, you may watch glassblowing in action, as each unique piece is created.
Head into Stowe Village, “Ski capital of the East.” This New England village will be decked out for the holidays, Stowe’s Main Street has kept its turn of the century look, while being home to popular galleries, antique shops and craft stores. As an optional tour, you may stop at Stowe’s Ski Museum.
Before dinner, embark on a “Ghosts of Christmas Past Tour.” Stroll along with your guide as you hear entertaining stories of the resident ghosts of Stowe and New England. Dinner this evening is in an historic inn that combines the Italian art of eating and the New England tradition of hospitality. (B,L,D)
Day 3 – After breakfast at the hotel, join your local guide and visit the picturesque Village of Middlebury, home of Middlebury College that was founded in 1800. While in Middlebury you may visit the Vermont State Folk Life Center and some of the many shops that line Main Street. Visit Danforth Pewter, home of crafted jewelry, holiday ornaments, oil lamps, vases, kitchenware and baby and wedding gifts. Each year Danforth releases a limited addition Christmas ornament… make sure to get one for your tree!
Next you will stop at Middlebury’s Pulp Mill Bridge for a photo op. Gaze at the falls and photograph this rare two lane covered bridge – the only one in Vermont that carries regular daily traffic!
Lunch today at the Waybury Inn, originally built in 1810 as a stagecoach stop and listed on the National Register of Historic Places, most people remember it as The Stratford Inn on “The Bob Newhart Show.”
Following lunch stop in Shelburne Village for a visit to the Shelburne Country Store, a flashback to simpler times that offers old fashioned penny candy, Vermont products and holiday gifts. Next visit Shelburne Farms, a National Historic Landmark on the shores of Lake Champlain. Shelburne Farms was created in 1886 by Dr. William Seward and Lila Vanderbilt Webb as a model agricultural estate. The 400 acre estate is home to a herd of 125 purebred, registered Brown Swiss cows, the Inn and Restaurant, a cheese making facility, bake shop, gift shop and educational center. Enjoy a horse drawn sleigh or hayride through this magnificent property. Take a sweet tour and taste at Lake Champlain Chocolates. Experience the sights and smells of gourmet holiday chocolates made right before your eyes. Enjoy samples while learning the story “from bean to chocolate to you.”
Finally visit the Church Street Marketplace located in Vermont’s largest city, Burlington, for a holiday light tour. View the over 250,000 Christmas lights that adorn the marketplace. Stroll through the galleries, shops and pubs while enjoying the lights and the peace that comes with a fresh snowfall. Enjoy dinner on own this evening. (B,L,D)
Day 4 – After a delicious hot breakfast at the hotel, prepare to visit “Christmas Past” as you go Wassailing in Woodstock. Wassail has its roots in medieval England referring to the Norse, “ves heill” meaning “to drink to the health.” Ale brewed with spiced apples and sugar was the warm drink given to the singers who went door to door during the Solstice. Christmas became interwoven with celebrations during what was literally the darkest time of the year. Partake in an optional tour of five of Woodstock’s most notable historic homes, all decked out for the holidays. Have lunch on your own in one of Woodstock’s fine eateries. This afternoon, visit Billing’s Farm and Museum and witness holiday life in 19th Century Vermont. Reflect on holidays of yore as you gaze at the authentic decorations displayed throughout the farmhouse and watch preparations for the holiday meal. Make an historic ornament and tour the operating dairy farm. Dinner this evening is included at a local restaurant.
The 2nd Weekend of December is Woodstock’s Wassail Weekend. Where you may witness the parade featuring over fifty horses and riders dressed in holiday costumes from the early 19th Century. Troupes of singers parade the streets as well while you browse through the fascinating shops and boutiques. Prices are a bit higher at his time. (B,D)
Day 5 – After breakfast, enjoy a holiday tour of the Locust Grove Estate. Locust Grove brings you back in time to the 1900’s when William and Martha Young made the estate one of Poughkeepsie’s great showplaces. Continue home with wonderful holiday memories. (B)