Christmas in Little Bavaria
Frankenmuth & Grand Rapids, Michigan
Michigan’s Little Bavaria—the city of Frankenmuth, dazzles when it’s all dressed up for the holidays! Come visit Michigan’s winter wonderland in two fun towns all decked out for the season. Start out learning about the German roots and see some of the Bavarian-style architecture that makes Frankenmuth so unique. Visit several restaurants and businesses that have been in operation for more than 100 years, including Zehnder’s Restaurant and the Frankenmuth Woolen Mill, and enjoy a fantastic dinner show. And where better to do your Christmas shopping than the world’s largest Christmas store, Bronner’s Christmas Wonderland! Then spend time in trendy Grand Rapids and get yourself in the spirit of the season with visits to the Grand Rapids Public Museum and Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park. Both will be celebrating with unique, festive exhibits honoring Christmas and other holiday traditions.
Wed, Nov 29: Depart Indianapolis for our neighbor to the north, Michigan. Upon arrival get acquainted with “Christmas Town, USA” on a guided city tour. Learn about what makes Frankenmuth unique and see why it is one of the most popular destinations in the state. Check in for a two-night stay at the Bavarian Inn Lodge and explore the many amenities the resort has to offer, including an adults-only indoor pool. Tonight, enjoy a traditional family style chicken dinner in the world-famous Zehnder’s of Frankenmuth Restaurant. Originally opened more than 160 years ago as the Exchange Hotel, the restaurant has been run by the Zehnder family since 1928. While you dine, be entertained by the powerful vocals of Three Men and a Tenor in their fun-filled holiday show. After the dinner show, take a ride through delightful Christmas light displays from the comfort of the motorcoach before returning to the hotel. (Meals: Dinner)
Thu, Nov 30: After breakfast at the hotel, get started on your Christmas shopping with a visit to Bronner’s CHRISTmas Wonderland. The cheery store located on the aptly named Christmas Lane is the largest Christmas themed store in the world with more than 50,000 products for sale. Explore the displays of ornaments, stockings, and other holiday decorations, and take some time to learn the history of the business and visit its replica Silent Night Chapel. Afterward, visit the Frankenmuth Woolen Mill to experience the century-old technique of wool processing before stopping into a local fudge shop to watch a demonstration and sample the beloved treat. Enjoy free time for shopping and lunch in the downtown area where you’re sure to find the perfect gift for your family, friends, or even yourself! Later, you and your fellow travelers will transform into German bakers at the Bavarian Inn Restaurant. Master the proper pretzel-rolling method then reap the rewards of your hard work with piping hot pretzels and samples of German Wines. (B)
Fri, Dec 1: This morning, say “Auf Wiedersehen” to Little Bavaria and head to another lively city, Grand Rapids. Have a day packed full of holiday joy including a stop at their brand new Christkindlmarkt. Enjoy a hot mug of Glühwein or cider while browsing artisan gift and food vendors. Visit the Grand Rapids Public Museum for a guided tour of the science, history, and culture of Michigan. Have free time to explore everything the museum has to offer including a planetarium, theater, 1928 carousel and seasonal holiday exhibits. The popular “Streets of Old Grand Rapids” exhibit displays historic Santas from around the world and explains the traditions of each culture surrounding Saint Nick. Check in for an overnight stay at your downtown hotel and freshen up for a fun evening at Frederik Meijer Gardens, one of the nation’s premier horticultural display gardens and sculpture parks. Their annual winter season celebration is a hallmark here, where both indoors and out—the grounds sparkle with 350,000 lights! In 2022, the exhibition was made up of 46 displays depicting fact and folklore, past and present. A farewell dinner is included to cap off a fantastic day! (B,L,D)
Sat, Dec 2: Before returning to Indianapolis, stop at nearby Robinette’s Apple Haus & Gift Barn. This family-owned and operated fruit farm offers a market, cider mill, winery, and bakery with delicious homemade baked goods. Its century-old gift barn is also stocked with fine collectibles. Head home bearing unique gifts and fun memories to share with loved ones. (B)
Bavarian Inn Lodge, Frankenmuth, Michigan. Nestled on the banks of the beautiful Cass River, the Lodge is unique in theme with many activities for families and couples alike. Highlights: in-room mini-refrigerator • four restaurants and 24/7 coffee bar • two bars • complimentary wireless Internet • fitness center • adult only courtyard with indoor pool and whirlpool • family fun center including indoor pools, water sliders, mini-golf course, and arcade.
Embassy Suites by Hilton Downtown, Grand Rapids, Michigan. This downtown hotel located along the Grand River features charming urban style and all-suite rooms . Highlights: in-room coffee/tea maker, mini-refrigerator, microwave • complimentary WiFi Internet access • Michigan-shaped indoor pool • fitness center.
*Subject to change due to increase in fuel surcharge