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letter from

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56 South 33rd Avenue, #234 | St. Cloud, Minnesota 56301 320-259-1082 | 877-832-7267 | Fax: 763-201-7945 | Heather J. Lahren | PUBLISHER Lynn Gottwalt | TRAFFIC MANAGER Mackenzie Lahren | PROJECT COORDINATOR Eric Beuning | ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE Independent Chris Reber | WEB DESIGNER/PROGRAMMER Carinna K. Hard Bullemer | ART DIRECTOR HARD AT WORK Design, inc. |

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Heather Lahren, Kathleen Somers, Lynn Gottwalt, and Mackenzie Lahren | ITINERARIES Inc. Britt Aamodt


ADVISORY BOARD Susan Yarolem | Celebration River Cruises Sharon Dixon | Inbound Iowa Bob Oliver | Legacy Tour & Travel


Dear Planner, A number of tourists view the winter season as a time to take a break from travel. The fall colors have faded, and with it, the motivation to take group adventures. But not anymore! This issue will put an end to Midwest hibernation and renew your taste for wintry excitement—indoors and out! The Midwest has certainly embraced its frosty weather. While a warmer state might have a sandcastle competition, the Midwest offers a multitude of snow and ice sculpting events. For example, Canada’s “Festival du Voyageur” has one of the largest snow-sculpting contests in the world, with many sculptures as tall as 18 feet! The festival goes above and beyond to entertain groups with a variety of cold weather activities. This season is a great time to celebrate the holidays in traditional ways as well. Many towns offer Victorian, Wild West, or Pioneer themed Christmas celebrations, all with great food, music and gift shopping. Branson, Missouri’s “An Old Time Christmas” embodies some of the best holiday traditions in America with a five-story Christmas tree, theatrical performances of holiday classics and four million lights decorating the square! CENTRAL CANADA Don’t let the cold weather keep your group indoors this season. Bundle yourselves up and prepare for a Winter Wonderland… MINNESOTA

North dakota

Sylvia Rice | Salina Chamber


Dawn Krosnowski | Sunshine Travel Sherri Mullery | Bloomington CVB




Stacy Crabtree | Metcalf Bank

Tricia Beem | Grand Island, Hall County CVB Marilyn Whitehead | Allied Tour & Travel



Best Regards, Heather J. Lahren, CEO - Publisher

SOUTH dakota


Deanne Felchle | North Dakota Tourism Carrol Juven | Juven Tours & Travel


Shebby Lee | Shebby Lee Tours Karen Witt | Watertown CVB


Peggy Bitzer | Circle Wisconsin Joyce Ohrmundt | Nationwide Travelers




table of contents fall/winter 2011






Rose Ann Kupiak | Embassy Tours, Ltd

featuring We make every effort to be as accurate as possible, but assume no responsibility for errors or omissions found in this magazine or any other corporate publications produced by ITINERARIES Inc. Proud Members of: Tour Minnesota Association (TMA) & American Bus Association (ABA) POSTMASTER: Send address changes to ITINERARIES Inc. 56 South 33rd Avenue #234, St. Cloud, MN 56301


8 Making Warm Memories in a Winter Wonderland columns

4 6

Festival du Voyageur travel tips Traveling to Success








destination highlight

missouri nebraska

on the cover Festival du Voyageur in Winnipeg celebrates the French-Canadian heritage of central Canada with dog sledding, skating, music, food, drink and most of all: snow sculptures! During the weeks leading up to the festival, a team of sculptors chip away at 450,000 square feet of snow to transform Whittier Park into a winter wonderland called Voyageur Park.

Coming Spring 2012!

Approximately 16,000 years ago the last glaciers retreated from the Midwest, leaving us with a multitude of lakes, rivers, streams and ponds to entertain our groups! Take a dinner cruise down the Mississippi, enjoy a lakefront festival or ride a hydro-jet ferry from St. Ignace to Mackinac Island. The water has plenty to offer!




Group Tours on the Water


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wisconsin - - - - - - - - - - - 46 central canada


p h o t o c re d i t s Cover image: Festival du Voyageur, Winnipeg, photo courtesy of Festival du Voyageur. Other images: A.C. Miller Photography, Albert Lea CVB, Bill Curtsinger © 2008 National Geographic, Bloomington CVB, Burnsville CVB, Canyon Lake Resort, Club Regent Casino, CopperDog 150, Des Moines Register, Fairmont CVB, Festiva Hospitality Group, Festival du Voyageur, Fort Calhoun – Nebraska, Fox Hills Resort, Great North Show Providers, Lawrence Kansas, National Park Service, Patee House Museum, Pelican Breeze II Cruise Boat, Rapid City CVB, St. Joseph Missouri, Saint Paul Winter Carnival, Sioux Falls CVB, Steele County Historical Society, Sylvan Lake Black Hills, Travel South Dakota, Twin Cities Minnesota Daily Photo, Two Rivers Wisconsin, Valley Spotlight – Iowa, Visit Duluth, Wabasha Street Caves, WISN – ULocal Wisconsin

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Those early fur traders were a hardy bunch, and while life might have been harsh, complaining was not their style. No, they kept a happy attitude and a joyful spirit no matter what life dealt. It’s that same joie de vivre that Festival du Voyageur captures and delivers consistently to your groups. The voyageur era included First Nation Tribes and Métis, an ethnic group of mixed Cree, Ojibwa, Saulteaux, French Canadian, Scottish and English. Festival du Voyageur offers an opportunity to learn about, experience, and celebrate all those cultures, but you certainly don’t have to belong to any particular one. Indeed, the festival is designed to appeal to all ages, all appetites, all sizes, all types, and well…ALL.

Hé ho… Let’s Go… to Winnipeg! FESTIVAL DU VOYAGEUR If you’re going to bundle up and venture your group out into the winter cold, what better place to go than a festival that celebrates travelers. A ten-day winter event in Winnipeg, Manitoba, during February fits the bill perfectly. The Festival du Voyageur (translated as Festival of the Traveler) celebrates Canada’s fur trading past and her unique French heritage with entertainment, arts, crafts, music, and displays. It’s Western Canada’s largest winter festival, the experience of which will convince your group that winter just isn’t long enough.

From its humble beginnings as a three-day event in Winnipeg’s French Quarter in 1970, the festival has grown to its present size and location. Permanently housed at the reconstructed Fort Gibraltar in Voyageur Park, the festival now has plenty of room for the nearly 100,000 travelers attending the 10-day celebration. Fort Gibraltar stands most of the year as an historical site featuring colorful characters living in 1815. Come February though, well, that’s when Gibraltar awakens to the beat of the voyageur and the excitement of winter festivities. That’s when the “World’s Largest Kitchen Party” kicks off. Mark your calendar for February 17-26, 2012. And to figure out when Winnipeg’s largest festival is held any year, just know that Louis Riel Day is always the third Monday of February. Louis Riel is considered, by many Canadian folk, a hero. He is one of the founders of the province and frequently referred to as the “Father of Manitoba.” So it’s fitting that the Festival du Voyageur always begins the Friday prior to Louis Riel Day and continues for ten days. If you can’t remember Louis Riel, just remember Presidents’ Day—they are the same day on the calendar. Recognizing the special needs of


groups, the folks at Festival du Voyageur have done an excellent job of accommodating motorcoach tours. Maison du Bourgeois, a large and elegant log structure within the fort, serves as the venue for group reservations, dinners, and a traditional French Canadian music and show offered exclusively to groups. Packages include a one-day pass to Voyageur Park, the central hub of the festival. There you have access to multiple tents with food, entertainment, the International Snow Sculpting Symposium, arts and crafts, plus so much more. Your group will also enjoy reserved seating at a dinner and show in La Maison du Bourgeois. There’s a torchlight walk on opening night that I highly recommend. Participants gather at The Forks and carry candles or torches across the frozen river to Voyageur Park. It’s so much fun to be a part of, so they’ve made it accessible for those who choose not to walk by having buses at the ready for them. It’s a sight to behold either way. You may choose to customize your package to include festival merchandise such as the signature voyageur sash (ceinture fléchée). Or maybe you would like to do a special and memorable group activity like weaving a giant sash. Your contact for making your group experience the best is Maxine Robert 204-237-7692 ext 225, or email at She can also assist in getting you in touch with other attractions in the city. You’ll find themed tents, heated and warm, 12-foot high snow sculptures, fiddling, jigging, costumed voyageurs, free snowshoeing workshop, souvenirs, artesian tents, canoe races, a pea soup challenge, rope weaving, works of art, music of all kinds, dancing, French Canadian food like sugar pie made with maple syrup, and, well, the list goes on. It is such a unique event, fun and warm and welcoming…and it just happens to be in the winter. Everyone who’s having fun give me a hého! ❄

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Traveling to

SUCCESS Have you noticed a change in the type of trips your groups want to take, or maybe the length or number of trips? Perhaps you have. The question is, is this a good thing? Times are changing and we all must adapt. As I talk to a diverse selection of planners across the Midwest, I am always pleased and maybe a little surprised to learn how some operators are making this new climate in group travel explode their business. What’s their secret? I’ve picked up a couple tips I’d like to share. Successful trends seem to boil down to two essential elements: make it meaningful and keep it fun.

Over the past 15 years, Matt Conner from Prairie Waters Fish and Wildlife Service has noticed how attendance explodes when programs offered can connect visitors to more than just information. After all, information is everywhere. And we really don’t have to leave home to find it. But offer that same information combined with a meaningful experience, and they’ll beat a path to your doorway. You could teach a group the history of snowshoes and how models have changed over the decades, but why stop there? Get those groups out on the trails experiencing snowshoeing and you have given them a meaningful connection: a new life skill. Now that’s fun...and unforgettable! “If it is not meaningful, it is sterile,” says Conner. Offer your groups a sense of accomplishment. “It goes back to the old saying,” says Conner, “Give a man a fish and he eats for a day. Teach a man to fish and he sits in a boat all day and makes up lies.”


And just how do we provide that meaningful connection? Michael Embrey of FunMe Events knows. His is a niche travel company that markets Broadway shows and other unique destinations to student groups and adult/family groups. Business is booming. So much so that he started another company called The N.I.C.E Society, which caters to the 30+ age group and gives them that

memorable and rewarding travel experience. The N.I.C.E. Society may take you golfing, but first you will learn to make your own golf club! Thinking of a Broadway show? Well the N.I.C.E. Society has tickets to the Tony Awards! Their motto is “We don’t sell tours…we provide experiences.” It’s a winning ingredient for successful group travel. But there’s more… When Lois Stolte of Thrivent Financial Tours organizes a trip, she always sells out early. She wanted to take 30 people to the Ordway next month, and had to call for extra tickets—four times! The group is up to 55 at present, with 4 more on a waiting list. This happens often for Lois. What’s her secret? Her regulars tell me she offers good value. But they are quick to acknowledge the real secret to her success lies in the FUN. I heard things like “never a dull moment,” “haven’t laughed so much,” and “had a lot of fun.” Without question Stolte is successful with her groups, but more importantly, she loves what she is doing. Maybe that’s why everyone has so darn much fun. Perhaps Stolte isn’t doing anything different from most tour operators. Before her longer trips, she gets everyone together for a meal and opportunity to meet one another and get a bus buddy. On board there are games and prizes and movies. The traveler’s comfort is

her focus, and massive fun is her reputation. So what makes Lois stand out? She’s having as much fun as everyone else on the trip! That’s right, she loves it and her joy is contagious—a key point we can all pay attention to. Lois got into the tour operator business 20 years ago because she wanted to go places. The basic intention of her business is to look for places she’d like to go, and then bring along “friends.” Believe me, over the years, many of her faithful followers have become real friends also. And over the years, she has never lost her enthusiasm for her groups and her trips. She keeps the fun going at all times, getting people to interact and setting a happy tone. As we feel the shakiness of uncertain economic times, we can all be confident that we have something special to offer. Creating memorable and rewarding travel experiences is as easy as connecting to something meaningful, then keeping it fun. Come on! Put a smile on your face, remember why you got into group travel in the first place, and let all that enthusiasm shine through all that you do. When you are having fun and offering a meaningful experience for your travelers, you too will notice that “business is better than ever!” ❄

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icture yourself in your favorite flannel pajamas and fleece-lined slippers. Then see yourself heading into the kitchen to zap a mug of hot chocolate to complement the sugar cookies and Russian teacakes stacked on a snowflake napkin. Goodies assembled, you cozy onto the living room sofa, throw an afghan over your legs and punch play on the remote. What’s on TV tonight? Why, of course, those old chestnuts: ‘Miracle On 34th Street’, ‘ It’s a Wonderful Life’ and ‘White Christmas’ . Nothing goes better with your creature comforts than Bing Crosby on the piano, crooning, “ I’m dreaming of a white Christmas. Just like the ones I used to know…”


Okay, so if you were to pause Bing right now and peer out the window, what would you see? Trees in full leaf, songbirds warbling, the thermometer chugging up to eighty-plus in the shade? I don’t think so. What you really want to see are mounded snowdrifts, ice-chunked eaves and Old Man Winter howling at the door. Anyway, cookies and hot chocolate just taste better with snow on the ground. So, if you’re thinking of holing away for the winter and putting off group tour plans until flip-flop and shorts weather, well, think again. Right now is the best time of year for shopping, winter markets, songfests and sampling the bounty of a festively laden table. So put on your boots and knit cap, because we’re headed into a winter wonderland. Open Air Freeze Fests Maybe it’s because we don’t have a choice in the matter, but we Midwesterners and our neighbors to the north, the Canadians, have made quite a production out of winter festivals. And we’re talking outdoor winter festivals. Sure, you could take your group to an enormous shopping mall, like the Mall of America, and have a great time bopping in and out of temperaturecontrolled boutiques and specialty food stores. But there’s just something magical about stepping off the motorcoach into a city square trimmed with evergreen, sparkling with lights and the music of carolers tuning the crisp, winter air. And you can only do that one season a year. At Winnipeg’s Festival du Voyageur, you can spend hours walking the stalls and checking out the open-air schedule of theatrical and musical performers. And what about the aroma of smoky barbecue rising from a grill at Saint Paul’s Winter Carnival? Warm yourself with a hot coffee at Winterfest in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, and take a front-row seat at the United States National Snow Sculpting Competition. Watch outdoor artisans chainsaw and chip away at huge blocks of ice, then stick around for horse-drawn carriage and sleigh rides. Or maybe shopping’s more up your alley? Then your group may want to check out Christkindlmarket in Chicago. Inspired by the outdoor Christmas fairs in Nuremberg, Germany, which began in 1545, the Chicago market offers up more than fifty vendors selling everything from glassware, toys, ornaments, jewelry and Christmas treats. Save your appetite for some good German food, too: bratwurst, schnitzel, strudel and gluhwein (hot spiced wine). Every state in the Midwest has a

winter festival or parade of some sort. Some even have more than one, to mark the before and after holiday seasons. Each outdoor event provides your group with a dozen reasons to celebrate life in the cold. You get it all—shopping, music, theater, food, craft demos, hot air balloons and fireworks. And you don’t even have to worry about hat hair, because you’ll want to keep your hats on.

Into the Great Wide Open Now that we’ve tempted you outside to stroll market stalls and nibble krumkake and apple fritters in open-sided tents, why not go the next step? Why not take your group to a real winter wonderland? Many of the nature centers and parks you love to visit in summer for boat rides and nature walks are open in winter too, but with a focus on the white fluffy stuff. Winter nights are made for snowshoe hikes at Minnesota’s Voyageur’s National Park. Many state parks have heated camper cabins. So if you love to ski or snowshoe by candlelight, but also want to be close to a warm, well-lit place, make your home in the park for the night. Honey Creek, Iowa hosts owl prowl night hikes. Listen to stories about these fascinating birds of the night on an evening hike and even learn to make your own owl calls. Keokuk, Iowa pulls out all the stops for its annual Bald Eagle Appreciation Days. There are observation posts along the Mississippi River as well as programs, films and special exhibits. In Central Wisconsin meanwhile, your group can participate in timber wolf tracking and ecology workshops at Sandhill State Wildlife Area. While you’re there, try out their snowshoe weaving workshop. North Dakota’s appropriately named ShiverFest puts the sport back in winter with their annual

fishing and pond hockey tournaments.

Chill Out with History & Culture You can trek wolves on foot, or you can soak up Christmas lights from the comfort of your motorcoach. Lake Shawnee, Kansas boasts one million lights along the two-mile scenic drive, while Chicago offers the Magnificent Mile Lights Festival. But a drive is always better with a destination. Why not head to an historic home or farm feted out with holiday trimmings and cookies in the oven? Wisconsin’s Yuletide at the Portage, Iowa’s Living History Farms in Urbandale and the Old Tyme Christmas at Fort Massac State Park in Illinois revive old-time traditions, stories, costumes and culinary treats. Sample plum pudding from a wood-burning stove and spiced tea straight off the hob. And if you still want to spend your winter nights with a little Bing Crosby, then look no further than Illinois and the Marriot Theatre, presenting a staged musical version of White Christmas. Wintery productions abound in the Midwest. Iowa’s Riverside Theatre has Guys on Ice: An Ice Fishing Musical Comedy. And then there’s Wisconsin’s Fireside Dinner Theatre, which has been thrilling tour groups with its Christmas show. There’s music, outdoor magic, plays, pageants, parades and festivals popping up this winter season. Who says cold weather is only about dry skin and a few extra pounds? Work off those hibernation pounds on a Winter Wonderland tour of the Midwest. The roads are plowed, the walks are shoveled and the roads are lined with twinkling lights. It’s lovely weather for a motorcoach adventure with your group. Dontcha think? ❆

Mile after Magnificent Mile.

illinois cities belleville, bloomington, champaign, chicago, dixon, east dubuque, galena, hanover, kewanee, la salle, marshall, moline, monee, mt carroll, mt morris, peoria, rochelle, rockford, savanna, springfield, st. charles, stockton, thomson

calendar of events december • Snowflake Festival December 2, Godfrey 618-466-1483 • Hometown Christmas December 2-3, Belvidere 815-547-4357 • Mistletoe Ball: A Victorian Holiday Dinner & Dance December 3, Galena 815-777-9129 • Christmas with the Lincolns Dec 7-Jan 8, Springfield 217-391-3246 • Night of the Luminaria December 17, Galena 815-777-9050 • Christmas at the Mansions December 17, Bloomington 309-828-1084 january • Eagle Days January 1-31, Madison 314-416-9930 • Bald Eagle Trolley Tours January 2-February 29, Utica 800-868-7625 • Outdoor Adventure Sports Show January 7-8, Kankakee 815-935-7390 • Come Fly Away January 10-23, Chicago 312-977-1702 • 50 States in 60 Minutes January 18, University Park 708-235-2222 • The State Ballet Theatre of Russia presents Swan Lake Jan 21, Waukegan 847-782-2366 february • 37th Annual Central Illinois Jazz Festival February 3-5, Decatur 217-422-8800 • Noises Off February 3-12, Chicago Heights 708-755-3444 • Galena Mardi Gras Parade February 18, Galena 800-942-5362 • Maple Syrup Time Feb 18-Mar 11, Springfield 217-529-1111 march • St. Charles St. Patrick’s Parade March 10, St. Charles 800-777-4373 • Spring Fox Valley Antiques Show March 10-11, St. Charles 815-838-0606 • Annual John Deere Two-Cylinder Tractor Show March 15-18, Effingham 217-347-0623 • Galena Wine Lovers’ Weekend March 23-25, Galena 815-777-3938

Magnificent Mile Lights Festival, Chicago Entertain your group with what’s certainly the highlight of the day. Mickey Mouse is the master of ceremonies, and as the parade heads south from Oak Street the more than one million lights along Michigan Avenue are illuminated all the way down the parade route. Immediately following the parade, there will be a fireworks display at Michigan Avenue and the Chicago River. Traditionally held the Saturday before Thanksgiving, the Magnificent Mile Lights Festival marks the beginning of holiday shopping along North Michigan Avenue, a strip famous for its wide number of diverse stores and boutiques. Most shops will also have their holiday window displays in place, as well as extended shopping hours. There are numerous fun activities for the entire group all day long, such as choir and theater performances, ice sculpting demonstrations, and live entertainment along the parade route. A full holiday activity guide can be found on the Magnificent Mile Festival of Lights website. [ November 19, 2011 ] (See location on map below)

explore more winter festivals in illinois… Christmas Around the World and Holidays of Light, Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago – The Museum halls will be decked, holiday singers and dancers will fuel the festivities, and the sparkle of dozens of decorated trees will greet your group at the annual Christmas Around the World and Holidays of Light. As always, the 45-foot Grand Tree will take center stage in the Rotunda with more than 30,000 lights and 1,000 ornaments, surrounded by more than 50 smaller trees beautifully decorated by volunteers from Chicago’s ethnic communities. Stroll through the trees, enjoy intermittent falling “snow” and savor the performances on the Holiday Stage. School choral groups and dance performances will take place in conjunction with the exhibit. [ Opens November 17, 2011 ] The tradition is turning 70! In 2011, the Museum is celebrating 70 years of the beloved Christmas Around the World tradition. This annual holiday display began in 1942 as a salute to the Allies during World War II.

(Contact area CVBs for complete calendars)

Irving Berlin’s White Christmas, Marriot Theatre in

directory & map

Lincolnshire – Treat your group to one of America’s most beloved silver screen classics, now a brand new stage musical – Irving Berlin’s White Christmas. When two song and dance men follow a sister act booked at a lodge in Vermont, they discover that with no snow and no customers, the owner is nearly bankrupt. The two acts team up and put on a show to save the lodge. Packed with Irving Berlin hits like Blue Skies,

Illinois Bureau of Tourism . . . . 800-2CONNECT

Count Your Blessings, I Love a Piano and the title song White Christmas, your entire group will celebrate this magical time of year with this beautiful new musical. [ October 19 – January 1, 2012 ]

Olde Tyme Christmas and Living History, Fort Massac State Park in Metropolis – Decorations and period music accompany reenactments of what 18th century life was like at Fort Massac. The park staff and local historical re-enactors will welcome guests to the visitors’ Chicago center and museum, which will be festively decorated with items based on 17th and 18th century designs. Hot-spiced tea will warm visitors as they sample cookies baked in the authentic period bake oven. Only in this town can your group have a professional photo made with a 15-foot statue of America’s Superhero, Superman. [ December 11, 2011 ]

Life Changing

iowa cities amana, ames, anamosa, balltown, bankston, bellevue, burlington, cedar rapids, clinton, council bluffs, decorah, davenport, des moines, dubuque, dyersville, guttenberg, independence, iowa city, maquoketa, mason city, mcgregor, sioux city, urbandale, waterloo

calendar of events

The Nutcracker Ballet, Des Moines Ballet Des Moines is proud to present the family classic you loved as a child with the professional ballet you appreciate as an adult. The jewel-box beauty of the Hoyt Sherman Place Theater will again be the home for The Nutcracker. Hoyt Sherman and his family lived in their magnificent home, now adjacent to the theater, during the time of the Nutcracker’s premier. Our Nutcracker is set to reflect Sherman’s era and his home. You’ll feel as if you stepped back in time as you and your group enjoy this holiday classic steeped in the beauty of the Victorian era. The production will feature nearly 300 local youth dancers and guest performances by professional dancers from companies such as the Colorado Ballet and the Cincinnati Ballet. Sit back and enjoy a visit with the “Sugar Plum Fairy.” [ December 9-11, 2011 ] (See location on map, page 12)

explore more winter festivals in iowa… Winterfest, Amana Colonies – Your group will have a

Mason City – Tour the Meredith Willson Boyhood Home – a

glorious winter outing at Amana’s Winterfest. Go on a wine walk, try hot-spiced wine and other samples as you travel between a total of six wineries! Join in a scavenger hunt or compete in the log-sawing competition with an old-fashioned cross-cut saw, or see how far you can fling a ham in the Great Amana Ham-Put - a shot-put style event! There’s a Winter Wreath Toss as well for those in your group who’d rather not toss porky! There will be numerous knitting/spinning, bobbin lace making and quilting demos, plus ice sculptures, storytelling, a marshmallow roast and schnitzel-sampling, too. [ January 28, 2012 ]

part of The Music Man Square. He is the author of one of America’s favorite musicals: “The Music Man” plus the holiday song “It’s Beginning to Look a lot Like Christmas”. Uncover the unique story regarding how he created this wonderful song, as well as many other popular songs and plays. His home and Music Man Square will be filled with holiday decorations and the warmth of the holiday season. If you time things right while in Mason City, your group will delight in Christmas by the Lake. Catch the Christmas spirit with a Tour of Homes, Festival of Trees, and free trolley or horse-drawn carriage rides. Enjoy the lighted parade at night as strolling Dickens characters bring Christmas past to life, ending the evening with fireworks reflecting off a frozen Clear Lake. [ First weekend in December ]

Winter Dance Party, The Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake – Load your motorcoach for a PARTY at the fully restored Surf Ballroom, which holds a place in music history as the final concert site of Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and J.P. ‘The Big Bopper’ Richardson. Come in February for the Annual Winter Dance Party. This annual festival celebrates rock ‘n’ roll – and the memories. The Festival lasts 3 days and features numerous events; including dance lessons, a sock hop, tons of live concert entertainment, a memorial site tour of the farm field where the ill fated airplane came to rest, and even a wedding/vow renewal ceremony, complete with cake and champagne, for you true Rock & Roll fans. [ February 2-5, 2012 ]

Winter Games, Okoboji – It all started with a couple local guys and the organization of a small broomball tournament. 30 years later, with the support of hundreds of community members, the small broomball tournament in 1981 has turned into an annual winter festival drawing thousands of people from throughout the Mid-West. The University of Okoboji Winter Games is now a weekend full of indoor and outdoor events for all ages. [ January 27-29, 2012 ]

december • Holiday Open House at the Union Pacific Railroad Museum December 1, Council Bluffs 800-228-6878 • Downtown Lights the Night December 3, Waterloo 319-291-2038 • Christmas Walk December 4, Cedar Falls 319-266-5149 • Snackin’ with the Clauses December 11, Des Moines 515-323-6290 january • Cherokee Jazz & Blues Festival January 13-14, Cherokee 712-225-6414 • To Kill a Mockingbird Jan 20-Feb 5, Des Moines 515-227-6261 • Bald Eagle Appreciation Days January 21-22, Keokuk 800-383-1219 february • Storm Lake Extreme Winter Festival February 11-12, Storm Lake 888-752-4692 • 4th Annual Frostbite Olympics February 17-18, Algona 515-295-7201 • Color the Wind Kite Flying Festival February 18, Clear Lake 800-285-5338 • Council Bluffs Home Improvement & Landscaping Show Feb 24-26, Council Bluffs 800-228-6878 march • Tower of Power March 2, Riverside 800-426-2437 • Maple Syrup Festival March 3-4, Cedar Falls 319-277-2187 • Down Memory Lane – 25 Years in the Melon Patch March 16-17, Muscatine 319-723-4518 • Emmetsburg St. Patrick’s Day Celebration March 16-18, Emmetsburg 712-852-4326 (Contact area CVBs for complete calendars)

The Nutcracker Ballet, Des


Life Changing

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. . . . 800-228-6878 Ext 130 7 North 6th Street – Council Bluffs, IA 51502 / We have an abundance of history, unique attractions, entertainment, and quality events and activities. Gaming, sporting events, museums, historical sites, nature, annual festivals, performing arts facilities, world-class dining, and comfortable lodging await your reservation.

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convention & visitors bureaus and chambers

Waterloo . . 319-234-6357

Manning Hausbarn - Heritage Park . . . . . . 712-655-3131 12196 311th Street – Manning, Iowa 51455 Take our guided tour of all three attractions; authentic Hausbarn, historic farmstead and church. We provide groups with an enjoyable experience that has been described time and time again as ‘just like a mini-tour of Germany”.

Waterloo Center for the Arts & Phelps Youth Pavilion Waterloo . . . . 319-234-6357

Des Moines

500 Jefferson Street – Waterloo, IA 50701 / Free trolley tours of John Deere Tractor Assembly, Isle Casino Hotel Waterloo, Sullivan Brothers Iowa Veterans Museum, Galleria de Paco “Sistine Chapel,” AG Tours, live theatre, creative itinerary planning, free step-on guide with overnight.

COUNCIL BLUFFS, IA: Breathtaking! Explore a New Destination for Public Art isit Council Bluffs, Iowa for surprising big time public art. Between the Missouri River and the Loess Hills, you’ll find exciting art from the mid 1800s to very contemporary.


Arrive by Interstates 80/29 to see the towering Iowa gateway by Albert Paley over the South 24th Street Bridge. Make this your first of many calls to a free cell phone tour from Iowa West Public Art. Take Exit 1B to continue your art adventure at the Mid-America Center. Wander through five public art sites starting with Sunrise, William King’s pioneer couple, standing tall in gleaming aluminum. Around the corner, see Rhythm, a massive sculpture garden by Jun Kaneko. Expect the unexpected in bright, bold color – giant bronze heads, Kaneko’s signature ceramic dangoes and vivid tile walls. It’s just the place to stop and take it all in. A short walk away, look up to see the larger than life Molecule Man by Jonathan Borofsky. The 3-D sculpture made of shiny aircraft aluminum is a hit with young and old alike. Dial up to hear how the giant figures came together. In historic downtown’s Bayliss Park, Brower Hatcher’s iconic fountain and pavilion, Wellspring and Oculus, welcome all. You’ll find a great place to relax here, bordered by a striking Veteran’s Memorial and Plaza complete with lifelike bronzes. After lunch at a nearby café, stop at the Ruth Anne Dodge Memorial, known as the Black Angel, and the nearby Lincoln Monument. Then follow your map a few blocks away to see Deborah Masuoka’s whimsical Haymarket Rabbits at Main and Pearl Streets. End your day with a must-see artist, in the heart of Council Bluffs’ historic downtown. Restored Grant Wood pieces are on display in the Pottawattamie County Courthouse lobby. Then stop just east of town at Looft Hall on the Iowa Western Community College campus for one last look at the beauty of the Midwest in Grant Wood’s murals commissioned in 1926. For more information please call 800-228-6878 or visit


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As Big As You Think

kansas cities abilene, bonner springs, chanute, council grove, dodge city, emporia, fort scott, hays, hutchinson, independence, junction city, kansas city, lawrence, leavenworth, liberal, lindsborg, manhattan, mcpherson, newton, pittsburg, russell, salina, topeka, washington, wichita

calendar of events

Old Fashioned Christmas Parade, Lawrence Now in its 18th year, this parade features exclusively horse-drawn carriages, wagons and coaches decorated for the season. This event was established as the premier horse-drawn event in the Midwest and attracts entrants and spectators from multiple states. Invite a step-guide to join your group and share the story of how a retired farmer couldn’t believe his eyes when he saw the broken down carriage in the ditch on his farm, and what he did to restore this vintage 1895 Surrey. Groups will love seeing these beautifully restored items, pulled by regal horses along the street. Enjoy the S.D. McCrossan Boys Ranch show hitch wagon. (A home for at-risk boys looking for “new hope for a better life.) This horse-drawn wagon, built for show or commercial use, was selected from over 1200 entries to participate in President Obama’s Inauguration Parade, with a group of the boys riding in the hitch wagon, drawn by a team of 6 Belgian horses. [ December 3, 2011 ] (See location on map below)

explore more winter festivals in kansas Seelye Mansion Christmas Tours, Abilene – The Seelye with dancing lights synchronized to concert-quality, holiday Mansion is one of the finest homes in Kansas. Designed by a New York architect in 1904, for Dr. and Mrs. A.B. Seely. The mansion contains the original furniture and Edison light fixtures. Your group will tour 25 rooms, including eleven bedrooms, ballroom, bowling alley, and kitchen areas. Special items of interest include a beautiful dining room, music room with gold French furniture and a Steinway Grand Piano, library, and the Tiffany-designed fireplace in the grand hall. Note the collection of 700 nutcrackers displayed throughout the home. (Previously featured on the HGTV, Christmas Castles of America). [ November 25, 2011 – January 8, 2012 ]

Chase County Country Christmas, Cottonwood Falls – Holiday Festival in Chase County, the heart of the beautiful Flint Hills. Start the day with a hearty Biscuits & Gravy Breakfast and head on over to the Fabulous Fruitcake Toss. Be sure to get your turn at propelling fruitcake across the river with a gigantic slingshot. It’s fun for all ages! Other activities throughout the day include Holiday Homes Tour, “Best of Chase County” Silent Auction Baskets, and Horse-drawn Carriage Rides. Be sure to save some energy for shopping Chase county style. Fill your shopping bags with unique and value laden gifts. In addition to all your favorite stores there is also the Strong City Arts & Crafts Fair. Your group will love Chase County and how we celebrate Christmas! [ Nov 25-26, 2011 ]

Legends Outlets–A Legendary Light Show, Kansas City – Every 15 minutes, The Legends Outlets will come alive

music, providing guests an experience unlike anything they have seen before. This dazzling spectacle is the region’s first display of animated lights synchronized to music. The majestic, 45-foot, holiday tree stands in the center of the Civic Courtyard Fountain. [ November 19, 2011 – January 2, 2012 ]

A Victorian Christmas Celebration & Christmas Dinner, Wichita – When’s the last time your group settled in for an old-fashioned Christmas celebration in an old cowtown? The Christmas Dinner Package includes museum admission plus a delicious catered dinner. All will enjoy The Night Before Christmas” play, performances by the Dixie Lee Saloon Girls and Entre Nous Dancers, Magician Roscoe Riff and displays by Blind Dog Quilts and StoneCreek Handicrafts, plus so much more! [ December 2-10, 2011 (annual) ] Lawrence

december • Christmas Light Parade December 1, Ulysses 620-356-4700 • Christmas Tree Lane December 1-31, Abilene 785-263-1770 • Festival of Nativities December 3-18, Lawrence 785-843-0276 • Lucia Festival December 10, Lindsborg 888-227-2227 • Ghosts of Christmas Past December 11-12, Great Bend 620-793-5125 • Dolly HollyDay Tours December 15-23, Fort Scott 800-245-3678 • Annandag Jul December 26, Lindsborg 888-227-2227 january • A Taste of Hays January 15, Hays 785-625-6800 • All Wheels Nite January 20, Independence 620-331-0604 • Eagle Day January 28, Lawrence 785-842-0475 • Kansas Statehood Ball January 28, Abilene 785-263-2681 • Soup-R-Bowl Food Festival January 29, Hays 785-625-5252 february • Chocolate Lovers Affair February 11, Lindsborg 888-227-2227 • 23rd Annual KBA Bluegrass Festival February 17-18, Wichita 316-651-0333 • Lincoln Reenactment February 17-18, Lincoln 785-524-5133 • International Pancake Day Festival February 18-21, Liberal 800-542-3725 • 16th Annual Kansas Silent Film Festival February 24-25, Topeka 785-670-3151 march • St. Patrick’s Day Parade March 10, Tonganoxie 913-845-9244 • 7th Annual Runnin’ of the Strip March 17, Severy 316-684-5855 • Women’s Fair March 17, Garnett 785-304-2029 • Honky Tonk Angels March 28, Concordia 785-243-2553 (Contact area CVBs for complete calendars)

directory & map Kansas Travel & Tourism Division Topeka. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 785-296-2009

Explore Minnesota

minnesota cities albert lea, alexandria, austin, bemidji, bloomington, burnsville, chanhassen, eagan, faribault, grand portage, harmony, minneapolis, morton, park rapids, plymouth, owatonna, roseville, saint paul, st. cloud, stillwater, willmar For a complete list of MN cities & events please visit

calendar of events december • Christmas at Pioneer Village December 1-2, Worthington 507-376-4431 • St. Olaf Christmas Festival Celebrates 100 Years December 1-4, Northfield 507-786-3811 • Country Christmas Celebration December 1-18, Lakeville 952-898-7200 • Christmas in the Village December 2-3, Owatonna 507-451-1420 • Holiday Festival at WineHaven Winery December 3-4, Chisago City 651-257-1017 • Winter Wonderland Weekend December 10-11, Maple Grove 763-424-0504 • Celtic Woman: A Christmas Celebration December 16, Minneapolis 800-292-4141 • Warmer By the Lake December 26, Duluth 800-438-5884 • Candlelight and Ice December 31, Richfield 612-861-9365 january • Polar Dash Jan 1, Minneapolis 612-746-1364 • Breezy Point Ice Fest January 6-7, Breezy Point 218-568-8911 • Itasca’s Lantern Lit Ski & Snowshoe January 7, Park Rapids 218-699-7252 • Lake Vermilion State Park Snowmobiling Adventure January 14, Soudan 218-753-2245 • Icebox Days Jan 18-22, International Falls 800-325-5766 • Polar Daze Jan 20-29, Bemidji 800-458-2223 • Bloomington’s Winter Fete January 23-29, Bloomington 952-563-8693 february • Ely Winter Festival Feb 2-12, Ely 800-777-7281 • Winter Tracks Festival February 3-12, Grand Marais 888-922-5000 • Laskiainen Finnish Sliding Festival February 4-5, Palo 218-638-2551 • Guys on Ice Feb 10-12, Akeley 218-652-2666 • Polar Fest Feb 10-20, Detroit Lakes 800-542-3992 • International Eelpout Festival February 17-19, Walker 800-833-1118 • Grumpy Old Men Festival February 24-26, Wabasha 800-565-4158 march • Winter Bluegrass Weekend March 2-4, Plymouth 800-635-3037 • A Taste of Wabasha Mar 3, Wabasha 877-332-4537 • Giants Ridge Spring Carnival/Slush Cup March 17, Biwabik 800-688-7669 • Annual Maple Syruping Day March 24, Sandstone 888-404-7743 • Jose Cole Circus March 28, Owatonna 800-423-6466 (Contact area CVBs for complete calendars)

Winter Carnival, Saint Paul The nation’s oldest and largest winter festival. Events include parades, cultural celebrations, ice and snow sculptures and a giant snow slide. Back in 1886, Saint Paul was America’s fastest growing city. Growing from 39,000 residents in 1880 to 120,000 residents in 1886, and had also become America’s third largest rail center. To celebrate their city’s success, Saint Paul business leaders produced the inaugural Saint Paul Winter Carnival, which was held during the first two weeks of February in 1886. In addition to showcasing Saint Paul, the business leaders wanted to disprove a New York newspaper reporter who had described their beloved city as “another Siberia, unfit for human habitation in the winter.” Patterned after Montreal’s Winter Carnival, the first Saint Paul Winter Carnival included parades, skiing, snow shoeing, a blanket tossing contest, and push ball, a game played with giant balls. The most successful attractions were its ice castle and six large toboggan slides. Today the carnival is going strong and offers many activities to entertain your group. Come along and celebrate the “Coolest Celebration on Earth!” [ January 26-February 5, 2012 ] (See location on map, page 35)

explore more winter festivals in minnesota… Ice Box Days, International Falls – Head north for Ice Box Days, for the active group outing, held in the “Ice Box of the Nation” on the Canadian border. Take your chance at turkey bowling; throwing a frozen gobbler down the lane to knock down as many bowling pins as possible. Enjoy snow sculptures, a night snowshoe hike in Voyageurs National Park and the famous Freeze Yer Gizzard Blizzard Run. [ January 12-16, 2012 ]

Zonta House, St. Cloud – Get ready for the Christmas

Target Holidazzle Parade, Minneapolis – Celebrating the

Step back in time to a traditional Victorian Christmas at the beautifully decorated Historic Courthouse in Stillwater. Enjoy live music as you shop a wide variety of high-quality arts and crafts. Santa will make an appearance on Saturday and Sunday afternoons providing great picture opportunities for all the young at heart. Reserve a spot for your group at the Tea Room for a light lunch or snack. Take a tour of the old county jail; the oldest in Minnesota, costumed vendors and volunteers will be on hand to answer your questions. [ November 2012 ]

20th season, this year's parade will enchant your group with dazzling lights and festive floats. Target Holidazzle celebrates the joy and wonder of the holiday season. Each parade will feature brightly lit floats, marching bands, celebrity grand marshals and over 200 costumed characters from popular children’s stories. You don't want to miss this popular Midwest tradition and Minneapolis favorite. [ November 25 – December 18, 2011 (Thurs–Sundays) ]

Christmas in the Village, Owatonna – Groups will enjoy a walk through the luminary-lit Village of Yesteryear with strolling carolers, horse-drawn sleigh rides (Sat), Nortonna Lodge Lefse demonstration & sale in their General Store (Fri). Nibble on some fancy cookies and sample a little wassail in the General Store. Hear the parlor music in the beautifully decorated Dunnell House, visit the Emporium Gift Shop for great holiday gift ideas! Saturday, visit some of Owatonna and Ellendale’s most beautiful homes and enjoy their holiday ambiance with the Historic Holiday House Tour. [ December 2-3, 2011 (annual) ]

season early, with a tour the Zonta House, held annually the weekend before Thanksgiving. A different area residence is beautifully decorated in holiday splendor for Christmas by interior decorators and local business. Gather the latest ideas for decorating your own home and be inspired by new ideas you’d never think of! Stay for the great area shopping and dining.

Victorian Christmas at the Courthouse, Stillwater –

62nd Annual Sleigh and Cutter – Historic Winter Festival, Waseca – Waseca’s annual winter festival gets bigger and better each year with activities taking place on 12-14 days over three weekends. Horse owners from around the state bring magnificent horses of every type imaginable to Waseca for the parade down State Street. Only animal powered units and riders are allowed. Sleighs, cutters, bobsleds and many types of wagons and buggies can be seen. Most of the events are free! Many restaurants and clubs offer special meals and entertainment. The parade is on the second Saturday in February. [ Feb 3-19, Mar 24, 2012, weekends ]

Explore Minnesota

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Experience Burnsville This sample itinerary is best around the holidays but can be customized for any time of year.

day one 9 – 12:00 pm Arrive in Burnsville and check into your hotel. Then it’s off to the Minnesota Zoo. No matter the time of year, this is a zoo for all seasons! Even when the weather is cold and nasty, the Tropics Trail and Discovery Bay are warm and toasty, featuring animals from the Caribbean, South Pacific, and tropical rain forest. The Minnesota Zoo is home to more than 4,240 animals representing 542 species, many of which are considered rare, threatened, or endangered. 12 – 2:00 pm Break for lunch at a local eatery and follow it up with sweets and treats from Abdallah Candies and Gifts. Come in see them hand dip & make chocolates first-hand through their viewing window! The staff will personally greet each group with information, history and candy facts. Plenty of free samples on hand and discounted specials available. 2 – 4:30 pm Spend some time shopping in Burnsville. A stop at Ficus and Fig, in the Grande Market Square Building is a sure hit. Offering 3000 sq feet

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of home décor items, bath & body products, accessories, and unique gifts! Burnsville Center is another option with 3 department stores plus 130 specialty stores for your shopping enjoyment. 4:30 pm Back to your hotel to freshen up for the evening’s activities. 5:15 pm Enjoy dinner around town before attending a performance at the Burnsville Performing Arts Center. Catch a holiday extravaganza, a comedian or a symphony, all just among the few options available at the Performing Arts Center. Take time before the performance to enjoy the beautiful views of downtown Minneapolis and take in the setting at Nicollet Commons Park in Burnsville’s Heart of the City.

day two 8 – 12:00 pm After breakfast at your hotel, your group heads to Minneapolis to view Macy’s Annual Holiday Display, featuring three-dimensional animated figures. Then it is off to the American Swedish Institute to admire their annual holiday display of lavishly decorated trees, tables set for a

Burnsville Performing Arts


Christmas meal, and handcrafted ornaments as celebrated in Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Iceland and Finland. 1:00 pm After lunch, it’s time to head home, and take lasting memories of a wonderful trip with you. For more information or to customize this sample itinerary for your group please contact your tour operator or the Burnsville CVB, 800-521-6055 or visit

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Explore Minnesota

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Groups have FUN in MINNESOTA This sample itinerary is best through May 2012 for these theatre productions.

day one 1 – 5:00 pm As your coach nears the Shoppes art Arbor Lakes, your group will know they are in for a fun day of shopping! Whether you're looking for the latest fashions, incredible home furnishings or the perfect gift, you'll find a combination of national retailers and local boutiques at The Shoppes at Arbor Lakes offers a truly unique experience. 5 – 7:00 pm Dine at Pittsburgh Blue, an exceptional steakhouse located at The Shoppes. Enjoy the rewards of a superbly flavorful steak, deep booths and a deeper wine list, a bar that makes everything better, and the kind of service everybody deserves. 7:00 pm After dinner, your group can check into the Courtyard by Marriot Arbor Lakes for a relaxing night’s sleep.

places at the Minnesota Zoo. Located on 485 beautiful acres just minutes from the Mall of America. The Zoo is home to more than 2,400 animals from around the world including grizzly bears, tigers, and monkeys. Experience the Russian Far East, a tropical rain forest, a marine center, northern tundra, woodland forest, and a family farm. Enjoy a boxed lunch surrounded by nature. 2 – 3:30 pm Check into the Country Inn and Suites in Chanhassen this afternoon and get ready for your evening of entertainment. 4 – 10:00 pm Arrive at the Chanhassen Dinner Theatres and make a stop in the Hogarth Bar for a cocktail or two before dinner and the show. Your group can choose their dinner options from a full menu to enjoy before the curtain opens on the productions of Hairspray or Forever Plaid (now showing).

day two 8 – 9:00 am Enjoy breakfast at your hotel and check out. 9 – 2:00 pm Travel to the Minnesota Zoo in Apple Valley. Your group will spend the day discovering wildlife and wild

The Pirates ARE COMING!

For more information or to customize this sample itinerary for your group please contact your tour operator, the Twin Cities Tourism Attractions Association or the advertisers on this page.



Opens February 18, 2012 TICKETS ON SALE NOW! ollywood’s glamorous and adventurepacked portrayal of pirates has captured our imaginations for generations. But what was life on the high seas really like during the Golden Age of Piracy? You’ll find out on February 18, 2012, when Real Pirates: The Untold Story of the Whydah from Slave Ship to Pirate Ship opens at the Science Museum of Minnesota.


Don your pirate hat and climb aboard a recreation of a pirate ship. Learn to tie knots and hoist a pirate flag. Meet members of the Whydah’s crew and explore what life was like on a real pirate ship. And see more than 200 artifacts from North America’s only authenticated pirate shipwreck. With exhibits and experiences for all ages, your group will love the Science Museum of Minnesota. Ready to book your group’s visit or have questions? Call us during business hours or 9am to 5pm, Monday through Friday at 651-221-9444 or 800-221-9444. Real Pirates: a touring exhibition organized by National Geographic and Arts and Exhibitions International.


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Explore Minnesota

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Eagan – at the Center of it All!

Landmark Center - Saint Paul

This itinerary is best spring through fall.

day one 9 – 11:00 am Begin your day in Stillwater. Located on the St. Croix River, it’s one of Minnesota’s oldest towns. Its beautiful historic architecture houses an array of antique & specialty shops, art galleries, and restaurants. Board the Stillwater Trolley with a step-on guide for a guided tour! 11 – 1:00 pm Your next stop will be the St. Croix Vineyards & Winery. Located just west of Stillwater, this winery offers complimentary wine tasting in a restored century old barn. Stroll through their picturesque vineyard and have a picnic lunch. 1 – 3:00 pm Groups love to visit the Landmark Center located in downtown Saint Paul. Built in 1902, originally used as the Federal courthouse and Post Office for the upper Midwest. One of the most popular tours they offer is the Gangster Tour, fully enhanced by costumed guides educating your groups about the life and times of people like “Ma” Barker, Alvin “Creepy” Karpis, John Dillinger and his moll Evelyn Freschette, and more. Also in the Landmark Center is the American Association of Woodturners Gallery of Wood Art, Schubert’s Club Musical Instrument Museum & Gilman Ordway Collection of Musical Manuscripts. 3 – 4:00 pm Located just a few blocks from the Landmark Center is

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the Cathedral of St. Paul. The Cathedral dominates the skyline and is situated on the highest point in downtown St. Paul. Each year, the Cathedral of St. Paul welcomes over 200,000 visitors. Tours are free of charge, though donations are gratefully received. 5 – 9:00 pm Spend the evening at The Guthrie Theater in downtown Minneapolis. Established in 1963, this newly built facility opened in 2006. Explore this world-renowned theater, see a play, have dinner and take a walk on the “endless bridge,” a glass-enclosed walkway jutting out to offer breathtaking views of the Mississippi River. Your coach will whisk you away to one of the many group-friendly hotels in Eagan for a peaceful nights sleep, as tomorrow is another big day around Eagan!

day two 8 – 9:00 am Enjoy breakfast with your group in your Eagan hotel before taking on another exciting day! 9 – 11:30 am Today’s excitement begins with a visit to the Marjorie McNeely Conservatory and Como Zoo. Take a step back in time and ride Cafesjian’s Carousel located in the $1.1 million dollar copper-roofed pavilion just steps from the entrance to Como Zoo. Tickets are only $1.50! 11:30 – 4:00 pm No visit to the Twin Cities would be complete without a

visit to Mall of America. As one of the most visited tourist destinations in the world, Mall of America features something for everyone! Enjoy more than 520 stores, 50 restaurants, attractions galore and over 300 free events annually. Plus there’s no sales tax on clothing or shoes! 4 – 5:00 pm Head back to your Eagan hotel to freshen up for tonight’s entertainment. 6:00 pm A night at Chanhassen Dinner Theater; the largest professional dinner theatre in the nation. Always a guaranteed hit with groups! For more information or to customize this sample itinerary for your group, please contact Eagan’s tour operator: Denise Olsen at 651-675-5542 or Don’t forget - $250 Cash Rebate with 20 or more rooms booked in Eagan!

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Explore Minnesota

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Group Hospitality at THE MINNESOTA STATE FAIR he Minnesota State Fair is one of the largest and best-attended expositions in the world, attracting nearly 1.8 million visitors annually. In addition to being a showcase for Minnesota’s finest agriculture, art and industry, the fair features hundreds of entertainment options including music all around the fairgrounds, educational exhibits, hands-on experiences, more than 60 carnival rides; thousands of competitions, 11 nights of Grandstand shows, and more than 450 different foods.


Our hospitality staff has a variety of resources to make your day at the fair even more fun! We can help you organize a fairgrounds scavenger hunt or a trivia contest, provide self-guided tour maps for the fair’s beautiful gardens and tree sculptures or help you plan your activities with a sample itinerary. We also provide daily entertainment and activity schedules so you won’t miss a thing! Most exhibit buildings are open from 9 am to 9 pm. For early arrivals, there is plenty of activity in the Livestock area as animals are groomed and readied for judging. From 6 am to midnight, there’s always something different to see all 12 days of the Great Minnesota Get-Together! Morning is the best time to… • schedule a breakfast and welcome session for your group at the Blue Ribbon Picnic Area. • learn about renewable energy and sustainability at the award-winning Eco Experience. • experience the Miracle of Birth Center where lambs, calves and piglets are born. Mid-day is the best time to… • catch one of more than 75 acts on seven free entertainment stages. • check out nearly 70 rides from around the globe at Mighty Midway and Kidway. • browse through the shops at Heritage Square or the International Bazaar. Afternoon is the best time to… • meet Princess Kay and see the famous butterhead sculptures. • choose a snack from the menu of 350 foods, including more than 50 foods on-a-stick. • stroll through Minnesota’s largest juried art show in the Fine Arts Center. Evening is the best time to… • go to extremes on Adventure Park’s rides. • see big-name entertainers at the newly-restored 1909 Grandstand. • watch the nightly fireworks spectacular.



For more information call 651-632-2689 or email

A Tropical Rain Forest in Southern MN? This itinerary may be customized for any time of the year. Your group will never have to leave the “Island.” Bring your group to Treasure Island Resort & Casino. Located just outside the Minneapolis/Saint Paul metro in Red Wing, our 150,000 square foot gaming floor is bursting with excitement. We offer over 2,400 stateof-the-art slot machines, 40 blackjack tables, 6 live poker tables in our private poker room and the largest selection of Class II table games in Minnesota. Additionally, Treasure Island Resort & Casino boasts the largest non-smoking casino area in the Midwest. Additional guest amenities include a 137-slip marina, 95-site RV park, a 120-passenger cruise yacht and Island Xtreme Bowl—a 24 Brunswick™ Lane bowling center, arcade and lounge.

day one 12 – 2:00 pm Enjoy a lunch cruise aboard the elegant cruise liner, Spirit of the Water, while you float down the scenic Mississippi River. Note: Summer & Fall Cruises available with special group rates. 2:00 – 6:00 pm Golfers are challenged with each hole at Mt. Frontenac’s 18-hole golf course. Play with beautiful views along the rolling hills of southeastern Minnesota and the Mississippi River Valley. Non-golfers may enjoy shopping in the area towns or try their luck at the casino! 6 – 7:00 pm Experience the taste of the tropics every day. From fine dining to a quick snack – Treasure Island Resort & Casino offers four restaurants that are sure to satisfy any appetite. 7 – 10:00 pm With more than 2,500 state-of-the-art slot machines, 44 blackjack tables and a 550-seat high stakes bingo hall all in the Caribbean-themed casino, your group is sure to have a blast — and maybe even win some treasures of their own. 10:00 pm Relax in a tropical-theme hotel room, or take a swim in the lush, rainforest pool environment.

day two 9 – 10:00 am Before you head home, enjoy brunch in the Tradewinds Buffet, with a variety of creative cuisines to tempt any palate. For more information on this sample itinerary contact your tour operator or our tour department at Treasure Island Resort & Casino, 800-222-7077 ext. 2716 or 2952, Monday-Friday 8am to 4pm.


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Explore Minnesota

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We are the “ORIGINAL!”


he Saint Paul Gangster Tour at Wabasha Street Caves in Saint Paul (as seen on the History Channel’s “Secret Passages”).

notorious figures of Irish descent? See how Irish immigrants influenced the architecture, politics, and religion of Saint Paul’s past.

Come see and hear the history of these sandstone caves. Explore the raw history of the original mined caves and see the finished caves (once a romantic night club called The Castle Royal). Jaws will drop at the shocking tales of massacres and ghostly lore from Chicago to San Francisco— all in the most unique setting.

Twin Town Tacky Tour Join the Gunderson girls, Gloria and Gladys, on a journey to the tackiest places in Saint Paul & Minneapolis. How often do you get a chance to see the very spot where shopping bags with handles were invented?

Other Seasonal Tours Include… Winter Lights Tour – December If the festive lights of the winter season are more your speed, then you’ll love our Winter Lights Tour. This familiar 2-hour deluxe motorcoach tour shows off the biggest and brightest displays of holiday cheer in our chilly capital city. Your guide is a member of winter lore, who will lead you on your fun-filled tour. The No Blarney Tour Are the streets of Saint Paul really strewn with drunken Irishmen? Why are Saint Paul’s most

The Uff Dah!! Tour Set out to discover how and why immigrants from Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Finland came to settle in Saint Paul and Minneapolis. Why did Ole & Lena settle here and what exactly is Lefse? Mill City Mobs Tour This tour shows you the MiniApple when it was rotten to the core. Yes, there were gangsters in Saint Paul, but Minneapolis had its own lot of mobsters and racketeers. Rivers & Roots Tour Journey with us and learn about the formation of the Twin Cities around the Mississippi River.



Have you ever wondered how Minneapolis & Saint Paul got their names? Why are there two cities? Why did the state capitol building end up in Saint Paul? Caves & Graves Tour – October This tour is designed to give you a shiver and not a heart attack. Hear stories of haunted sites and historic murders, or visit a haunted cave and learn about the history of a local Saint Paul cemetery. Keep an eye on your hosts however; your tour guide might be a mad nurse, a fortune-teller, or even a vampire! Call to make your group reservation 651-2921220. See you underground.



TREASURE ISLAND RESORT & CASINO’S 50+ Wednesdays (8am-8pm) oin us for 50+ Wednesdays, where Passport Club members ages 50 and better have a chance to win up to $50 in FREE slot play, plus enjoy other great discounts on food, bingo, bowling and more!


Stop by a kiosk for your chance to win up to $50 in free slot play and print your vouchers for food discounts, pull-tabs and blackjack play match. Other great 50+ Wednesday offers include $3 off a Bingo purchase, poker and blackjack drawings and a free game of bowling. To receive these offers, simply visit the appropriate venue!

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BLOOMINGTON, MINNESOTA The Ultimate Minnesota Winter Wonderland ly or drive to Bloomington and check into one of 37 hotels, all located in the heart of Bloomington. For the ultimate in winter and experiences, visit Mall of America during the holiday season, where the hallways are decked-out with the grandest of holiday décor. Visitors can tackle their holiday shopping lists with tax free shopping on all clothing and shoe purchases. Have your photo taken with Santa and take in the sounds of the season performed by locals during the Holiday Music Festival. Holiday festivities begin at Mall of America on November 10, 2011.


Bloomington celebrates winter during the 10th annual Bloomington Winter Fete, January 23-29, 2012. The annual celebration brings residents and visitors out of hibernation to celebrate the joys of winter. The event begins with the International Nordic Ski Jumping competition at Bush Lake Ski Jump and features a hockey and broomball tournament, ice fishing competition, a photo scavenger hunt and a history festival. Warm drinks will be available throughout the days of the events. Be sure to book your hotel packages in Bloomington early, to ensure you don’t miss a minute of the family-friendly event.



Be sure to purchase The Big Ticket™ Attraction Pass, to experience 6 of the Twin Cities most popular attractions, and find out for yourself that Minnesota is a great place to visit during the winter! To book this itinerary, visit our website at or contact the Sales Department at 1-866-435-7425 or



Coolest hot spot in town!

aint Cloud, Minnesota’s coolest hot spot in town is Mr. Twisty. Serving up delectable ice cream creations all summer long, this walk-up shop is reminiscent of the ones you rode your bike to as a kid. The low prices and friendly atmosphere are what keep guests coming back again and again. Not to mention the one-of-a-kind soft serve used in their banana splits, parfaits, sundaes, cones, shakes, and twisters!


What makes Mr. Twisty so unique? • Italian Ice: This dairy-free dessert comes in hundreds of flavors; a different one highlighted each week, and a refreshing cure to those hot summer days. • Eye Candy: You heard right! Each of Mr. Twisty’s signature cones is adorned with two little sugary eyeballs for that extra touch of character. Eat them right away or save them for later. • Hot Food Options: Hungry for more? The shop also serves popcorn, hotdogs, pulled-pork sandwiches and the ever-popular “walking taco”- a small bag of Doritos™ topped with your favorite taco fixings. Open mid-March through mid-October (weather permitting). Groups of 10 or more, please call ahead to maximize your visit: 320-310-0314.


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Experience St. Cloud’s “Winter Wonderland of Shopping & Theatre” Perfect for a girlfriend get-away weekend. 9 – 10:30 am Welcome to The Grande Depot. Housed in a beautifully restored 1912 Soo Line Depot, it offers two upscale retail choices for discerning consumers. Accentric offers extensive stylish home décor, gourmet foods, exclusive culinary, children’s gifts and much more. Cork & Cask offers central Minnesota’s most unique selection of fine wine and spirits. FREE samples of wine and food products on Saturdays. 10:30 – 12:00 pm Next stop is Crafts Direct, the get inspired, create and decorate store! Offering a huge selection of arts and crafts supplies – it’s the largest craft store in the state! See their website for project ideas, current sales flyer, and calendar of craft classes. 12 – 2:00 pm Time for some serious shopping in downtown and your first stop is Herbergers! It’s always a fun stop when visiting St. Cloud! Do a little browsing before and after the show today. Your reward for a short walk down St. Germain Street is a stop at the specialty shop called Northern Brights featuring unique, handbags, jewelry, gifts, art and fashions! You’ll find many other shopping

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treasures along your way plus lunch at Mexican Village – fun, food and fabulous margaritas! Including FREE chips and salsa. 2 – 4:00 pm See a matinee at the Paramount Theater for one of Great Theatre’s productions. Saturday or Sunday matinees are perfect for mid-afternoon fun. Grab a glass of wine or a soda and sit back to watch the show. 4 – 6:00 Resume shopping before heading over to Café Renaissance for an elegant dinner. Enjoy their unique pan-Mediterranean cuisine, featuring dishes from the south of Italy, France, Greece, Spain, Turkey, Moroccan, and the Eastern and middleEastern Mediterranean. When you’re ready to turn in, the AmericInn in Sartell is a great choice for groups to relax and unwind around their pool. For more information of to customize this itinerary for your group, contact the St. Cloud Convention and Visitors Bureau / Jean Robbins at 1-800-264-2940, ext. 129 or

Here is a small sampling of what’s coming up, check the St. Cloud CVB’s website for a more detailed list: West Side Story April 28-May 13, 2012 Paramount Theater presented by Great Theatre. The world’s greatest love story takes to the streets in this landmark Broadway musical that is one of the theatre’s finest accomplishments. Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet” is transported to modern-day New York City, as two young idealistic lovers find themselves caught between warring street gangs, the Jets and the Sharks. Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream May 18-20, 3012 Stephen B. Humphrey Theater, Saint John’s University presented by Great Theatre. One of William Shakespeare’s most hilarious and enchanting works comes to the stage in a production created especially for students. A whimsical story of love, mischief, matchmaking and magic.

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GREAT NORTH SHOW PROVIDERS: Performing in a community near you! “Holy Bells” – featuring the original cast! Those loveable nuts from Deer Camp are back in another great mishap-filled adventure in the north woods! With Christmas fast approaching, the Mighty Hunters of Elmwood head back to their shack to cut fresh trees for the all-church Christmas choir recital and Nativity service at the Elmwood Town Hall. When the ACLU steps in and says “No church service on public property,” the guys take it as a personal insult. Armed with an old chainsaw, plenty of fresh beer, all new songs, and four feet of snow, what could possibly go wrong? (Check out for more information and locations.)



“Almost Home”

Bentleyville DULUTH

– Doug Spartz & Friends Holiday Show Available only through the holiday season, this show features Americana singer/songwriter Doug Spartz , along with several Nashville and Midwest friends. This Branson-styled show will showcase some time honored traditional holiday music and also some of Doug’s original songs from the musical Holy Bells, a Deer Camp Christmas. If your group is looking for something different this holiday season, this show is a sure bet! Rounding out the entertainment will be some special comedy skits with “Moose” and “Diesel”, as they reprise their roles from the hit musical play, Deer Camp and Holy Bells. Available exclusively through Great North Show Providers. (Check out Doug’s music at

xperience the magic of nearly 3 million lights illuminating Bayfront Festival Park located on the shores of Lake Superior during the Bentleyville Tour of Lights. The largest holiday light show in the Midwest comes to life every evening during the holiday season. Be amazed by the tallest steel animated Christmas tree in the United States – 120 feet tall and 17 tons! That’s more than twice the height of New York City’s famous Rockefeller Center Christmas tree!


A step on guide can meet your group and share the fascinating story of what began as Nathan Bentley’s love of decorating for Christmas at his residence in Esko in 2001 – and continued at his residence in Cloquet, where the family moved in 2004, to what has now transpired into an amazing experience at Bayfront Park in Duluth for one and all to enjoy. Nathan went from stringing a few lights on his home to renting boom lifts to put up decorations, all the while attracting bus loads of people to his property. “Each year we would add a few more things like popcorn, coffee, cookies, fire pits, and then Santa was there each night. It just continued to grow very quickly in just four years,” says Nathan. Come enjoy a winter wonderland of lights, good will and smiles all around! Bentleyville is an official collection site for the Salvation Army to collect non-perishable food items or new, unwrapped toys to support those less fortunate this season.


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Stay in DULUTH! lanning a group tour of the North Shore? The following hotels invite you to stay with them. All are centrally located among shopping, dining, and North Shore attractions. Best of all, they offer group rates!


Comfort Suites of Canal Park on Lake Superior • Group discounts available in spring, winter and late fall • Complimentary hot breakfast • Comp rooms for escorts with 15 rooms or more • Discounted drivers room • All suites come with microwave & fridge • Pool & whirlpool • Exercise room • 100% smoke-free property



Hampton Inn of Canal Park on Lake Superior • Lakeside rooms and suites available • Complimentary hot breakfast • In-room microwave & fridge • Free high-speed internet • Free bus parking • Escort comps & driver discounts available spring and fall • Newly remodeled in Spring 2011 Canal Park Lodge, Canal Park’s newest lakeside hotel • Complimentary hot breakfast featuring Caribou Coffee • Pool & whirlpool • 24-hour exercise room • Free bus parking (plug-ins available) • Meeting room • 100% smoke-free property • Easy access to the Lake Walk Comfort Inn West, 2011 Platinum Hospitality Award Winner • Complimentary hot breakfast • Pool, whirlpool & sauna • Free WiFi • Group welcome receptions • Express check-ins • Luggage handling • Bus parking • Meeting room Check out or call 1-888-766-7636 for flexible lodging options for large groups or for more information.

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Learn about Austin on an Architectural Tour This itinerary can be customized for any time of the year.

Welcome to Austin! Located in Southeast MN only 12 miles north of the Iowa border and approximately 100 miles south of the Twin Cities metro area, making Austin a perfect group tour destination. You will find Austin enroute to many popular places such as the Black Hills, Mall of America, Wisconsin Dells, and Historic Bluff Country also in southeast Minnesota. Not only is SPAM™Town USA a gateway to many popular destinations, but you will be pleased to discover Austin is a great destination of its own!

day one 9:30 – 11:00 am The entertainment begins when your costumed guide joins you for great jokes, lots of fun sharing and of course the great history and sites of Austin,

Minnesota - SPAM town USA! 11 – 12:00 pm Start downtown with Hastings Shoe Store. Built in 1868, it was the site of the original courthouse and county offices. There is a lot of history in the building that Bendixen’s Jewelry calls home. 12 – 1:00 pm A great place for a trendy lunch is the Brick House Coffee House, built in 1858, the same year that Minnesota became a state. It is one of the oldest homes in Austin, with a 1930’s addition that was carefully built to duplicate the original style. 1 – 1:30 pm St. Augustine’s Catholic Church’s parish was established in 1857. The cornerstone of the present Gothic design building was laid in 1894. Beautiful stained glass windows are one of its most distinctive features. 1:30 – 1:45 pm The First United Methodist Church started in 1856, is celebrating its 150th birthday right along with the city of Austin! 1:45 – 2:15 pm Tour the Arthur Winfield Wright House, now a private residence. Records show it was built before 1874 and is the earliest, most intact example of Italianate styling in Mower County. The detailing is unusual with

narrow gables, paired corbels, and heavily corniced window and door moldings. 2:15 – 2:45 pm The Hormel Historic Home was built in 1871, and

bought in 1901 by George and Lillian Hormel. The stately 18-room home had extensive remodeling in the Classical Revival style and houses many original family heirlooms and photographs. The brand new banquet hall and conference center created seating for an additional 200. (Contact the Austin CVB for information about their newly added “Cooking Tips and Trends”. Classes have been added – in partnership with the Hormel Home.) 2:45 – 5:30 pm Check into one of Austin’s group friendly hotels. Whether your group is looking for a full service hotel or something a bit simpler, Austin’s hotels know how to make your groups time in Austin comfortable. 5:30 – 7:30 pm Dinner tonight will be at the Old Mill Restaurant. Enjoy excellent food in a scenic, relaxing and historic setting. 7:30 pm End your touring day at the Sola Fide Observatory, a program of the Jay C. Hormel Nature Center. Under the direction of a specialist, you can view the night sky with its numerous stars and constellations.

day two 9 – 12:00 pm Your second day begins with a journey up the road to Rochester and a tour the Gerard Mansion. The mansion of Jay Catherwood Hormel, son of George and Lillian. This 97 room chateau was designed by Harold H. Crawford, the architect responsible for many prominent buildings in Rochester, MN. Many original pieces still exist in this French style home. The mansion today is used as a treatment center for troubled youth. Tours can be arranged only by the CVB with advance notice. “Tour planning made easy” is the goal of the Austin Convention and Visitors Bureau. For more information or to customize this sample itinerary please contact your tour operator or the Austin Convention & Visitors Bureau, 800-444-5713.


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Come, Stay at the St. James Hotel and Shop the Town This itinerary can be customized for any time of the year. One of the most beautiful stretches of the Mississippi flows along the border of southeastern Minnesota with soaring, wooded bluffs and charming river towns along the way. This scenic valley offers plenty to see and do with antique shops, wineries, apple orchards and golf courses. Since 1875, the St. James Hotel has provided guests with service and incomparable experiences. Located on the banks of the Mississippi, the St. James Hotel offers a setting that few other establishments can boast. Bring your group and take full advantage of this perfect blend of history, setting and ambience.

day one 9 – 10:00 am Watch pottery being made at the Red Wing Stoneware Company. Admire local potters creating beautiful stoneware in the tradition of Red Wing’s famous Union Stoneware Company. 10 – 12:00 pm In the old Pottery District sits the historic Pottery Place Mall—once home to the Union Stoneware Company. Today you can shop antique stores and

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specialty shops. Next door is the Red Wing Pottery Salesroom—a must for any visit to Red Wing. It is said that the salesroom has the largest selection of dinnerware, pottery and gifts in the upper Midwest! 12 – 2:00 pm Enjoy lunch at the Veranda Restaurant located on the first floor of the St. James Hotel. The delectable menu includes Sturdiwheat pancakes, a local favorite. Sturdiwheat is a locally owned and operated line of pancakes, bread and cereal. After lunch check your group in at the St. James Hotel for a memorable stay. 2 – 4:30 pm Shop the downtown district boutiques for unique storefronts, as well as indoor shopping protected from the elements. You’ll find women’s clothing, golf wear, Red Wing shoes – the shoes that made the city famous – and German and Scandinavian clothing, jewelry and other wares. Around every corner is an antique store. Some shops focus on pottery, with everything from tableware and serving dishes to mixing bowls and crocks. 4:30 – 6:30 pm Falconer Vineyards opened their Vineyard Bistro in 2011, located on a covered deck that overlooks a

6.5-acre vineyard. Your group will sip on Falconer Vineyards wine and enjoy the serene surroundings. Wood fire pizzas are currently available in 8" personal size, made on a wheat crust of their own recipe. 6:30 – 9:30 pm Take your group to experience a little bit of Broadway at the Sheldon Theatre. Choose one of their many crowd-pleasing productions.

day two 8:15 – 9:00am Enjoy morning coffee, tea or hot chocolate in the historic lobby of the St. James Hotel. 9 – 1:00pm Check out and head North on Highway 61 to Treasure Island Resort & Casino and spend the morning playing games. With huge jackpots and new bingo games every month, Island Bingo is a sure bet for a good time. Bingo Matinee warm-ups start at 11:45 am. Great times are in the cards at Island Bingo! For more information or to customize this itinerary please call your tour operator or contact the St. James Hotel, 800-252-1875.

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Martin County Courthouse

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Explore Fairmont’s Treasures This itinerary is best anytime of year. Fairmont hosts a variety of options to satisfy your arts and cultural needs. Along with its small town hospitality and comfortable group friendly hotels, Fairmont is a must stop.

day one 2:30 – 3:00 pm Arrive in Fairmont and check into one of their groupfriendly hotels.

3 – 4:45 pm Begin your tour with a drive through the city with their step-on guide, and make a stop at the Martin County Court House, originally a stockade to provide safety to the locals against Indian uprisings and was called Fort Fairmont. The present Court House was built in 1906. It is considered one of the Top 10 most beautiful courthouses in Minnesota. Especially noteworthy are the upper level murals and its artistic construction. 4:45 – 6:45 pm Built in 1867 on a hill overlooking Lake Sisseton, The Chubb House is the oldest surviving house in Fairmont. The house is of Greek Revival architecture where square nails can be seen in places throughout the house. Your group will enjoy dinner relaxing around the warm, friendly fireplace, or the backyard is suitable for picnics in the summer, overlooking Lake Sisseton. Food service will be arranged. 6:45 – 10:00 pm An evening performance at the Fairmont Opera House awaits you. This unique building has enriched the architectural, cultural and commercial life of the region for over 100 years. The atmosphere, ghosts, memories of great actors, entertainers and shows are all here.

day two 8 – 9:00 am Begin your day with breakfast at your hotel. 9 – 11:00 am Board the bus for an official “City of Lakes” tour. Step back in time to treasures from yesteryear at the Pioneer Museum and stroll through Fairmont’s Downtown Plaza where you’ll find specialty shops to take care of those last minute Christmas gifts. 11 – 12:30 pm Enjoy a catered lunch at one of their greatest art venues, the Red Rock Center for the Arts. Tour the restored 1898 red stone building that was once a church and now houses a location for local artists to display their work. For more information or to customize this itinerary for your group please contact your tour operator or the Fairmont Convention & Visitor’s Bureau, 800-6573280,

Red Rock Center for the Arts


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Marion Ross

Pelican Breeze II Cruise Boat

Good Times in Albert Lea! This sample itinerary is best during the spring and summer months. Itasca Rock Garden

day one 9:30 – 11:00 am Start your day with a tour of the Freeborn County Historical Museum, rated one of the finest history complexes in Minnesota and home to both the “Minnesota Rock & Country Hall of Fame” and to Marion Ross of “Happy Days.” The village depicts the lives of early settlers, with 14 buildings that include a one-room school, general store, church, and jail. Plus see exhibits on the Civil War, history of the town and more. 11 – 12:00 pm Visit the Story Lady Doll & Toy Museum. Enjoy over 1,000 dolls and toys including antiques, storybook characters, designer dolls and more. 12 – 1:15 pm Dine at Crescendo, located in a building dating back to 1883, full of turn of the century charm and featuring exquisite food, an extensive wine list and

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live piano music. 1:15 – 3:00 pm Embark on a breathtaking cruise on picturesque Albert Lea Lake, aboard the Pelican Breeze II Cruise Boat. Sit back and relax on this 60-foot riverboat replica. Enjoy wildlife and the historic sites as your guides describe the history behind this charming natural area. 3 – 5:00 pm View unique displays of plant material, garden accents and home décor at the Garden Diva Design Studio. They feature professional landscape designs from classic, formal gardens to the modern contemporary oasis. Perfect group photo opportunities! 5 – 5:30 pm Check into one of the areas many group friendly hotels. 5:30 – 7:15 pm Choose from a variety of Albert Lea’s group friendly dining options for your evening meal.

7:15 pm Marion Ross Performing Arts Center. Renamed in 2008 in honor of actress Marion Ross, famous for her role as Mrs. Cunningham on “Happy Days.” Featuring many performances year round, including concerts, tributes and comedy specials. Call for show schedules.

day two 9 – 10:00 am Enjoy a complimentary breakfast in your hotel. 10 – 11:00 am Tour the Itasca Rock Garden before you head for home. It is a privately owned garden with two small structures resembling castles, two stone bridges, a pond, and more! For more information on this sample itinerary contact your tour operator or the Albert Lea CVB, 800-345-8414.

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Hometown Holiday Weekend Enjoy a Hometown Holiday Weekend in Owatonna early December for a 3-day event! Check the dates for 2012.

day one – thursday, dec 1 1- 3:00 pm Make your way to Owatonna at the Preferred Outlets at Medford for the best outlet prices south of the metro area! Shop stores such as Columbia Sportswear Company, Old Navy, The Children’s Place, Bass, Nike Clearance Store, Levi’s and many more. 3 – 5:00 pm Visit Cabela’s World’s Foremost Outfitter and largest fishing, hunting and outdoor gear store in the Midwest. With four million visitors a year it is the second most popular tourist attraction in Minnesota! 5 – 6:30 pm Bundle up and make your next stop in downtown Owatonna to line the sidewalks for the Hometown Holiday Lighted Parade – Owatonna’s version of the popular Minneapolis Holidazzle Parade! Window shop and pop-into some of the stores for their holiday open houses. 6:30 – 9:00 pm Visit Central Park for a free cup of hot cider and Christmas cookies and catch a glimpse of Santa in the Bandshell as he welcomes the holidays by

flipping the switch for the synchronized twinkle lights and music show. Enjoy the Owatonna High School Carolers singing Christmas carols; also simulcast on the radio for those who want to sit indoors. End your evening with dinner at one of Owatonna’s fine restaurants.

day two – friday, dec 2 10 – 12:00 pm Take to the streets of downtown Owatonna for “Santa Specials” at Owatonna Shoe – a “REAL” Shoe Store and Kristi’s Clothing, for something unique and different for your wardrobe! There’s sure to be something for everyone on your shopping list with all the shops in downtown Owatonna. 12 – 1:00 pm Have lunch and treat your group to Costa’s Café & Chocolate Shop. Everyone will enjoy some hand-made/hand-dipped candies in their stockings this year! 1 – 3:00 pm Take in Owatonna’s attractions, all decked out for the holidays, including the National Farmer’s Bank downtown, designed by world-renowned architect Louis Sullivan.

3 – 5:00 pm Brave the elements and enjoy childhood again by renting ice skates at the Morehouse Park Chalet and skate your way along the Straight River, or watch a game of boot hockey or broomball in the rinks! 5 – 7:00 pm Step back in time for a Victorian Christmas at the Village of Yesteryear! Horse-drawn sleigh rides, pictures with Santa, fancy cookie sale, Christmas carolers, and a stroll along the boardwalk lit by luminaries! See the Dunnell House lavishly decorated for the holidays. FREE admission Steele County Historical Society

day three – saturday, dec 3 10 – 12:00 pm Stop by Christmas in the Village at the Steele County Historical Society and stock up on more goodies from their fancy cookie sale. Grab some lunch before your tour of homes begins. 12 – 3:00 pm Visit unique homes in Steele County on the Historic Holiday Home Tour. All houses are decorated for the holidays and have a story to tell. 3 – 5:00 pm Stop by the West Hills Campus to see the winter decorations of the Minnesota State School Orphanage and Owatonna Arts Center. 5:00 pm Don’t forget about those stocking stuffers! Russell Stover Candies features a full selection of Russell Stover boxed candies and chocolates! The candy kitchen offers handmade specialties, cookies, peanut brittle, caramel apples and more. The ice cream parlor serves delicious Blue Bell ice cream, sundaes, floats and shakes. Build a box of your favorite chocolates or select from one of the many gift baskets. For more information on Owatonna’s Holiday Shopping and Attractions Itinerary contact Lisa Havelka, Tourism Director at 507-451-7970 or go to


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directory & map accommodations

Holiday Inn MPLS NW Elk River . . 763-656-4400

Bloomington . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .952-854-0300

9200 Quaday Avenue NE – Otsego, MN 55330 / Minnesota’s favorite water park resort! Stay, Play, Shop and Experience local history all within a 5-mile radius! On the banks of the Mississippi River you’ll find local hospitality at its best beckoning you and your group. Four story waterslides, lazy river, and separate zero depth entry pool; fun for absolutely all ages!

Comfort Inn Airport

Homewood Suites By Hilton


Americas Best Value Inn & Suites Shakopee . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 877-291-0622

Cambria Suites

Bloomington . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .952-854-3400

Bloomington . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 952-854-0900

Country Inn & Suites at Mall of America

Hyatt Place Minneapolis Airport-South

Bloomington . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 952-854-5555

Country Inn & Suites West Bloomington . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 952-831-9595

Courtyard by Marriott MPLS/Bloomington Bloomington . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 952-876-0100

Crowne Plaza Bloomington Bloomington . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 952-831-8000

Days Inn Bloomington West Bloomington . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 952-835-7400

Silver Bay . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 877-254-1827

AmericInn Lodge & Suites & Event Center of Moorhead . . . 218-287-7100

La Quinta Inn Bloomington-MPLS Bloomington . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 952-881-7311

La Quinta Inn & Suites Bloomington . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 952-830-1300

Bloomington . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 952-893-9999

Microtel Inn & Suites Bloomington . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 952-854-6600

Bloomington . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 952-854-7441

Mystic Lake Prior Lake

. . . . 800-262-7799

ext 665

Bloomington . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 952-854-1000

Park Plaza Bloomington . . . . . . . . . . . . 952-831-3131

Extended Stay America

Quality Inn & Suites Bloomington . . . 952-854-5558

Bloomington . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 952-858-8475

Hampton Inn & Suites Bloomington . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 952-854-7600

Hampton Inn By Hilton Bloomington . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 952-835-6643

Hilton Garden Inn MPLS/Bloomington Bloomington . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 952-831-1012

Hilton Minneapolis/Bloomington Bloomington . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 952-893-9500

Hilton Minneapolis/Saint Paul Airport Bloomington . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 952-854-2100

Radisson Hotel Bloomington By MOA Bloomington . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 952-854-8700

Ramada Mall of America Bloomington . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 800-328-1931

Residence Inn MPLS/Bloomington Bloomington . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 952-876-0900

The Saint Paul Hotel

. . . . . . . . . . .651-292-9292 350 Market Street – Saint Paul, MN 55102 / 254 professionally decorated guestrooms and suites. Each with minibar, safe, and high-speed internet access. Concierge, newspaper, laundry, valet, business center, and rooftop fitness center.

Sheraton Bloomington Hotel-MPLS South Bloomington . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 952-835-7800

Sofitel Minneapolis Holiday Inn Bloomington Airport I-35W

Bloomington . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 952-835-1900

Bloomington . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 952-884-8211

Staybridge Suites Holiday Inn Express MPLS Airport/Mall Area

Bloomington . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 952-831-7900

Bloomington . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 952-854-1687

Holiday Inn & Suites MPLS Airport Bloomington . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 952-854-9000

AmericInn of Sartell . . . . . . . . . . . .320-259-0877 119 LeSauk Drive – Sartell, MN 56377 Stay at the hottest spot in the St. Cloud area, the AmericInn of Sartell, we’re on the border to everywhere. Experience a quiet night’s sleep with our soundguard guestrooms and wake up to our free enhanced continental breakfast.

Canal Park Lodge Duluth

. . . . . . . . . .800-777-8560

Comfort Inn – West

. . . . . . . . . . . .218-628-1464 3900 West Superior Street – Duluth, MN 55807 2011 Platinum Hospitality Award winner. Complimentary Hot Breakfast. Indoor Pool, Whirlpool & Sauna. Weeknight guest hospitality hour with apps and a cash bar. Great location near all area attractions at an affordable price.

Comfort Suites Canal Park

. . . . .218-727-1378 408 Canal Park Drive – Duluth, MN 55802 The Comfort Suites Canal Park is located on beautiful Lake Superior in Historic Canal Park. Enjoy dining, museums, shopping, and the boardwalk within walking distance. We will make your group tour successful and memorable.

Hampton Inn

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .800-426-7866 310 Canal Park Drive – Duluth, MN 55802 Relax in our sunroom and watch your ship come in! In Canal Park on Lake Superior and next to the lake walk, we are centrally located for shopping, dining and attractions. Newly remodeled in summer 2011.

North Shore Resorts by Odyssey

Super 8 Motel Bloomington . . . . . . . . . 952-888-8800

Duluth . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .218-728-8060

Travelodge Bloomington . . . . . . . . . . . . 952-854-3322

Sawmill Inn

University Hotel Minneapolis . . .800-822-6757 615 Washington Avenue SE – Minneapolis, MN 55414 w w w. i t i n e r a r i e s m i d w e s t . c o m

600 30th Ave S – Moorhead, MN 56560 877-287-7100 Our two-story waterfall cascades into a tropical courtyard featuring an indoor 9-hole championship, miniature golf course, swimming pool, children’s pool, & whirlpool. We have a lounge, fitness center and free deluxe hot continental breakfast.

Le Bourget Aero Suites Hotel

Embassy Suites Minneapolis Airport

Fairfield Inn by Marriott

. . . . . . . . . . 800-Hampton 2705 S Broadway – Alexandria, MN 56308 320-763-3360 Opened 2008. Free Hot Breakfast, Indoor Pool and Whirlpool, Fitness Center, Business Center, Suite Shop, Free Wired/wireless internet, Microwave & Refrigerator in all rooms, meeting room on site 10-50 people.

Bloomington . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 952-854-0700

Bloomington . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 952-884-4811

Bloomington . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 952-884-1400

Alexandria Hampton Inn & Suites


Minneapolis Airport Marriott Embassy Suites Bloomington


ext 114

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .218-326-8501 2301 S Highway 169 – Grand Rapids, MN 55744-9501


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Explore Minnesota accommodations cont’d southern

Microtel Inn & Suites Mankato . . . . .507-388-2818 Microtel Inn & Suites

Springfield . . .507-723-8200

St. James Hotel

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .800-252-1875 406 Main Street – Red Wing, MN 55066 Centrally located between the Twin Cities and Rochester and mere footsteps away from all scenic Red Wing has to offer, the St. James Hotel is the ideal headquarters for your tour group’s southeast Minnesota action.

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Wabasha Street Caves . . . . . . . . . . . 651-292-1220 215 Wabasha Street South – Saint Paul, MN 55107 Down In History has exciting historic tours done by costumed characters. Historic Walking Cave Tours in Saint Paul and Stillwater. Motorcoach Gangster Tours, Irish Tours, Tacky Tours, Ghost & Graves Tours, & More! We make history fun!

Wells Fargo History Museum

. . 612-667-4210 Sixth Street South and Marquette Avenue Skyway Level Minneapolis, MN 55402 Visit a fun, interactive museum on the skyway in downtown Minneapolis. See the glimmer of gold, send messages by telegraph, examine a historic stagecoach, and more! Guided tours available. Free and open to the public.


attractions metro

American Swedish Institute Minneapolis. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 612-870-3344

Chanhassen Dinner Theatres

. . . 800-355-6273 501 West 78th Street – Chanhassen, MN 55317

Minnesota Historical Society

. . . 651-259-3444 345 W Kellogg Blvd – Saint Paul, MN 55102 Chief caretaker of Minnesota’s story and the History Center is home to the Society’s vast collections. Within our archives reside artifacts ranging from American Indian moccasins and artwork to furniture and photographs. Civil War-era flags and a wealth of genealogical information.

Mystic Lake Casino - Hotel Prior Lake . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 952-496-7345

Northern Vineyards Winery

. . . . . 651-430-1032 223 Main Street N – Stillwater, MN 55082

Coborn’s Lake Itasca Tours Inc. 54725 Sunset St – Osage, MN 56570 . . . . 218-266-3660 Off Season phone: 218-573-2216 Naturalist narrated 2 hour tours to the Mississippi Headwaters aboard the 141 Pax “Chester Charles II”, on Lake Itasca. Unique opportunities for viewing and photographing wildlife. Snacks & beverages for sale. New in 2011: A local shuttle service available upon request.

GREAT Theatre

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 320-258-ARTS 919 W Saint Germain Street – St Cloud, MN 56301 The premiere community theater in Central Minnesota. GREAT has produced over 100 shows since 1998, including 5 World Premiere productions. Provides School Performances.

Lutsen Mountain Lutsen. . . . . . . . . . . 218-406-1319 southern

August Schell Brewing Company New Ulm . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 507-354-5528

Science Museum of Minnesota . . 651-221-9444 120 West Kellogg Blvd – Saint Paul, MN 55102 /

Treasure Island Resort & Casino . . . . . . . . . 800-222-7077 ext 2716/2952 5734 Sturgeon Lake Road – Welch, MN 55089 / Offers groups some of the best gaming, accommodations, food service and nationally known entertainment in the casino industry. Featuring over 2,400 slots, 40 blackjack tables and a 550-seat high stakes bingo hall, all in a Caribbean themed casino.

Twin City Model Railroad Museum


Saint Paul . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 651-647-9628 I T I N E R A R I E S M I D W E S T FA L L / W I N T E R 2 0 1 1

Saint Paul Convention . . . . . . . . . . .651-265-4906 & Visitors Authority 800-627-6101 ext 4906 175 West Kellogg Blvd, Suite 502 – Saint Paul, MN 55102 A classic group tour destination. In addition to offering a variety of group-friendly activities, we provide unparalleled service for tour operators and group leaders. Take advantage of our group services such as itinerary planning and meet & greet programs.

Stillwater & Oak Park Heights CVB . . . . . . . .651-351-1717 PO Box 2025 – Stillwater, MN 55082 Historic Stillwater, Minnesota is located along the banks of the scenic St. Croix River. Our many unique shops, restaurants, lodging establishments & attractions make a perfect group destination. Located within 30 min. of most major Twin Cities metro attractions.

Twin Cities Tourism Attractions Association

. . . . . . . .952-858-8493 PO Box 11858 – Saint Paul, MN 55111 TWIN CITIES OF MINNESOTA ATTRACTIONS. So much to do for every season! We list the best entertainment and hotels. Our information guide helps you plan for your clients and group tours. Metro area CVBs are listed.


St. Cloud Area Convention & Visitors Bureau . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .320-251-4170

convention & visitors bureaus and chambers

525 Hwy 10, Suite 1 – St. Cloud, MN 56304 800-264-2940 jean@granite Among the many attractions are world-class gardens, history, granite, and great places to stay and eat. The St. Cloud CVB takes pride in helping you plan the perfect getaway. Creativity is key to the success of your group tour.

Saint Croix Vineyards . . . . . . . . . . . . 651-430-3310 6428 Manning Avenue – Stillwater, MN 55082

2100 N Snelling Avenue, Suite 59 877-980-3002 Roseville is perfectly positioned to everything the Twin Cities has to offer. Just 10 min. from Saint Paul & Minneapolis, our hotels offer lower hotel tax and free motorcoach parking. Complimentary planning service & FREE roses for group tours.

Wow!Zone Mankato . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 507-625-2695

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 612-872-0390 1113 E Franklin Avenue – Minneapolis, MN 55404

Saint Paul . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 651-227-1100

. . . . . 888-676-6757

Roseville Visitors Association . .651-633-3002

Wanda Gag House New Ulm . . . . . . . . 507-359-2632

Northland Visions

Padelford Packet Boat Company

Meet Minneapolis Minneapolis


Burnsville CVB

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .952-895-4690 12600 Nicolett Avenue Suite 100 – Burnsville, MN 55337 Discover vibrant Burnsville where everything under the sun is right under your nose. Enjoy a variety of affordable, comfortable and uncomplicated lodging options. Explore Minnesota’s signature venues and regional attractions, unique shops, diverse dining, fine arts and much more.

Eagan Convention and Visitors Bureau . . . . . . . . . . . . .651-675-5546 1501 Central Parkway – Eagan MN 55121 / Eagan makes planning your next group outing easy! Personal service includes custom and creative itineraries, FREE welcome bags and FREE Mall of America coupon books ($9.95 value) You’ll also enjoy our low 3% lodging tax. Ask how to qualify for our $250 cash rebate.


Albert Lea Convention & Visitors Bureau . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .507-373-2316 102 W Clark Street – Albert Lea, MN 56007 800-345-8414 Located 90 minutes from Mpls, where I-90 & I-35 intersect, featuring small town hospitality with big city amenities. Plus additional lakes & 38 city parks hosting various outdoor activities.

Austin CVB

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .507-437-4563 104 11th Ave NW Ste D – Austin, MN 55912 800-444-5713 / SPAM Town, USA. Southern Minnesota Tourism at its best! Home of Fortune 500 Company Hormel Food Corporation. Tourists will be delighted with the SPAM Museum, Historic Hormel Home, Paramount Theatre, & other exciting attractions. 1-877-832-7267

Explore Minnesota

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southern continued

Tatanka Bluffs Corridor

Explore Southern Minnesota Tourism . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .888-868-7476 ext 162

Willmar Lakes Area CVB . . .800-845-8747 ext 79

115 East Hickory #403 – Mankato, MN 56001 You’ll be surprised…at what you’ll find in southern Minnesota! With many scenic byways, festivals, parks & trails, historic sites, caves, bluffs, waterfalls & so much more, it makes a perfect destination for any group.

2104 Highway 12 East – Willmar, MN 56201 Visit the Willmar Lakes Area. Only 2 hours west of Minneapolis/Saint Paul. 360 lakes, 36 parks, 81 holes of golf – and that’s just on the drive in! Let our staff help put together a getaway for your group.

Fairmont Convention & Visitors Bureau . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .800-657-3280 323 East Blue Earth, PO Box 976 – Fairmont, MN 56031 Fairmont the “City of Lakes” awaits your arrival. Located in southern Minnesota on Interstate 90 we have a range of lodging and dining options to fit your needs. Lakes, history, open spaces, discover Fairmont!

Greater Mankato . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .800-657-4733 One Civic Center Plaza 507-385-6661 Mankato, MN 56001 / Greater Mankato is great for groups! We can help you plan group tour itineraries that focus on Native American culture, the famous Betsy-Tacy book series, year-round outdoor soft adventure, Minnesota Vikings Football and much more.


Redwood Falls . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .507-637-2828

Pub 500 Mankato . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 507-625-6500

Veigel’s Kaiserhoff New Ulm . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 507-359-2071

shopping metro

entertainment & theater metro

Chanhassen Dinner Theatres. . . 952-934-1547 501 W 78th St – Chanhassen, MN 55317 800-355-6273 Since 1968 Chanhassen Dinner Theatres have been recognized for quality theatre entertainment & fine dining. The nation’s largest professional dinner theatre is AAA Magazine recommended, “Any Twin Cities visit should include an evening at Chanhassen!”

History Theatre Saint Paul . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 651-292-4323

Minnesota Centennial Showboat

Mall of America . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 952-883-8843 60 E Broadway – Bloomington, MN 55425 800-879-3555 Mall of America is the largest shopping and entertainment complex in the nation, featuring 520 stores, 50 restaurants and attractions galore. Enjoy no sales tax on clothing and shoes. Valuable coupon books, Meet and Greet Service and other group travel services available.

Northland Visions

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 612-872-0390 1113 E Franklin Avenue – Minneapolis, MN 55404 Specializing in Native American art from the Woodlands and Plains tribes. Sculptures, paintings, beadwork, jewelry, native foods, original native and traditional art, gifts of the northlands, offering unique, all Minnesota gifts.

Saint Paul . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 612-625-4001

Lanesboro Area Chamber of Commerce

. . . . . . . .800-944-2670 100 Milwaukee Road, PO Box 348 – Lanesboro, MN 55949 Partnering with Explore Mississippi Bluffs Lanesboro, Minnesota is the premier arts and culture destination in the Midwest. Group Tours enjoy the theatre, arts center, winery, Molly the Trolley, and Amish Tours. Itinerary building, step on guides and customized programs.

New Ulm CVB

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .507-233-4300 1 North Minnesota - PO box 862 – New Ulm, MN 56073 90 miles southwest of Minneapolis/St. Paul we offer something for everyone, from one-of-a-kind shops and restaurants to important historical sites, and much more. Most importantly, it’s still a place where friends old and new are greeted with a warm welcome.

Owatonna Area Chamber of Commerce

. . . . . . . . .507-451-7970 320 Hoffman Dr – Owatonna, MN 55060 800-423-6466 Located in south central MN, 45 minutes from Mpls/Saint Paul on I-35. Come “discover our faces & places” - filled with historical, recreational & cultural opportunities as well as nearly 700 guest rooms to accommodate any group.

tour operators festivals & events metro

Minnesota State Fair . . . . . . . . . . . 651-632-2689 1265 Snelling Avenue North – Saint Paul, MN 55108 The great Minnesota Get-Together. Local, national and internationally-known entertainers, horse show and rodeo performances, Mighty Midway and Kidway rides, competitions, exhibits, attractions and concessions.



MetroConnections Minneapolis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 800-747-8687

Valley Tours . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 651-439-6110 101 West Pine Street – Stillwater, MN 55082 Valley Tours offers custom designed group tours of Stillwater plus custom motorcoach itineraries. Tours include professional guides in Victorian dress, lodging, dining, riverboat cruises, Victorian homes, historic sites, attractions and more. Group planning since 1978.

Wilder Pageant Walnut Grove. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 888-859-3102

restaurants metro

Cherokee Tavern Saint Paul . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 651-457-2729

El Burrito Mercado Restaurant Saint Paul . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 651-227-2192

Redwood Falls Area Chamber and Tourism

. . . . . . . . .507-637-2828 200 South Mill Street – Redwood Falls, MN 56283 Redwood Falls is an area rich in history, heritage and scenic beauty, unique shopping opportunities, and an abundance of recreational and leisure activities. Come see for yourself!

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Saint Paul

Mr. Twisty . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 320-310-0314 5821 Ridgewood Road – St. Cloud, MN 56303 St. Cloud’s coolest hot spot! Serving up delectable ice cream creations, this walk-up shop is reminiscent of the ones you rode your bike to as a kid. The treats, low prices and friendly atmosphere keep guests coming back. I T I N E R A R I E S M I D W E S T FA L L / W I N T E R 2 0 1 1


Close to home. Far from ordinary.

missouri cities branson, cape girardeau, charleston, columbia, crocker, eagleville, farmington, fort leonard wood, hannibal, hermann, kansas city, jefferson city, mansfield, rock port, springfield, st. louis, st. joseph, st. robert, west plains

calendar of events november • Ozark Mountain Christmas Nov 1-Dec 31, Branson 417-339-2204 • Branson Area Festival of Lights November 1-January 2, Branson 800-800-2019 • Festival of Trees Nov 11-Dec 19, Linn Creek 573-346-7191 • Moonlight Madness & Lighted Christmas Parade November 26, Windsor 660-647-2318 december • Augusta’s 29th Candlelight Christmas Walk December 2 & 9, Augusta 636-228-4005 • Christmas on the Farm at Watkins Woolen Mill State Park & State Historic Site December 3, Lawson 816-580-3387 • Away in the Basement: A Church Basement Ladies Christmas December 5, Rolla 573-341-4219 • Candlelight Tours at Hunter-Dawson State Historic Site December 9-10, New Madrid 573-748-5340 • Santa’s North Pole Dash & Snowman Shuffle December 10, St. Charles 636-946-0633 • “Say Cheese” Wine Trail December 10-11, Hermann 800-932-8687 • Heritage Philharmonic Holiday Concert December 17, Blue Springs 816-224-2890 january • The Loop Ice Carnival January 14, St. Louis 314-727-2020 • Gospel Music USA January 6-8, Jefferson City 800-769-4183 • Fete De Glace January 28, St. Charles 636-946-1898 • Pro Arte Quartet January 30, Rolla 573-341-6365 february • Civil War in the West Exhibit February 1-November 4, St. Louis 314-544-6224 • National Pheasant Fest & Quail Classic February 17-19, Kansas City 815-568-8888 • Kansas City Ballet Presents: Romeo and Juliet February 17-26, Kansas City 816-931-2232 march • Make Someone Happy – The Songs of Comden & Green March 2-April 1, Kansas City 816-421-1700 • Irish Village March 17, St. Louis 314-241-PATS

Silver Dollar City’s “An Old Time Christmas”, Branson Good Morning America named it “One of the top 5 holiday events in the country.” Why? Perhaps because of the 5-story special effects Christmas tree, the smorgasbord of holiday food, the theatrical performances, or the four million lights shining brightly on the square. Whatever your taste, this festival is sure to dazzle you! Satisfy your holiday appetite with “Tastes of the Season.” Guests may eat to their heart’s content at the hickory-smoked prime rib buffet or warm up with a hearty bowl of homemade chili. For those with a sweet tooth, try s’mores, gingerbread cookies and apple dumplings among other tasty Christmas treats. Keep an eye out for the various shows performing throughout the park such as The Living Nativity, Frosty, and the grandest production of all: A Dickens’ Christmas Carol. This performance features original music, talented actors, a live band, and jaw-dropping special effects—all in front of stunning Victorian scenery. (See location on map, page 37)

explore more winter festivals in missouri… Christmas Tours at Smallin Civil War Cave, Ozark – As the 1830s, this unique building displays the American the first documented cave in the Ozarks, Smallin Cave is wrought with history. According to archaeological digs, it was originally used by the Osage Indians and later used for Civil War related activities. During the holidays, the cave is lit with twinkling Christmas lights and lanterns. Sip hot cocoa around a campfire while listening to the tour guides’ tales of Civil War Christmas stories as well as Ozark history. The tour lasts an hour and a half and specializes in groups. [ Weekends, November 25 – December 31, 2011 ]

Christmas Traditions: Open Doors at First Missouri Weihnachtsfest “German Christmas” at Deutschheim State Capitol State Historic Site, St. Charles – The State Historic Site, Hermann – Visit the historic PommerGentner House and celebrate a traditional 19th century German Christmas! The rooms will be decorated with greenery, lit by lamplight, and feature Christmas trees adorned with authentic German ornaments. Enjoy traditional German Christmas music while sampling cookies and other treats. Discover how the Christmas customs of the first German immigrants became American traditions we continue to celebrate today. Your group is sure to have a memorable experience! [ Dec 3-4, 10-11, 2011 ]

French Christmas Open House at Felix Vallé House (Contact area CVBs for complete calendars)

influence on the French community of Ste. Genevieve after the Louisiana Purchase. This annual Christmas event showcases the music, food, customs and decorations of the early French Christmas celebration known as “Le Réveillon.” Costumed guides will give tours throughout the home and explain early 1800s customs. The extravagant dining room will be filled with traditional French foods of the period, along with samples of the bûche de Noël—the yule log cake. [ December 11, 2011 ]

State Historic Site, Ste. Genevieve – Take a look at Missouri’s early French roots in a home that was built way back in 1818. Filled with numerous artifacts dating back to

original State Capitol of Missouri was located right along the Missouri River in St. Charles. Here is where Missouri’s first legislature was formed in the early 1800s after the citizens of the town pledged free meeting space if their city was chosen. After years of age and decay, the state of Missouri bought the building and began their ten-year restoration project in 1961. For two special nights this holiday season, guests are invited to step back in time to hear the whispers of Christmas cheer throughout the rough-hewn timbers and dark wood floors of this 19th century building. Visit with costumed interpreters in the Peck Brothers Dry Goods & Hardware Store or the Ruluff Peck residence located on the grounds. Lit strictly by candlelight, this tour is guaranteed to be magical. [ December 21 & 23, 2011 ]

Close to home. Far from ordinary.

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St. Joseph Offers Arts and Culture This sample itinerary can be customized for any time of the year! Whether your group is looking to make history or relive it, St. Joseph is the place to do it. Home to 17 distinctive area museums, 12 annual festivals and over 17 districts listed on the National Register of Historic Places, there is literally a story to tell around every corner. The Pony Express had its starting point in St. Joseph, Lewis and Clark traversed the area on their return trip in 1806, and outlaw Jesse James was shot and killed in his St. Jo home in 1882. Your group is invited to revel in the tales scattered throughout the city. St. Joseph has plenty to offer in arts and culture as well. The town has a world-class art museum, a

Patee House Museum (PHM)


renowned symphony orchestra and outstanding theatrical productions at the Historic Missouri Theatre. Don’t forget to check out what’s going on at Missouri Western State University, where you can always find an art exhibit, concert, or show!

Smoke on the Mountain, serves up more than twodozen Christmas carols and will have the audience over-flowing with laughter and holiday cheer. This is a must-see for the Christmas season!

day two day one 10 – 12:00 pm Start off with a tour of the Patee House Museum—the former headquarters of the Pony Express and finest hotel west of the Mississippi. The museum features two full floors of exhibits including horse-drawn hearses, model railroads, the vintage “Wild Thing Carousel,” stagecoaches, a blacksmith shop, antique furniture and toys, and a wing designed to look like the streets of Old St. Jo. Don’t forget to stop at the home where Jesse James met his violent end. 12 – 1:30 pm Enjoy lunch at one of St. Jo’s bar & grill options. The locals enjoy Pops Place, Norty’s, and the Southgate Grill for home style cooking at great prices. 1:30 – 3:00 pm Your group will enjoy a leisurely walk through the exhibits at the Albrecht-Kemper Museum of Art. They house one of the finest collections of 18th, 19th, and 20th century American art in the Midwest. Call ahead to find out whose artwork will be featured during your visit. 3 – 5:00 pm Check into one of the city’s many hotels and motels for some relaxation time. 5 – 7:00 pm Step out of your comfort zone and enjoy a specialty dining experience at the JC Wyatt House. This 1891 historic home serves wonderful cuisine in an authentic Victorian atmosphere. 7 – 9:30 pm The Historic Missouri Theatre presents The Sanders Family Christmas. This sequel to the New York hit,

8 – 9:00 pm Enjoy breakfast at the hotel and prepare for a day of shopping! 9 – 12:00 pm Since its founding in 1843, St. Joseph has been a hub for trading, buying and selling. The original trading posts of the 1800s have been replaced with shopping districts, antique stores and large enclosed malls. The Jesse James Antique Mall offers over 110 booths, 160 showcases and 40 small shelving areas throughout two large rooms, making it the region’s largest antique mall and a must-stop for your group. Other popular shopping options are the Shoppes at North Village, Stetson Hat Company Outlet Store, and the East Hills Mall. For more information or to customize this sample itinerary for your group, please call the St. Joseph CVB at 800-785-0360 or visit them online at

directory & map convention & visitors bureaus and chambers Missouri Division of Tourism Jefferson City . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 800-519-2100

St. Joseph CVB

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .800-785-0360 109 South 4th Street – St. Joseph, MO 64501 / An All-American city born of the fur trade and brimming with a spirit of adventure. Recently named America’s “Top Ten Western City” by the True West Magazine, we are a city abounding in 19th century charm and timeless beauty.


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nebraska cities chadron, columbus, fremont, grand island, gretna, hastings, kearney, kimball, lincoln, mccook, minden, nebraska city, norfolk, north platte, omaha, royal, scottsbluff, sidney, valentine, york

calendar of events november • Downtown Christmas Stroll November 17, Columbus 402-564-1307 • Autumn Festival: An Arts & Crafts Affair November 17-20, Omaha 402-331-2889 • Candlelight Christmas & Lighted Vehicle Parade November 18, Hartington 402-254-6939 • HarvestFest November 19-20, Platte Center 402-564-1845 december • In the Spirit Dec 1-31, Grand Island 308-381-4001 • Ethnic Holiday Festival December 2, Omaha 402-444-5071 • Downtown Christmas & Parade of Trees December 3, Schuyler 402-352-5472 • Old Fashioned Christmas December 4, Potter 308-879-4332 • Father Flanagan’s Irish Christmas December 5-11, Boys Town 800-625-1400 • Annual Christmas Bird Count at Ponca State Park December 13, 402-755-2284 january • Grandma’s China Cabinet January 1-28, Plattsmouth 402-296-4770 • 2012 Rails and Trails Event: Lewis & Clark Exhibit January 1-February 29, Madison 402-992-1221 • Omaha Symphony: Ellis Hall’s Tribute to Ray Charles January 14, Omaha 402-342-3560 • Niobrara River Polar Bear Festival in Meadville January 28, Ainsworth 402-497-2440 • 7th Annual Chilympiad January 29, Milligan 402-629-4446 february • Sandhill Crane Spring Migration mid-Feb – mid-Apr, Grand Island 800-658-3178 • Buffalo Bill Farm & Ranch Expo February 1-2, North Platte 308-532-4966 • Dinosaurs and Disasters! February 4, Lincoln 402-472-2642 • Cowboy Poetry & Music Jam at Bowring Ranch February 26, Merriman 308-684-3428 march • 2012 Rails & Trails Event: Civil War and Homesteading Exhibit March 1-31, Madison 402-992-1221 • Marsh Madness at Ponca State Park March 10-11, Ponca 402-755-2284 • Beers of Nebraska Mar 24, Milligan 402-629-4446 • SpringFest March 29, Humboldt 402-862-2171 (Contact area CVBs for complete calendars)

directory & map Nebraska Department of Economic Development Lincoln . . 877-NEBRASKA

Christmas at the Museum & Frahm House, Fort Calhoun The Washington County Historical Museum houses prehistoric artifacts, Native American attire, and equipment and relics from nearby Fort Atkinson. Early farm tools and household items depict pioneer life in the 1800s. During the month of December the museum will be decorated for the holidays. This year’s feature will be the Nativity and a number of historical displays. The neighboring Frahm House—built in 1905—will also be decked with holiday cheer. The home is nearly the same as the day it was built, aside from the additions of electricity, running water and a furnace. This beautiful home is worth visiting again and again. [ December 1–31, 2011 ] (See location on map below)

explore more winter festivals in nebraska O’Connor House Christmas Tour, Homer – Built in 1879 winter celebrations that take place around the world through by Captain Cornelius O’Connor, this grand 15-room mansion is decorated for the holidays and open for tours the first two weekends in November. Visitors are always impressed by the intricate walnut-carved stairway and Italian marble fireplace. The O’Connors were big collectors of little “extras,” which are what make the home so unique and it is clear that Captain O’Connor meant this house to last. This grand Victorian home is sure to impress its visitors! [ Nov 5-6 & 12-13, 2011 ]

Winter Festival of Prairie Cultures, Beatrice – Celebrate the winter traditions of homesteaders with special programs and entertainment at the Homestead National Monument of America. The Homestead Act of 1862 impacted the entire world. The ethnic groups represented during this festival came to America with traditions inherited from their homelands. Guests are invited to learn something new about the many Fort Calhoun

decorations, clothing, music, dances and food. Some of the cultures represented at the Winter Festival include: French, German, Swedish, Polish, Irish, Czech, and Native American. Guest speakers will present the spirit of hope, humor and generosity, which characterized the settlers of the West. [ November 25 – December 31, 2011 ]

Ethnic Holiday Festival, Omaha – Come to the Durham Museum this December and learn how the world celebrates this cheerful time of year. Local cultural organizations proudly display their crafts and traditional dress, while musicians and dancers perform throughout the evening. Sample ethnic foods and purchase a unique gift for that hard-to-shop-for person. There is even a vast display of miniature Christmas trees from around the world. [ December 2, 2011 ] Father Flanagan’s Irish Christmas, Boys Town – Each holiday season, the Flanagan house comes alive with the cheer of a traditional Irish Christmas celebration based upon faith and family. Candles are displayed in the windows and Christmas quilts decorate the beds. Explore the displays of traditional Irish Christmas décor, antique ornaments from the ‘20s through the ‘40s, as well as antique toys. This celebration pays tribute to the same holiday traditions set in motion by Father Flanagan—the founder of Boys Town. Tour groups of 20 or more will receive complimentary cookies and cocoa! [ December 5-11, 2011 ]


north dakota cities bismarck-mandan, bottineau, bowman, crosby, devils lake, dickinson, fargo/moorhead, garrison, grafton, grand forks, jamestown, langdon, medora, minot, rugby, valley city, wahpeton, west fargo, williston

calendar of events

Heritage Outbound Winter Adventure, Bismarck Have you ever wondered what life was like for our nation’s first inhabitants? The State Historical Society of North Dakota invites you to experience a one-day adventure throughout the Knife River area filled with traditional Native American activities from hundreds of years ago. Try your hand at a Hidatsa/Mandan Native American craft, snowshoe through historic villages and hear fascinating stories about Native American life from your experienced tour guides. The day concludes with a roaring fire in an earthlodge where guests will dine on a traditional buffalo feast. The evening will continue with storytelling and music and is sure to be an unforgettable experience! [ February, 2012 ] (See location on map below)

explore more winter festivals in north dakota Christmas at the Carroll House, Fullerton – Fullerton’s founding father, Edwin Forrest Sweet, had the Carroll House built in 1889—just two years after the birth of the town. It was originally used as a hotel and venue for social events at which the featured band would make about $2.50 on a “good night.” Today, this historic landmark has been restored to its original holiday grandeur, featuring turn-of-the-century décor and volunteers dressed in period costumes. Do some Christmas shopping at the various vendor displays, sample a variety of holiday goodies or bid on unique items at the silent auction. Stay the night in one of this hotel’s cozy rooms, or just come for an afternoon. [ November 20, 2011 ] Dickens Village Festival, Garrison – Experience the charm of Old England along the winter streets of downtown Garrison—the official “Christmas Capital of North Dakota.” Warm up with a cup of traditional English tea, a hot baked potato or sausage on a stick while browsing the street vendors and craft shows and embracing a simpler time. Take a ride down the street in a horse-drawn carriage or in an authentic double-decker bus: the Queen Elizabus. Local homes are decorated to suit the festivities and some are open for tours. Evenings are concluded with a Christmas parade and a performance of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. [ November 25-27 & December 2-3, 9-10, 2011 ] Medora’s Old-Fashioned Cowboy Christmas, Medora – This annual event is a unique way to celebrate Christmas and a great reason to visit Medora in the winter! Show your holiday spirit the Wild West way with oyster stew, hayrides, hoedowns and fireworks. Dress in your cowboy finest as the weekend kicks off with a wreath ceremony and continues with

“Eats on the Streets,” cowboy poetry, cowboy snow sculpting, a Catholic Mass and a theatrical performance of “A Cowboy Christmas Carol.” Shops are open all day for unique holiday shopping and carolers decorate the streets with their songs. This Wild West weekend concludes with a cookie contest and sledding. Groups won’t want to miss this unique holiday festival! [ December 2-4, 2011 ]

Winter Wonderland 2012, Bismarck – Located at Gateway to Science—North Dakota’s only hands-on science center—your group is invited to come and explore the solar system in an out-of-this-world experience. Don’t worry about the cold weather. This event is held indoors with a portable planetarium (presenting a dazzling star show), astronaut training exercises, and remote access to a professional telescope set up miles away in Grand Forks! Stargazing will be available in the parking lot for those who don’t mind bundling up. Cookies and hot chocolate will be served to all participants and an educational (and fun!) time is guaranteed for all. [ January 21, 2012 ]

december • Christmas in the Park 2011 December 1-31, Grand Forks 701-795-1115 • 16th Annual Old Fashioned Cowboy Christmas December 2-4, Medora 701-623-4910 • Christmas on the Prairie December 3, West Fargo 701-282-2822 • Santa Fly-In December 3-5, Fargo 701-293-8043 • The Nutcracker December 9-11, Bismarck 701-530-0986 • Key Ingredients: America by Food December 10-January 9, Watford City 800-338-6543 january • Monty Python’s “Spamalot” January 13, Fargo 855-694-6367 • Winter Wonderland 2012 January 21, Bismarck 701-258-1975 • Trinity Mardi Gras January 27-29, Dickinson 701-483-6092 february • 12th Annual Norski Days February 3-5, Fort Ransom 701-973-4811 • Cabin Fever Days February 3-13, Jamestown 701-252-3982 • Bite the Ice on the Hook Ice Fishing Tournament & Raffle February 4, Parshall 701-862-3115 • Widget Contest/Explore Engineering 2012 February 7, Bismarck 701-258-1975 march • Fargo Film Festival March 6-10, Fargo 701-239-8385 • Prairie Quilt Festival March 16-18, Minot 800-264-2626 • Taste of Hazen March 21, Hazen 888-464-2936 • Nano Days 2012 March 24, Bismarck 701-258-1975 (Contact area CVBs for complete calendars)

Group Day February: Paw’tastic Fun in the Snow, Binford – This learning-based outdoor adventure is presented by Prairie Isle Dog Trekking, Inc. Groups of all sizes are invited to this hands-on experience. Join in learning how to harness a dog and drive a sled while enjoying the beauty of the prairie at Red Willow Bible Camp, just outside of Binford. Other activities include showshoeing and cross-country skiing. All money raised for this event will go towards canine cancer treatments. Dress warm and get ready to have some fun. The dogs look forward to meeting you! [ February 18, 2012 ] Bismarck


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Relish Fargo-Moorhead… from simple to elegant!

directory accommodations Settle Inn & Suites . . . . . . . . . . . . . 701-235-4699 4325 23rd Ave S – Fargo, ND 58104 / One of the best lodging experience at a great value for groups, in the heart of the shopping and restaurant district. Its threestory lobby with stone fireplace and colors like a western sunset may tip you off that this hotel is wonderfully unique.

AmericInn Lodge & Suites & Event Center of Moorhead . . . 877-287-7100 600 30th Avenue S – Moorhead, MN 56560 Two-story hotel & event center features a waterfall that cascades into a tropical indoor courtyard. Home to Courtney’s Comedy Club.

attractions Red River Zoo . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 701-277-9240 4220 21st Ave S – Fargo, ND 58103 / The Red River Zoo is a leading breeder of some of the world's rarest cold climate species. We feature world-class exhibits on over 33 beautiful acres. A leading attraction in the Fargo Moorhead area for groups!

convention & visitors bureaus and chambers Fargo-Moorhead CVB . . . . . . . . . . 800-235-7654 2001 44th St S – Fargo, ND 58103 / Fargo, ND and Moorhead, MN are located at the intersection of Interstates 94 and 29. The largest metropolitan area between Minneapolis and Spokane offers unique attractions, culture, shopping and casinos. Let us customize a tour for you.


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This sample itinerary is best Spring through Fall!

day one 1:00 pm Arrive in Fargo and check into the Settle Inn & Suites, conveniently located just south of I-94. They are in the heart of the business, shopping and restaurant district and a quick and easy drive to and from anywhere in the Fargo-Moorhead area. 2 – 4:00 pm Located adjacent to the hotel is the Red River Zoo. Spend some time this afternoon at the zoo among its outstanding living collection. They feature exotic and native animals and plants from areas around the world with similar climates to the Red River Valley. Be sure to take a trip back in time with a ride on the zoo’s restored 1928 antique carousel. 4 – 6:00 pm Take some time to shop along Broadway in downtown Fargo, featuring many unique and specialty shops to help you find that sweet item to take home. 6 – 7:30 pm From simple to elegant, from fast food to haute cuisine, Fargo-Moorhead is a virtual smorgasbord of dining choices. With more than 350 restaurants, there’s no end to the culinary variety your group can choose for dinner tonight ~ enjoy!

7:30 pm Your group will delight in spending the evening at the Fargo Theatre. This restored 1926 landmark is the area’s only remaining vintage movie palace with a vaudeville stage. Now serving as a multi-purpose facility, showing films and live productions. It also houses a restored theatre pipe organ, the “Mighty Wurlitzer.”

day two 8 – 9:00 am Start your day with Settle Inn’s complimentary deluxe “Kick Start” Breakfast Buffet serving hot & cold food. 9 – 10:00 am If your group has a great movie-type sense of humor, a stop at the “The Woodchipper” Exhibit at the Fargo-Moorhead Visitors Center is a must! Yup... THAT woodchipper! They have both the REAL movie prop and a fun replica paying homage to that famous scene from the movie “Fargo.” It is a great photo op for visitors! It just wouldn’t be right not to stop! For more information or to customize this sample itinerary for your group, please contact your tour operator or the Fargo-Moorhead CVB, 800-235-7654 or visit


Great Faces. Great Places.

south dakota cities aberdeen, belle fourche, beresford, bridger, brookings, chamberlain, crazy horse, deadwood, de smet, flandreau, garretson, keystone, lake city, mitchell, mobridge, platte, pierre, rapid city, roslyn, selby, sioux falls, sturgis, watertown, webster, yankton

calendar of events

Frontier Christmas, Lake City Celebrate Christmas in the barracks at Fort Sisseton State Park! Take a sleigh ride, purchase unique holiday gifts, bake bread and even churn butter! Experience the yuletide the way our ancestors did at this historic fort, built in 1864 and named after the nearby Sisseton Indian Tribe. Take a tour led by “soldiers” and other costumed guides throughout the 14 original buildings still intact. Men and women of the fort will provide demonstrations of carpentry, rope making, soap making, and spinning and weaving. The blacksmith will also be on hand to demonstrate his profession. Visitors are also invited to tour the hospital, doctor’s quarters and commanding officer’s quarters. Returning to this year’s event is a display of bells and an antique sleigh. The collector will be on hand to answer questions and tell the history behind the collectibles. Musical entertainment will be provided throughout the day and don’t forget to keep an eye out for Father Christmas! [ December 10, 2011 ] (See location on map, page 44)

explore more winter festivals in south dakota… Christmas on the High Plains: Boots & Bows Fundraiser, Spearfish – Located at the High Plains Western Heritage Center in Spearfish, this unique holiday event features a 90-minute live stage performance highlighting the music, poetry and dances of the Great American Cowboy. Pre-show events include presentations by well-known rodeo cowboys, cowgirls, rodeo queens and inductees to the National Cowboy & Cowgirl Hall of Fame. Take a tour of the museum, watch re-enactors in Old West garb, or view the work of western artisans in visuals, leather and silver. This particular evening at the Heritage Center will feature international fiddlers Kenny Putnam, Stringbean Svenson, and original singer/songwriter Hank Harris. [ Nov 17, 2011 ]

Trains at Christmas, Sioux Falls – This is the premier model railroad event in South Dakota. Locomotive enthusiasts —both young and old—come from all over the region to this annual event. Presented by the Sioux Valley Model Engineers Society, this weekend will be held at the W.H. Lyons Fairgrounds Expo Building and will feature thousands of traveling layouts from the area. Vendors will be selling clothing, model and toy trains, and other engineering memorabilia. Also displayed are railroad videos and clothing. Come and learn all you can about one of the world’s most innovative forms of transportation. [ November 19-20, 2011 ] WJ Ranch Cowboy Christmas, Yankton – The city of Yankton prides itself on its cowboy heritage and Christmas celebrations are no exception. It may be chilly outside, but not

in this desert setting! The event will feature arts and crafts from over 50 sources, all displayed in a unique old-western scene. Horse-and-buggy rides, trick roping, Model T displays and refreshments are offered throughout the weekend at the WJ Ranch, seven miles south of Yankton. [ Nov 26-27, 2011 ]

Christmas in the Hills, Hot Springs – Enjoy a good old fashioned holiday celebration in Hot Springs! The weekend begins with caroling at the Evans Porch, featuring the voices of the Sandstone Singers and a ceremonial tree lighting will follow. The “Journey of Lights” parade will travel through the bustling streets of downtown and will feature music, decorative floats, and—of course—Santa Claus. A marketplace event will be held on Saturday at the Mueller Civic Center featuring handmade crafts and holiday treats. A Tour of Homes featuring lots of great holiday decorating ideas will be held on Sunday and a living nativity will be on display at Centennial Park. [ December 2-4, 2011 ] Christmas with the Animals, Sioux Falls – Christmas may be over for us, but not for the animals at the Great Plains Zoo in Sioux Falls! Decorated with donated Christmas trees adorned with edible treats for the animals to nibble on, the zoo is alive with holiday cheer. Onlookers will watch the animals unwrap presents filled with fruits and vegetables and munch on garlands made from Cheerios. Zookeepers will be delivering gifts to the animals throughout the afternoon. [ January 14, 2012 ]

november • Aberdeen Winterfest November 19-20, Aberdeen 605-626-7081 • Trains at Christmas November 19-20, Sioux Falls 605-373-0222 • Annual Holiday Open House of the SD State Historical Society November 25, Pierre 605-773-6000 december • Christmas on the Prairie December 1, Miller 605-853-3098 • Christmas in the Hills December 2-4, Hot Springs 605-745-6606 • Centerville Country Christmas December 2-4, Centerville 605-563-2291 • Victorian Christmas December 3, Mitchell 605-996-2122 • Twilight Flights at Strawbale Winery December 8-17, Renner 605-543-5071 • Heritage of the American West Performance Series December 15, Spearfish 605-642-9378 january • Making New Traditions January 1-15, Brookings 605-688-5423 • A Museum’s Beginning: South Dakota Federation of Women’s Clubs January 1-April 22, Brookings 605-688-5423 • Christmas with the Animals January 14, Sioux Falls 605-367-7003 • Sisseton Winter Show January 20-21, Sisseton 605-698-7627 • Media One Funski Winter Carnival January 27-28, Sioux Falls 605-339-0000 february • Winter Wonderland Weekend in Wilmot February 3-5, 10-12, Wilmot 605-938-4707 • Mardi Gras Weekend February 10-11, Deadwood 800-999-1876 • Annual Winterfest of Wheels February 10-12, Sioux Falls 605-231-3100 march • Britton’s Winter Festival March 9-10, Britton 605-448-5323 • Huron Outdoor Show March 17-18, Huron 605-352-1933 • Hats Off to the Artists Art Show March 23-25, Faulkton 605-598-4160 (Contact area CVBs for complete calendars)

Great Faces. Great Places.

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Bring your Group to the BLACK HILLS! hot


Canyon Lake Resort

Black Hills


anyon Lake Resort in Rapid City, South Dakota prides itself on a peaceful, restful atmosphere. Located on the western shores of Canyon Lake and nestled along the foothills of the Black Hills, guests have no difficulty throwing their cares away. Spend the day trout fishing, walking, biking, or paddle boating on Canyon Lake. Then enjoy your evenings relaxing around the campfire and toasting marshmallows. It’s the perfect location to get “away from it all.” Room Amenities: • Free high-speed internet • Free local calls • Air conditioning • Connecting rooms • Microwave & Refrigerator • Cable TV

Resort Amenities: • Heated outdoor pool • Free paddleboat rides (guests only) • Complimentary wine tasting (guests only) • Gas barbecue grills

• Picnic tables • On-site laundromat • Off-street parking • Access to hiking/biking trails • Access to trout fishing

Call Mike Derby at the Chophouse for more information: 605-388-8000 ext 5.

High Plains WESTERN HERITAGE CENTER ounded in the 1970s by two local ranchers, the High Plains Western Heritage Center honors the old west pioneers of South Dakota, North Dakota, Montana, Wyoming and Nebraska with a furnished log cabin, rural schoolhouse and antique saddle and blacksmith shop.




A small animal farm lets visitors interact with animals just as the settlers did, and a herd of bison and longhorn steers roam the surrounding pastures. Inside the center, visitors can watch education films in a spacious theatre and visit the transportation room, home to a stagecoach, chuckwagon, buggies and sleighs. Displays honor Native American lore, cowboy culture and the mining and forestry industries. The center’s bookstore and gift shop offer a piece of history to take home with Western literature, handcrafted jewelry, artwork and souvenirs. “Historical Campfire Series” and live monthly Cowboy Music & Poetry performances are offered throughout the year.


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Great Faces. Great Legendary Places.

SIOUX FALLS – Overflowing with Performances & Special Events! oes your group enjoy special events? Sioux Falls, South Dakota has a large assortment of high quality activities, particularly during our upcoming holiday season. Join us for celebrations of the season, from performances to events, we have it all.


Sioux Falls is overflowing with performances including Irving Berlin’s White Christmas and Lori Line “Christmas Bells are Ringing” concerts at the Washington Pavilion, Christmas at the Cathedral, and our very own South Dakota Symphony just to mention a few. A sampling of local events include: Downtown Parade of Lights, A Pavilion Holiday, Festival of Trees, Trains at Christmas, Breakfast with Santa, Downtown Holidays and so much more. Select an event and we can wrap a localized itinerary around it! Winter Wonderland at Falls Park continues from the Friday prior to Thanksgiving through

w w w. i t i n e r a r i e s m i d w e s t . c o m

the first week of January. It is a Holiday spectacular which includes a dazzling display of approximately 250,000 lights, animated dancing displays, and special holiday music piped throughout the 123-acre park. If you haven’t quite finished your holiday shopping, plan out time to spend at a multitude of friendly boutiques that adorn our downtown district. Visit The Empire Mall with 180 specialty shops and department stores, you are sure to find that perfect something.

to include one of our many special events. Contact Cathy at the Sioux Falls CVB to assist in your next group tour. Visit our events website for an up-to-date calendar of events at All itineraries are flexible so let us design a tour that will suit your group's interests.

The Cathedral

Grasp a taste of Sioux Falls prior to your performance and enjoy a wine tasting at one of our local, rural wineries followed by a reservation at one of the many Sioux Falls home grown restaurants. Sioux Falls is South Dakota’s largest city, so if you are planning a day trip or a multi-day tour you will find something for everyone. Make this year memorable and let us customize your tour



I T I N E R A R I E S M I D W E S T FA L L / W I T N E R 2 0 1 1


Great Faces. Great Places.

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Rapid City The Center of Your Perfect Tour

directory & map accommodations

This sample itinerary can be customized for anytime of the year!

Canyon Lake Resort . . . . . . 605-388-8000 ext 5 2720 Chapel Lane – Rapid City, SD 57702 Nestled in the foothills of the Black Hills, it’s a great place to bring groups for an overnight stay. We offer numerous amenities plus first hand information on what to see and do in the Black Hills and surrounding area.

attractions High Plains Western Heritage Center . . . . . . . 605-642-9378 I-90 Exit 14 – Spearfish, SD 57783 Featuring western art, artifacts and Native American exhibits chronicling the heritage of 5 plains states. Outdoor displays include antique farm equipment, log cabin, one room schoolhouse, live longhorn steers and buffalo. Open year round

Tatanka Oyate Tours

Rapid City. . . . 605-381-0992

convention & visitors bureaus and chambers Department of Tourism & State Development

Centrally located to the wonders of the Black Hills, including Mount Rushmore National Memorial and Crazy Horse Memorial, Rapid City provides unique historic attractions and one-of-a-kind views, all for a low cost. With an abundance of accommodations, restaurants, activities, shopping and a great central location, Rapid City is the perfect hub for time spent touring the marvels of the Black Hills.

Pierre . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 800-S-DAKOTA

Sioux Falls Convention & Visitors Bureau. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 605-336-1620 200 N Phillips Ave Suite 102 . . . . . . . . . . 800-333-2072 Sioux Falls, SD 57104 / Sioux Falls, South Dakota’s largest city is located at the junction of I-90 and I-29 and offers abundant shopping, local flavor restaurants, vibrant downtown, accommodating hotels and historic Falls Park! Need Assistance? Tour itineraries, step-on-guides--we’ve got it!

Lake City

day one

day two

Morning: Mount Rushmore National Memorial The first stop of the day is Mount Rushmore National Memorial. Spend time in the Lincoln Borglum Museum at the Memorial to learn more about this amazing sculpture.

National Park and Monuments Morning: Badlands National Park This 224,000 acre park is full of jagged spires, eroded buttes and prehistoric fossils. The moonlike surfaces of the Badlands create a hiking challenge with breath-taking scenery. Drive the loop or get off the bus and enjoy a picnic at one of the scenic overlooks.

Mid-Morning/Afternoon: Crazy Horse Memorial Enjoy the scenic drive to Crazy Horse Memorial. This ongoing mountain carving is the world’s largest and a majestic tribute to all Native American tribes across the country. Afternoon/Evening: Custer State Park This 71,000-acre vacation paradise is home to abundant wildlife, including one of the nation’s largest free roaming buffalo herds, making it common to encounter a “Buffalo Jam” while driving in the park.

Sioux Falls nightscape


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Night: Mount Rushmore National Memorial or Crazy Horse Memorial Be sure to head back to either Mount Rushmore or Crazy Horse for their evening shows. During the summer season, Mount Rushmore holds a nightly patriotic lighting ceremony, while at Crazy Horse you can experience the laser light show, Legends in Light.

Afternoon: Wall/Wall Drug Store After touring the Badlands, a popular stop is a world-famous drug store in Wall, (Wall Drug). This tiny store, built in 1931, has boomed to become block-sized and internationally known. Evening: Downtown Rapid City/City of Presidents It may not be a national park or monument, but the City of Presidents in downtown Rapid City is a great way to end your Parks and Monument tour. These life-sized bronze statues will take you on a journey through American Presidential history.

For more information or to customize this sample itinerary for your group please contact your tour operator or Rapid City CVB, 800-487-3223 or


5-Star Wilderness®

upper peninsula cities calumet, curtis, crystal falls, escanaba, iron mountain, iron river, ironwood, gladstone, grand marais, houghton, marquette, menominee, munising, newberry, ontonagon, st. ignace, sault st marie, wakefield, watersmeet

calendar of events november • Vino at the Casino Nov 5, Harris 906-233-2690 • Christmas Tree Galleria November 12-20, Caspian 906-265-2617 • Paradise Christmas Bazaar November 26, Paradise 906-492-3434 • Les Cheneaux Old Fashioned Christmas Nov 27-Dec 7, Les Cheneaux 906-484-3935

CopperDog 150 Sled Dog Race, Calumet What could possibly inspire thousands of people to spend a weekend in the snow, working and playing in freezing temperatures? The CopperDog 150 Sled Dog Race – that’s what! The CopperDog 150 brings dozens of professional and recreational mushers, hundreds of sled dogs, and thousands of fans to Michigan’s Keweenaw Peninsula for 150 miles of sled dog racing through a pristine winter wilderness. The race starts on historic Fifth Street in downtown Calumet, Friday night. Thousands of fans crowd the streets as each sled dog team launches into the dark night, cheering them on. When the last team has disappeared down the trail the street party continues, taking over the town of Calumet with music, dancing, food, and drink. It’s a fun filled weekend involving the entire community – like a family party taking place on the entire peninsula. Bring your group and join us for this unique experience! Fans are welcomed with open arms! [ March 2-4, 2012 ] (See location on map below)

explore more winter festivals in michigan… Heikinpaiva Mid-Winter Festival, Hancock – Celebrate race starts in downtown Marquette and travels to Munising, the mid-point of winter with a series of Finnish related activities tentatively scheduled for Saturday, January 28 in Hancock. Events include classes in nisu making, Finnish food preparation, wood carving, tatting, Finnish breads and 5-string kantele throughout the week, a Family Fun Night, and a Finnish hymn sing, the Club Finndigo dinner and a movie at the Calumet Theatre and the Karhun Tanssi. Saturday’s events include a parade through downtown Hancock, Tori Markets, a polar bear dive on the Hancock waterfront; and an authentic Finnish buffet and a tanssit dance. [ January 28, 2012 ]

UP 200 Dog Sled Race, Marquette – The UP 200 race is one of the premier lower 48 states sled dog race qualifier for the Iditarod. Race starts in downtown Marquette and travels to Munising, Grand Marais and back into downtown Marquette, MI on Sunday. Racers travel over 200 miles, and have numerous group spectator opportunities. The Midnight Run

MI. Both events are highlighted with awards banquets, and opportunities to purchase logowear. [ February 16-19, 2012 ]

2012 World Ice & Snow Sailing Championships, St. Ignace – We have a new and very exciting winter special event for St. Ignace! The 2012 World Ice and Snow Sailing Championships will be held in St. Ignace from February 20-26. It will be only the fourth time since this event began in 1980 that it will be held in the United States; past championships have been held in Finland, Russia, Estonia, Quebec, Ontario, and others. [ February 20-26, 2012 ]


december • Jack Frost Festival of Lights Parade December 2, Ironwood 906-932-1122 • Mackinac Island Christmas Bazaar Dec 3-5, Mackinac Island 800-454-5227 • Christmas in Calumet December 4-26, Calumet 906-337-6246 • New Year’s Eve Ball Drop December 31, Marquette 906-228-9475 january • 6th Annual Valley Spur Ski Bash January 7, Munising 906-387-5710 • 13th Annual Tahquamenon Country Sled Dog Race Jan 7, Newberry 800-831-7292 • SISU Ski Fest January 13-14, Ironwood 715-254-4104 • Great Lakes Antique Snowmobile Series – Cheboygan Rusty Stud January 14, Cheboygan 231-625-2567 • Cedarville Blizzard January 27-29, Cedarville 888-364-7526 february • UP Snow Softball Tournament February 11-12, Saint Ignace 800-338-6660 • Les Cheneaux Snowfest February 16-19, Cedarville 906-484-3935 • UP 200 Dog Sled Race February 16-20, Marquette 906-228-3072 • 20th Annual Top of the Lake Snowmobile Show & Ride February 17-18, Naubinway 906-477-6298 • 2012 World Ice & Snow Sailing Championships February 20-26, Saint Ignace 800-338-6660

directory & map Marquette Country CVB

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 800-544-4321 Marquette / We’re here to help you plan a trip for the memory books. We offer customized itinerary planning, step-on guides, reservation assistance, digital images, Familiarization tours and more—all at no charge!

Upper Peninsula Travel & Recreation Association Iron Mountain . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 800-562-7134

march • CopperDog 150 Mar 2-4, Calumet 906-337-6246 • UP Ice Chip Golf Scramble March 3, Saint Ignace 800-338-6660 • Great Lakes Art Showcase March 12-31, Houghton 906-487-2067 (Contact area CVBs for complete calendars)

Travel Wisconsin

wisconsin cities appleton, ashland, baraboo, bayfield, beloit, brookfield, chippewa falls, columbus, eau claire, elkhorn, fort atkinson, fond du lac, green bay, hudson, la crosse, lake geneva, madison, manitowoc, milwaukee, minocqua, menomonie, mishicot, mount horeb, oshkosh, platteville, prairie du chien, sparta, st. croix falls, stevens point, stoughton, sturgeon bay, sturtevant, superior, tomah, two rivers, watertown, waukesha, wausau, woodruff, wisconsin dells

calendar of events november • Evansville Olde Fashioned Christmas Celebration November 18-19, Evansville 608-882-5131 • Old Rittenhouse Inn Wassail Dinner Concerts Nov 26-Dec 18, Bayfield 800-779-2129 december • Happy Holly Days Weekend December 2-5, Whitewater 262-473-4005 • Main Street Memories December 3, Sheboygan Falls 920-467-6206 • Very Merry Holiday Fair December 9-10, Baraboo 608-356-9048 • Kickapoo Exchange 3rd Annual Not Made in China Holiday Faire December 17, Gays Mills 608-735-4008 • Kenosha Public Museum Frost Fest December 27-29, Kenosha 262-653-4140 january • Cool Fool Kite Festival January 1, Milwaukee 414-277-9121 • Torchlight Ski January 7, Ontario 608-337-4775 • Bald Eagle Watching Days January 13-14, Prairie du Sac 800-683-2453 • Great Chefs at the Lake January 20-22, Fontana 888-629-9594 • Winter Rec-Fest January 23-28, La Crosse 608-789-7533 • Chocolate Fantasy January 29, Fond du Lac 920-921-3922 february • Wine Wonderland February 2, Janesville 608-755-4123 • Winter Carnival at Christmas Mountain Village February 4, Wisconsin Dells 608-254-3944 • Wine Winter & Cherry Fest February 4, Fish Creek 866-946-3263 • Sweet Sensations Feb 12, Oshkosh 920-651-0796 • Freezin’ in February Antique Show February 25-26, Tomah 608-385-3598 march • Klondike Days March 3-4, Eagle River 800-359-6315 • Arti Gras March 10-11, Green Bay 920-494-3401 • St. Patrick’s Day Parade & Irish Fest March 17, New London 920-982-3891 • Maple Syrup Saturday March 24, Appleton 920-731-6041 • 25th Annual Tomah Antique Toy Farm Show – Old & New March 31, Tomah 608-372-6907 (Contact area CVBs for complete calendars)

16th Annual Winterfest & United States Nationals Snow Sculpting Competition, Lake Geneva Your group won’t want to miss this! Come join the fun along the frozen shores of Geneva Lake and experience the United States Snow Sculpting Competition! Snow artists from around the country travel to Lake Geneva, the popular southeastern Wisconsin getaway, to sculpt works of art out of blocks of snow. Come and witness the magic these artists create while participating in the atmosphere of the competition! Your group will enjoy the beauty of art and the excitement of sport, at this one of a kind event! Live music and magic, food and refreshments, helicopter rides, tethered hot air balloon rides, horse-drawn carriage and sleigh rides, and the magnificent snow sculptures unfold before your eyes. Call ahead for current schedule of events. In the evening, your group can take in the dinner show at the “Dancing Horses Theatre”, held right outside Lake Geneva in Delavin, WI. This dazzling spectacle features an array of horse breeds that perform alongside their trainers in this fantastic cavalcade of equestrian artistry. Visually stunning, and performed in a state-of-the-art, yet intimate, 300-seat theatre, this live show is truly a must-see for any horse lover – reservations required. [ February 4, 2012 ] (See location on map, page 48)

explore more winter festivals in wisconsin… Fireside Dinner Theatre Christmas Show, Fort Atkinson – Named one of the country’s finest attractions by the National Bus Association, the Fireside’s Christmas show resumes its long history of beautiful singing, breath-taking dancing, gorgeous costumes, rib-tickling fun, and a deeply spiritual commitment to the real meaning of the holiday. It is simply one of the best Christmas revues your group will ever see. Seven shows weekly with dinner theatre packages. [ October 27 – December 22, 2011 (annual) ] A Heritage Hill Christmas, Green Bay – Experience the magic of Heritage Hill for the holidays. This living history museum is transformed into a holiday wonderland. Groups are invited to explore historic buildings in four distinct areas of the park representing various periods of Northeastern Wisconsin’s rich heritage and to interact with interpreters who bring their bygone era to life. Celebrate the season in a breathtaking setting by trying historic dancing, toy making, and holiday baking on the farm. Relive ‘Christmas Past’ as you visit with St. Nick. Enjoy a horse drawn wagon ride as music of the season fills the park and warms the hearts of guests of all ages. [ December 3,10, 27, 2011 ]

Yuletide at the Portage, Portage – Rounding off three weekends of seasonal festivities in Portage is The Downtown Historic Living Windows. This event highlights the unique

history of Portage through costumes and sets, live actors and entertainers who fill the windows with yuletide magic. A unique and fun outing for your group. [ December 9, 2011 ]

Carp Fest, Prairie du Chien – Bring your group to this weeklong festival! Help build carp snow sculptures and a giant arts-and-crafts carp, take a whack at a carp piñata, go on a hot-air balloon ride and ski or hike by torchlight in LaRiviere Park. The festival culminates with a laser and pyrotechnics show and the Droppin’ of the Carp, a large, frozen Mississippi River rough fish, on New Year’s Eve! [ December 26 – January 1, 2012 ] Medieval Feast & Wassailing of the Apple Trees, Stockholm – Your group’s presence is requested at the annual Medieval Feast & Wassailing of the Apple Trees at Maiden Rock Winery & Cidery. Join your fellow revelers to enjoy the unique sights, sounds and smells of an authentic five-course dinner and special wassail beverages prepared by our heralded feast chef, cider and wine stewards. Enjoy music, live entertainment, dancing and wassailing. This old English tradition of Wassailing through the orchard, to partake of the fruits of our harvest around a crackling bonfire is known as a way of passing on good wishes among family and friends. [ December 3, 2011 (annual) ]

Travel Legendary Wisconsin

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The Treats of Eastern Wisconsin This itinerary can be customized for any time of the year.



Fox Hills Resort

day one Arrive in Mishicot, WI and check into the beautiful Fox Hills Resort, Wisconsin’s premier 4 seasons resort! 10 – 11:30 am Take the short drive over to Two Rivers, WI or the tour of Hamilton Wood Type and Printing Museum. This is the only museum dedicated to the preservation, study, production and printing of wood type and is operated by

w w w. i t i n e r a r i e s m i d w e s t . c o m

Two Rivers, WI

volunteers of the Two Rivers Historical Society. At 40,000 square feet, it’s no doubt one of the largest fully functional workshops in the world. Hosting thousands of visitors every year. 11:30 – 12:30 pm Have lunch at the Water’s Edge Restaurant, located on Lake Michigan in downtown Two Rivers. The food is delicious! Dessert is coming up!

12:30 – 1:15 pm Your group will be delighted to know they are in the Home of the Ice Cream Sundae! Visit the Historic Washington House for dessert - this warm 1850s inn features Berners’ Ice Cream parlor commemorating


Continued on Page 48

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Travel Wisconsin

directory & map accommodations Fanny Hill Victorian Inn

. . . . . . . .800-292-8026 3919 Crescent Avenue – Eau Clarie, WI 715-836-8180 Situated high on a hill overlooking the picturesque Chippewa River is one of Wisconsin’s biggest treasures, the enchanting Fanny Hill Dinner Theatre. Celebrating over 32 years of hilarious live theatre, award winning gourmet dining and first class service. It has earned the distinction of being one of Wisconsin’s premier group tour destinations.

Fox Hills Resort . . . . . . .800-950-7615 Ext 3621 250 W Church Street – Mishicot, WI 54228 Fox Hills Resort in Mishicot, Wisconsin features year round lodging, activities, meeting/banquet space, swimming pools, onsite Restaurant and Sports Bar with weekend entertainment, spa services and 45 holes of golf. Minutes from Green Bay.

attractions Harley Davidson Museum Milwaukee . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 877-HD-Museum

Potawatomi Bingo Casino

. . . . .414-847-7910 1721 W Canal Street – Milwaukee, WI 53233 At Potawatomi Bingo Casino you’ll experience plenty of casino action 24/7! The casino offers 500 slot machines, 8 table games, bingo and much more!

convention & visitors bureaus and chambers Plymouth Chamber/Visitors Center Plymouth . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 888-693-8263

Real Racine Racine

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Continued from Page 47: The Treats…

the invention of the ice cream sundae. 1:15 – 4:30 pm Board the coach to Kewaunee for a tour of Parallel 44 Vineyard and Winery and learn how they take grapes and turn them into wine! Their tour is one of the most unique winery tours in Wisconsin including a walk in the vineyard in addition to the production facility. Enjoy “A Taste of the Tundra”! 4:30 – 6:30 pm Return to Fox Hills for a lovely dinner in the Willowview Restaurant. Enjoy views of the golf course and the surrounding Manitowoc County area as you dine. The evening is yours to enjoy the indoor swimming pool, exercise room or perhaps a relaxing massage in their onsite spa.

day two 8 – 9:00 am Join the group for breakfast downstairs. 9 – 10:30 am Travel to Manitowoc for a tour of the beautifully restored Capitol Civic Center. It features a large ornate auditorium, plus an equally decorative lobby. The theatre, restored in 1987, now serves as a community performing arts center home to the annual Marquee Series and several resident companies. 10:30 – 12:30 pm Head to Kiel, WI where Henning’s Wisconsin Cheese welcomes your group. They are a fourth generation family owned cheese factory featuring an on-site Cheese Store and Museum. Henning’s offers a wide variety of cheese, including many

that have won national and world awards. Sample cheese and wine and also view the exhibits of historic cheese-making implements in addition to watching the actual cheese-making process unfold in the factory itself. 12:30 – 2:00 pm Arrive in Plymouth, WI for lunch at 52 Stafford. This historic inn provides very uptown service for a small town. Their Irish cooking is like Irish song, simple and tasty on the tongue, while filling and wholesome for the body and spirit. They hope your group will find the food flavorful, the services warm and generous and the tariff moderate. 2 – 4:00 pm Spend some time this afternoon touring the Wall Dogs. Plymouth history has been hand-painted on exterior walls throughout downtown. Follow it up with a tour of the Plymouth Historical Society, displaying a variety of exhibits. Several large collections including exhibits featuring the fire department, a blacksmith shop, turn of the century parlor, World War II and Native American artifacts. 4 – 6:30 pm Direct the coach towards Lake Michigan and Sheboygan, WI. Enjoy happy hour and a delicious German dinner at Al and Al’s Steinhaus and The Tavern, serving the area for over 45 years! Return to Fox Hills for a restful night, as tomorrow is another day in Manitowoc County. For more information or to customize this sample itinerary for your group, please contact your tour operator or Diane Thon at Fox Hills Resort 1-800-950-7615 or

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 262-884-6400

events Warrens Cranberry Festival Inc. Warren . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 608-378-4200


The attractions and areas listed in this itinerary were the highlights of the FAM tour taken during Itineraries Midwest’s 2011 Fall Show held at the beautiful Fox Hills Resort in Mishicot, WI. We would like to say a special thank you to Fox Hills and all of our sponsors for their incredible hospitality: The Plymouth Chamber of Commerce, The Sheboygan County Chamber, Manitowoc Area Visitor and Convention Bureau and all of their partners who made this FAM a wonderful experience for all the attendees!

Lake Geneva


I T I N E R A R I E S M I D W E S T FA L L / W I N T E R 2 0 1 1


Keep Exploring

central canada cities manitoba

ashern, binscarth, brandon, dauphin, flin flon, grand rapids, portage la prairie, selkirk, steinbach, the pas, st. andrews, thompson, winnipeg ontario

atikokan, dryden, flanders, fort frances, kenora, longlac, sault ste. marie, sioux lookout thunder bay, vermilion bay

calendar of events

Festival du Voyageur, Winnipeg Bring your group to Western Canada’s largest winter festival! In honor of the Voyageur spirit, the Festival du Voyageur’s emphasis is on the beauty of winter and is the perfect venue to embrace the Manitoban winter while enjoying unique entertainment. Featuring more than 200 shows in 10 days, they are thrilled to present diverse programming offering numerous activities that will please the whole group. Enjoy dancing and jigging to lively music, sleigh rides, snow shoeing, historic Fort Gibraltar and its historical characters, delicious French-Canadian food, and magnificent snow sculptures, there is truly something for everyone. Embrace your inner voyageur and experience the joie de vivre by visiting Voyageur Park and the Trading Posts around the province. Festival du Voyageur has been dubbed “The World’s Largest Kitchen Party” not to be missed! Note: The group rate includes a day pass and access to Voyageur Park. A guaranteed reserved seat in the Poste Pambian tent in Voyageur Park for a unique show available only for group bookings. Every time slot showcases two bands. [ February 17-26, 2012 ] (See location on map, page 50)

explore more winter festivals in central canada… Bon Soo Winter Carnival, Sault Ste. Marie Bring your group to share the excitement of this entire community in celebrating winter for 10 days at the beginning of February during Northern Ontario’s largest winter carnival – BON SOO!! Proud to have been named one of the “Top 100” festivals each year for the past seven years. Enjoy more than 75 events for everyone from pre-schoolers to seniors; indoor events, outdoor events, concerts for all ages, breakfasts, contests and tournaments…there truly is so much to do in Bon Soo! Everyone’s waiting for the opening of our Tim Hortons Winter Playground. The playground is Mr. Bon Soo’s dream, with hay wagon rides, snow shoeing, snow canoeing, dog sled rides, snow sculptures, our famous bum slides…and so much more! Come SNOWcialize with us – the greatest SNOW on Earth! [ February 3 – 12, 2012 ] ipeg

Festival du Voyageur - Winn

Christmas Nativity with Live Animals at Gammondale Farm, Thunder Bay A favorite at Christmas time, the Nativity uses real animals your group can reenact this historic scene in the authentic surroundings of our farm...folks love to dress up in our costumes and take part in the play. This function is suitable for groups and schools and is offered throughout December. In addition to the Nativity, your group can enjoy our Wagon Wheel Cabin. Share stories while enjoying the warmth of our spacious cabin. Whether your preference is hot chocolate and cookies or a complete meal, we can facilitate it for you. Mix indoor and outdoor events: visit the barn to see the animals, games in the cabin, music and dancing, there are lots of options. Don’t forget the old-fashioned Sleigh Ride - The big black Percheron draft horses are eager to pull the sleigh for you! Horse drawn sleigh rides are a nice compliment to the evening at Gammondale Farm. We have numerous activities for you to choose from and can arrange them to suit your group’s needs. [ December 2011 ]

november • Mini Trade Show for Women November 5, St. Andrews 866-738-2264 • Thunder Bay Art Gallery Christmas House Tour 2011 November 12-13, Thunder Bay 800-667-8386 • Island of Lights November 25-January 7, Portage la Prairie 204-239-8334 december • Santa’s Parade of Lights December 2, Portage la Prairie 204-857-7778 • Touch of Christmas – The Living Nativity December 2-4, Steinbach 866-280-8741 • Canad Inns – Winter Wonderland December 2-January 7, Winnipeg 204-888-6990 • Christmas at the Fort December 3, Dauphin 204-638-6630 january • The Last Tree of Rapa Nui January 13-15, Winnipeg 204-947-0394 • Manitoba Ag Days January 17-19, Brandon 204-571-6566 february • Bon Soo Winter Carnival February 3-12, Sault Ste. Marie 866-899-1607 • Festival du Voyageur February 17-26, Winnipeg 204-237-7692 • 2012 Central Canada Outdoor Show February 24-26, Thunder Bay 807-624-2621 • Shadows of the Mind Film Festival February 29-March 4, Sault Ste. Marie 705-759-3299 march • American Chronicles: The Art of Norman Rockwell March 1-May 6, Winnipeg 204-786-6641 • Bust the Winter Blues Festival March 2-4, Flin Flon 204-681-7542 • Royal Manitoba Winter Fair March 26-31, Brandon 204-726-3590 (Contact area CVBs for complete calendars)

Keep Exploring

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World-class Gaming Entertainment at its Best in Winnipeg This itinerary can be customized for any time of the year.

day one 1 – 2:00 pm Take a step-on guided tour to see Winnipeg’s famous landmarks, discover celebrated Winnipeggers, and learn the origin of Winnipeg’s name and why it was nicknamed the “Chicago of the North.” 2 – 5:00 pm See if lady luck is by your side at Winnipeg’s casinos. Visit the tropical jungles of Club Regent offering games of chance, great dining experiences, worldclass entertainment and a selection of group tour activities. Calypso, an animated macaw, provides the welcome as you enter Club Regent Casino. Gaming rooms are reached via a walk-through saltwater

aquarium where you can watch divers feed fish in an underwater coral reef. Tropical paradise continues with Jaguars Dance Club, games of chance and the great buffet of The Royal Palms restaurant. Scavenger hunts and famous top name acts complement a full range of gaming for lots of entertainment and enjoyment. 5 – 6:00 pm Check into your room in the Club Regent Casino Hotel and freshen up before heading out for the evening. 6 – 9:00 pm Become part of the musical entourage at Celebrations Dinner Theatre where the actors remain in character while they serve the meal. Sing along, tap your feet to the music and burst into laughter during comedic productions that feature live performances of familiar songs from the past and present, while enjoying a four-course dinner.

day two 9 – 10:00 am Get your day started with a great breakfast. 10 – 1:00 pm Today the train stops at McPhillips Station Casino, set in the opulent splendor of the railroad hay days of the 1800s. Stroll through the historic railway village and enjoy the view from the grand staircase leading to more games of chance. Michele’s Restaurant

combines the elegance of the past with today’s mouth-watering food offerings. The casino also offers scavenger hunts, group activities and shows with top name acts. 1 – 4:00 pm Then for a change of pace, visit Assiniboia Downs for thoroughbred horseracing entertainment as you make a bet and cheer on your favorite horse to win, place or show. Excitement is the order of the day as you watch the action from the Clubhouse dining room and later join the Winner’s Circle to present the trophy for the race named in honor of your tour group. During the first two weeks of August you are invited to take in the sights and sounds of Folklorama, the largest and longest running multicultural event of its kind in the world. More than 44 pavilions representing various cultures that make up Manitoba’s mosaic, open their doors each evening to showcase ethno-cultural entertainment, food and drink along with fascinating displays depicting lifestyles prior to emigration.

For more information or to customize this sample itinerary for your group, please contact your tour operator or Tourism Winnipeg 1-800-665-0204,

The Canadian Museum FOR HUMAN RIGHTS

directory & map convention & visitors bureaus and chambers



OPENS 2012

Tourism Thunder Bay Thunder Bay, Ontario . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 888-227-2227

Winnipeg Tour Connection

. . . . . 800-665-0204

Winnipeg, Manitoba Winnipeg offers a variety of signature experiences, unique products and warm hospitality for your next travel group. We’ve made it easier than ever to plan your next trip with up-to-date planning features, specialized itineraries, images, video and promotional materials. Festival du Voyageur

ocated at the historic Forks of Winnipeg and set for completion in 2012, the Canadian Museum for Human Rights is a bold new project whose mission statement is to explore the history of human rights from around the world with special interest in Canada. The Content Advisory Board for the CMHR has been traveling around the country collecting stories and perspectives from locals and using their feedback to incorporate into the exhibits. Though it is still under construction, the museum offers a number of activities for visitors, including group tours of the construction site and a glimpse into the building’s unique architecture. The design of the museum was inspired by the natural scenery and open spaces of Canada such as trees, ice, and northern lights as well as the culture of the First Nation people of Canada. A journey through the museum begins with a descent into the earth where visitors will explore the “roots” of the CMHR. The tour then leads through the Great Hall and a series of vast spaces and ramps until culminating at the Tower of Hope—a tall structure protruding from the top of the museum, providing visitors with an amazing view of downtown Winnipeg.


An inspiring national landmark in the making since March of 2008, the museum will be a welcoming place for all ages, genders, abilities, cultures, orientations and beliefs while promoting respect, reflection and dialogue. For general information and inquiries email or call 204-289-2000, 1-877-877-6037 (outside of Winnipeg region).


Winnipeg I T I N E R A R I E S M I D W E S T FA L L / W I N T E R 2 0 1 1


Itineraries Midwest fall 2011  
Itineraries Midwest fall 2011  

Itineraries Midwest is a group travel magazine promoting group travel with an Itinerary format and unusual travel ideas from all over the mi...