Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Amish Acres

365 Days of Fun: Day 5
(A series of 365 of our favorite spots in our years of traveling as a family)

This is one to tuck away for a few months from now when the weather is warming. From the online calendar it looks as if they re-open for the season in March.

Some of our favorite travels as a family have been to Amish country and we first visited Arcola, Illinois when our oldest was just a tot. We had a favorite B & B in Arthur, Illinois that we visited several times and even brought my parents and my nephew there. Heart & Home it was called. After doing some searching online it appears that it no longer exists. It was run by a lovely couple. She was raised as a mennonite and they were wonderful hosts. Some of our earliest travel memories as a family were of sitting on the porch at that B & B in Arthur listening to the clop of horses on the brick streets on a warm summer night. There's something about spending time among the Amish that brings such a feeling of peace. There's so much joy in the simplicity of their lifestyle.

But, this post is about another place visited at another time. When we visited Amish Acres in Nappanee, Indiana our family had grown and we were there with five boys as opposed to our earliest visits to Arthur with just one son. Our kids enjoy any place where there's open space to run and explore and this fit the bill. But besides giving them an opportunity to run around outdoors, it also offered a lot in the way of history. With over 40 attractions on the grounds, visitors can explore everything from the windmill, a barnyard and a hog house. The site gives great insight into the life of any early farmer and into the Amish culture.

The Round Barn Theatre, originally built in 1911, still hosts performances of the live Broadway musical Plain and Fancy. The 2016 season will also include Forever Plaid, All Shook UP, Crazy for You, Fiddler on the Roof, The Miracle Worker and A Christmas Story. 

Be sure to enjoy an Amish-style Threshers Dinner of Amish specialties in the Restaurant Barn.

Also on the grounds are a vegetable garden, wagon shed, bank barn, orchard, ice house, cider & grist mill, broom shop, meat and cheese shop and more. A country-style inn provides lodging on site with Amish patterned quilts on bed, pine furnishings and rockers on the porches. 

In our fast-paced world where we are constantly connected to electronics, an up-close look at how the Amish live can be an eye-opener for kids and a special time at a slower pace to enjoy quality family time together. For more information, visit AmishAcres.com.

Photo source: AmishAcres.com

Photo source: AmishAcres.com

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