With millions of holiday lights, fanciful window displays and seasonal festivals, Chicago offers plenty of things to do in the month of December. A walk through the downtown area reveals numerous attractions that have been transformed into a winter wonderland, including Navy Pier, Miracle Mile and the Museum of Science and Industry. We can’t help but get into the holiday spirit when we visit the large market inspired by traditional Christkindlmarkets of Germany and Austria. Held at Daley Plaza, the annual market is situated in the heart of downtown Chicago. Visitors can explore the wares of numerous international vendors or sample traditional German holiday sweets, foods and beverages. We've also included a live production at the Fireside Theater in Ft Atkinson to see "A Fireside Christmas". Read on as you unwrap your Chicago Holiday tour for the upcoming 2016 season~
Your FIVE Day Chicago Holiday and Fireside Christmas Includes:
Four Nights Lodging3 Nights @Fairfield Inn in downtown Chicago 1 ½ blocks off the Miracle Mile 1 Night @ Holiday Inn Express in Ft Atkinson, Wisconsin (On the last night). *Reserved Seats to see the Joffrey Ballet's "Nutcracker" at the Auditorium Theater (Good seats) Reserved Seats to see “A Fireside Christmas" @ Fireside Dinner Theater in Ft Atkinson A Chicago City Light Tour(Sears Tower)With a emphasis on the lovely City Lights in Downtown Chicago. Visit Christkindlemarket in Daley Plaza and Santa’s Village and the city’s Holiday Tree Shopping at Macy’s on State Street(with the famous holidaywindows!) AND FREE TIME AT YOUR LEISURE A visit to theNavy Pier - One of Chicago’s Premier Attractions for “Winter Wonderfest” A visit to theMuseum of Science and Industry to see“Trees from Around the World” SHOPPING on Michigan Avenue, our hotel is 1 ½ blocks east of the famous Magnificent Mile Six Meals- Four Breakfasts and Two Dinners -A total of six meals are included in this package Fully Guided, all Taxes, most Tips and Luggage Handling with tips for the porters.
$200.00 per person deposit due per reservation. Deposits are fully refundable with cancellations made by June 30, 2016. Full payments are due October 1, 2016. Monies returned with cancellations between October 1-November 6, 2016 , are contingent to what Happy Trails Tours receives back from hotels, charters, tour companies, restaurants and theaters. Cancellations after November 6, 2016 receive no refunds since at that time we are financially committed to all inclusions. Thank you for your understanding. Trip cancellations insurance is available at an additional charge. We HIGHLY RECOMMEND this investment as it offers peace of mind and financial security. Final documents, day-by-day itineraries, hotel address & phone information should arrive in mid- late October.
A Chicago Holiday and Fireside Christmas December 8-12, 2016
Day 1: Thursday, Dec 8th Travel to Chicago (325 Miles from Eau Clair, WI) "Taking you places you've always dreamed of and beyond...." is the Happy Trails slogan. "Making every mile worth while"... is the Trobec Bus Company's slogan. Together you are in good hands and we thank you for entrusting your vacation plans with us. Your first morning of the journey blends folks from Northeast and Central Minnesota together in Eau Clair in the late morning / early afternoon. Once there, we'll have lunch at the Oakwood Mall, paying on own, before we continue east to Chicago. We'll put our seats back, relax and get acquainted with fellow travelers as the day goes along. Comfort stops and meal breaks are made every 2 1/2 - 3 hours. Below is an idea of what the departure hours have been from previous years. In Northeast Minnesota: 5:00 am-Grand Rapids Sawmill Inn; 5:45 am- Hibbing Park Hotel; 6:15 am- Virginia Village Inn; 6:30 am -Eveleth Super Eight; (A breakfast comfort/stop will be made from 7:30-8:30 in Duluth) 8:15 am- Duluth Perkins Miller Hill Mall; 8:45 am- Perkins Superior, Wisconsin In Central Minnesota: 6:30 am- Baxter Kohls; 7:15 am Little Falls Walmart; 8:00 am-RiceHoliday Station; 8:15 am-Sartell AmericInn (A breakfast comfort/stop will also be made along the route to Eau Clair) 11:30 am- Arrive to the Oakwood Mall in Eau Clair. Here is where the two groups will blend after lunch, paying on own. After lunch, we'll travel to the "Windy City", with comfort / lunch stops along the way. 7:15 pm- (Estimated) - Arrive to beautiful downtown Chicago. The arrival time may vary depending on traffic and weather, but once we arrive to our destination. We are right downtown only a block off Michigan Avenue. The rest of the evening is at your leisure. You are only a matter of several blocks from Water Tower Mall if you want to get started now on your shopping! Hotel: Fairfield Inn - 216 East Ontario Street, Chicago, Il 60611 (PHONE: 312-787-3777) Amenities of the Fairfield Inn: This lovely property offers coffeemakers, irons and ironing board in the rooms along with two beds or one king for singles/couples. It's location is what draws us to the Fairfield every time we visit Chicago. Settle in for three nights.
Day 2: Friday, Dec 9th "Christmas Around the World"- Chicago at Night-Navy Pier's "Winter Wonderfest" 6:00 am- The Fairfield Inn begins serving breakfast in their breakfast room. 9:30 am-12:30 PM- Visit the Museum of Science & Industry for “Christmas Around the World”, an annual Chicago tradition at Christmas. This amazing event has millions of twinkling lights and over 50 trees from all around the world with beautiful decorations. 1:00 pm- 3:30 pm- Return to the hotel - You have a couple of hours at your leisure. 3:30 pm- 6:30 pm- We've planned a wonderful City Tour of Chicago in the later afternoon so that we'll get a feel for all the beautiful holiday lights! We'll visit the Sears TowerObservation Deck first so that you can get a good overview of the city before dark. 6:30 PM-9:30 PM- Time at Navy Pier for “Winter Wonderfest!”. Navy Pier is Chicago’s premier attraction for tourists. It hosts this annual festival during the Christmas holidays. It’s a ½ mile of museums, theatres, shops, restaurants & wonderful entertainment throughout the evening.
Day 3: Saturday, Dec 10th "Christkindlemarket & Santa’s Village" - Dinner and the Joffrey Ballet's "Nutcracker" 6-9 AM- Enjoy a breakfast at your leisure. Help yourselves. The morning is to be enjoyed as per your own agenda. Take the morning at your leisure. 12:30-3:30 PM- Time to shop at Macy’son State Street and Christkindlemarket & Santa’s Village in Daley Plaza. This German market features traditional fare and goods from over 50 vendors. Be on the lookout for Christkind, who will also be there! Macy's holiday windows draws many people at Christmas. Don't forget to visit Macy's 45 foot Great Tree in the Walnut Room. 4:00-6:00 PM- Relax at the hotel / freshen up for the evening activities. 6:00 pm- Dinner, included (Venue to be announced). 8:00 pm- Arrive to the historic Auditorium Theater for Tchaikovsky's "Nutcracker" - Joffrey Ballet Company & Chicago Philharmonic. Discover the magic of Chicago's mysterious White City through a child's eyes in the Joffrey's groundbreaking new Nutcracker. Boldly reimagined by Tony Award®-winning choreographer Christopher Wheeldon, this electrifying tale will leave you breathless. Set to Tchaikovsky's powerful score, its stunning choreography and visionary design celebrate our beloved, ingenious city and unlock an unforgettable landscape of beauty and wonder. This is holiday tradition reborn for a new generation. *Note: This is our 1st choice for evening show, but until we see our numbers reach 30 passengers, we'll wait to confirm this. Day 4: Sunday, December 11th A Fireside Christmas 6-9 AM- Enjoy a breakfast at your leisure. Help yourselves. Take the earlier morning at your leisure. Set your luggage outside your doors at 9:30 am. 10:30 am- We're off to Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin for our next holiday adventure. Fort Atkinson is 200 miles away - A 3 1/2 hour driver plus a comfort stop will be made. 2:30 pm - Arrive to the beautiful Fireside Dinner Theater - Settle in for an amazing plated meal. 5:00 pm- Take your seats in the theater for "A Fireside Christmas". This show is sure to re-kindle the true Christmas Spirit in all of us! Through songs, stories & dances - both traditional and original - they'll capture the very heart and essence of the holiday season. 7:30 pm- Check into your hotel. Holiday Inn Express Hotel- 1680 Madison Avenue- Fort Atkinson, Wi (PHONE: 920-563-3600) This property is located nearby the Fireside Theater (about a mile). It offers 2 beds in the rooms, coffeemakers, hairdryers, irons & boards, indoor pool and a nice breakfast in the hotel breakfast room upon our departure. They have an indoor pool.
Day 5: Monday, Dec 12th Homeward Bound with Fond Memories 8:00 am- Set your suitcases outside your doors for the porters. Breakfast is served this morning prior to checking out. 9:00 am- Board the coach for our trek homeward. We’ll make several stops along the way as we travel homeward. 10:45 am- We’ll have an early lunch, paying on own at the Cracker Barrel in Baraboo (Time to explore the General Store before lunch) 12:30 pm- Continue to Eau Clair - 2 1/2 hours away. 3:00 pm- Arrive to Eau Clair's Oakwood Mall - We'll say good-bye to one another ~ and continue our journey homeward to Northeast and Central Minnesota. The times listed below are estimated arrival hours home. 6:30 pm- to the Superior @ 7:00 PM-Arrive to Duluth @ 7:30 PM-Eveleth@ 9 PM; Virginia @ 9:15 PM; Hibbing @ 9:45 pm; Gr Rapid; 6:30 pm- to Sartell; 6:45 pm to Rice; 7:30 pm to Little Falls; 8:15 pm to Baxter.
Things to know before you go on your Chicago Holiday Tour- Dec 8-12, 2016
THE COACH & DRIVER: The coach is a lovely motor coach with TV, VCR, restroom, reclining seats & non-smoking and is chartered through Trobecs Bus Company, St Stephens, MN.
HOTEL: The hotel information is listed on your day-by-day. It is in a great location of the city. All rooms requested are non-smoking rooms unless otherwise stated. Special requests have been submitted and hopefully will be honored by the hotel.
MEALS: There are 6 meals (tips included). The breakfasts in the mornings are deluxe continental breakfasts & 2 plated dinner.
HOW TO PACK: Dress is casual for touring. You may wish to wear something a bit special for the “Fireside Theater” and “Nutcracker”
BAGGAGE: You may pack one bag per person, which is handled for you, including tips for the porters. You may also pack a carry-on bag for the coach, which you’ll handle yourselves.
SEAT ROTATION: We will NOT rotate seats while on the Chicago Tour. If you have any special requests for seating on the coach, kindly note this in the “Special Requests Box” on your enclosed invoice and return it back to us. Front seats are saved for persons with special needs who have special needs, city step on guides and your on board tour host.
CHANGES: The tour has been prepared with much care. Happy Trails Tours reserves the right to adjust this tour for the benefit of all attending. We have no control over theaters, hotels, restaurants or charters. If a change occurs, we’ll replace it with one of equal value or better. We will wait to be sure the tour has enough people to go before securing tickets for shows requiring steep cancellation fees.
TRAVEL INSURANCE: Travel insurance is available to all of our customers and can cover unexpected events that could interfere with the tour such as; terrorist attacks, personal illness or family emergencies, weather conditions, and more. Please read through the enclosed flyer. Please let us know and we’ll help handle your travel insurance needs.
SPECIAL REQUESTS: Be sure to let us know if you have special requests such as; special seating, climbing stairs, difficulty walking long distances, motion sickness, allergies, diet restrictions, etc…
WINTER WEATHER CONDITIONS: If weather becomes a factor in the departure times of the tour, we’ll call you very early the day the tour departs. Sometimes we have to depart later in the morning depending on the road conditions & weather. Please call our office if this becomes a concern for you. Be sure to list the phone numbers (work and/ or cell) of where you’ll be the night before the trip or early on the morning of the December 6th . We also recommend folks to travel with their cell phones on winter tours just in case we need to reach you OR visa-versa! You can always call our office (1-800-635-7779) to let us know of any travel concerns. Another place to leave a message is your boarding site location. We may also do this, as well. For example: If the bus is running late and we do not have any way to contact you personally, we would leave a message at the front desk or restaurant where you will be boarding at.
Disclaimer: Happy Trails Tours acts only as an agent for the various independent suppliers that provide hotel accommodations, transportation, theater, or other services connected with this tour. Such services are subject to the terms and conditions of those suppliers. Happy Trails Tours, INC and their respective employees, agents, representatives accept no liability whatsoever for any injury, damage, loss, accident, delay, or any other default of any company or person in performing these services. Responsibility is not accepted for losses, injury, damages or expenses of any kind due to sickness, weather, strikes, hostilities, wars, terrorist acts, acts of nature, local laws or other causes. All services and accommodations are subject to the laws and regulations of country in which they are provided. Happy Trails Tours INC is not responsible for any baggage or personal effects of any individual participating in the tours/trips arranged by Happy Trails Tours. Individual travelers are responsible for purchasing a travel insurance policy, if desired, that will cover some of the expenses associated with the loss of luggage or personal effects.