Your Guide to a Snowcation at Shanty Creek Resorts

If you are looking for winter fun, Shanty Creek Resorts has a lot to offer! This Northern Michigan resort has everything you need for a great snowcation.

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Your Guide to Skiing at Pennsylvania’s Laurel Highlands

Located about an hour from Pittsburgh, under 4 hours from Cleveland and Washington DC., and 5 hours from Cincinnati, makes Laurel Highlands in Pennsylvania, an easy drive for a great snowcation getaway. When it comes to winter fun, Laurel Highlands has you covered with three great options for winter adventure on the slopes.

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“A Whimsical Wonderland at Krohn” in Cincinnati

Looking to escape the winter blues?

The Krohn Conservatory is bringing holiday cheer with their Floral Holiday Show this season. “A Whimsical Wonderland” IS the perfect description for this creative show.

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Unique Holiday Themed Adventures and Destinations

Unique Holiday Themed Adventures and Destinations

I invited travelers to share some of their favorite unique holiday themed adventures and destinations. I think their recommendations will inspire you to add a lot of these places to your list.

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Holiday Scenes from Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill

 

Holiday Scenes from Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill KY

Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill has been a popular tourist destination for generations of families. In fact, I remember visits to Shaker Village from my childhood. As an adult, I got to experience a visit with a fresh perspective and appreciation. One of the first things you will notice when you step on the property is how peaceful it is there. It looks like an old New England town with 34 of the 260 original structures still on the property. The road between the buildings was once the main road that took travelers to Lexington into the 1970’s. Shaker Village has become a recent Discovery Destination because of all of the hands on engagement opportunities available to visitors.

Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill Holiday

Holiday Scenes from Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill KY

So who were the Shakers?

The Shakers were America’s largest and best known 19th century communal society. A small group of them came to Central Kentucky in 1805, and on a small farm near Harrodsburg they started a community called Pleasant Hill. By 1823 it had grown to Shakers and 4500 acres.

I learned several interesting things about the Shakers during my visit. They were a celibate community which is why the community died out over time but they were not opposed to alcohol. At the peak of it’s day there were around 6,000 members. 3/4 of the kids in the community eventually left. They received an 8th grade education and a trade. The Shakers believed that their work was worship and were known for their quality craftsmanship. They were also known for their quality livestock, packaged seeds (which they invented) medicinal herbs, and brooms (they sold about 50,000 brooms a year).The name “Shaker” was a description of how they moved during their services. Their official name was “United Society of Believer’s in Christ’s 2nd Coming.” They were progressive for their time because they believed in gender and racial equality. They also avoided a lot of epidemics because they were so clean and lived on average 20-30 years longer.

Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill grounds

Make sure that you don’t leave the property without enjoying a meal. The farm to table restaurant serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. If you have never tried the lemon pie, I would highly recommend it. They still use the original Shaker recipe and it’s unlike any lemon pie I’ve ever had before. It’s made with the entire lemon rind and has no seeds. While you are dining, take note of the pegs in every room. The Shakers were very practical in their simplicity and the pegs offered a lot of solutions for keeping areas clean and tidy. They could even adjust the light in a room by adjusting their candleholder up or down on the peg.

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Lemon pie at Shaker Village

dining at Shaker Village

While you are on the property, there are several buildings to explore. I encourage you to ask lots of questions when you encounter a historical reenactor. It is also a good idea to get a schedule of activities going on that day so that you don’t miss any of the hands on demonstrations, performances, or tours.

Shaker Village Building

Red Stockings at Shaker Village

ornament at Shaker Village

Christmas Tree at Shaker Village

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stairs at Shaker Village

winding staircase Shaker Village

window view Shaker Village

Shaker Village loom

Loom at Shaker Village

Seeds at Shaker Village

Brooms at Shaker Village

broom at Shaker Village

If you are looking for a unique gift to remember your visit, there are two areas on the property where you can purchase gifts.

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Shaker Village 21

Shaker Village 19

That afternoon we took a tour of the property by hayride. We enjoyed a Bourbon Mulled cider, gorgeous scenery, an education on communal farming, and a beautiful Kentucky sunset.

Drink at Shaker Village

drinks at Shaker Village

Drinks and hayrides Shaker Village

Barn at Shaker Village

Holiday Sleigh at Shaker Village

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Shaker Village grounds

street at Shaker Village

sleigh at Shaker Village

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Shaker Village Sleigh

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That evening we took a candlelight tour led by visitor engagement coordinator, Elsa Wachter. This experience gave us a unique perspective and the opportunity to ask as many questions as we could think of. She was a wealth of information and made the tour very interesting.

candletlight at Shaker Village

Candlelight tour Shaker Village

That evening, I stayed overnight on the third floor of the Trustees’ office which gave me a nice view of the other buildings. My room had a Keurig, private bathroom, and television. I decided to stay partially unplugged by keeping my tv turned off that evening. I really enjoyed the quiet. There are 72 overnight guest rooms throughout the village. If you have younger kids, you might want one of the options that is more private. There are some buildings where you could be the only guests.

window view at night Shaker Village

Guest room at Shaker Village

chair with a view Shaker Village

The following day, I took a few final views of the grounds before we departed.

horses at Shaker Village

Horse at fence Shaker Village

I was sad to leave this charming destination but I definitely want to come back again to try out some of their more unique adventures that Shaker Village offers like the GLOW Paddle. I really want to try their Paddle + Yoga Weekends too.  Shaker Village offers lots of opportunities to connect and explore for ages young and old year round. You can find out more for planning your visit to the 3,000 acre Shaker Village by visiting their website. 

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Shaker Village 20

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Shaker Village 13

Thanks to Kentucky Tourism and Shaker Village for hosting my visit. 

 

Tips for Selecting and Taking Care of a Real Christmas Tree

Tips for Selecting and Taking Care of a Real Christmas Tree

Live Christmas trees have always intimidated me because I don’t do well with taking care of plants and I’ve always been paranoid that my Christmas tree could catch on fire. I asked Jeff Ruggles from Dirr Nurseries tips for picking out and taking care of a real Christmas Tree.

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Christmas Saengerfest Returns December 2 & 3

Christmas Saengerfest Returns December 2 & 3

Christmas Saengerfest is back! This is the perfect event to get you in the holiday mood. I’ve enjoyed attending this 160 year old tradition over the past few years because the music and venues are absolutely gorgeous! You can read more reasons why to attend Saengerfest here.

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Elf-cation Adventure at Hocking Hills

Elf-cation Adventure

Up to this point, our family has not added an Elf on the Shelf to share our Holiday adventures. We decided to see if an Elf would be a good fit with our family by taking my friend Stephanie’s (from A Little Moore) Elf “Sparkles” on an adventure with our family to Hocking Hills.

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