the amana colonies.

the amana colonies

my favorite holiday tradition just so happens to take place on mother’s day. one that started in our family before I was born. each year, we all meet in a small village in iowa (approximately 2 hours from des moines), called the amana colonies. it is a german settlement turned tourist destination the sweetest town to visit. you can walk the entire main village, and along the way you’ll find an abundance of shops, wineries, restaurants, and really charming architecture.

the amana colonies

the amana colonies

the amana colonies

the amana colonies

the amana colonies

the amana colonies

the amana colonies

the amana colonies

the amana colonies

the amana colonies

the amana colonies.

we always start with thee most amazing family style meal at the ox yoke inn. it starts with cold salads (the cottage cheese is life changing) and ends an incredible spread of freshly baked pies. we practically roll out of there. then it’s shopping in the village. we must visit the general store first, but after that it’s a free for all. occasionally, we find ourselves in a chocolate shop or bakery. but most of the time, we head straight for one of their many wineries or their microbrewery, millstream. (if they’re missing in the group, you can almost guess that’s where my husband + father are). there is a beautifully overwhelming flower shop in the middle of the village. the yard is filled with handcrafted metal lawn decor and more flowers than you can imagine. (I scored a brightly colored hanging basket. which I am now protecting from our kitten. see evidence here). after we leave, with our hearts, stomachs, and cars full ..we head to the nearby outlet mall. to continue to fill our cars. obviously.

(if the gap + banana republic go out of business, I am sorry (that I’m not sorry). I got some major steals. I came away with two gigantic bags, and the husband wasn’t even mad. nor did he even blink an eye. because that’s how good the deals were. #saleaholic)

what are your favorite holiday traditions? do you have a small town oozing with charm that you love to visit?

amana colonies

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  • Tami Cahill May 12, 2015 at 9:26 am

    Wish we could do that sometime….looks beautiful! Love those kind of family traditions.

  • Myla May 12, 2015 at 11:09 am

    Funny story. A few weeks back I was in Cedar Rapids with a friend for a horseback riding clinic and as we were traveling, saw the sign for Amana Colonies. Obviously, over-caffeinated and a little sleep deprived, we started making assumptions what sort of “colony” this was… 🙂 Good to know everything is on the up and up! Looks like a great place to spend the day!

    • Little Lessons by Chelsea June 2, 2015 at 2:34 pm

      hahahahhahaahahaha. I love this story. and I completely understand why you thought that. in my fully-operational self, I would still assume something strange. but it is amazing. you need to make the trip. I’ll meet you there!

  • Megan Bannister May 19, 2015 at 4:17 pm

    Great post, Chelsea! The first time I visited the Amana Colonies was during their holiday celebrations and I fell in love. I’ll have to make a trip back now that it’s nicer weather though!

    http://olioiniowa.com/

    • Little Lessons by Chelsea June 2, 2015 at 2:33 pm

      Thank you, Megan! I cannot get enough of the Amana Colonies. we always go once a year, but I want to make more frequent trips. I have heard it’s amazing during the holidays. I’ll have to put that on my list this year! 🙂