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  • Autumn along the Blackhawk Waterways

    An autumn day in the Blackhawk Waterways Region of North Central Illinois is the perfect time to visit the area's rolling hills, historic attractions and experience an afternoon cruise on the Rock River. In the charming riverfront community of Dixon, travel back in time to an area that produced some of America’s greatest icons. After driving by the Ronald Reagan boyhood home, we’ll tour Northwest Territory Historic Center. This treasure, located in Dixon’s historic old school building, is an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institute and features spectacular galleries of local Illinois and American History. Among the exhibits are interactive displays of the Illinois Blackhawk War and Chief Black Hawk, the region’s namesake. The Reagan History Room features presidential archive material, a dramatic portrait of Reagan made of Jelly Bellys and the former president's actual sixth grade classroom. Afterward, as we drive along the scenic Rock River, we’ll stop to visit the John Deere historic site in Grand Detour. The site features the exact location of the archeological site where John Deere revolutionized farming with the first steel plow. The scenic homestead also has a working Blacksmith Shop and the original John Deere Home. Cap off the day aboard the Pride of Oregon for their luncheon cruise. Delight in the beautiful scenery and colorful fall foliage on a two-hour cruise aboard this authentic paddlewheel boat on the Rock River. During the cruise, hear the interesting narrative of the legend of Chief Black Hawk as we cruise past the picturesque bluffs in Lowden State Park and the 50-foot Black Hawk Statue gazing over the Rock River Valley, thought to be the second largest concrete monolithic statue in the world.
  • Chicago Christmas Lights and Christkindlmarket

    There’s no time like Christmas in Chicago! Join us as we celebrate the season. After a late morning departure we’re off to the colorful Christkindlmarket, an enchanting and inviting holiday village at Daley Plaza. Shop for holiday crafts at the most authentic traditional holiday market of its kind outside of Europe or walk over to see the traditional holiday windows at Macy’s on State St. On North Michigan Avenue, enjoy lunch at the Grand Lux Cafe, where you’ll dine on internationally-inspired cuisine in an elegant and relaxed setting which is reminiscent of Italian Trattorias, French Bistros and the cafes of Vienna! As the sun goes down we visit Lincoln Park Zoo for their annual Zoo Lights* celebration. See Lincoln Park Zoo as it becomes a twinkling winter wonderland with their Enchanted Forest and Light Maze. Later we’ll experience the sparkling Chicago Christmas Lights as our deluxe motorcoach drives along the Magnificent Mile, through the Chicago Loop and Millennium Park to see Chicago’s official Christmas Tree and the glistening ice skating rink. A great way to celebrate the Holidays! *Subject to schedule released in October. A substitution would be made if necessary.
  • Fiddler on the Roof at the Lyric Opera House

    This classic landmark show born of the Golden Age of American musicals and winner of 9 Tony awards returns to Chicago! Fiddler on the Roof is a boisterous, heartfelt tale of love and acceptance set in a Russia on the edge of revolution. Although the chaos seems to seldom touch the isolated family of Tevye the Milkman, he sees the effect on his three elder daughters and the lives that they choose to lead. Tzeitel, the oldest, has little prospects for a poor woman, when the widowed and ancient butcher Lazar Wolf shows interest in her whilst she pines for the poor tailor Motel. It begins a story of rebellion, violence, love and acceptance that finds Tevye and the family learning to leave behind their old lives and start a new one full of hope and laughter! Among the show's countless iconic songs are "If I Were A Rich Man", "Matchmaker, Matchmaker", and "Sunrise, Sunset." A fabulous lunch is included at the Ukrainian owned restaurant, Russian Tea Time prior to the matinee.
  • Girlfriend’s Getaway- Girl’s, Giggles & Gifts!

    Gather your girlfriends and get ready for miles of smiles on this fantastic getaway. Have some fun playing popcorn olympics, shopping for chocolates served to Presidents and sniffing and sampling at a working perfumery. This is just a sampling of the fun in store on this tour. After picking up our local guide we visit the lovely community of Goshen, IN where our group will visit the Olympia Candy Kitchen to shop and enjoy samples of their famous chocolates. Their Chocolate-Covered Cherries were served at the Inaugural Balls of both Presidents Reagan and Bush. At Shirley’s Gourmet Popcorn, compete against your fellow group members in their “popcorn olympics” as you try to identify their flavored popcorn. At the Annie Oakley Perfumery in Ligonier, IN tour their studio as you learn the enchanting story of how a fragrance is born. See the perfumery process as the perfumes are being hand-made including the bench lab where fragrances are created and blended and sent on to bottling and distribution. It is an amazing sensory experience! Lunch today is at the Carriage House, an actual Amish homestead in Topeka, IN. Feast on a homemade lunch including Poppy Seed Chicken and Roast Beef with all the trimmings plus a variety of their awesome pies! End the afternoon in downtown Shipshewana, filled with shops and stores for crafts, apparel, food, quilts, jewelry and more. At Davis Mercantile see their 104-year-old carousel in a building also filled with unique items and gifts. Guys are invited along too!
  • Grand Belle Lunch Cruise and “The Frank 2 Frankie show”!

    The deep blue waters and reddish orange fall colors of Lake Geneva are the perfect backdrop for a CET Autumn adventure. At the historic Riviera Docks we’ll board the Grand Belle of Geneva designed after turn-of-the-century steamers, and featuring brass furnishings and pine decks. As we experience lunch onboard we cruise around this famous vacation lake where wealthy Chicagoans flocked beginning in the 1800s. You will see the beautiful mansions that were built to only be viewed from the lake. Lunch is the cruise line's Stuffed Chicken Breast* served with a roasted tomato beurre blanc sauce, the Chef’s choice of vegetable and wild rice pilaf. During lunch enjoy “Frank 2 Frankie: the Mob, the Money & the Music”, a musical journey from Jersey to Vegas with two of the most memorable hit-makers, Frank Sinatra and Frankie Valli. Created and performed by John Ludy Puleo and David Allen Mehner, this exciting musical show provides an afternoon of music, fun, food, and beautiful lake views – the perfect outing! After the cruise you’ll have some free time for shopping and strolling in Lake Geneva. *Plain chicken breast is available for gluten free requests and Cheese Stuffed Shells with sauce are available for vegetarian requests.
  • History & Heritage of Stoughton

    Located just south of Madison, WI is the charming Norwegian town of Stoughton. We will tour this interesting rural community to experience its rich history. Founded in 1847, Stoughton became a hotspot for Norwegian immigration through the early 1900s, giving the town the flavor experienced today. A narrated tour of the community by an expert historian will tell the story of Stoughton, as well as interesting tidbits such as how Stoughton is the birthplace of the coffee break. Tour the 1901 Stoughton Opera House, restored to its original grandeur. You’ll be amazed by the original gas chandelier, rich golden oak flooring and the stately clock tower. We’ll also tour the ultra modern Norwegian Heritage Center known as Livsreise, meaning “life’s journey”. At the center experience the story of Norwegian immigration to Stoughton through a short movie, interactive technology and special exhibits. Enjoy an authentic homemade Norwegian meatball lunch at the Sons of Norway Lodge prepared by local Stoughton residents, before our group sees a special demonstration about Norwegian crafts. Enjoy some free time to stroll or shop in the locally-owned boutiques in charming historic buildings. On our way home, we'll make a stop at a local winery or orchard.
  • I & M Canal Boat & The Public Landing Restaurant

    Learn the fascinating history of the historic I & M Canal, a 96-mile waterway dug by hand and opened in 1848 to connect the Illinois River with Lake Michigan. The first stop is in Lockport, IL to visit the iconic Gaylord Building. Constructed in 1838, the building played a pivotal role in the construction of the Illinois and Michigan Canal and is one of 29 Historic Sites of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Here we will explore the interesting canal exhibits and enjoy lunch at the famous Public Landing Restaurant, located in this historic building. After lunch we continue on to LaSalle, IL to ride the canal’s premier attraction, the LaSalle Canal Boat. As we arrive we first attend a Mule Tending 101 class where you will learn about the care and feeding of Larry & Mo, the mules who pull the LaSalle Canal boat, and about the roles animals played on the I & M Canal in the 19th century. During the ride on the replica 1800s boat, guides dressed in canal-era uniforms tell the story of how the Canal changed Illinois history.
  • Illumination & White Fence Farm

    Join us for this great holiday tour that starts with a late afternoon departure for dinner at the landmark White Fence Farm Restaurant, known for its "World's Greatest Chicken". Beautifully decorated for the holidays, the restaurant has served travelers on what was once old historic US Route 66, since 1926. The famous chicken is pressure cooked thoroughly before being flash-fried for only three minutes and is delivered immediately to your table, always hot, golden, crispy, and delicious along with their famous relishes, corn fritters and mashed potatoes and gravy. A special holiday treat is then in store for you at Morton Arboretum’s, “Illumination: Tree Lights at the Arboretum." In its tenth year, Illumination is a spectacular holiday lights display on 50 acres and uses amazing new technology. Early evening, walk along a paved path to see the beautiful Christmas lights glowing with dazzling LED lights in the trees. You will not only see them, but you interact with them as well in a one-of-a-kind spectacle of color, light, and sound. It’s a new experience at every turn! Enjoy a cozy fire and some hot chocolate and stop in at the Visitor’s Center to see other themed displays. Don’t miss this spectacular yuletide adventure, a holiday tradition! (Illumination requires walking along a relatively level outdoor pathway about ¾ to 1 mile in length)
  • Late Night Catechism & Ann Sather’s Restaurant

    From the creator of the popular long running shows, Bible Bingo and Are you Smarter than your 8th Grade Nun? get ready for another fun, hilarious afternoon with Vickie Quade at the Greenhouse Theatre in Lincoln Park. Late Nite Catechism is an uproariously funny play, written by Vicki Quade and Maripat Donovan, where the irrepressible Sister teaches the audience who fill the roles of "students." For those who attended Catholic school, it’s a refresher course; for those who did not attend or who are not Catholic, it's a funny learning experience with a contemporary twist! Throughout the course of the play the benevolent instructor rewards audience members for correct answers with glow-in-the-dark rosaries and other nifty prizes. Naughty students may well find themselves on stage sitting in a corner reflecting on their actions. Now in its 28th year in Chicago, Late Nite Catechism is a sharp satire, but never mean. It's simply an afternoon of fun and laughter! Lunch is served at the iconic Ann Sather’s Restaurant on Belmont Ave prior to the show
  • Lunch on the East Troy Dinner Train

    There is nothing like the romance and luxury of dining aboard first-class railroad cars the way people did a generation ago. We’ll travel to East Troy, WI to experience lunch aboard the award-winning Art Deco railroad cars. These meticulously restored coaches from the Chicago South Shore & South Bend Railroad represent the last remaining electric inter-urban dining train in North America. Built in 1927 the train operates on the original Milwaukee Electric Railway Company’s inter-urban track and takes a leisurely trip to Phantom Lake, before returning to the East Troy depot and museum. On our journey home, we stop at Royal Oak Farm near the state line where an antique tractor-drawn wagon tour of the orchard awaits. On the ride, learn the history of the orchard which boasts 29 varieties of apples and over 17,000 apple trees. You will be able to hop off and pick a few apples if you wish before visiting the Royal Oak Bakery and Country Market which features their famous apple cider doughnuts.
  • Milwaukee’s Spirit of Christmas Past

    Take a step back to the days of Christmas past with our neighbors to the north in Milwaukee, WI. A local guide will take us on a narrated tour featuring some of the area’s iconic Holiday sights. We’ll visit the historic and spiritual St. Josaphat Basilica completed in 1901 and the third basilica in the US. Enjoy a short awe inspiring Christmas concert played on their mighty pipe organ. At the Mitchell Park Conservatory, a trio of beehive-shaped conoidal glass domes, celebrate their annual Holiday Floral Show featuring hundreds of colorful poinsettias, snow white mums and brightly decorated pines. Christmas at the Pabst Mansion is a true experience of Christmases past! Built in 1892 by Beer Baron Frederick Pabst, you will experience the magic of the mansion, elegantly decorated wall-to-wall for the holidays. As you explore the Mansion each fantastical display is revealed room by room with nearly two dozen festively decorated spaces. Lunch is at Buck Bradley’s Eatery on historic Old World 3rd Street. Step back to the past in this 1890s establishment as you enjoy your holiday meal. Before we depart Milwaukee see the amazing holiday Lights of the city’s Cathedral Square, Pere Marquette Park and the vibrant blue and white LED chandeliers suspended over various intersections on Wisconsin Ave.
  • Rosewood Lunch & Cabaret’s “A Salute to Broadway”

    Delavan, Wisconsin is home to Rosewood, one of Southeastern Wisconsin's premiere entertainment and event destinations. Experience unique "farm to table" cuisine as a mouthwatering lunch for the group is prepared at Chef-attended dinner stations. Spend some time at Rosewood's boutique retail shops, where you find everything from homespun treasures to delicious bakery goods. After lunch, step into the new state-of-the-art theater at Rosewood for a cabaret-style show performed by the famous local duo of Mark and Gretch Hladish. The cabaret show, entitled A Salute to Broadway, will feature Broadway’s rich musical heritage as unique to America as baseball and apple pie. You’ll be delighted as songs from Cabaret,Music Man, Hello Dolly, Grease, My Fair Lady, The Phantom of the Opera, The Sound of Music, West Side Story, Oklahoma, Porgy & Bess, Funny Girl, and Cats are featured.
  • Sanfilippo Mansion Christmas Concert

    Celebrate the holidays on one of CET’s most popular tours--a special event at Place de la Musique, the spectacular Sanfilippo Estate in Barrington Hills. We begin our day with an elegant catered holiday meal in the Estate’s Carousel Building. We’ll dine next to the “Eden Palais'' carousel, the only complete European Salon carousel in the world. The spectacular 89-foot wide and 42-foot tall-carved façade has life-size carved horses, giant art glass butterflies, and an 89-key gavioli band organ. You will see and hear this masterpiece in its full glory, while learning about the estate's amazing collection. Following lunch, we'll visit the Sanfilippo residence for a 90-minute Wurlitzer Theatre Organ Concert highlighting Christmas and seasonal holiday music. The concert is performed by Dave Wickerham, one of the finest theater organists in the world. The afternoon is capped with a self-guided exploration of the mansion where various docents will explain and demonstrate some of the world’s greatest collections of restored antique music machines. This elegant afternoon is a sure bet to ring in the holidays!
  • The Devil Wears Prada at the Nederlander Theatre

    Andy, an ambitious young writer in New York City, lands a job at a prestigious magazine. Trying to survive under her stylish yet terrifying boss, she finds herself caught between the dreams she thought she wanted, and the cost of what that reality brings. A joyous, funny, and - of course - ultra glamorous story about navigating life's runway to discover where you're meant to be, The Devil Wears Prada is a new musical that gives the hit film a fabulously fresh makeover. Sometimes the best fashion statements are sung. Lunch is included downtown before the matinee. Seats are in the Dress Circle. **CHICAGO THEATRES CURRENTLY REQUIRE PROOF OF COVID 19 VACCINATION TO ENTER...
  • The Ukulele Moonshiners & Starved Rock Lodge

    A fun-filled day is in store as we see the Ukulele Moonshiners perform at the historic Starved Rock Lodge! The ukulele is an instrument rich in history and tradition, first popularized in Hawaii. The Ukulele Moonshiner show is an extravaganza of musical variety and audience participation that includes singing and dancing. Four men with ukuleles, tambourines and kazoos will amaze you as they perform favorite hits in the Lodge’s majestic Great Hall. Listed in the U.S. National Register of Historic Places, the Lodge was built in the 1930s by the Civilian Conservation Corps and features log walls and a two sided stone fireplace. Shortly after our arrival a luncheon buffet is served before you enjoy this fun and unique show!
  • White Christmas at the Fireside Theatre

    Join us for the holidays at the Fireside Dinner Theatre, one of the Midwest’s most popular entertainment destinations located in Ft. Atkinson, WI. Celebrating over 57 years of hospitality the Fireside Dinner Theatre experience features spectacular gift shops, a relaxing lounge and a superb dining experience in their lovely restaurant. Enjoy a live professional show in their intimate theatre-in-the-round where we will kick off the holidays with White Christmas. Based on the beloved film starring Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, and Rosemary Clooney, this heartwarming stage adaptation features 17 Irving Berlin songs. Army veterans Bob Wallace and Phil Davis have a successful song-and-dance act following their service in World War II. With romance in mind, the two follow a duo of beautiful singing sisters en route to their Christmas show at a Vermont lodge, which just happens to be owned by Bob and Phil’s former army commander. With a series of romantic mix-ups and a dazzling score including “Blue Skies,” “I Love A Piano,” and the perennial title song, White Christmas is an uplifting musical perfect for the Christmas season!
  • Wicked at the Nederlander Theatre

    Long before Dorothy drops in, two other girls meet in the Land of Oz. One, born with emerald-green skin, is smart, fiery and misunderstood. The other is beautiful, ambitious and very popular. How these two unlikely friends end up as the Wicked Witch of the West and Glinda the Good Witch makes for the most spellbinding new musical in years! Wicked was the smash hit of the new millennium that continues to break records today with Stephen Schwartz's breathtaking original songs, including "Defying Gravity", "Popular" and "As Long As You're Mine", creating the perfect soundtrack to this beloved new classic. Lunch is included downtown before the matinee. Seats are in the Dress Circle. **CHICAGO THEATRES CURRENTLY REQUIRE PROOF OF COVID 19 VACCINATION TO ENTER...