Group at Shedd.

Bus Tours and Trips

Downtown Chicago and Christkindlmarket

Get in the holiday spirit with a bus trip to downtown Chicago for the annual Christkindlmarket. Fernwood arranges the transportation and offers suggestions for your outing; you build the day to your interests. We will stop at the Museum of Science and Industry for those interested in viewing its Christmas Around the World and Holidays of Light exhibits. Perhaps you want to spend time at The Field Museum or Adler Planetarium. We would be happy to include the stop along the way. Enjoy shopping? Continue with us on the bus as we head to the Loop, where you can begin the ultimate shopping experience at the famous downtown department stores and the exceptional shops at the Art Institute of Chicago, the Chicago Architecture Foundation, and so many others on and near the Magnificent Mile. Christkindlmarket, a traditional German American open-air Holiday Market in Daley Plaza opens at 11:00 am, where you can find food, unique gifts, and one-of-a-kind specialty items from around the world. Seeking adventure or culture? Experience "alpine in the city" at Maggie Daley's Skating Ribbon in the heart of downtown Chicago. The Cultural Center would be a great stop to view its two stunning glass domes and the free exhibitions and installations as part of the Chicago Architecture Biennial. Lunch, you ask? Consider Macy's Walnut Room, always a special treat during the holiday season or any number of other Chicago dining experiences. Fernwood can help craft your day in the city. Hurry, this day of holiday fun will fill quickly!

$55 (Members $44) *
Click here to register.
Register by November 28.

* Registration does not include museum admissions.

Southern Gardens Tour

Join us as we travel for some southern history and hospitality, April 7−15, 2018, 
to the gardens of Savannah, Charleston, and Asheville.

Tour highlights include the historic squares of Savannah and Planters Inn Savannah, America’s oldest landscaped gardens at Middleton Place in Charleston, a stop at the beautiful Mepkin Abbey monastery and gardens, and a tour of one of Charleston’s oldest homes with gardens designed by Loutrel Briggs. In Asheville, we’ll experience the historic Grove Park Inn, downtown Asheville’s shops and galleries and abundant art deco architecture, and high tea and tour at the Biltmore House and Gardens. Add some outstanding regional cuisine, and you’ll have a southern experience of a lifetime!

If you are interested in the trip and would like to receive more details as they are made available, please join the interest list by emailing

Wildflowers, Waterfalls and Warblers

The 68th Annual Spring Wildflower Pilgrimage in Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Despite the wildfires of November 2016, the Smoky Mountains are still beautiful in spring and full of great abundance: over 300 species of spring wildflowers including 9 types of trilliums and over 30 species of orchids; caroling warblers and more than 175 other bird species passing through on migration; 130,000 acres of old-growth forest climbing up the mountainsides; and nearly 2000 miles of streams that often end in beautiful waterfalls. And the fires have created an amazing opportunity to see how a natural community can be rejuvenated after such devastation.  

Join naturalist Wendy Jones as she leads her 21st trip to the 68th Annual Spring Wildflower Pilgrimage hosted by the Great Smoky Mountains Association. More than 100 programs are offered throughout the park by park rangers, University of Tennessee professors, and local volunteers. Wendy also offers hikes and education on birds, local natural history, and a variety of related topics. Hiking difficulty ranges from easy to strenuous to accommodate all levels of walking abilities and numerous indoor programs are offered for non-hikers. From wildflowers to trees, salamanders to bears, history to waterfalls and lessons from the fires, there is something for everyone to enjoy.

$700 for members ($850 for non-members) based on double-occupancy
(single occupancy available at additional cost)

Price includes lodging, Pilgrimage fees, continental breakfast, and naturalist services. Travel and other meals are on your own.

Register by Sunday, January 26 to guarantee best field-trip selection. A $150 deposit reserves your space.

Call Wendy at ext. 220 to receive more information or to schedule an appointment for a slide-show overview of the trip. Or attend our Sunday Journeys presentation on the Smokies this coming winter.

Got Water?
In an effort to reduce the plastic at Fernwood and in the landfills, as you head to Fernwood on a day hike or bus tour, we encourage you to bring your own refillable water vessel. Fernwood thanks you, and the environment will thank you too!