The week of Thanksgiving is always busy! Our routine used to be preparing for a family dinner and possibly preparing to travel. As business owners in the Amana Colonies, the week of Thanksgiving starts off with decorating a tree or trees in the Festhalle Barn, which turns into the beautiful and magical Tannenbaum Forest. Trees are to be decorated prior to Thanksgiving and on the day after Thanksgiving the Tannenbaum Forest opens. It’s open on the weekends until Christmas. Volunteers welcome guests who come to the forest. A donation is requested, a portion of which goes to the Children’s Hospital in Iowa City. It is so fun to watch the ‘plain’ trees turn into beautifully decorated Christmas trees and no two are alike. When we take our turn welcoming guests at the Tannenbaum Forest, it is so fun to share the story of this amazing place and to see how many families make a trip to the Tannenbaum Forest a family tradition. Equally fun is to see how many new visitors come to the forest and walk away saying they’ll be back the next year.
Just a note, this year will be slightly different due to COVID, there will not be a Santa in the barn however there is a sleigh that can be used for a photo op, masks will be required in the barn and there will be a limit as to how many people can be in the barn at once. It will still be worth the trip and wait if that happens when you are there! Here are a few pictures I took the night I decorated our tree.