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Planning Anniversary Trip and Wedding

Cleveland, Ohio
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Planning Anniversary Trip and Wedding

For some strange reason, we got married in January! We originally planned for a May wedding, but due to logistics and other such matters, we ultimately eloped to the courthouse.

This January will be our 12th anniversary and instead of hiding from the winter, have decided to embrace the cold. LOL

So, we're checking into a trip to a couple of places and Eureka Springs is one of them, although I hear it's not very active in January.

We have four children and would really like to renew our vows this year, would like to use an upscale chapel as well as a reception for just us. And excellent photography is a must!

We'd also like a private cabin in the mountains, preferably with a hot tub on the deck/porch. But because of the children, we're also open to cabins that are linked to a community with indoor pools.

Activity wise, what's available in January?

BTW our children are 2-8.

Any input?

Broken Arrow...
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1. Re: Planning Anniversary Trip and Wedding

We were married in Feb...so I feel ya on the 'winter wedding/anniversary' scenario...

Congrats on your upcoming 12th Wedding Anniversary, we just celebrated our 13th in ES. Have you been to Eureka Springs before?

Now lets see if we can help you plan...The winter months leading up to open season can be a quieter time in Eureka but that is one of the things we love...no crowds, just enough shops and eateries are open and lots of wildlife.

ES offers numerous wedding/vow renewal options/locations-just about every Inn Keeper is an ordained minister and can perform a ceremony. A couple places that come to Mind are

Circle of Light-they offer a Special 'Family Service' that really involves children into the ceremony

http://www.circleoflightweddings.com/

Of Course there is Thorncrown Chapel

http://www.thorncrown.com/

The Gavioli Chapel is located on the historic loop- I would consider this Chapel 'upscale'

http://www.gaviolichapel.com/

Redbud Valley offers a Glass Chapel AND they have Cabins

www.redbudvalley.com/wedding_packages.html

Ridge Top Resort and Chapel of the Angels also has a chapel and cabins

ridgetopresort.com/eureka-springs-accommodat…

Lastly Jan @ All About Love Weddings may be someone you want to contact as she can do a lot of the legwork for you locally

http://allaboutloveweddings.com/

Now for Lodging...here are a couple that are in the mountains/countryside, I couldn't find any with outdoor hot tub that met all your requirements

Can-U-Canoe Riverview Cabins has Family cabins

http://www.estc.net/canucanoe/frame.html

Enchanted Forest Resort

http://www.eureka-usa.com/enchant/

Lakeshore Cabins

http://www.eureka-net.com/lakeshore/

Things to do: aside from walking and shopping the Historic downtown area-one of our favorite things to do is sit in Basin park and just enjoy the Magic of the town

* Cosmic Cavern

* Inspiration Point Lookout

* Onyx Cave

* Pine Mountain Observation Tower

* Pivot Rock and Natural Bridge

* Razorback Observation Tower

* War Eagle Cavern on Beaver Lake and Mill(2 separate locations)

*Turpentine Creek

*Drive out to the Passion Play Grounds to view Christ of the Ozarks

*Visit the Crescent Hotel

*Pea Ridge National Military Park is about 30 mins from ES

*Stop and see the World's Largest Tuned Wind Chimes outside Celestial Windz shop/gallery.

*Drive to the little town of Beaver and see a very unique bridge over the White River

Hopefully I have given you a starting point...if you need more help or have further questions Please let us know and again...CONGRATS!

Edited: 12:18 pm, June 05, 2010
little rock arkansas
Destination Expert
for Little Rock, Arkansas
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290 reviews
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2. Re: Planning Anniversary Trip and Wedding

Pasta Salad is a great proponent of ES and it is a worthy place to promote, We are huge fans of ES and really love the place. I hate to be negative, but being honest, winter in ES is not my favorite time there. Come prepared for winter. Arkansas may seem 'south' or 'west' but the mountains of North Arkansas can be cold or worse that time of year. You might find some of the shops and activities which make ES great, to be closed for a part of the off season, but not all of them. I know the Chamber has worked hard to keep things as active as they can in off months.

Pasta is right about your lodging requirements. I have looked for private cabins and homes in the area with hot tubs and indoor pools before for our kids, but have had some trouble. There are some which get close, but some have unfortunate child restrictions. Have you looked at a place like Big Cedar up the road near Branson? I much prefer ES to Branson, but Big Cedar has some private cabins, pricy as they are, and offers an indoor pool and activities. Branson has as bad (or worse) winters as ES. Our kids have loved the Great Wolf Lodge experience in Kansas City and elsewhere with indoor water parks. Big Cedar doesn't go that far but does offer the pool and maybe a slide, and great private (newer) rustic cabins. One possibility might be to stay there, if it meets your needs, and spend a day in ES renewing vows and seeing the sights.

Pasta Salad has offered some great marriage alternatives. Thorncrown is the ultimate in chapels, winning awards as one of the greatest buildings of the world in the 20th Century

little rock arkansas
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for Little Rock, Arkansas
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3,326 posts
290 reviews
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3. Re: Planning Anniversary Trip and Wedding

Pasta Salad is a great proponent of ES and it is a worthy place to promote, We are huge fans of ES and really love the place. I hate to be negative, but being honest, winter in ES is not my favorite time there. Come prepared for winter. Arkansas may seem 'south' or 'west' but the mountains of North Arkansas can be cold or worse that time of year. You might find some of the shops and activities which make ES great, to be closed for a part of the off season, but not all of them. I know the Chamber has worked hard to keep things as active as they can in off months.

Pasta is right about your lodging requirements. I have looked for private cabins and homes in the area with hot tubs and indoor pools before for our kids, but have had some trouble. There are some which get close, but some have unfortunate child restrictions. Have you looked at a place like Big Cedar up the road near Branson? I much prefer ES to Branson, but Big Cedar has some private cabins, pricy as they are, and offers an indoor pool and activities. Branson has as bad (or worse) winters as ES. Our kids have loved the Great Wolf Lodge experience in Kansas City and elsewhere with indoor water parks. Big Cedar doesn't go that far but does offer the pool and maybe a slide, and great private (newer) rustic cabins. One possibility might be to stay there, if it meets your needs, and spend a day in ES renewing vows and seeing the sights.

Pasta Salad has offered some great marriage alternatives. Thorncrown is the ultimate in chapels, winning awards as one of the greatest buildings of the world in the 20th Century

Cleveland, Ohio
7 posts
1 review
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4. Re: Planning Anniversary Trip and Wedding

Thank you both so much for the input! Thorncrown looks lovely for sure!

Jimjade, Branson is the other place we're considering. I've heard some really positive and negative things about E.S.

What are ways you prefer E.S. over Branson?

Broken Arrow...
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292 posts
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5. Re: Planning Anniversary Trip and Wedding

I had to do some research on Photographers as I only have experience with one

Jeff Thach -he also does the Ozark mountain hoe down photos

http://www.thachphotography.com/

There is also Susan Storch

http://susanstorchweddings.com/

As for ES vs Branson...it is like comparing apples to oranges, we enjoy both places for very different reasons...

Eureka is more laid back,quiet, not a stop light in the whole town, now Branson in the winter months also runs at a slower pace...if your objective is for peace,quiet,enjoying the outdoors even if it may be cold,snuggling up by the fire, enjoying board games with the family and rest then Eureka gets my vote but if you are looking for ways to keep everyone entertained then Branson will fit the bill for the whole family, they are definitely a bigger town and offer lots for the family traveler...Branson is also close enough to ES that a day trip might be something to consider...

My sister LOVES Big Cedar and Jim is correct they definitely cater to families...Ultimately it comes down to what you are looking for in this anniversary trip....

decisions decisions...planning is half the fun!

little rock arkansas
Destination Expert
for Little Rock, Arkansas
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3,326 posts
290 reviews
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6. Re: Planning Anniversary Trip and Wedding

Pasta salad describes the difference between Branson and Eureka quite well. I personally like the architecture of Eureka. It is a beautifully preserved historic community of interesting Victorian homes. The community itself is unique. ES has historically drawn artistic and creative people to its community and continues to do so. While neither ES or Branson downplay their quests for tourism, I find it is possible to enjoy Eureka Springs without feeling you are in a tourist mecca, particularly if you stay away from the highway area around the statue.

Cleveland, Ohio
7 posts
1 review
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7. Re: Planning Anniversary Trip and Wedding

Thanks so much. :)

I'm about to post another question. I think I have some lodging narrowed down. :)

8. Re: Planning Anniversary Trip and Wedding

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