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Horse-drawn sleighs will be a common sight in Jackson when the Jingle Bell Chocolate Tour's sleigh rides get under way Saturday. (Courtesy)

Jackson sleigh rides offer treasure trove of chocolates

JACKSON - It's not often you can ring a bell and have someone bring you a tasty chocolate before a horse-drawn sleigh whisks you away to the next adventure.

But that's all part of the Jingle Bell Chocolate Tour sleigh rides.

Nestlenook Estate and the Jackson Area Chamber of Commerce will once again host the rides, beginning Saturday and running through Dec. 22. The horse-drawn Austrian sleigh ride takes visitors through the Village of Jackson and offers guests not only a scenic tour of the town but a treasure trove of chocolates.

"It's my favorite time of year, in part because of this event," said Kathleen L. Driscoll, executive director of the Jackson Area Chamber of Commerce. "I have families who say they do it every year, and have been coming for years. I have one family that books two sleighs every year."

As guests arrive at the Nestlenook Estate, they will get a jingle bell, the first of many chocolate confections they'll receive, and a goodie bag to hold any uneaten chocolates.

"Honestly, when they get there, even if it's their first time," Driscoll said, "as soon as you hand them their jingle bell and their little festive bag for their chocolate and you hand them their first chocolate treasure, they get all excited."

Once the passengers are loaded into the sleigh, the tour begins, traveling through Jackson Village with stops at the Inn at Jackson, the Chamber of Commerce, The Wentworth, An Elegant Country Inn, J-Town Deli & Country Store, the Thompson House Eatery, the Snowflake Inn and Flossie's General Store before returning to Nestlenook Estate.

At each stop, guests will ring their jingle bells to will summon the storekeep who'll have chocolate treasures. He or she will tell the guests about the chocolate they are about to enjoy as well as about the business.

"It's just a spectacular event, where people just really and truly enjoy it," Driscoll said.

Tour dates are Nov. 24 and 25, Dec. 1, 2, 8, 15, 16 (1 p.m. and 2 p.m. only) and 22. A book of chocolate recipes will be on sale as will the 2011 Jingle Bell Chocolate Tour Recipe Book.

Tickets are $25 for adults and children. Children 2 and younger, sitting on mom or dad's lap and not receiving Chocolate Treasures, ride free.

The rides are available both through area lodging packages as well as to the general public. Driscoll said the event sells out, so it is important to make reservations early.

For more information and to make reservations, call the Jackson Area Chamber of Commerce at 383-9356, email kathleen@jacksonnh.com or visit www.jacksonnh.com.

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