December is a time to find joy in the cold and snow with your family and friends. Red cheeks, big smiles, hot cocoa, and carols – Galena offers everything you’ll need for an unforgettable holiday month.
Chestnut Mountain Resort will officially be opened for the winter season on Friday, December 6! Opening day through Sunday, December 15th, the resort is offering heavily discounted lift tickets for skiers and snowboarders of all ages. Lift tickets originally range from $40 to $60 a day depending on your age and the day of the week you go; however, all lift tickets are only $20 December 6th through December 15th. With at least a 50% discount on lift tickets, you have the perfect opportunity to head up to Chestnut Mountain Resort and experience the slopes for yourself.
On Saturday, December 7, head to the Apple River Fort in Elizabeth, IL for a historic portrayal of Christmas in Illinois. From 10 a.m. until 3 p.m., historic interpreters will celebrate Christmas as if it were the 1830s. There will be hands-on toys and games from the 1830s for children of all ages, as well as numerous activities throughout the Fort held within the historical log cabins. The Fort recommends dressing for the weather because the log cabins are not the same types of insulated structures that modern buildings are.
For $10 a person, you can experience some of Galena’s finest Bed and Breakfasts decked out for the holidays. On December 7 from 1 – 4 p.m. each B&B will serve tasty treats, with some even providing the recipe for your future use. The participating B&B’s are Abe’s Spring Street Guest House, Belle Aire Mansion Guest House, Cloran Mansion, Farmers Guest House, Hawk Valley Retreat, Hellman Guest House, Jail Hill Inn, and Lamberson Guest House. Tickets, maps, and descriptions of the B&Bs can be picked up at any of the participating venues on the day of the event. Advanced tickets are not necessary.
Head to Depot Park in downtown Galena on Saturday, December 7 from 6 – 7 p.m. for an evening of fireworks to kick of the holiday season. Rain, shine, or snow, the event will go on, so be prepared for the weather. The fireworks can be seen from anywhere in the Downtown Galena vicinity, so you can go wherever you feel most comfortable. There will be a pre-party at the Elks Lodge with live music and kids’ activities. When the fireworks are going off, Christmas music will be playing from the levee and more activities for the kiddos will be happening.
Make plans to visit Historic Turner Hall on December 13 to experience a unique holiday concert where classic rock intermingles with traditional Christmas music. Classical Blast is bringing its unique mashup of both classical and traditional holiday music with classic rock by Pink Floyd, Moody Blues, Simon & Garfunkel, and more as well as showing off their outstanding musicianship. The concert goes from 7:30– 9:30 p.m. with the doors opening at 6:30 p.m. The concert is co-sponsored by Galena Brewing Company and tickets are $25 for adults and $10 for kids. Tickets can be purchased online at http://www.classicalblast.com/.
Night of the Luminaria is something that you do not want to miss, so write it in your planner for Saturday, December 14 from 4 – 9 p.m. Called one of the most beautiful and romantic visions of the year, Night of the Luminaria and Living Windows will spread from Main Street to the hills overlooking Grant Park. To kick off the night, more than 30 windows will come alive with holiday-inspired animations from 4 – 7 p.m. Starting at 5 p.m., there will be more than 5,000 candlelit luminarias placed on streets, steps, and sidewalks that you can drive by, walkthrough, or be trolleyed past. The trolley will also begin at 5 p.m. and offers 45-minute rides to see the magical sights. Local businesses will have extended hours for visitors to shop at and eat throughout the night. Amelia’s Tours will also be offering a heated shuttle bus tour of the luminaria before taking participants on a candlelit tour of the historic Ryan Mansion. These tours also begin at 5 p.m. and are offered at the top of every hour.
December is the time to make memories with your family and friends, and what better way to do that than going to a concert? On December 15th, the Galena Festival of Performing Arts will bring the talented Irish folk band, “Ring of Kerry” to Historic Turner Hall for a family-friendly holiday concert. Starting at 2 p.m., settle in for a Sunday afternoon of Celtic music, holiday spirit, and charm. The concert is free to attend; however, a free-will donation is gratefully accepted since that generosity is what allows the Galena Festival of Performing Arts to continue to provide entertainment for Galena. So, come ready to stomp your feet to the beat, enjoy the merriment of the holiday season, and support a great local non-profit by enjoying the amazing performance “Ring of Kerry” is sure to provide!
The 3rd Annual Christmas Carols & Cookies will be held on Friday, December 20 from 6 – 9 p.m. The event is hosted by Galena Cellars and takes place at their downtown location. The perfect way to celebrate the holiday season is with wine, cookies, and Christmas carols, which is exactly what this event entails. So, head to Downtown Galena for a free night of your favorite carols, wine, and a fun time.
Stroll around Galena’s Main Street and stop at the local bakeries, chocolatiers, coffee roasters, and wineries on Saturday, December 21. From Noon – 4 p.m., Galena is hosting the Snowflakes and Sweets Stroll where participants can explore Galena’s unique collection of shops. Tickets to the 4-hour stroll are $25 preordered and $30 the day of the event. The ticket comes with a commemorative treat bucket for you to keep your sweets in while you walk around as well as a punch card that gets you a mix of 10 sweet treats. The treats will be chosen by you as you visit all the locations. Ticket holders will pick up their punch card and bucket from the Old Market House between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. If you aren’t into sweets enough to go on the stroll, don’t worry. The entire weekend will surround the Snowflakes and Sweets theme with weekend specials and events sprinkled throughout Downtown from Friday to Sunday. Come out, stroll around, and enjoy what Downtown Galena has to offer!