For many, holidays are about spending time with friends and family while finding that one perfect gift you know they will love. With the commercialization of the holiday invading almost every store, it’s hard to find a unique gift, but not so in Henry County. As you travel the back roads, the snow-covered fields create their own unique beauty and excitement, guiding you to numerous specialty craft stores and boutiques along the way that are filled with items to treasure.
Moms, daughters, sisters, and friends will especially love our “Hens in Heels Holiday Trail” throughout the month of November. This self-guided holiday shopping experience is wrapped with rural charm and friendly smiles. Featuring holiday open houses at various shops each weekend throughout this busy shopping month, you’ll find unique, gift-giving treasures at numerous home-grown specialty craft shows and stores. Plus, you’ll appreciate the variety of discounts available, including ugly Christmas sweater discounts, prize giveaways, and food! So, bundle up and capture the Christmas spirit with the laid-back, holiday charm of Henry County.
Get Your Shopping Done Early!
Find Heartfelt Gifts in Kewanee
Hens & Heels Holiday Trail Itinerary – November 12-14, 2015
Take the train to Heartfelt. Located just blocks from the Amtrak station, Heartfelt is just a short train ride away. You’ll love browsing this unique selection of gourmet foods and home décor. They also have custom framing and floral design available. Plus, shopping couldn’t be easier during their Holiday Open House November 12-14, including free holiday wrapping.
Grab a bite to eat at The Wine Cellar! Tucked away on the lower level of Good’s Furniture, The Wine Cellar is the perfect place to rest your feet and enjoy a glass of fine wine. They also offer a wide variety of mouthwatering soups, salads, sandwiches, and desserts – prepared fresh daily with Old World European flair by Chef Kathy and her team. If you’re looking for a hint about what to order, try her famous Rueben Loaf and a slice of Chocolate Cream Pie for dessert!
Browse Good’s 250,000-square-foot showroom in the afternoon. One of the oldest and largest family-owned furniture stores in the Midwest and the centerpiece of Kewanee’s downtown, Good’s Furniture is the complete shopping experience. In addition to housing over 50 furniture brands, Good’s includes the Market Square Gift Emporium with unique gifts, including upscale clothing and accessories, fine luggage, gourmet food and wine, and much more!
Spend the night at Good’s European Bed & Breakfast, then head out to explore Kewanee’s History in the Paint Public Art Tour. Staying overnight in Kewanee is well worth your time – especially if you can take in its History in the Paint Public Art Tour. Featuring fifteen hand-painted murals by the Walldogs, this tour offers a glimpse of Kewanee heritage!
A Three-in-One Weekend of Gifts Galore!
Hens & Heels Holiday Trail Itinerary – November 20-22, 2015
Start your day at Mimi’s Treasures Open House in Annawan. This home-spun retail store is complete with wooden floors and a tin ceiling. Gift ideas you may find during their holiday open house include primitive home decor, gifts, garden accessories, and statues.
Drive over to Atkinson’s Old Mill Gardens. Located only 10 minutes from Annawan just off Route 6, the staff at Old Mill Gardens will help you find the perfect something for the special people in your life during their Christmas Open House weekend, as they feature unique home décor and gifts. While there, grab something to eat at Lisa’s Place with their home-baked breads and rolls, home-cooked soups, and entrees plus their famous specialty, “The Nest” – ask about it! Breakfast is served all day on Saturdays.
Shop by candlelight in Geneseo. The lights in Geneseo will be in full holiday glow as you shop the downtown historic district. Stores participating in the Holiday Open House include: The Village Florist, Designs on the Boulevard, Smith Studio and Gallery, Crab Apple Cove, Curious Cargo, Four Seasons, Pegasus Fine Arts, Quilts-N-Blooms, Wirthy Treasures, Urban Farmhouse and more. Geneseo is known for being a city of the arts, so come prepared to find unique gifts that your friends and family will love. Before you call it a night, check out the local brewery scene and visit Geneseo Brewing Company or Lion Stone Brewing for an evening nightcap!
Enjoy Carefree Black Friday Shopping!
Hens & Heels Holiday Trail Itinerary – November 27-30, 2015
Start your Day at Hathaway’s Gift Barn for an Ole’ Fashioned Holiday Open House in Galva. Hathaway’s features farm decor to an eclectic, unconventional mix of merchandise with an old-fashioned twist. Their Christmas decor is a specialty and is actually offered all-year round!
Move five minutes down the road for Julmarknad Christmas Market! Located in Bishop Hill, the annual Julmarknad Christmas Market lets you experience the sights, sounds, and aromas of Christmas past. You’ll be entranced as Swedish folk characters roam the village while Swedish music and aromas of food specialties fill the air. There is also an abundance of handmade wares, folk art, and antiques that will be on hand to enjoy. Don’t forget to select a delicious holiday treat as you make your way through our Cookie Walk, a large array of holiday cookies homemade by bakers on Friday and Saturday. It’s a one-of-a-kind holiday experience, sure to delight the whole family
Take a break at any of Bishop Hill’s famous eateries! While in town, make sure you stop at Bishop Hill Bakery & Eatery for freshly baked pastries and delicious, made-from-scratch meals, P.L. Johnson’s for Swedish-themed sandwiches in a unique old hardware store atmosphere, and The Filling Station for homemade daily specials that make you feel like you’re at a friend’s for dinner.
Additional Holiday Treats Winter 2015
Small town holiday festivals are often the most delightful to attend, featuring Christmas decorations, lights, community cheer, and celebration!
Home for the Holidays Craft Fair – November 14
Head over to Geneseo for their Home for the Holidays Craft Fair. This event houses 35 booths brimming with holiday treats and treasures and is open from 10am-4pm. Admission is charged.
Julmarknad Christmas Market #2 – December 5-6
Escape the frenzy of the Christmas season and make your way to the second Julmarknad Christmas Market weekend. Swedish folk characters, special music, Swedish food specialties, and an abundance of handmade wares, folk art, and antiques will again be on hand to enjoy. You’ll also be able to enjoy handmade chocolate delicacies during our Chocolate Walk on Friday and Saturday. That’s one delicious outing you don’t want to miss!
Atkinson Holiday Cheer – December 4
Travel Historic Route 6 east or west to Atkinson and travel down State Street Boulevard to the holiday fun! All ages are encouraged to wear their Ugly Christmas Sweaters; the more the merrier!
Christmas In Orion – December 4
Caroling and welcoming the Christmas season downtown Orion.
Light Up Cambridge Christmas on the Square – December 5 & 6
Visit historic Cambridge, Henry County seat and kickoff the holiday season!
Andover Christmas Walk – December 5
Enjoy this festive holiday experience for all in Andover. The night begins with a tree lighting ceremony and sing-along at Andover Lake Park. Then, warm up with kids’ crafts and visit with Santa Claus while sampling holiday treats. Take a drive and enjoy the Andover Lake Park aglow with lighted displays and luminaries, then visit the candle-lit Jenny Lind Chapel with music for all.
View a magical wonderland of vivid colors and whimsical lights celebrating the spirit of the Christmas season in Kewanee. Sunday, December 7, 2014, Santa signals the start of the park lighting and fireworks display to open the holiday viewing season which continues through New Year’s Day.
Christmas Lights Times TWO! – December 11-12
Make your way to Bishop Hill for Lucia Nights, December 11-12, 2015. This Festival of Lights is dedicated to St. Lucy. Lucias (young girls with candles) serve coffee and sweets in village museums and shops. Special music will be featured at various village locations, and Bishop Hill will be aglow with luminary-lit sidewalks and candle-lit windows. A barn dance is held in the evening at the Bishop Hill Colony School. Also this weekend is Geneseo’s Christmas Walk where the entire downtown sparkles with Christmas magic. Family activities are available on December 12 in the afternoon and a lighted parade begins at dusk.
Dance with Nature
After the holidays are over and snow continues to gather on the ground, a change of scenery may be in order for many to escape the winter blues. Embrace the white wintry scenery and crisp winter days of Henry County to watch wildlife roam, eagles swoop, or captivating winter sunsets. We encourage you to also make your way to the Hennepin Canal Parkway State Park or Johnson Sauk Trail for snowmobiling and ice fishing. Colona also has snowmobile routes you can enjoy while in town, too!