Festival Of Trees

Things to do in Galena, Illinois

Festival of Trees continues its mission of sharing the spirit of the holidays

The 6th Annual Festival of Trees will kick of the holiday season on Saturday, November 28 in the DeSoto House Ballroom from 1-5 p.m. The Festival of Trees is a public display of spectacular one-of-a-kind designed holiday trees, wreaths, and other holiday items sponsored and created by local artists, organizations, and businesses.

Entrance tickets are $2 per person and available at the door. With your entrance ticket you will also receive two chances to win a raffle item donated by a local business. The raffle drawing will take place at 5 p.m. Santa will be stopping by to visit with children as well as greet people on Main Street. Enjoy holiday music, cookies, and hot chocolate as you browse through this winter wonderland. All items will be available for purchase through a silent auction format with a "Buy it Now" option as well. Silent auction winners can bring their items home at the end of this one-day event.

"The DeSoto House is transformed for the season into a magical place and the ballroom comes alive with all the gorgeous holiday trees, wreaths, and other festive auction items. It is a wonderful must-see family event for all ages." –Helen Mayberry, festival chairperson.

A sampling of the festival items will be on display prior to the event from November 14 until November 27 at Tammy's Piggly Wiggly in the coffee room, in Galena.

The Festival is organized by a small group of local volunteers who want to give back to their community. Every year a not-for-profit organization receives all funds raised. This year proceeds will go to the Galena ARC Art Department to help maintain affordable youth art class registration fees by offsetting costs for administration and art supplies. But most importantly it will help build and maintain a scholarship fund to ensure all Jo Daviess County youth have an opportunity to participate in youth art classes.

"It's support like this that allows the Galena ARC to be a vital community organization
offering quality programs for all ages. Please stop by and enjoy the festival and bring home a beautiful holiday item to decorate your home or give as a gift."–Dave Decker, Galena ARC Executive Director.

Family-friendly Tips

Traveling with kids is a great time to bond as a family and spend quality time together. Time is precious and you want to make sure your vacation is fun and action-packed. Here are some tips to help you plan the perfect getaway in Galena, IL & Jo Daviess County!

Where to Stay: There are options for every budget, here are some ideas to get you started. Use the Where to Stay tab at galena.org or our Activity Guide to find the right fit for you!

1. Country Inn & Suites (Galena): The indoor water park and complimentary breakfast make this a great option for families. Plus, Culver’s and Emmy Lou’s Diner are in the front yard! Stockton’s location is pet friendly and has an indoor pool!
2. LeFevre Inn & Resort: Feels like home in this comfortable resort. You’ll enjoy the outdoor pool, pond and panoramic views. Close to shopping in Galena, the Alpine Slide at Chestnut Mountain Resort & Horseshoe Mound Preserve.
3. Eagle Ridge Resort & Spa: High end amenities in the hotel or maybe a rental home or condo suits your needs. The indoor/outdoor pool, lawn chess and paddle boats make this a popular option.

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photo by UnPosed Photography

What to Do: Keeping busy, but not overdoing it is the name of the game! Use our Family Friendly Outdoor Recreation tab for more great ideas!

1. Rent a canoe at Fever River Outfitters to get up close & personal with the turtles in the Galena River.
2. Head out to the Shenandoah Riding Center for a trail ride through the beautiful Galena Territory.
3. Climb the rocks in the Gathering Circle, follow the clues along the trails and take in the views at Horseshoe Mound Preserve.

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What to Eat: Let’s face it, it’s vacation…sweets and ice cream make the day extra special!

1. Bugaboo’s (Warren, IL) Step back in time to an old fashioned Main St…indoors! Plan on lunch or dinner and then dig into an ice cream sundae. You may even see the barber shop in action!
2. Three Sisters Sweet Shoppe (Elizabeth, IL) Delicious, homemade cupcakes and treats, ice cream and charming decor. Sit on their outdoor patio and wave as the traffic goes by, enjoying small town life.
3. Great American Popcorn Co. (Galena, IL) Enjoy a sample when you walk in the door, then stock up on delicious popcorn mixes, candy & soda. Don’t forget an ice cream cone before you go…maybe Superman or Zanzibar Chocolate?

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What to See:

1. Walk through the Planetary Studies Foundation Earth & Space Museum where you’ll see items from NASA, meteorites and fossils!
2. Tour the living history at Apple River Fort  State Historic Site in Elizabeth and learn the story of the Blackhawk War.
3. Watch the experienced blacksmiths forge custom tools at The Old Blacksmith Shop in Galena, IL.

Top 10 Ways to Spend Valentine’s Day!

@addbutter on Instagram

photo by @addbutter on Instagram

Galena, IL and Jo Daviess County make the perfect setting for a Winter Romantic Getaway for Valentine’s Day. The spectacular views of our Driftless Region and the charming, historical towns dotting the county set the scene for romance. ENTER our Romance Sweepstakes and see if one of our Romance Packages is the right fit for you at galena.org. Ask us on Facebook if you have any questions or would like more ideas. The following is our Top 10 Ways to Spend Valentine’s Day in Galena, IL & Jo Daviess County!

1. Book the right room – See all of your options at galena.org on our Where to Stay page. Whether it’s a B&B, a cabin in the woods or a themed suite – Galena & Jo Daviess County has it all! Eagle Ridge Resort & Spa, Chestnut Mountain Resort, the Goldmoor Inn, The DeSoto House Hotel and Irish Cottage Boutique Hotel have restaurants on the property!

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The Goldmoor Inn

2. Book a Spa Treatment – Use our Salons & Spas page at galena.org and find more info on our blog. You could spend the afternoon in a spa getting the full treatment or have a private massage in your B&B, rental home or hotel.

3. Reserve a table at one of our fantastic restaurants – Perry St. Brasserie was just named by Open Table as one of the Top 100 restaurants in the United States! Log Cabin Steakhouse, Fritz & Frites and Vinny Vanucchi’s in Galena are excellent for a romantic dinner. Holy Mackeral in Elizabeth and Stella’s (BYOB) in Stockton are worth the trip! Use our Where to Dine page for details!

4. After Dinner Drinks &/or Dessert – Fried Green Tomatoes, Embe, Green St. Tavern and Jamie’s Wine Studio in Galena set the scene for a quiet conversation and meeting .

5. Dancing and Live Entertainment – On Valentine’s Day weekend, Galena has events celebrating Mardi Gras all day and into the night, including a parade! Check out the events at the Miss Kitty’s Grape Escape and The Corner Stone for live music and our Arts & Entertainments page has lots of options for fun, like the PT Murphy Magic Show and the Irish Dancing at Frank O’Dowd’s!

6. Shopping hand in hand – Pick up a game & unique jewelry at Poopsie’s or sample the treats as you make your way down Galena’s historic Main St. Take a romantic drive through the county to an antique shop or pottery studio, meeting the artists and local shopkeepers. Enjoy the Chocolate Binge at the Banwarth House in Elizabeth and Mardi Gras all day & into the night in Galena!

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Poopsie’s of Galena

7. Get your blood pumping outdoors – See our Events Calendar for many options for Snowshoe Hikes, Sleigh Rides, and Cross Country Skiing. You can also hit the slopes at Chestnut Mountain Resort overlooking the Mississippi River!

8. Enjoy Nature with Bald Eagle Tours – Our proximity to the Mississippi River gives our visitors an opportunity a chance to be up close to nature and it’s beauty. Visit the Jo Daviess Conservation Foundation site and Eagle Nature Foundation for guided tours or set up a private tour with Galena Birding!

9. Wine Tasting and Distillery TourGalena Cellars and Massbach Winery have tasting rooms on Main St. in Galena or you can head out to the wineries for the complete experience, like Rocky Waters Vineyard in Hanover! Be sure to check our Events Calendar for Paint & Pour events, mixing art with a lovely glass of wine! Blaum Bros. Distilling Co. offers distillery tours and tastings, then stay to order a handcrafted cocktail in their cosmopolitan tasting room!

10. CHOCOLATE! – Indulge your sweet tooth at one of our confectioneries including, Chocolat, Chocolaterie Stam Galena, the Great American Popcorn Co., Galena Kandy Kitchen and Sweet Alice’s (Stockton). Chocolate covered bacon, delicious handmade turtles and exquisite delights will tantalize the taste buds of the one you love!

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Chocolat in Galena

Share pics of you and your honey enjoying Galena Country with us on Instagram!

(Valentine’s Day pic from @addbutter’s Instagram)