Grab your favorite shopping partner and visit our beautiful portion of northwest Illinois !
Small town hospitality combined with quaint shops, fun restaurants and gorgeous scenery !
Hole up in a cabin with tea, wine, board games, and binoculars…Get out and explore downtowns…A bit of both…
Couples, girlfriends, singles…it doesn’t matter…
Hickory Hideaway Cabins is offering “extra special” touches for the holiday, including massages, chocolate strawberries, champagne, roses and rose petals. Their physical address is in Shannon but they’re located right outside of Lake Carroll. Call for more information and pricing to add those “extra special” touches to your reservation. Click here for their website.
The Nest at Palisades in Savanna is offering 20% off for the holiday. Click here for more information.
Roberts’ Roost Country Guest House in Savanna is offering a Valentine’s Package, including a two night stay, two-layer heart-shaped double chocolate cake, strawberries, double chocolate muffins, and a bottle of red wine from an area winery. In addition, all the fixings for a complete country breakfast and microwave popcorn for you to cook yourself. Click here for more information.
Seven Eagles Resort in Savanna is offering a log cabin special from February 10th to the 15th. Stay one night at the regular price of $100 and get your second night 50% off. Click here for more information.
Trailside Inn in Lake Carroll is offering a Winter Getaway Special from January through March. $69.00 for a Standard Room. Click here for more information.
Dine, Shop & Explore…
Bald Guyz Coffee & Bistro in downtown Mount Carroll for homemade food, as well as handmade and unique gifts. Click here for pictures, daily specials, and more.
Blarney Stone Popcorn & Gifts in Shannon for gourmet popcorn, soap, and more. Click here for more information.
End of the Road Antiques in Lanark is offering 20% for the month of February.
Heirloom Market & Café in Thomson. Have lunch or a seasonal drink, then shop for handmade and unique gifts. Click here for more.
Lake Carroll Clubhouse Restaurant & Bar is offering a special dinner from 5:00 – 8:00 on February 11th. See the menu options and more here.
Savanna Marketplace in Savanna. Drink a cup of joe while you shop for handmade, unique, and local pride gifts. Click here for more.
Tina’s Ice Cream Shop & Riverview Antique Mall in Mount Carroll. Old fashion ice cream and funky décor, plus antiques. Click here to view pictures and more.
Mississippi Palisades State Park in Savanna. Cross-country skiing, sledding, and ice fishing. Click here for more information.
Mount Carroll Bowling Center for bowling, laser tag, homemade pizza, and drinks. Click here to see pictures and more.
Activity #1: Cross-County Skiing, Sledding, and Ice Fishing
Fifteen miles Northwest of Mount Carroll, the county seat, lies Mississippi Palisades State Park. Mississippi Palisades offers cross-country skiing, sledding, and ice fishing.
The latter is allowed at the boat launch when the ice is thick enough. Catfish and carp are the most commonly caught fish, but bluegill, crappie and bass are out there, too. Those long on experience might even land walleye and/or northern pike.
Call or visit the park office ahead of time, at 815-273-2731 or 16327A Illinois Route 84, Savanna, Illinois, 61074.
Activity #2: Skiing and Snowboarding at Chestnut Mountain Resort in Galena
Chestnut Mountain Resort, thirty-four miles Northwest of Mount Carroll, welcomes all ski and snowboard levels, with runs ranging from novice to black diamond.
The resort has a clothing store and rental, equipment rental, repair and tuning, as well as ski and snowboard classes. When you’re ready to eat, relax, or watch a game, there’s a grill, sports bar, and a café. There’s even a daycare, Powder Playcare, where you can drop your toddler(s) off for ten dollars per hour, per child.
Hours and rates can be found at here. Night skiing/snowboarding is happening through January 7th.
Activity #3: Bald Eagle Viewing & Clock Tower Touring on Rock Island Arsenal
Sixty-six miles Southwest of Mount Carroll is the Rock Island Arsenal, which was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1969. It is an active US Army facility located on a 946-acre island on the Mississippi River. On February 4th and 11th, the Mississippi River Visitors Center, located on the island at Lock & Dam 15, will host eagle watching and historical clock tower tours.
The clock tower tours are free but reservations are required as group size is limited. Call 309-794-5338 to reserve your spot!
If you need a place to stay, the Nest at Palisades is offering an Eagle Watch Special. Their cabins are on the east side of the Mississippi Palisades State Park. Click here for more information.
Join us here in Carroll County for the first two weekends in November. Get a head start on your Christmas shopping needs! For complete details and a printable brochure of the shops, restaurants, and events CLICK HERE!
Savanna’s Festival of Trees
December 6, 2014 – December 14, 2014
12:00 pm – 7:00 pm
It’s a Wonderful Life as sponsors from Savanna and surroundings communities show their Holiday spirit. Fifty lighted Christmas trees are delightfully decorated by local businesses, organizations and individuals in a competition for the Best Tree. Beneath each tree are gift items worth $25 to $400 as Raffle prizes to benefit the Savanna Museum & Cultural project. Visitors submit their votes for the Best Tree. Special Festival Events will entertain children and families. Stay and watch nostalgic Christmas movie classics that run throughout the Festival. Donations are appreciated and help the Savanna Historical Society NFP open the Savanna Museum & Cultural Center on a permanent basis.
Hours are Sat & Sun noon to 6pm and weekdays 4-7 pm. The Savanna Historical Museum is located at 406 Main Street in downtown Savanna.
Mount Carroll Christmas Walk & Tour of Homes
December 6, 2014
9:00 am – 4:00 pm
Dickens characters will stroll about downtown Mt Carroll and old-fashioned horse drawn wagons will take you back in time along our brick streets. Take time to check the unique shops & restaurants. Plan to spend the evening and experience a variety of live musical entertainment at our eateries & pubs.
Savanna’s Annual Christmas Walk
November 28, 2014
We’re making a list and checking it twice. Not ready to share but it’s gonna be nice. Santa Claus is coming to our little town featuring authentic small-town hospitality, shopping, dining, entertainment, and more! Be certain to invite your friends and family!
1. L-BRI by Vickie Beyer – Natural Aloe Vera based skin care- health and wellness products
2. Crafts by Bonnie Miles – Purses, aprons, table mats, quilts, pillow cases, potholders for bowls, other textiles
3. Crafts by Beverly Hayunga – Crotchet towels and other Christmas items, solar lights, shelving, and wall hangers.
4. Creatively Yours – Ruth Fagan & Diane VanRaden Bake goods, Christmas Crafts, Homemade Candy, honey, homemade jams, fleece baby blankets
5. Mary Kay – Jeannette Murray – Skin Care packed with multiple benefits. Special offers you don’t want to miss.
6. Pretty Stitches – Brett & Elayne Sivertsen- Custom apparel, gift decoration, custom made shirts for Eastland
7. Bake goods by Jackie Brown – baked items, breads, cookies, coffee cakes, crafts
8. Scentsy – Sherry Burke- Fragrance a safe way to scent your environment.
9. Crafts by Dee – Table runners, placemats, lots of crafts and seasonal items
10. Vera Adams – Handmade Bibs, towels, dish rags
11. Candy’s Crafts & More – Candy Curran Assorted crafts
12. Bonnie’s Brittles – Various types of brittles made extra thin. Spanish peanut, pecan, homemade cashew, black walnut, phopsuey.
13. Eastland Cheerleaders – Face painting, Eastland & EPC Apparel
14. Jewelry & Crafts by Dorie, Norm & Ardith – Hand-cut stones, Handmade jewelry, crafts, cinnamon rolls
15. FAB JC with Inspired Creations – hand woven jewelry
16. Cindy’s Crocheted Creations – Character hats, infinity scarfs, Brim hats, boot cuff, collar scarfs, headbands
17. Crafts by Diane – Plastic canvas, crochet scarfs and other crafts
18. D’z Treats & Cards by Mary – Mixers in jars-handmade goodies, handmade greeting cards
19. Beads by Bonnie – Unique items made with beads and safety pins
20. Body works by Brenda – Brenda Moll- Chair Massages
21. Izzy Rose Boutique – American Girl doll clothes, children’s aprons, Upcycled mittens, etc. Bags all handmade
22. Alpca It Up-Kelly Miller – Socks, hats, gloves, items to warm you!
23. Dee’s Delights – Jams and Salsa’s
Jackie Brown & Family will be serving lunch at the fire station 11am-2pm.
Shannon Chamber of Commerce 150 yr. Shannon Memorabilia books- Special Pricing. Available @ Eastland Cheerleaders Booth@ Fire Station/ Blarney Stone/ First State Bank Shannon
Before the family cuddles up on the couch with a cup of hot cocoa to enjoy the pleasure of a warm fireplace and watch the flames dance upon crackling logs as they spread their Christmas warmth, remember to take a leisurely drive through beautiful Carroll County and pick up a fresh cut Christmas Tree. Nothing exudes that unmistakable holiday ambiance quite like the scent of a fresh cut Christmas tree!
As long as you’re out and about, might as well do a little holiday shopping too. You’re certain to find unique gifts at any one of our many local vendors. In fact, you’ll probably find some special indulgence for yourself as well!
Using a Real Tree Gives Peace to the Earth
More people than ever are concerned with how things affect the environment. Although this concern often gets lost in the hustle and bustle of the holidays, families can easily make one choice that will help them do their part to better the environment. That choice is to use a fresh, natural, Real Christmas Tree as the centerpiece of their holiday celebration.
“Unlike artificial trees, Real Christmas Trees are renewable and recyclable, ” says Mel Koelling, Forestry Professor Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan. “However, many people still perceive cutting trees down as bad for the environment and that is not the case. Real Christmas Trees no longer come from the forest. They are grown on farms throughout North America.” Today, nearly all Christmas Trees, 98%, are grown on farms, according to the National Christmas Tree Association (NCTA)”.
Once they are discarded after the holidays, there are many uses for recycled Real Christmas Trees. However, artificial trees are manufactured overseas from petroleum. These plastics and cannot be recycled and provide no benefits to the environment.
So as you celebrate the season of Peace on Earth and Good Will Toward Men, provide some peace to the Earth and goodwill toward the environment. Make the environmentally-friendly choice in Christmas Trees. Choose a fresh cut, Illinois grown, Christmas Tree!
As a Christmas tree, balsam fir has several desirable properties. It has a dark-green appearance and attractive form. It also retains its pleasing fragrance. Nine to ten years in the field are required to produce a 6-7 foot tree.
Needle Retention: Fair Fragrance: Excellent Needle Softness: Excellent
As a Christmas tree, Concolor fir has good foliage color, a pleasing natural shape, and and excellent needle retention. We aren’t kidding when we mentioned aroma! This tree bears a wonderful citrus scent.
Needle Retention: Excellent Fragrance: Excellent Needle Softness: Excellent
Canaan Fir has similarities between the Balsam Fir and Fraser Fir. It is a newer variety and is finding an increasing popularity with its symmetrical shape and fullness.
Needle Retention: Fair Fragrance: Good Needle Softness: Good
Colorado Blue Spruce
Blue spruce is finding increasing popularity as a Christmas tree as a result of its symmetrical form and attractive blue foliage. The species has an excellent natural shape and requires little shearing. It is best to setup your Blue Spruce as a cut Christmas tree later in the Season (preferably after Dec. 1st).
Needle Retention: Fair Fragrance: Fair Needle Softness: Fair
The Douglas Fir is a softer, more fragrant, variety of tree. The branches are spreading and drooping. The needles are dark green or blue green in color and usually 1 to 1 ½ inches long. They have a sweet fragrance that is often used in holiday potpourri scents.
Needle Retention: Good Fragrance: Excellent Needle Softness: Excellent
The combination of form, needle retention, dark blue-green color, pleasant scent, and excellent shipping characteristics has led to Fraser fir being a most popular Christmas tree species. It requires from 7 to 10 years in the field to produce a 6-7 feet tree.
Needle Retention: Excellent Fragrance: Excellent Needle Softness: Excellent
As a Christmas tree, it is known for its dark green foliage and stiff branches that are well suited for decorating with both light and heavy ornaments. It has excellent needle retention characteristics and holds up well throughout harvest, shipping, and display.
Needle Retention: Excellent Fragrance: Fair Needle Softness: Fair
For Christmas trees needle retention is good to excellent. White pine has very little aroma, but, conversely, is reported to result in fewer allergic reactions than do some of the more aromatic species. The needles are very soft to the touch. However, they are unable to hold heavy ornaments. To produce a 6-foot tree requires 6-8 years.
Needle Retention: Good Fragrance: Fair Needle Softness: Excellent
Before you select your tree, think about where you would like to display it in your home or business. Use a tape measure to verify the area you would like to fill. This will help narrow down the choices as you select your tree on the farm or retail lot.
Once on the farm or retail lot, do a freshness test. Gently grasp a branch between your thumb and forefinger. Then pull it toward you.
Very few needles should come off in your hand, if the tree is fresh. Shake or bounce the tree on its stump. You should not see an excessive amount of green needles fall to the ground. Some loss of interior brown needles is normal and will occur over the lifetime of the tree.
Make sure the handle or base of the tree is straight and 6-8 inches long so it will fit easily into the stand.
Once you have found your perfect tree, follow our care instructions to ensure freshness for the remainder of the season.
The best thing you can do for your fresh tree is water it often! When you get home, follow these simple steps and you will have a fresh tree throughout the holiday season.
* Please note: If you do not want to setup your tree right away when you get it home, keep it in a cool place like the garage for a couple of days. Follow the steps listed above when you are ready to put it up.
In a national survey, 66% of consumers who selected a Real Christmas Tree said they recycled theirs in community programs. Real Christmas Trees are recycled for five main types of large-scale uses for post-harvest trees. These are:
Today around 98% of Real Christmas Trees are grown on farms throughout all 50 states and Canada. Real trees are a renewable, recycle resource, and Real Trees are planted to be harvested just as corn and/or pumpkins are cultivated for harvest.
For each Real Christmas Tree harvested, up to two new seedlings are planted in its place, depending on farm size and current field rotation. Young trees, in their rapid growth years, have a high rate of photosynthesis and thus produce more oxygen than older trees.
The cycle of environmental benefits that Real Christmas Trees provide begins when 35 million American families choose to celebrate the holiday season with a fresh real tree. Trees are given back to the environment via recycling programs. Then new seedlings are planted in the Spring. This year, over 70 million new seedlings will be planted by Christmas Tree farmers all over America.
We encourage you to contact your local tree farm to find out how you can recycle your tree this year and give back to your community.
This information courtesy of:
Choose and cut trees. Handmade wreaths of various sizes and colors. Lovely assortment of country and Victorian holiday decorations. Open first weekend of November, daily 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM. Open Thanksgiving Day 8:00 AM – 3:00 PM.
Choose and cut Christmas trees available in the following varieties: Blue Spruce, Fraser Fir, Scotch Pine, and White Pine. Open weekends after Thanksgiving from 12:00 PM – 4:00 PM or by appointment.
From your backyard to ours…
Looking for a reason to get in the car to enjoy a splendid winter day in the country? Look no further than Carroll County, Illinois. With so much to see, experience, and do, there’s no better reason, or season, to discover the hidden treasures and pleasures of this region than winter. When autumn slips into winter, mile after magnificent mile of rolling hills and towering woodlands that make up our region transform into some of Illinois’ most spectacular visual winter wonderland.
What a delightful time to visit the country. Warm fires and hot drinks welcome you after eventful days of exhilarating outdoor fun. Carroll County is a great place for cross country skiing, ice fishing, snowmobiling, winter hiking, and bird watching. Many splendid birds can be seen wintering near the Mississippi River, but none as majestic as the American Bald Eagle! Hundreds make their home on the river every year.
Stores are filled with holiday crafts, handmade jewelry, artwork, quilts, seasonal decorations, and much more. Restaurants are brimming with new menu choices and old favorites. Bed & Breakfasts offer delicious hot meals, while cabins offer comfy quilts and crackling fireplaces.
Come and enjoy what Carroll County has to offer this winter. Spend a weekend in one of our many cabins, hotels, or bed and breakfasts. Relax in front of a warm fire. Enjoy a glass of wine and a little leisure time before the hectic New Year kicks into gear.
We’re located just 30 minutes from Galena, 60 minutes from Rockford, and 90 minutes from Chicagoland. Carroll County is a perfect distance for a getaway before the season changes and life gets busy. We hope to see you soon!