I discovered these very merry reasons to visit Janesville, Wisconsin during the holiday season when I visited as a hosted guest. Thank you, Janesville!
When I heard that the holidays in Janesville, Wisconsin were especially merry, I knew it was the place for me. So ’twas the week before Christmas nearly a year ago when I drove up north to a Wisconsin snowy winter wonderland and sub-zero temperatures. I was delighted about the snow… the arctic air, not so much.
But I had a jam-packed schedule of festive holiday activities to enjoy, so I almost didn’t notice the cold. I had such a wonderful time that I thought I’d share my merry reasons to visit Janesville, Wisconsin during the holiday season because y’all should experience the magic too.
Take a Holiday Tour of the Lincoln-Tallman House
Tours available November 20 through December 30, closed Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. $10 adults, $9 seniors & students, $6 children 6-17, veterans & members free (Free Parking) More info
The Lincoln-Tallman House is gorgeous at any time of year, but when it’s decked out in holiday finery — wow! Every year they do the decorating with a new theme so it would be fun to visit as an annual tradition. This year’s theme is the “12 Days of Christmas” so each room of the Lincoln-Tallman House will highlight one day of the classic Christmas song.
You’ll hear stories of Christmas past and you’ll hear what life was like when the Tallmans lived here.
Last year there were twenty trees that had been decorated by local non-profit organizations, and the clear stunner of the bunch was this gown-shaped tree!
Holiday Light Show at Rotary Botanical Gardens
December 1 – 4, 8 – 11, 15 – 23, and 26 – 30 More info
I’ve been to a lot of holiday light shows, but THIS is my favorite to date. It’s absolutely magical and you’d be hard pressed to find anything like it anywhere. Stroll along illuminated walkways with nearly a half-million twinkling lights, luminaries, decorations and a spectacular Christmas tree in the middle of a frozen pond. If you didn’t have Christmas spirit before you arrived, you’ll leave with it tenfold.
December 2-4 More info
Head to downtown Janesville the first weekend in December for three days of family fun! Enjoy a lighted parade and fireworks, ice skating with Santa, live reindeer, a tree lighting, puppet show, musical games and sing-a-longs, Christmas cookie decorating and crafts for the kids, holiday market, snow tubing and more!
Pick out a Painted Poinsettia
Why should you settle for red, pink and white poinsettias when you can have purple, blue, green or striped? K&W Greenery is the best in the biz when it comes to painted poinsettias (which doesn’t hurt the plant in the least, by the way). Carefully painted individually by hand, K&W’s skillful master painter turns out festive beauties everyone will ooh and aah over.
Try a Wine & Chocolate Pairing
Originally an 1850’s wheat warehouse, Northleaf Winery handcrafts all of their small batch wines on site. The tasting room is in the most historic part of the building and it’s absolutely gorgeous. The winery is located just down the street from the Milton House so consider hitting both places in a day. Try a wine and chocolate pairing for a fun date night or girls night out.
A Christmas Carol at The Milton House
Hurry and get tickets because seating is limited for this unique performance of the classic Christmas tale. The audience moves through the Milton House as they experience Christmas past, present and future. Fun for the whole family!
The Milton House is also open for tours year-round, and they’re incredibly good.
The Nutcracker Ballet at the Janesville Performing Arts Center
Enjoy a local community theater performance of everyone’s favorite holiday ballet production.
Shop for Christmas Gifts
Carousel Consignments – This is not your mama’s dusty, old antique store. It’s based on consignment so there’s always something fresh to see when you visit. If something doesn’t sell, it moves along and makes space for something else that might. There are two floors of trinkets and treasures at reasonable prices. You’ll find the store under a brightly striped awning downtown Janesville.
Raven’s Wish Art Gallery – Displaying and selling the work of over 70 regional and national artists at all different price ranges, you’re bound to find something you love. I have a weakness for Christmas ornaments, so I left with two of them.
Try the hill at Palmer Park or one of the many other prime sledding spots in Janesville. (Call Janesville Area Convention & Visitors Bureau for hints on where to go.)
Tour the Wisconsin Wagon Company
Still hand-building classic wagons for lucky little girls and boys everywhere, this very special family-owned company is a treat for all ages. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself ordering one!
Which of these very merry reasons to visit Janesville, Wisconsin during the holidays is your favorite? Visit the Janesville Convention & Visitors Bureau for help in planning a holiday getaway to Janesville!
Comments & Reviews
Melissa Chapman says
There is so much to see and do during the holidays at Janesville. I don’t live near there but it is a great town for Christmas and seasonal fun and I would love to go.
Stacie @ Divine Lifestyle says
Janesville looks like an amazing place to visit for the holidays! I would love to take the kids. This place pegs the Christmas meter!
So festive and beautiful. That consignment shop looks likes an awesome place to shop. I personally can’t wait for snow.
Colleen Lanin says
Oh wow! Just looking at these pictures has about 10 different Christmas songs going off in my head. I’d love to visit Janesville for the holidays.
Sarah Bailey says
What some absolutely fantastic sounding things to do – I love the look of the tour and the lights and well all of it what a fun place to be!
Terri Beavers says
I want to hop on a plane to see all of these places. I’d especially love the lights and Christmas shopping.
So much to love, but I think my favorite is that Lincoln-Tallman House. It looks gorgeous inside and out.
Carol Cassara says
Oh wow! I would be nice to spend a couple of days here just to enjoy everything. I love that they have different activities for the season, perfect for the whole family to enjoy.
Wow, all of the Christmas lights and decor looks amazing! I have not been to Janesville during the holidays before, it looks like a fun trip! I live just outside of Milwaukee so Janesville is not that far, we love to explore new cities by us!
Kelly Hutchinson says
I love to see Christmas decorations. And these are absolutely jaw dropping. That dress made from the greenery is crazy beautiful.
Janesville looks like a great place to visit, the light show, theater options and even some history. Love the variety.
Dawn Lopez says
Janesville, Wisconsin looks like the place to be this holiday season. I would love to see that holiday light show! Watching holiday lights always gets me in the holiday spirit.
Jen Temcio says
I have been to Madison a few times and LOVED it but have not yet been to Janesville. It looks like there is so much to do and so many ways to spend holiday time with family. I would love to see the Botanical Gardens.
What a beautiful town! It’s like the perfect Christmas town!
Rebecca Bryant says
Wow that was a beautiful visit. I love the holidays and would so travel more but my husband is home body during the holidays.
This looks like such a great place to visit. So much awesome stuff to see and do!
I’ve never been to Wisconsin but it’s on my list of states to visit. Thanks for the ideas of where to check out.
You always visit the best places!!! I bet this is the sweetest town, I would love to visit here!
Sara Welch says
All of those reasons would get me running there. Definitely wish I had some travel time these holidays!
Kita Bryant says
That light show just stole my heart. I have a soft spot for light shows and I can’t help but see as many as I can during the holidays.
I would love to visit the The Lincoln-Tallman House. How beautiful it is, but even more so during the holidays. The light show would be fun for the whole family too!
Sounds like a holiday roadtrip is in my future! I love Christmas, and especially holiday decor, so this all looks so beautiful!
Joanna @ Everyday Made Fresh says
Oh my goodness that dress tree is amazing! Janesville looks like something out of those Hallmark channel Christmas movies!
Wendy Polisi says
What a gorgeous place to visit. I’ve never been to that state before and now I’m wishing I had!
Michelle Goth says
That is one gorgeous house. What a wonderful plus to the holidays to get to see it!
Shannon Graham says
I love the botanical gardens even before the lights. The lights make it magical!
Claudia Krusch says
Wow That gown shaped tree is amazing. Janesville sounds like a great place to visit the next time we are in Wisconsin.
I’ve never been to America, so I’ve never heard of Janesville before. I love visiting places with a rich history, though. So I’m sure I’d love it here! I really need to book that trip to the US one day soon 🙂
I have to admit, we’ve passed through Janesville a few times but never stopped. Now I wish we had taken the time!
This looks like an awesome place to visit this time of year. My good friend lives in Kenosha. I’ll have to ask her if she has been to Janesville. We have some historic homes where I live and they decorate for the holidays too. It is so much fun to see these homes all decked out for the holidays.
Mimi Green says
I love Christmas decor, the lights make me feel like a kid again. Visiting a new town during Christmas is always far more special. The gown-shaped tree is gorge.
Amy @ Marvelous Mommy says
I love visiting old houses and learning about the history. That tree gown is amazing!
So much to see and do! So gorgeous. I love visiting new places during the holidays, this looks like somewhere to be! So festive!
Nancy at Whispered Inspirations says
This looks fabulous, I love festive and beautiful things like this seriously!
Nichole Arnold says
Your photos are exquisite! I would love to visit Wisconsin one day. Maybe I will bucket list to visit a new state each December to see new holiday stuff! You have inspired me!
Rachel Ferrucci says
WOW! I need to start exploring at the holidays and find places like this. I would love to visit here during the holidays!
Dandi D says
Christmas is my favorite time of year and these pictures are lovely!
Because of my excitement during Christmas, my son compares me to Buddy the Elf. I’ve never been to Wisconsin, but after reading this and seeing the photos, I have to go!
Janet W. says
It’s all so beautifully decorated! I would love to visit during the holidays! The lights are amazing!