Celebrate the Holidays in Madison County, Iowa

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Celebrate the Holidays in Madison County, Iowa

The holidays are especially quaint in the small rural towns of Madison County, Iowa. In Winterset, visitors can shop and dine at over thirty-five retail boutiques and restaurants. Or head to Main Street in Earlham and St. Charles, where the customer service is unparalleled. Add to it twinkling lights and holiday music, and the spirit is sure to take hold of you!

Here are some ways to celebrate the holidays in Madison County, Iowa:

Madison County Parks and Recreation

The iconic, world-famous covered bridges of Madison County, with their bright red paint, truly pop out when viewed in newly fallen snow. There are also several county parks with hiking trails through old-growth timber that are perfect for cross-country skiing or snowshoeing, including City Park and Middle River Park in Winterset. More information can be found online and here.

Indoor Fun in Madison County

Whether your family prefers board games, classic video consoles, or arcade games, everyone will have a great time at Graham’s Game Cafe in Winterset. Open Fridays & Saturdays. If you need something to do indoors on a weekday, be sure to visit the Iowa Quilt Museum or John Wayne Birthplace & Museum!

Santa on the Hill

Even though the Madison County Historical Complex is closed for the season, you can still pack the family into the car and enjoy lighted displays throughout the grounds from November 24 to January 1st. On Saturday, December 9, from 3-5 pm, their Santa on the Hill event allows you to take your own photos with Santa. 

Live Entertainment

Two live holiday stage shows will take place at the Iowa Theater this season. First up is It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play (November 30-December 3rd). The Winterset Stage presents this holiday classic, recommended for children 10 and older. More information and tickets are available online.

Following that, The Nutcracker ballet will be performed by students of the Winterset Ballet and Dance Studio from December 9-11. Purchase tickets now! Throughout the season, families will enjoy new movies (such as Wonka) as well as classic holiday movies, at the beautifully renovated Iowa Theater. Check movie times and schedules on the website.

Winter Solstice Market

Finally, join Madison County on Friday, December 8th, from 6-9 pm, or Saturday, December 9th, from 10 am to 4 pm, for an indoor shopping experience featuring 25 curated arts, crafts, and food vendors in the restored Winterset Livery building at 116 S. 1st Ave. At the Winter Solstice Market, savor the sights, sounds, and scents of the holiday season while shopping for handcrafted items for everyone on your list. Day’s Live Music will perform on Friday evening. More details can be found online.


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