A Little Time and a Keyboard: Janesville Holiday Lights and Delightful Small Business Shopping Make for a Merry Road Trip

Janesville Holiday Lights and Delightful Small Business Shopping Make for a Merry Road Trip

Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Janesville Holiday Lights and Delightful Small Business Shopping Make for a Merry Road Trip

Holiday Shopping and Reveling in Holiday Lights in Janesville, Wisconsin

Disclosure: Thank you the Janesville Area Convention and Visitors Bureau for hosting my visit to Janesville. All opinions are 100% my own.

Holiday lights and jolly small business shopping make Janesville, Wisconsin a merry road trip destination during the holiday season! My recent holiday getaway to Janesville lifted my spirits with dazzling light displays and an afternoon full of delightful small business shopping. Janesville is a wonderful holiday destination whether you are looking for a weekend getaway or just a day trip during this jubilant season. Here are my picks for your holly, jolly adventure:

Holiday Trees Add Extra Cheer to the Lincoln-Tallman House

While touring the majestic Lincoln-Tallman House this summer, I learned that the home is decorated with over 100 trees inside and out during the holiday season. Already enamored with the Italianate mansion, I knew that I would have to see the home dressed in all of its holiday glory. My merry escape provided me with the perfect opportunity to visit the home while perfectly adorned with holiday splendor.

The breathtaking Tallman-Lincoln dining room at Christmas!
The breathtaking Lincoln-Tallman House dining room at Christmas!

This year, the Lincoln-Tallman house features over 130 trees lovingly decorated by local businesses, families and organizations. The trees are absolutely sensational! 

Holiday lights and Victorian decor present the perfect holiday blend at the Lincoln-Tallman House in Janesville, Wisconsin.
Holiday lights and Victorian decor present the perfect holiday blend!

Decorated trees brilliantly folded into the Victorian setting create such a warm and cozy yet joyous feel. While the Tallmans would not have decorated with quite so much fanfare, I found it quite magical to see the home in the glow of so many glorious lights. 

The Lincoln tree and more hold so many interesting elements to discover at the Lincoln-Tallman House
The Lincoln tree and more hold so many interesting elements to discover!

No visit to the Lincoln-Tallman House would be complete without a visit to the bedroom Lincoln slept in. Inside the room, holiday revelers will be charmed by a Lincoln tree! While marveling at the tree, I love how the Lincoln bust watched from the side. 

The trees are all so unique and full of discoveries. Each beckons for you to pause and appreciate the little details. What an adventure!

Tickets for the 2021 Holiday Tree Show are $10 per adult, $5 per child, free for kids 4  and under. You may purchase them online or at the door.   See the Rocky County Historical Society website for dates and times. Runs through December 30, 2021.

Dancing in a Sea of Lights at Rotary Botanical Gardens

In its 25th year, the Holiday Light Show at Rotary Botanical Gardens delights young and old. After admiring the bedazzled trees at the Lincoln-Tallman House, I strolled through the magically colorful Holiday Light Show and was wowed from the beginning of my adventure to the end! The amount of dedication and heart that goes into putting together each year's light show is apparent. I love when you visit a place and can literally feel the heart that goes into it. In fact, Rotary Botanical Gardens still uses some of the original light displays from the first shows. Today, the show features over one million lights!

The sweet daffodils represent some of the returning pieces from the original Holiday Light Schow. The rustic, wooden trees add another layer to nature and lights!
The sweet daffodils represent some of the returning pieces from the original Holiday Light Schow. The rustic, wooden trees add another layer to nature and lights!

Sparkling lights draped from trees create quite a spectacular canopy to walk underneath. A walk under the starry canopy is magnificent! Light creations all around enchant.

Drapes of sparkling lights craft a magical experience at the Holiday Light Show  at Rotary Botanical Gardens in Janesville, Wisconsin.
Drapes of sparkling lights craft a magical experience at the Holiday Light Show
 at Rotary Botanical Gardens.

Reflections of the lights on the lake at the gardens crafted one of the most breathtaking moments I have experienced. A sizeable stretch of the path hugs the lake, giving visitors plenty of time to truly revel in this display. 

Spellbinding views of holiday lights reflecting in a still lake during the Holiday Light Show at Rotary Botanical Gardens,
Spellbinding views of holiday lights reflecting in a still lake during the Holiday Light Show at
Rotary Botanical Gardens.

The Holiday Light Show at Rotary Botanical Gardens casts a marvelous holiday light experience. A stroll through the light displays lifted my spirit and truly fascinated me. The show is quite a fantastic way to enjoy the holidays!

Tickets for the 2021 Holiday Light Show are $10 per visitor ages 13+, $5 for ages 3-12, free for kids 2 and under. You must purchase them online.   See the Rotary Botanical Gardens website for dates and times. Runs through December 30, 2021.

Janesville Small Business Shopping

A wander through small businesses during the holidays adds special magic. Small businesses put together stunning holiday displays and have unique gifts with heart. A growing number of small businesses call downtown Janesville home making the city a fantastic spot for holiday shopping. An afternoon amble through Janesville businesses will certainly help check off that holiday list!

Adorn and Angie's on Main

Side by side, Adorn and Angie's on Main offer a blended shopping experience with so much to explore. Adorn presents a mix of woman-made items that are locally crafted or fair trade including treasures to wear and for the home! The quaint shop also has craft kits perfect for getting the creative spirit flowing!  Angie's on Main is a consignment shop full of a plethora of vendors. The shop is quite large with many rooms to explore.

608 Vintage

Shopping vintage and locally made from dozens of vendors at 608 Vintage in Janesville, Wisconsin
Shopping vintage and locally made from dozens of vendors at 608 Vintage.

Standing across Main from Adorn and Angie's, 608 Vintage inhabits a stately Second Empire building that once housed a church, an appliance store, a piano store and more throughout the years. Today, 608 Vintage invites visitors to a wonderland full of local vendors selling both vintage items and locally made items. I have visited 608 Vintage a few times and always uncover something incredible!

Raven's Wish Gallery

Raven's Wish Gallery features the artwork of over 75 artists.
Raven's Wish Gallery features the artwork of over 75 artists.

Located on Milwaukee Street, Raven's Wish Gallery features over 75 local and regional artists. Raven's Wish really has become a go-to stop for me over the years to pick up something locally made. I have purchased some wonderful pieces of art in this shop! 

The Sugar Exchange

Adorable holiday decor and sweet treats welcome visitors to The Sugar Exchange!
Adorable holiday decor and sweet treats welcome visitors to The Sugar Exchange!

When traveling, indulging my sweet tooth is paramount! I did manage to pop inside of The Sugar Exchange to pick up some truffles. The shop is entirely adorable -- especially during the holidays! Treats include a variety of nostalgic candy, gourmet candy bars, fudge, truffles, ice cream concoctions and so much more! The Sugar Exchange also assembles fantastic gift baskets including Movie Night "Binge Boxes" and among many others! 

K&W Greenery

Adding those special holiday elements with decor from K&W Greenery.
Adding those special holiday elements with decor from K&W Greenery.

Located a little bit away from downtown is family-owned K&W Greenery. K&W has everything you are looking for natural holiday decor. In addition, the small business has plenty of other cheerful holiday decor items as well as vibrant house plants, garden items and more. 

Where to Eat?

Downtown Janesville features a growing number of notable restaurants. Since my first visit several years ago, I have witnessed the dining selection expand quite a bit. This adventure was full of delicious food -- the perfect accompaniment to a getaway of reveling in a jolly season! I will write more about delicious finds, but I would like to share a little with you for your holiday road trip to Janesville! Breakfast at Citrus Cafe is the perfect way to start the day. The menu is full of breakfast favorites! I went for a veggie omelet with hashbrowns and buttermilk pancake. Yummy and a great way to launch my adventure! For lunch, check out Sandwich Bar for incredibly unique and flavorful sandwiches as well as the amazing murals of Anthony Bourdain and Julia Child. Genisa provides a relaxed location for enjoying a glass of wine and charcuterie board. Their woodfire pizzas are dynamite as well! So many great choices for a little nibble or a meal in Janesville!


Flavors of Janesville including Genisa, Sandwich Bar and Citrus Cafe.
Flavors of Janesville including Genisa, Sandwich Bar and Citrus Cafe.

Where to Stay?

I had the pleasure of staying at the Hampton Inn in Janesville. I loved that the hotel was decorated for the holidays with a beautiful tree and chairs with adorable Santa covers. The rooms are comfortable with plenty of space and lovely art on the walls. The staff is friendly and there is a wonderful breakfast set up in the morning -- a nice help to start the day!

A restful stay at Hampton Inn in Janesville, Wisconsin.
A restful stay at Hampton Inn in Janesville, Wisconsin.

A Fantastic Christmas Season Getaway to Janesville, Wisconsin

All I can say is WOW -- Janesville provides for a magnificent holiday adventure! The Holiday Light Show, Holiday Trees, delightful small businesses, tasty local restaurants and a comfortable spot to stay made Janesville the ideal Christmas season getaway. My jolly getaway really lifted me into the holiday spirit and helped me pick out some unique and charming gifts for friends and family. Janesville really shines during the holidays!

Thank you the Janesville Area Convention and Visitors Bureau for hosting my visit to Janesville. 

Janesville Holiday Lights and Delightful Small Business Shopping Make for a Merry Road Trip





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