Christmas in the Villages kicks off Nov. 24

Celebrate the season beginning Nov. 24 and continuing throughout the month of December with a variety of special events happening throughout the historic Villages of Van Buren County.

For a complete listing of activities visit or call 800-868-7822 or 319-293-7111 for a free brochure.

Nov. 22 — Dec. 31

• Enchanted Forest Walk in Cantril. Self-guided tour of holiday lights and displays in Waubonsie Park. 5-8 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 5-9 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. Golf carts available by request. Weather permitting.

Nov. 30-Dec. 2

• Festival of Trees. Dozens of beautifully decorated trees, wreaths, and table top trees based on the theme “A Christmas Carol” will be on display. There also will be several “cash & carry” items but the majority of trees and décor will be sold through a silent auction process taking place throughout the weekend. Santa will be visiting on Saturday from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. A variety of live music and refreshments will be served throughout the weekend. This annual event is sponsored by the Lions Clubs of Van Buren County and all proceeds from the weekend will benefit Christmas for Kids. Hours for the Festival are: Fri.: 5 p.m.-9 p.m. Sat.: 9a-8pm, Sun.: 12 p.m.-3 p.m. Held at the Roberts Memorial Building, Keosauqua. The Festival of Trees live entertainment schedule is:

Nov. 30

5:30 p.m. — Stockport Deep Blue Kids Choir

6 p.m. — Jessica Mitcheltree accompanied by Linda Mitcheltree

6:30 p.m. — Linda Mitcheltree, pianist

7 p.m. — Barbara Nixon, pianist

7:30 p.m. — Norma Mahon, pianist

Dec. 1

10 a.m. — Harmony Elementary Band

10:20 p.m. — Van Buren Middle School Band

11 a.m. — Van Buren Elementary Music Department

11:30 a.m. — Van Buren Children’s Choir

Noon — S & K Dance Studio presents “Reason for the Season”

1 p.m. — The Lowly Brass

2 p.m. — The Tarnished Brass Band

3 p.m. — Jim Settles & Stan Knipfer. Beverly O’Brien, guest soloist

4 p.m. — The piano students of Sonia Stookesberry

5 p.m. — Fallen Stark and Jay Stookesberry, saxophone duo

6 p.m. — Michael Philipsen, concert pianist

6:30 p.m. — McKenna and Vern Gerig

7 p.m. — Vicki Robertson

Dec. 2

1 p.m. — Tom Allen

1:30 p.m. — Kathleen Humble, pianist

2 p.m. — The Dancers of Paulette’s Studio

Dec. 1

• New! R.A.R.E Vintage Christmas Show Dessert Theater at the Opera House in Bonaparte. 1940-60s vintage Christmas music and TV skits. $15 per person. Doors open at 7:15 p.m., Show at 7:30 p.m. Reserve tickets by calling 641-233-7793 or online at

• Holiday Tea Party with sweet and savory finger foods in a historic and festive setting. 3 p.m. at The Stone House in the Bentonsport National Historic District. Reservations are $20. Limited seating. Reserve online at or in person at the Van Buren County Welcome Center in Keosauqua.

• Breakfast and Soup Luncheon on Main Street in Bonaparte. Full hot breakfast from 7-9 a.m. Homemade Soup Luncheon with chili, vegetable and sausage corn chowder, homemade biscuits and desserts from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Both meals are free will donation in the Opera House.

• Bentonsport Country Christmas. Merchants dressed in 1840s period clothing will have treats and special activities in their shops.

Dec. 1-2

• Candy & Cookie Walk. Lots of holiday goodies and candy sold by the pound. 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday in the EMT Building in Farmington.

• Pioneer Home Driving Tour. Visit the Pioneer Museum in Farmington and get a map and listing of historical homes and take off on a self-guided tour of the “pioneer homes.” Hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and noon to 4 p.m. Sunday. A prize drawing will be at 4 p.m. for those who have visited over the weekend.

Dec. 2

• Christmas Concert with the Kelly Sisters. Enjoy this music ministry bringing forth God’s word in song and testimony beginning at 10:45 a.m. Everyone is welcome. No admission fee. Bethel Worship Center, Douds.

• Christmas Music from the Community. Free food and fellowship beginning at 6 p.m. Everyone is welcome to come and join in. Christ United Methodist Church, Douds.

Dec. 7-8

• “Road to Bethlehem” Live Nativity from 6-8 p.m. Enjoy a 15 minute outdoor guided tour program telling the story of Jesus’ birth. There will be free refreshments, crafts and pictures. No admission fee. First Baptist Church, Farmington.

Dec. 8

• Stockport Soup Supper. Homemade soups for a free will donation, followed by an auction, entertainment by the children and a visit from Santa. 5-7 p.m. Stockport American Legion Hall.

• Here Comes Santa Claus ... to Douds! Soup supper at 6 p.m. for a freewill donation. Santa and horse-drawn wagon rides at 6:30 p.m. Douds Community Center.

• Santa Visits Milton. Soup supper for free will offering, craft and bake sale all beginning at 5:30 p.m. at Milton Legion Hall. Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus will arrive around 6:30 p.m.

Dec. 8-9

• New! Make-&-Take Glass-blown Ornament making. Create a glass blown ornament for the holidays. $25 per ornament. No appointment or reservation needed. Age 12+. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and 1-4 p.m. Sunday at Bloom and Bark, Keosauqua.

• Bloom and Bark Local Art Gallery. Watch glass-blowing through the viewing window and browse local artwork and a variety of glass-blown items. Open weekends only, beginning Dec. 8-22, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sundays.

• Pioneer Home Driving Tour. Visit the Pioneer Museum in Farmington and get a map and listing of historical homes in Farmington and take a self-guided driving tour of “pioneer homes.” A prize drawing will be at 4 p.m. Sunday, for those who visited over the weekend. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and noon to 4 p.m. Sunday.

Dec. 14

• Cantril Home Lighting Contest, 6-8 p.m. Winners announced at the Cantril Soup Supper Dec. 15.

Dec. 15

• New! Cookies and juice with Santa at Indian Lake Park from 2-4 p.m. Children will decorate cookies with Santa. No admission fee. Held at the Stone Lodge, Farmington.

• Cantril Soup Supper and horse-drawn wagon rides. Soup Supper for a free will donation from 5-7 p.m. Horse-drawn wagon rides to view lights from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Held at the Cantil Fire Station.

Dec. 23

• Santa visit and Soup Supper for a free will donation beginning at 5 p.m. at the Bonaparte Opera House.

Dec. 24

• Service of Light held from 11 midnight at the Milton Christian Church.

Dec. 31

• New Year’s Eve Sing. Gospel music and family fellowship beginning at 5 p.m. at Roberts Memorial Building in Keosauqua. Soups, drinks and table service provided. Door prizes throughout the evening. Bring a covered dish to share if possible. No admission fee.