Plan your tour date so that you can experience Sparta’s popular holiday attractions such as the Kriskindlmarkt, Holiday Parade and Holiday Lights in the Park.
9:30 – arrive at the Monroe County History Room and enjoy their annual Christmas display. Go upstairs in the museum complex and marvel at the many rare and unique items on display at the Deke Slayton Memorial Space and Bike Museum, a celebration of Sparta’s favorite son and Apollo astronaut Deke Slayton; and an amazing collection of bikes appropriate for the Bicycling Capital of America. www.monroecountyhistory.org
11:30 – lunch at Ginny’s Cupboard, located conveniently in Downtown Sparta, not far from the museum. Enjoy a freshly-pressed panini and a scoop of one of their unique flavors of ice cream!
1:00 – enjoy a walking tour of Sparta’s downtown shops including KEPS Naturals, an eco-friendly store and gift shop with handmade, organic body products and clothing made in the USA. Stop at Arenz Shoes, a fifth generation, family-owned boutique, Candles by Kim and Primitive Decor and Grantie Anne’s Studio where you can create your own art and gifts or purchase Anne’s art. Relax and enjoy an exceptional cup of coffee or tea at the Franklin Coffeehouse, also located in Downtown Sparta.
4:00 – check into one of Sparta’s hotels or motels located nearby.
6:00 – enjoy a casual, upscale dining experience at the Sparta Steakhouse Restaurant. Excellent food served by friendly staff. If you’d like to stay downtown, visit Italiano’s Restaurant with authentic Italian food.
7:30 – finish your day with a magical visit to Sparta’s wonderful Holiday Lights display in Evans-Bosshard Park. Thousands of lights, a bonfire, hot chocolate, music, and a visit with Santa await you.
9:00 – enjoy breakfast at Dorine’s Family Inn located in Downtown Sparta.
10:30 – visit the festive booths of Sparta’s Kriskindlmarkt located in Mueller Square in Downtown Sparta. Shop for handmade items, baked goods, Christmas decorations, and gifts. Enjoy some hot, mulled wine, music and holiday cheer.
12:30 – travel south to the Westby House for a special holiday lunch in a beautifully maintained Bed and Breakfast. Enjoy a gourmet lunch in this memorable 1886 home, magically decorated for the Christmas season. www.westbyhouse.com (608) 634-4112.
3:00 – revel in the winter beauty of the Driftless Region with a visit to Justin Trails. Snowshoe or hike their trails, or relax in their 1919 elegant barn built from 8 different hardwoods harvested from the farm. Enjoy a bonfire and s’mores! www.justintrails.com (608) 269-4522.
6:00 – enjoy a warm slice of Chicago-style pizza at Slice of Chicago! (608) 269-2181.
8:00 – breakfast at Sparta Family Restaurant. With a variety of hearty breakfast options, there is something for everyone! (608) 269-3500.
10:00 – visit the Whitetail Ridge Ski Area in Fort McCoy. Located in one of the most scenic areas of Fort McCoy, it is the ultimate place for winter family fun! Snowboarding, downhill skiing, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, snow tubing, rentals and lessons area all available! Whitetail Ridge’s snowmaking system provides an excellent base on all slopes and the snowgroomer ensures the finest, smoothest skiing possible all season long.
12:00 – enjoy lunch at the Chalet at Whitetail Ridge Ski Area.
3:00 – end your trip with one last stop to the Kriskindlmarkt or the Holiday Lights!
*If you happen to be in Sparta for the kick-off of the holiday season, enjoy the Holiday Parade which takes over the downtown, typically on the last Friday night in November. This is followed by the official lighting of the decorations in Evans-Bosshard Park.