Skip the partridge and the pear tree for Winchester’s 12 days of Christmas experiences
Has anyone ever really wrapped up and given away a partridge in a pear tree? Who would want it? And who would shell out $319.18 for one—the cost of this item, according to PNC Bank’s annually updated price index of the gifts mentioned in the “Twelve Days of Christmas” song?
Fortunately, Winchester has 12 offerings for true loves and others that are not only more affordable, but plenty of fun, too. And although the 12 Days officially begin the day after Christmas, these holiday experiences can be enjoyed as early as the beginning of the month.
- Time travel to Christmas Past. Return to the Kentucky frontier and step into an 18th Century Christmas at Fort Boonesborough State Park. Presented by the Fort Boonesborough Foundation, this event takes place 6-9 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 1, and 1-4 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 2, and includes period music, decorated cabins, activities, refreshments, displays of early life on the frontier, candlelight and . . . one very special guest. Admission: Adults/$8; children 6-12/$5; free under 5 free.
- Bring your shopping bags to Depot Street and plan to load them up during the Winchester/Clark County Farmers Market Christmas Market, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 2.
- In addition to being open 5-9 p.m. during the Dec. 2 Winchester Christmas Parade and Tree Lighting, the Hall Coffee & Social Club is planning a couple of fun holiday happenings. Dig out your ugliest holiday sweater for Hall’s Ugly Christmas Sweater Cocktail Party, 7-11 p.m. Friday, Dec. 15. On Dec. 28, gather for the Heartstrings Songwriter Circle, 6:30-8:30 p.m.
- Order a “Let It Snow” or “Deck the Halls” cookie decorating kit from Winchester’s own Sugar Belly Baking and have a family fun night at home, adding icing and sprinkles to snowflakes, Christmas trees and other shapes. Kits are $20 each, and available for ordering until Dec. 8. The kits, along with Sugar Belly’s large ($30) and small ($15) cookie boxes, will be available for pickup in Winchester between Dec. 16-19.
- Abettor Brewing hosts its annual Christmas Market, 6-9 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 9. Lots of vendors with a wide variety of goodies for under the tree and in the stocking: tumblers, custom ornaments, baked goods, candles, craft soap and more. Food truck yummies round out the fun.
- Sign up for the Festive Holiday Foliage Wreath Making Class at Harkness Edwards Vineyards, 12:30-1:30 and 2-3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 10. All experience levels can have fun creating a wreath while enjoying a glass of wine. Materials provided. $45/person
- Join Harkness Edwards Vineyards for one of the most beloved traditions of the season, a Gingerbread House Workshop, 2:30-4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 10, and craft your perfect gingerbread house. Enjoy holiday music and a glass of wine. Supplies provided. $57/person
- Stroll through downtown to see the Christmas tree aglow with lights and storefronts decorated for the holidays and stop at 21 North Main Street to see the newly finished mural, “This is Boone Country.” The 24 by 14 foot mural, painted by artist Kevin Osbourn, is located on the side of Harper’s Pawn Shop.
- Treat yourself to a Snow Globe Mug from Dirty South Pottery’s 2023 Limited Holiday Collection ($37). Pair with a packet of Creative Coffee’s Hot Chocolate ($4), also available at Dirty South Pottery. Sip while watching your favorite holiday classic movie.
- Here’s the place to wear your shopping shoes for a day of poking around to finish off your Christmas list and find the perfect holiday décor. The Ole Red Barn Mall is wall-to-wall booths filled with treasures galore, including those for holiday gift giving.
- Visit the gift shop at the Bluegrass Heritage Museum and pick up a copy of Harry G. Enoch’s newest book, Pioneer Voices: Interviews with Early Settlers of Clark County, Kentucky. The work is a “transcription of (Reverend) John D. Shane’s Clark County interviews with 32 individuals, plus five memorandums on people and places in the county as well as a memoir written by pioneer William Sudduth.” Enoch is the author of the popular Where In The World? Historic Places in Clark County, Kentucky book series, also available at the museum’s gift shop.