Winchester Wanderings

November blog

Eight things to do in Winchester in November

Among hallowed Thanksgiving traditions are taking a nap, sharing gratitude and planning (and enjoying) the must-eats of the Thanksgiving spread. How about adding a few other traditions to the list throughout the month? Like creating a masterpiece to include on your Thanksgiving tablescape, taking a walk on the wild side and savoring seasonal sips.

Here are eight ways to add zing to the month of Thanksgiving:

1: Grab a bag of Pumpkin Spice, Autumn Spice or Snickledoodle coffee from Creative Coffees Roastery. Take a free tour with 24-hour advance notice (call 859-355-5412) and learn all about coffee origins, types of roasts, how coffee is flavored and the temps at which it is roasted. See how Creative Coffees makes its own K-cups. Tours are about 25 minutes; 45 minutes with a roast.

2: Hike nearby Red River Gorge for a chance to spot wild turkeys. Best viewing area for these befeathered gobblers? In the field behind the Gladie Visitor Center. According to A-Z-Animals, the humble turkey is a symbol of strength, courage and abundance. It also symbolizes gratitude, Thanksgiving and history, and can be a sign for new beginnings and good luck. That’s a lot of responsibility to lay on one bird—but you’ll likely see whole rafters of wild turkeys scrabbling about The Red.

3: Paint a piece of Thanksgiving- or fall-themed pottery at Created by You Ceramic Studio. Find a whole patch of pumpkins, gourds and scarecrows, along with serving dishes and planters to show off those seasonal arrangements. Make it an outing and schedule a group gathering or private class. And mark your calendar for Painting with Santa on Monday, Dec. 4. Check the studio’s Facebook page for event updates.

4: Visit the Bluegrass Heritage Museum to see the exhibit of an 1875 runabout buggy, the way families once traveled over the river and through the wood to grandfather’s house—at least according to the 1844 poem, originally published as “The New-England Boy’s Song about Thanksgiving Day.” (Today’s version is more closely associated with a Christmas trip to grandmother’s house.) In the museum’s Quilt Room, you might spot an era-appropriate quilt that would have been tucked around the buggy’s occupants to ward off the “sting the toes/bite the nose” chill.

5: Shop for Thanksgiving host/hostess gifts, Thanksgiving home décor and accessories, etc. If there’s one day guaranteed to give a dinner party host dishpan-hands, it’s Thanksgiving. It’s Court Street Gifts to the rescue with Michel Design Works’ luxurious foaming hand soap made with shea butter in elegantly designed pump dispensers ($14.95). To spruce up the tablescape? Michel Design Works’ soft and sturdy Hostess Napkins ($7.95), featuring the themes and colors of fall.

Eve’s Uniques creates holiday ambience with handmade sweater pumpkins ($14-18) and handmade decoupage pumpkins ($16), so adorable for centerpieces, and 100 percent soy candles by Trubee Hill ($24)—an Eve’s exclusive—with fragrant fall scents, including bestsellers Autumn Apple, Pumpkin Harvest and Fall Foliage. (Halloween lovers can also pick up fan favorite Horror Stories, scented with dark bourbon, maple and toasted oak.)

Pick up supplies at Eve’s Uniques to DIY a hostess gift. Foolproof and reusable mesh stencils ($17-$24) can be used on fabric, wood, glass, ceramics and other materials. Shown is a photo of a wreath stenciled on a tray. Gell Art Ink ($13/tube) can be used on fabric to make custom napkins or pillows. (Inexpensive napkins and pillowcases can be purchased from Amazon.)

6: Take the Walk Through Time Walking Tour at Winchester Cemetery. Who will you meet along the way? A world-famous sculptor, victims of the 1918 Pastime Theatre tragedy, brothers who fought on opposing sides of the Civil War and (possibly) the founder of Winchester. Be on the lookout for hidden messages in the cemetery’s many carvings and engravings—like a pineapple, the symbol for hospitality, so perfect for the month when families and friends gather together in thanksgiving.

7: Sample the beer, cider and seltzers that are on tap for November at Abettor BrewingSouthern Living’s pick for Kentucky craft brewery in the magazine’s October 2023 issue. Among the choices at the brewery’s 20 taps? Marzen Oktoberfest, Opossum Detainment Porter, VanderPumpkin Rules!! Pumpkin Ale, German Pilsner and Fanny Cole Hard Apple Cider.

8: It’s been call magical, a post-Thanksgiving holiday tradition, and like walking into a Hallmark Christmas Movie: Beech Springs Farm Market’s Christmas Market lives up to the hype. Taking place 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, November 25, the event includes visits and photos with Mr. and Mrs. Claus, live Christmas music, the nose-tingling aroma of freshly popped popcorn and other holiday treats and vendors, vendors and more vendors displaying irresistible gift items—many of them made in Kentucky and by Kentucky artisans. Make your lists, check them twice and spend the day in a Winchester Original way.