A couple of months ago, I was browsing Pinterest for fun activities to do with kids near Colorado Springs. The first suggestion that caught my eye was the “Georgetown Christmas Market.” Nestled in the mountains about two hours away, Georgetown is a quaint little historical town with the charm and scenery you’d find in any Hallmark movie.
We loaded up the car on Friday afternoon, and headed out for a weekend of further exploring our new state.
It was dark when we arrived at the Airbnb. We unloaded the bags, got into our pajamas, made hot cocoa and introduced the kids to a classic: National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. Don’t worry, we skipped a few scenes and coughed over the bad words.
Saturday morning, we bundled up and started the 10 minute walk into downtown Georgetown. The darling rows of snow covered houses had us feeling as if we’d been shrunk down and plopped in a porcelain snow village! The snowy mountains provided a magical 360° view.
As we waited for the shops to open, we found ourself in a darling candy shop/café. We sipped coffees while chatting with friendly locals who gave us LOTS of history and advice about this 60th annual tradition.
Shoppe Internationale. “Go here first,” they suggested. “By this afternoon there will be a line out the door just to get in.” I’m so glad we listened! The quaintest international Christmas shop with the most darling ornaments. One family tradition we keep is letting the kids pick a new ornament each year. Shoppe Internationale was the perfect place to collect our 2019 memory.
The bustling marketplace came alive and provided roasted chestnuts and local vendors. Holiday tunes floated along the festive streets scattered with dozens of cute shops with antiques, candy, and Christmas memorabilia. The kids enjoyed salt water taffy, chocolate truffles, and eggnog before we made our way to ride the horse drawn open sleigh ride.
At lunchtime we ended up in a tiny market, the name of which was not clear. We called it “Hot Soup” due to the giant sign on the window. The menu options included: hamburgers, chicken noodle soup, egg rolls and flan. Random, but hey, everyone was happy!
During round two of cute coffee shop stops, I had the most delicious Peppermint Mocha I’d ever tasted. Starbucks who? Suddenly, old timey Saint Nicholas wandered in to hand out peppermint sticks to the children. The barista shouted, “Hey! How’s it going, Frank?!” to which Saint Nick briefly broke character.
We decided to walk back and rest up before returning for Christmas lights at dusk. Our Airbnb provided the dvd of “a classic” John Denver Hallmark movie entitled The Christmas Gift, which was filmed…you guessed it…in Georgetown!
It was exactly as you’d expect. Incredibly terrible, but so fun to see the town we’d been exploring on the tele. The kids would point out things like, “Hey! That’s the corner where mom used the ATM!” or “We took a picture by that old taxi cab!”
We don’t do Santa, but Dixie must have been high on Christmas spirit or something. “Dear Santa, I want a playhouse and I want an iPod and baby Jesus stuffy. Dear Santa. – Dixie” Anyone know where we can get a baby Jesus stuffy?
Around 4pm we headed back to get some apple strudel and browse the shops again. I kept looking at Johnny and saying a phrase I’ve used more times in these past 6 months than I can count, “I can’t believe we live here!”
The restaurant I wanted to try was pretty packed and we’d already spent 6x more $ than I’d planned. Funny how that happens when there are rum truffles, artisanal soaps and candles everywhere you look.
Anywhooooo…We headed back to the Airbnb. Johnny wanted to stop at the Family Dollar store to purchase a phone charger and some firewood. While we were there, the kids wandered down the snack/grocery aisle where we ended up gathering a couple cans of Progresso soup, frozen Marie Calendar chicken pot pies, Gatorade and root beer. I’ve gotta say, that’s not typically how we do dinner, but it made for a really fun memory! (Boone also slyly snuck a couple light up Christmas necklaces for his sister and his Guppy in my basket!)
The kids had been asking to play on the neighborhood playground. It was pitch black and freezing out. We said “Sure, go nuts.” They lasted about six minutes.
Once we were “home,” Johnny got a fire going while I prepared dinner with a can opener and microwave. Round two of introducing the kids to a classic Christmas film. It’s a Wonderful Life. A pretty perfect Saturday in my book.
Sunday morning we packed up and headed back to the taffy/coffee shop for another round of breakfast sandwiches and coffees. (Dixie almost lost a tooth in her bagel.) I’m learning that in this sweet little town, strangers become friends really quickly. We chatted with our new old friends before making our way down to the Heritage Museum in a restored Public School. Holy school building! It was gorgeous. One room hosted a Christmas photo booth so OF COURSE we participated.
We browsed the shops one last time before glittery snow started to float down. Johnny looked behind us above the mountain and decided we should probably head home before we got stuck in a snow storm. We drove toward blue skies and sunshine leaving the darling town of Georgetown in it’s own little snowglobe of glitter, where I believe it is waiting for us to return. And return we will! Georgetown Colorado Christmas Market: new family tradition.