Our Top 9 Starved Rock Winter Activities for Your Getaway

Imagine watching the gentle snowfall while curled up by a roaring fire. The next morning the air is crisp and cold, with adventure waiting just over the next snow-covered hill. Experience the Illinois winter getaway of your dreams in one of our cozy cabins with a wood-burning stove and Whirlpool tub. Check out the following list of our top 9 favorite Starved Rock winter activities, and start planning your escape today!

Woman drinking cocoa on an Illinois winter getaway

1. Chris Kringle Market in Ottawa, IL

Make sure and stop by the Chris Kringle Market for delicious goodies and homemade gifts from over 40 local vendors. Get in the Christmas spirit with festive decor and hot drinks. A fun and festive way to celebrate the magic of the season!

ice sculpture making, a top Starved Rock winter activity

2. Ottawa Ice Odyssey

Experience the incredibly intricate art of ice sculpting at Chris Kringle Market! Watch the artists create amazing sculptures and be amazed as they are formed right before your very eyes.

Christmas lights for an Illinois winter getaway

3. Rotary Festival of Lights in LaSalle

A dazzling display of light and color, the annual Celebration of Lights in LaSalle is a holiday event not to be missed! Beautiful Christmas lights in a variety of scenes make for a wonderful trip everyone will enjoy.

woman hiking in winter in Starved Rock

4. Winter Hiking in Starved Rock State Park

Venture out into the cold and dress warm for serene winter hiking in Starved Rock State Park. Take in the views and make the snow-covered landscape your blank canvas upon which to write new adventures!

cocoa bombs at Kishauwau cabins in winter

5. Cuddle Up By Your Fireplace with Hot Cocoa Bombs

What is a cocoa bomb, you may ask? Why it’s Kishauwau’s cold weather specialty, a decadent ball of chocolate placed in one of our keepsake mugs and melted with hot water or milk. It’s the perfect treat to warm up after a day of fun out in the cold.

couple Christmas shopping on an Illinois winter getaway

6. Find Unique Gifts at Local Shops

Shop ’till you drop with some of our favorites in the nearby area and help support local business! A more detailed list of shops can be found in our Starved Rock Area Guide, but for now, here are a few places to give you some ideas on where to start: Starved Rock Hot Glass, Sister In Laws Home Decor, Clarks Run Antiques, Beautique by Rosanna, and more!

woman in salt cave on an Illinois winter getaway

7. Relax and Warm Up in a Himalayan Salt Cave

Refresh your mind and soul with a visit to Starved Rock’s only traditional Himalayan Salt Cave, Salt Tree Yoga. Enter a calm and healing place and find inner peace utilizing the techniques of Halotherapy, or dry salt therapy, to cleanse and detoxify your lungs and sinuses.

red wine tasting on an Illinois winter getaway

8. Get in the “Spirit” and Sample Libations

Warm up the old-fashioned way with a drink at one of the region’s many great wineries and distilleries. Our personal recommendations are Tangled Roots Brewing Company, August Hill Winery, CatsEye Wine Bar, and Star Union Spirits.

frozen waterfalls in Starved Rock State Park

9. Tour the Frozen Waterfalls

An absolute must-see for winter visitors, the frozen waterfalls at Starved Rock State Park are truly a sight to behold. French Canyon Trail is the easiest hike to reach them, and it is a fantastic spot for photo ops to add to your getaway memories!

winter getaway cabin in Illinois

Make Winter Memories

Book your stay at Kishauwau Cabins, our Illinois cabins near Starved Rock to enjoy fun winter activities near the state park and turn the traditional tropical vacation on its head! Cozy and warm, our cabins are the perfect escape from daily life no matter what time of year, but are especially romantic and picturesque when the snow begins to fall. Visit our blog for more Starved Rock winter activities. We hope to see you soon!

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