A Lake County Victorian Christmas itinerary that takes you from the Charles Dickens era in Antioch to the Rev. J. Alexander Dowie legacy in Zion.
Start the day in Antioch where the annual Dickens Holiday Village has taken over the town (November 3 thru December 25). A docent led tour (20+ people) takes you to 57 hand-crafted Dickens era character. Each character has a plaque describing the scene and also serves as an educational tool for the time period. This annual event is all volunteer based creating the Dickens faces and heads, apparel for the characters, woodworking to fashioning the actual wooden mannequins and developing storylines for each scene.
There are several options for lunch, let us help you coordinate what suits you, from a Victorian Tea at the PM&L Theatre, fabulous cuisine at David's Bistro or comfort food at a northwoods lodge setting.
Your group may enjoy some holiday shopping on the quaint main street of Antioch before leaving for Zion.
Meet your guide at Shiloh House, the 25-room, three-story home of Zion’s founder, Dr. John Alexander Dowie. Take notice as you drive in that Zion’s streets and boulevards may seem oddly named, especially to someone not familiar with Zion’s history, as all the avenues in the City are named after a person or place in the Bible. Dr. Dowie chose each of the names, and designated the streets in alphabetical order from east to west, over one hundred years ago when Zion was first planned.
The historic society maintains a museum collection in Shiloh House and decorates the mansion for Christmas (December). Artifacts of the period, many of the personal property of the late Dr. and Mrs. Dowie, are on display. The house is been adorned with over a dozen trees, garland, lights, ornaments, flowers, and bows.
You may wish to have a catered dinner on the first floor in Shiloh House surrounded by holiday glow. The local conservatory can provide musicians to complete the spirit of the season. Extend your stay by taking in “A Christmas Carol” at the PM&L Theatre (Friday – Sunday) and make an overnight stay at the Best Western Plus in Antioch or the Illinois Beach Resort in Zion. We can provide fig bars for your group upon check-in (from the original Zion Cookie Factory recipe) or delicious hand-made chocolates or fudge from Main Street Antioch.
No matter if you focus on Dickens, Dowie or both, this wonderful new holiday adventure can only happen in Lake County, IL!