When the first snowfall is glistening in the lanes a feeling of good cheer just takes over in all our homes and downtowns. Holiday decorations brighten up familiar spaces as shops bustle with activity. Gingerbread, shortbread, cakes, tarts and every kind of seasonal baking is at the ready to welcome visitors.

Get in the festive mood with a visit to Elkhart’s elegant 1910 Beaux Arts mansion. Their Edwardian Yuletide celebrations show off period-style decorations including numerous Christmas trees and elaborate garlands. Special concerts and activities recount the graciousness of holidays past.

What would the holidays be without the time-honored strains of favorite carols? Enjoy an extravaganza of seasonal music at the Goshen College Music Department’s Festival of Carols. Several choirs and ensembles gather together to present works by Handel, Guererro, Basler, Lauridsen and more. And the audience is always invited to join in the singing of some of the more familiar carols.

Get the New Year off to a good start with the Fire and Ice Festival, a popular Goshen First Fridays event in January. Enjoy the stunning work of ice carvers as they transform blocks of ice into incredibly detailed masterpieces. Then warm up with a taste test of the many chili recipes submitted in the Chili Competition.

Don’t leave our winter wonderland without lacing up your skates and gliding around the NIBCO Ice Park. This riverside ice rink features 5,740 square feet of ice surface and a wonderful skating path lined with twinkling lights. More area events