Comfort & Joy

Visit Mineral Point for food, fun and a hearty dose of holiday cheer

The holiday season approaches and thoughts turn to revisiting traditions, shopping for gifts and relaxing by a roaring fire. Such Christmastime delights are ready for the taking in historic Mineral Point.

Stroll Commerce and High streets for the best shopping. Stop at Phoebe’s Nest for jewelry and gifts, Against the Grain for quilts and woodworking, and a wide variety of art at Longbranch Gallery and Prairie Oak Artisans. Browse the works at Story Pottery and The Mulberry Pottery, scour specialty cheeses at Hook’s Cheese and wander the aisles of The Foundry Books for rare and used books.

The centerpiece of downtown is the Mineral Point Opera House. It reopened in April after a $1.5 million refurbishing that included new seats, carpet, paint and plaster work, all with the goal of restoring the building’s 1915 elegance. Now it’s the place to catch theater, music and art films.

Hungry? Cross the street to the Red Rooster Café, a cheery diner, or stop by Café Ellie, a charming new eatery in the Mineral Point Hotel. Nearby, Café Four focuses on French and Italian cuisine using local, sustainable and organic ingredients.

For a hot meal, a house-made brew and a night’s stay, head to the Brewery Creek Inn. This restored 1850s limestone building is home to a cozy brewpub and gracious guestrooms with exposed stone walls, whirlpool tubs and fireplaces.

On a wintry day, step into snowshoes and onto one of the two ungroomed, half-mile trails at the Merry Christmas Mine Hill. And it’s not only scenic—the hill is part of the Pendarvis historic site that recalls the town’s lead-mining days.

THIS MONTH: Mineral Point is packed with special holiday events:

A Christmas Carol, December 3–4, Mineral Point Opera House

• Candlelight Gallery Night, December 4

• Breakfast with Santa, December 5, Red Rooster Café

• Santa Visits Shake Rag Alley, December 11

• Festival of Lessons and Carols, December 12, Trinity Episcopal Church

The Nutcracker, December 17–19, Mineral Point Opera House

Katie Vaughn is associate editor of Madison Magazine.

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