In 2010, when the sad news was announced that Sinnissippi Forest Tree Farm in Oregon, Illinois was closing after a 60 year history, neighboring, White Pines Forest State Park decided to pick up where Sinnissippi left off. The only difference will be.....well, you can't cut down a tree in a state park, so all the trees will be pre-cut for you! Families will be able to browse through the amazing forest, created of Frasier Firs, Scotch Pines and of course, White Pines, to find the perfect tree for their home.
In addition to finding a tree, Santa will be on hand November 25-November 27, December 3-4 and December 10-11 from 10am to 3pm. There is a christmas village complete with kids crafts, hot apple cider, hot chocolate, apple cider donuts and cinnamon roasted nuts. There will also be horse drawn wagon rides on ovember 25-November 27, December 3-4 and December 10-11 from 10am to 3pm. However, on Saturday, November 26 horse drawn wagon rides will run from 10-2 due to Oregon, IL's Candlelight Walk. With the purchase of any tree guests receive 10% off for the entire family on any meals eaten at the Inn's well known restaurant.
White Pines Forest State Park is the perfect backdrop for this timeless holiday tradition. The park offers rolling hills, a marvelous forest filled with hiking trails that skirt meandering creeks and limestone bluffs, and many species of wildlife including deer, chipmunks, wild turkeys and more. For guests looking to warm up after an afternoon in the great outdoors, the landmark restaurant located in the massive log cabin lodge, known far and wide for their famed home style cooking, is a favorite stop. The Inn is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner every day and boasts Paul Bunyan sized entrees and savory desserts. Every December the lodge is transformed into a winter wonderland, complete with frosted window panes, and glowing fires in the great stone hearth fireplace.
Located right next to the restaurant is the Christmas Gift Shop, a twinkling, magical place just waiting to be discovered, with delightful treasures of all kinds. Everyone loves the store's special sweet shoppe filled with chocolate truffles and warmed apple cider donuts.
The White Pines Forest offers even more hidden treasures - cozy little Hansel & Gretel style cabins with fireplaces which are nestled among the pine trees creating a nostalgic little village. All of the historic cabins have hand hewn log beds with old fashioned trundle beds for the children. There are overnight packages available which include teddy bears, breakfast at the Inn and a Christmas tree, all for one unbelievably low price.
There's more - for the past 25 years, White Pines Dinner Theatre, located in the Inn, has produced the hilarious show, "Scrooge the Comedy ". It's a wild and zany version of Charles Dicken's immortal classic, "A Christmas Carole", and uses audience participation. The play is perfect for all ages, offering an afternoon or evening of wholesome family fun. Performances run mostly Thursday through Sunday each week beginning Thanksgiving Weekend. The White Pines Christmas Tree Forest opens the day after Thanksgiving, and will be open daily 8:00 AM to Dusk, through the Sunday before Christmas.
For more information on how to get started planning a trip to White Pines Forest and possibly begin a family tradition - call 815 946-3817.