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Welcome to

The DeSoto Dispatch

December, 2023


The DeSoto House Hotel

"Illinois' Oldest Operating Hotel"

Since 1855

Spend the upcoming holidays in charming and beautiful Galena!

~ Check Out Our Midweek Packages ~

DeSoto House Hotel Gift Certificates

make perfect gifts!

Don't miss these upcoming events!

They sell out quickly!

December Packages:

Midweek Dinner Package

Sunday - Thursday

One-night stay

$50.00 Dinner coupon


Generals' Restaurant Dinner Menu

Subject to availability

Prices good through December 21, 2023

Midweek Breakfast Package

Sunday - Thursday

One-night stay

Breakfast for two


Courtyard Restaurant Breakfast Menu

Subject to availability

Prices good through December 21, 2023

Midweek Breakfast & Dinner Package

Sunday - Thursday

One-night stay

Breakfast for two

$50.00 Dinner coupon


Courtyard Restaurant Breakfast Menu

Generals' Restaurant Dinner Menu

Subject to availability

Prices good through December 21, 2023

Best Available Rate

One-night stay

Starting at $104.00

Subject to availability

Everyone loves a cocktail or two...

Stay with us Sundays through Thursdays and enjoy a complimentary cocktail from 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM, in one of our fabulous restaurants.

Then join us for dinner!

Upcoming Events:

Catch the Train in Galena!

Model Train Show

Now through Friday, December 17, 2023

Thursday - Sunday, 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM

Galena Center for the Arts

971 Gear Street

Galena, IL 61036

The Galena Center for the Arts will offer a family holiday celebration of model trains.

Train enthusiast Philip Jackman will display his N Scale operating trains at the Center with trains running through the large display featuring a variety of topography, including small towns, cities, deserts, canyons, oceans and more, with up to three trains running at a time.

What a great opportunity to make family memories!

There will even be a train that the kids can try running themselves.

On Sundays at 2:00 PM, an actress will read aloud the children’s book “the Polar Express”.

For more information click here.


Scenic Art Loop's Monthly Art Drive

Friday, December 1, 2023 - Sunday, December 3, 2023

Friday & Saturday: 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM

Sunday: 9:00 AM - 3:00 PM

Various Artist Galleries

Galena, IL 61036

Drive the hills and valleys of the Driftless Region’s most scenic counties. Take a laid back self-guided tour experiencing art from inception to fulfillment.

Visit talented artists’ in their studios & galleries, while enjoying artisan libations such as food, wine craft brews, and spirits, and discover the region’s hidden talent. Interact and enjoy with unique individuals along your personal tour.

Each month our artists come together to host the Scenic Art Loop by ARRT’s Monthly Art Drive.

Join us on the first full weekend of each month for a new experience. A new map is created monthly to ensure artists’ availability.

For a downloadable map and more information click here.


Brew Methods Class

Friday, December 1, 2023

Friday, December 15, 2023

5:00 PM - 6:30 PM

Trolley Depot Coffee & Tea Company

315 South Commerce Street

Galena, IL 61036

Discover the fascinating journey of our specialty coffee beans from farm to cup.

Join our expert barista as she guides you through four different brewing methods that you can try at home.

Experience the delightful combination of coffee and food to enhance the unique flavors found in our premium coffee beans.

For more information and to register click here.


Christmas at the Fort

Apple River Fort State Historic Site

311 E. Myrtle Street

Elizabeth, IL 61028

Saturday, December 2, 2023

11:00 AM - 3:00 PM

Celebrate Christmas - the 1830's way!

Visit the Apple River Fort and take part in historical Christmas celebrations.  

Experience a typical frontier German Christmas, complete with a decorated fir tree.  

Meet Mrs. Juliette Kinzie, wife of Ho-Chunk Indian Agent John Kinzie of Portage, WI.  

Play with historical toys and hear how Christmas is the "Day the World Turned Upside-Down."

Visit the trading post to barter for the best goods on this side of the Mississippi.

Don't forget to check out the Fort's gift shop, where you'll find unique items for everyone on your shopping list.

For more information click here.


Galena Holidaze Festival

Saturday, December 2, 2023

11:00 AM - 6:00 PM

Green Street Plaza

Galena, IL 61036

This come and go, family-friendly event will feature traveling local artisans with holiday items, local food vendors, live music including Christmas caroling, kids’ activities, a Christmas wreath sale, and silent auction.

Plan to spend the day in the plaza of the Midwest's best holiday town and the evening watching a magnificent display of fireworks presented by the Galena Downtown Business Association.

This event will raise donations to support the Galena Art & Recreation Center.

For more information click here.


Holiday Fire in the Sky

Saturday, December 2, 2023

6:30 PM - 7:00 PM

Depot Park

91 Bouthillier Street

Galena, IL 61036

Enjoy the evening sky as it comes alive with fireworks to

kick off the holiday season in downtown Galena.

See the fireworks from just about anywhere in Galena and surrounding areas.


Classical Blast's Dark Side of the Yule

Friday, December 8, 2023

7:30 PM - 9:30 PM

Turner Hall

115 South Bench Street

Galena, IL 61036

Dark Side of the Yule melds classic rock by bands like Evanescence, Simon & Garfunkel, Metallica, Joni Mitchell, Moody Blues and more, all melded with well-known holiday music: standards, pop & classical! There’s simply nothing else like it.

It's where Christmas meets Classic Rock!

Hear music from our album of the same name and so much more, performed like no one but Classical Blast can! Guest cellist, Tom Culver, from the popular Chicago area band, Strung Out, will be back too.

It may be the most unique holiday show you've seen, featuring top-tier Chicago musicians.

An annual Galena favorite, the show is performed in theaters all over the Midwest.

For more information and tickets click here.


Night of the Luminaria & Living Windows

Saturday, December 9, 2023

Living Windows: 4:00 PM - 7:00 PM

Luminaries: 5:00 PM - 9:00 PM

Main Street

Galena, IL 61036

Enter a land of enchantment on this magical night with more than 5,000 candlelit luminaries on streets, steps and sidewalks.

From Main Street to the hills overlooking Grant Park, all of Galena will be glowing.

Stroll down Galena's Main Street and watch store windows come alive with holiday-inspired animation in Living Windows!

Many of the businesses offer extended hours, so take advantage of the magic and do some holiday shopping!

To enjoy some scenes from last year's event click here.


Tuba Christmas!

Sunday, December 10, 2023

2:00 PM - 3:30 PM

Turner Hall

115 South Bench Street

Galena, IL 61036

Join us as tuba and euphonium players of all ages and all levels from around the tri-state area gather to proclaim the sounds of the season, big brass style.

The ensemble will be led by Dr. Daniel Rowland, tuba and euphonium performer, educator and arranger. Currently, Dr. Rowland is Assistant Professor of Low Brass & Music Education at University of Wisconsin - Platteville and is Acting Principal Tuba of the Dubuque Symphony Orchestra.

For more information click here.


Horse Play at Shenandoah Riding Center

Sunday, December 17, 2023

10:00 AM - 11:15 AM

Shenandoah Riding Center

200 N Brodrecht Road

Galena, IL 61036

What do horses eat? Do they need special diets or vitamins? What do we do if a horse needs to see the vet? These are just a few examples of things we will discuss during your visit.

Come and join us and get a glimpse into what Shenandoah Riding Center is all about.

This is a perfect experience for families or groups that have kids too young for our trail rides. This is also a great choice for those who want to interact with horses without having to get into the saddle or ride in an outdoor environment.

Over the course of your visit, we will engage in several different horse-related activities, and meet with many horses both big and small. We will groom, tack, and lead the horses around the property.

Our horses absolutely love attention and are a great way to interact with equines for younger or more apprehensive humans.

We will also tour our barn and meet with whoever may be inside that day while learning about the functioning of the farm and what it takes to care for these amazing animals.

For more information, other events and to register click here.


Galena & US Grant Museum Open House

Sunday, December 17, 2023

1:00 PM - 4:30 PM

Galena History Museum

211 South Bench Street

Galena, IL 61036

Join us at the Museum to celebrate our 85th Anniversary!

The Galena & U.S. Grant Museum is a treasure trove of captivating artifacts, inspiring artworks, and stories that span generations.

Discover the wonders of our community’s past and present as we proudly showcase the vibrant tapestry of our shared history.

Explore Galena’s history and meet the spirit of Ulysses Grant in a hologram that welcomes guests to the museum where true national treasures, such as the “Peace in Union” and “General Grant on the Battlefield” paintings, Flag from the Vicksburg Siege, a topographical map of Jo Daviess County, and the stories of mining and steamboating are presented.

The museum is located in an 1858 Italianate mansion built as a private residence by Galena merchant Daniel Barrows. The museum features over 6,000 square feet of exhibit space and presentations on lead mining in the northwest region, the Driftless Area, Grant’s leather store, the Port of Galena: 1858.

Discover souvenirs, gifts, and books of a historical nature in the museum gift and bookshop.

For more information click here.


Chocolate Lovers Stroll

Saturday, February 10, 2024

12:00 PM - 4:00 PM

Historic Main Street

Galena, IL 61036

Enjoy chocolate treats of all sorts all while strolling Galena's half mile long historic Main Street loaded with one-of-a-kind shops and restaurants.

Tickets are needed.

Your ticket will include a punch card good for 10 treats (mix and match as you like between the chocolate treat options). 

Tickets are $30.

Tickets always sell out 1-2 weeks prior so don't delay!

All ticket holders must check in between 11:00 AM -1:00 PM at Galena Cellars at 111 North Main Street to get your punch card.

Enjoy the stroll!

For more information and tickets click here.

In addition to browsing through Galena’s 19th-century downtown with more than 100

storefronts, here are some other ways to enjoy our beautiful area:

The Galena River Trail offers 8.0 miles (one way) of scenic hiking, snowshoeing or cross-country skiing.

Galena River Trail

Enjoy scenic outlooks with views across three states at the Horseshoe Mound Preserve.

Horseshoe Mound Preserve

Enjoy panoramic views of the Mississippi River from Casper Bluff Land and Water Preserve.

Casper Bluff Land & Water Reserve

Be sure to visit the Jo Daviess Conservation Foundation website for a list of more places to see under the "Visit Our Preserves" tab.

Other great places to visit in addition to our local historic attractions and museums are:

National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium

The Shenandoah Riding Center

Dubuque Symphony Orchestra

Dubuque Museum of Art

Diamond Jo Casino

Take a break and stop by our Quiet Room on the Main Street level of the hotel to view these videos:

The DeSoto House Hotel

"The Largest Hotel in the West"


Galena: Steamboat Capital of the Old Northwest

Both videos are about 15-20 minutes in length and run continuously.

You can learn more about the history of the DeSoto House Hotel here.

There's always plenty to do in scenic, historic Galena!

Create your dream wedding...

Call to make your dreams come true!


Sales Department

Reserve your getaway now!

Make your reservations by calling

815.777.0090 or 800.343.6562

Check out our website . . . DeSotoHouse.com

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DeSoto House Hotel Gift Certificates

make perfect gifts!

Michael Steinhoff

General Manager