Get ready for the holiday season at the Julmarknad, or Christmas Market, in Bishop Hill, IL. Market hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on November 25- 26 and December 3. Market hours on November 27 and December 4 are from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Daily attractions include Swedish folk characters, traditional Swedish holiday decorations and music, craft activities, and Christmas gifts for sale. All the town’s shops, museums and restaurants will be open to meet visitors’ holiday needs. Watch out for the Tomten, Swedish elves who roam through the town, looking through windows and peeking around corners in their red and grey outfits. A working model railroad will be on display in the Steeple Building Museum featuring a Christmas display.

The Vasa National Archives will have take home Dala Horse kits available for sale. Each kit has a horse, three colors of paint and two brushes and are $5 each. Supplies are limited and visitors can reserve them by calling (309) 927-3898 or emailing Visitors to the Vasa National Archives can participate at the Make and Take Dala Horse Station, where people can paint their Dala Horses in the basement and let them dry while shopping and exploring Bishop Hill.

The Peasant Works will have a traditional Scandinavian photo op stand at the 1882 Poppy Barn for visitors, as well as a free make and take activity for the kids. On Friday November 25 only, the Cookie Walk will be held at the Colony School from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Homemade cookies and other baked goods can be purchased by the pound. The Bishop Hill Methodist Church will be holding an Advent workshop, where families can make Advent wreaths to take home. The historic Bjorklund Hotel kitchen will be baking cookies from 1 to 3 p.m.

On Saturday November 26 only, the Cookie Walk will take place at the Colony School. Lilly Setterdahl, author of “Until the Lights Come Back On,” will be signing books at the Colony Store from 10:30 am. to noon. She will then be at the Vasa National Archive from 1 to 3 p.m. to discuss the work done by her husband to preserve the Swedish-American experience and to answer questions related to starting genealogy research. Setterdahl’s visit will coincide with the closing reception of the Documenting Swedish-America: A Setterdahl Family Tradition exhibit. Light refreshments will be available. Authors Mary Davidsaver and Jannifer Powelson will have a book signing at the Prairie Arts Center from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Cookie baking will continue at the Bjorklund Hotel kitchen.

On Sunday, November 27 only, cookie baking will take place at the historic Bjorklund Hotel kitchen from 1 to 3 p.m. On Saturday December 3 only, Mary Davidsaver, author of “Shadows Over Bishop Hill”, will have a book signing at the Prairie Arts Center from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. On Saturday December 3 and Sunday December 4, a Chocolate Walk will take place at the Bishop Hill Creative Commons, where visitors can buy quality homemade chocolates by the pound. Kids can make edible tree ornaments at the Bjorklund Hotel from 1 to 3 p.m. Peanuts will be used. These ornaments may be taken home or left at the Hotel to be placed on the Bishop Hill Park’s Christmas tree during the tree lighting on Lucia Nights. Rye bread will also be baked at the Hotel for visitors to sample. The Bishop Hill Arts Council will be holding a gingerbread competition and raffle.

For more information about Julmarknad activities, please call (309) 927-3899 or click here.