In no particular order…here are 10 fantastic activities to take advantage of in October!

1. Tweet4Treats with us on Twitter! Visit @visitgalena on Twitter and watch for our #Tweet4Treats tweet. All you have to do to enter the giveaway is follow us @visitgalena and then retweet the tweet. You could win delicious candy from Galena’s Kandy Kitchen! Giveaways will be held on Friday October 17 and Friday October 24.


2. Visit a Pumpkin Patch! May’s Pumpkin Barn – Fall family fun. Meander through the beautifully displayed pumpkin barn,  a corn maze, scary haunted barn , friendly farm animals, and fresh vegetables, pies and jellies. On the weekends, add a sky high slide, bounce house and hay rides. Open daily, seasonally.
Dittmar Farms Pumpkin Patch – In the heart of Jo Daviess County, enjoy the countryside and family-friendly fun! Admission includes a pumpkin! Open on weekends, seasonally.

3. Fear Forest - Join Shenandoah Riding Center for a suspenseful tractor-pulled hayride to their haunted trail with only the moon to guide us. Friday & Saturday nights, closes November 1.

4. Celebrity Sightings – Come & meet MiniGrant & MiniAbe in Washington Park on Main Street in Galena, October 25! They’ll be available from 2-5pm for photo ops, stop by & say “hello!”


(photo by Amelia’s Old Tyme Photos and Ghost Tours)

5. Ghost Tour! Recommended for ages 10 & up.  With Amelia’s you’ll experience first hand the three most haunted locations of Galena,  visit a cemetery from the 1800′s and go inside a haunted building… if you dare.  Learn how to use EMF Detectors, K2 meters, ghost box & dowsing rods and try to communicate with the spirits from Galena’s past! Purchase tickets in advance!

6. Haunted Pub Crawl – A guided walking tour, with history, ghost stories, cocktails and socializing with others! Every Saturday at 8pm…check for Fridays!

7. Dinner anyone? Ghost Tales Come Alive at the DeSoto House Hotel – A unique and spooky time after the parade for dinner and a “live” performance.Just real documented facts – no hocus pocus! October 25 at 7:30pm.
Deadly Dinner Murder Mystery at Galena Cellars Vineyard – Enjoy a wonderful dinner in our Barrel Room and become a part of the mystery that takes you back in time to 1933 at “The Cellars.”  SOLD OUT

8. Tarot Card Reading – Let Kathy and Judith, the Two Tarot Ladies, introduce you to the ancient wisdom of the cards. This method of divination, using a special deck of 78 cards, has been used by gypsies and fortunetellers for centuries. Tarot cards have given insight into the lives of many seeking answers to life’s questions.

9. Hallowine In The Vines at Galena Cellars Vineyard – Costume contest & prizes, wine specials & tastings, music & more! October 25, 2014 noon-4pm.

10. The 36th Annual Galena Halloween Parade! October 25, 2014 at 6:30 pm, Main St., Galena

Halloween Parade_sq_blog

 (photo by Rick Remington)

Tag us in your fun photos! @galenajdccvb on Instagram, @visitgalena on Twitter
#galena #jodaviesscounty #enjoyillinois




Let’s be honest, every season is treasure hunting season! Pinterest is the best tool for getting ideas and for trip planning! You can now use our new Antique Shopping in Jo Daviess County Board on Pinterest when planning your hunt. The helpful map gives you a good gauge of which store is close to your favorite lunch spot or where you’re staying. Our website ( continues to be the best resource for information in the county…under “What to Do,” click Shopping, then click Antiques & Collectibles for a full list of shops with their contact info.

Have we forgotten your favorite or do you know of any new stores? Email Betsy at so that we can keep the Board updated! Tell us your favorites on Facebook!



Enjoying our Driftless Region

October 3, 2014

Two new parks have opened in Galena that allow visitors to enjoy nature and the Driftless Region that makes this one of the top Midwestern destinations! Horseshoe Mound officially opened at the end of September this year. You’ll enjoy the stunning views and the natural, restored prairies, as well as the added features that make […]

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Historical Sites & Museums of Jo Daviess County

September 30, 2014

The Old Blacksmith Shop in Galena, Illinois (photo by Brad Basham) Use to plan your trip to Galena & Jo Daviess County. One of the many activities you can include is scouting out all of the historical sites & museums in the area. Grant’s Home is a must-see, but there is so much more […]

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Check with us for Fall Foliage Color!

September 23, 2014

We’ve installed our Unofficial Fall Foliage Meter on our blog and website! Look for it on the top right corner of The Insider’s Guide & We’ll be updating it twice a week so that you can plan your scenic drive according to the colors of the leaves! Our view is from Blackhawk Trace in […]

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Galena welcomes Passion Passport!

September 22, 2014

Passion Passport sent their team of photography ambassadors on a weekend trip through Illinois. The team consists of Zach Glassman @zachspassport, Elliot Vernon @elbow_macaroni, Danielle Haigh @dhaigh and Jessica Schaffer @jess_schaf. Follow their adventures at!

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Galena Taste of Home Cooking School Giveaway!

September 17, 2014

______________________________________________________ We have TWO tickets to giveaway for next week’s Taste of Home Cooking School! TO ENTER visit our Galena/Jo Daviess County CVB Facebook page and tell us in the comments of the giveaway post what your FAVORITE FALL RECIPE is to make. The deadline for the contest is Monday, September 22 at noon CT. […]

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Follow us on Instagram!

September 15, 2014

Follow us @galenajdccvb for Insider tips to Galena & Jo Daviess County! We also feature our favorite photos from Instagramers each week. Use the hashtags #galena & #jodaviesscounty so that we can follow your adventures and possibly feature your pic!

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Autumn Family Fun!

September 10, 2014

October is a big month for our area…the landscape explodes into an autumn kaleidoscope and the crisp Midwest air draws a crowd to Galena & Jo Daviess County. The scenic drive down Hwy 20 is an event in itself, but here are some tools and ideas for your Fall Getaway! The Galena/Jo Daviess County CVB […]

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Plan Your Family Getaway to Galena!

November 28, 2013

In Galena, the list of families activities are endless. As a town with a rich history nestled on a scenic countryside along the banks of the Galena River, historic tours and outdoor adventures reign. Galena is also home to the kid-friendly Chestnut Mountain Resort and several miniature golf courses. If you’re deciding where  to take […]

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