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Switzerland County offers a host of enjoyable holiday activities, starting with its Festival of Lights Kick-Off Celebration on December 1. But the most interesting events are those held at Switzerland County's two historic reenactment sites: Theibaud Farmstead and Musee de Venoge. There, visitors get a glimpse into how 19th-century immigrant families enjoyed Christmas. / Image courtesy of Switzerland County Tourism // Published: 11.20.17

Head To Switzerland County To See How Christmas Was Celebrated Centuries Ago

Cincinnati Refined presents 12 Days of Christmas: All holiday season we’ll be featuring communities around Cincinnati and the awesome Christmas events that set them apart. Today our focus is

Switzerland County, Indiana

Getting in the Christmas spirit is as simple as heading to historic Vevay, Indiana.

That’s where you’ll find Switzerland County’s Festival of Lights Kick-Off Celebration from 6-9 p.m. on December 1. It’ll feature a live nativity, horse-drawn wagon rides with sleigh bells, a meeting with Santa, and a skating rink. At the same time the town will host a Christkindlmarkt with shopping, refreshments, caroling, and angels.

After enjoying all the Festival of Lights events, drive around Vevay’s Paul Ogle Riverfront Park for a magical display that overlooks the Ohio River.

Sounds like a pretty great way to start the Christmas season, right? Well, stay overnight and it gets even better. Because at 2 p.m. on December 2, you’ll have the chance to see The Nutcracker Ballet at the Historic Hoosier Theater. It’s a beautiful production of the holiday classic, and it’s exactly how a modern-day Christmas weekend should end.


But what if a modern-day Christmas isn’t what interests you? What if you want to know what Christmas looked like in, say, 1820? Good news! Switzerland County has that too, thanks to its two historic reenactment sites—Thiebaud Farmstead and Musee de Venoge.

Year-round the sites offer visitors a glimpse into the lives of 19th-century Swiss immigrant families... how they slept and ate and what they did for amusement. But on a special day in December they’ll host A Country Christmas, where those same families will demonstrate how Christmas was celebrated in front of the hearth.

At the Musee de Venoge you’ll enjoy traditional Swiss Christmas cookies, doughnuts, and sweet potato puffs while listening to music from the time period. Meanwhile, volunteers at the Theibaud farmstead will decorate a Christmas tree and dramatize period tales such as A Visit from St. Nicholas. Tours of the farmstead’s impressive restored smokehouse and hay press barn will be ongoing throughout the day as well.

That’s 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. on December 9.

The reenactment sites are on the outskirts of Vevay. Considering that, you could enjoy those events in the afternoon then be back in Vevay for White Christmas Movie Night at the Historic Hoosier Theater, starting at 7 p.m.


Lastly, Vevay will have a Christmas Craft Walk on December 16 from 1-5 p.m. Five shops within the shopping district will each host a special craft for different age groups.

Santa Claus will be at the visitor center from 1-3 p.m. on the same day to visit with the kids! Capturing Moments Photography will provide digital downloads of your child’s visit. It’s free, it’s fun for the whole family, and it’ll definitely get everyone into the holiday spirit.

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For more information about Switzerland County’s Christmastime events, visit their website.

Can’t make it to Switzerland County for the holidays? Don’t worry, they put on several other wonderful events throughout the year, including a River Town Art Tour in May, a Swiss Wine Festival in August, and a Sleepy Hollow Festival in October.