By Mary Vlahos
The holiday season stirs up nostalgic memories of chopping down Christmas trees with the kids, going to quaint stores to shop, seeking out holiday entertainment, and having holiday treats with my family. Visiting the town of Hartville mixes the old with the new, the small quaint stores in downtown Hartville with the sprawling shopping and restaurants of the Hartville Marketplace, Kitchen, and Hardware Store. The one thing you can say about Hartville is that it is truly unique. There is no other place with this combination of entertainment and family fun.
The scent of fresh pine brings back memories of hiking through the snowy hills of a tree farm to find that perfect tree. Cutting down our own Christmas tree was an annual tradition that included my very excited children, the family dog, and holiday treats. Moore’s Farm in Hartville could be the start of a new tradition with your family. They have a wide variety of trees to choose from including White Pines, Blue Spruce, and Fraser and Canaan Fir. If you want to add even more fresh pine smell, opt for their pine roping and wreaths to complete the look.
Adjacent to Moore’s tree farm is Maize Valley Winery and Craft Brewery, a perfect place to stop for lunch or dinner. Maize Valley has a great selection of food options, award winning wines, craft beer, and shopping. Be sure to pick up a bottle of cranberry wine or chocolate covered wine bottles as a gift or a treat for yourself. Sounds like the perfect end to a farm adventure! Breakfasts with Santa reservations open in November.
If finding unique gifts for family and friends is a daunting task for you, there’s hope. Hartville’s downtown area could be just the fix you need. Here is a sample of some of the stores you will find: Modern Vintage has hand crafted and vintage furniture and décor. A Niche in Time has jewelry, pottery, vintage treasures, and heirloom items. Lynn Michele Design carries one-of-a-kind home décor. Maple Street Gallery displays art, pottery, jewelry, and does custom framing. Fiesta Creations carries Mexican pottery and artisan gifts. Shags and Wags Barkery stocks healthy, homemade dog treats (because we don’t want to leave out our 4-legged friends). Hartville Chocolate Factory is the place to go for homemade chocolate and candy creations in holiday shapes and containers. Hartville Mercantile features antique and vintage treasures of furniture, jewelry, glassware, and more. Two E’s in a Pod has children’s clothing, toys, and accessories.
The Hartville MarketPlace, Hartville Hardware Store, and Hartville Kitchen and Collectables, slightly west of downtown, can provide a day of shopping all by themselves! The MarketPlace boasts 110 independent indoor vendors. Each store is independently owned and features unique items such as accessories, jewelry, food items, clothing, home décor, health and beauty, and so much more. The Hartville Hardware Store, well that’s just over 7 acres of store, so wear your walking shoes. Imagine seeing a 1,850 square foot home INSIDE the hardware store. It’s the largest independently owned hardware store in the United States. Looking for Carhart clothing, a power tool, or maybe even a new kitchen as a holiday gift? This is the place to go. Don’t miss their Christmas Open House with aisles and aisles of Christmas displays, ornaments, and décor. Check their website for dates, special events, and appearances from Santa at www.HartvilleHardware.com.
After all the shopping, it’s time to relax and enjoy some hometown cooking at the Hartville Kitchen. As soon as you enter the building you’ll be hit by the smell of pies and breads baking, home-style, scratch-made food items including real mashed potatoes, homemade biscuits, their famous fried chicken, and roast beef and gravy. Don’t forget dessert. With over 20 freshly made pie varieties to choose from, you might want to get two. You can order a slice with your meal or get a whole pie at their bakery. The collectables section of the Hartville Kitchen features a variety of collectables all under one roof. They have Alex and Ani, Brighton, Vera Bradley, Yankee Candle, and Swarovski Crystal, just to name a few. This is the place to find items for that hard-to-buy-for person on your Christmas list.
Holiday entertainment and family fun are things the Hartville area is well known for. Experience downtown Hartville’s An Evening in The Village, December 3-7 from 4:30-7:00 pm. It’s a magical event sure to get you in the mood for the holidays. There are so many things for your family to enjoy. Story time on the train car, wagon rides, barrel train rides, choirs singing Christmas carols, hot chocolate and treats, and of course the main event, Santa riding in on a firetruck to greet the children. Make sure you don’t leave without getting a supply of reindeer food from the Hartville Elevator Company. All of the shops will be open for you to browse and pick up that special gift, or as my Christmas shopping usually goes, something for you and three things for me.
Quail Hollow’s Christmas at the Hollow is December 7, 8, and 9 from 6–9 pm. There is just a $10.00 charge per car, so load up the family and come out to experience Quail Hollow. You can tour the beautifully decorated, former home of H.B. Stewart. Each room has its own festive feel. Enjoy refreshments and entertainment as you make an ornament to take home, or shop at the Quail’s Nest Gift Shop for that special gift. There are outdoor activities as well, such as toasting marshmallows on the fire or taking a wagon ride through the woods. No holiday event is complete without a visit from Santa. If the snow is flying, rent cross country skis from Quail Hollow or bring your own and explore the numerous trails of Quail Hollow State Park. It’s a great way to work off that hot chocolate and those holiday treats.
If you want to totally immerse yourself in the Hartville culture, stay the night. Quail’s Covey Bed and Breakfast is just minutes from downtown on the edge of the Quail Hollow State Park. Their spacious suites, picturesque landscape, and cozy, quiet places to read and enjoy the fireplace make this a perfect choice for a holiday getaway. Comfort Suites Hotel is within walking distance to the Hartville Marketplace, Kitchen, and Hardware store and is in the center of it all. This hotel was rated the number one Comfort Suites in the country, and when you stay there, you’ll know why. Beautiful décor, courteous staff, and a perfect location keeps their guests coming back.
The Hartville area attracts millions of visitors every year. It’s a popular tourist attraction with unique shopping, quaint restaurants, and amazing entertainment. During the holiday season, the town comes alive with special family events you won’t want to miss. We’ve only scratched the surface of things to do and events. For a complete overview of the area, visit www.DiscoverHartville.com and then visit Hartville.
Holiday’s in Hartville Ohio