November girlfriend getaways
When hunting season starts, women head out to have fun with their friends.
© Galena CVB
A reveler at Galena's Nouveau Wine Weekend.
In November, women make a break for it.
As men sit in deer stands or watch football games on TV, women hit the road with their friends. They shop, they visit spas, they sip wine and they see shows their husbands or boyfriends don't want to see.
For women, November is a great month. Not only do they have a good excuse to get away with their friends, but it's time to
start shopping for Christmas. There are art fairs and holiday markets everywhere; Madison has them on three weekends in a
And festivities start early in such shopping meccas as Cedarburg, Wis., which starts its Festive Friday Eves on the eve of Wisconsin's firearms deer opener.
Broadway shows draw weekenders to Chicago and the Twin Cities. Galena is the perennial favorite for power shopping, but groups of girlfriends also sample wine, tour historic houses and take cooking classes.
Women who love the outdoors can join a snowshoe-making workshop or hike in the woods. Hiking won't be so fun after Minnesota's firearms deer season starts Nov. 3, but Wisconsin's doesn't start until Nov. 17. In Michigan, it's Nov. 15-30.
Below are some of the choicest events going on around the region in November 2012.
Madison always is a fun place to shop, in the quirky shops and museum stores along State Street and on more sophisticated
Monroe Street. And in November, three big markets make shopping especially fruitful.
And the Holiday Art Fair is at the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art on State Street Nov. 16-18.
For more, see Shopping in Madison.
The Autumn Festival: An Arts & Crafts Affair, with 500 artisans from 30 states, will be Nov. 8-11 at Canterbury Park in the Minneapolis suburb of Shakopee and Nov. 15-18 at the Odeum Sports & Expo Center in the Chicago suburb of Villa Park.
© Beth Gauper
In Northfield, Division Street is lined with interesting shops.
The Wisconsin Holiday Market at the American Club in Kohler is Nov. 16-18; it tends to be heavier on crafts than fine arts.
For more, see Kohler's luxuries.
In the popular chick town of Galena, "Chocolate, Champagne & Candlelight'' will be held at the DeSoto House Hotel Nov. 3 as a benefit for the Galena Historical Society, $15.And Nov. 16-17 is Nouveau Wine Weekend, with tastings, music, vineyard tours and spa, shopping and lodging specials.
For more, see Galena getaway.
In Chicago, the Fine Chocolate Show at Navy Pier on Nov. 16-18 features pastry demonstrations, chocolate-making demonstrations and samples from more than 125 vendors.
If you're worried about weather, look for a weekend where you never have to go outdoors. In Duluth, the historic Fitgers
brewery complex on Lake Superior houses an inn, day spa, nightclub, brewpub, dinner theater and shops.
The village of Stockholm, on the Wisconsin side of Lake Pepin, is offering a Women's Weekend Nov. 3-4 with cupcake decorating, palm readings, cooking and aromatherapy demonstrations and a "Party in the Rec Room'' show by comedian/novelist Lorna Landvik.
For more, see Destination: Stockholm.
In Minnesota bluff country, Ladies in Lanesboro are putting on the GetFresh
Girls' Weekend Nov. 2-4, with pottery painting, yoga and Pilates, a fashion show, paint demos and a bloody Mary
For more, see The belle of bluff country.
On Lake Michigan, South Haven holds its Women's Only Weekend Nov. 9-11, with comedy night, a jazz brunch, a wine and cheese reception and workshops and demonstrations.
Near Galena, Ill., Eagle Ridge Resort & Spa holds a Scrapbooking Weekend Nov. 16-18, with work space, supply shop and product and technique demonstrations.
© Beth Gauper
A student works on a mosaic project in Mineral Point.
Shopping and a free concert
Less than an hour south of the Twin Cities, the college town of Northfield has an adorable downtown full of unique, locally
Spend the day browsing, then take in a free concert at St. Olaf College, whose music program is world-renowned.
On Nov. 8-9, hear the Early Music Singers/Collegium Musicum. On Nov. 11, hear the Pavia Winds.
For more, see Scrappy
In the adorable town of Mineral Point, half an hour west of Madison, Shake Rag Alley School of Arts and Crafts holds lots of weekend workshops where you'll study color, paint an acrylic or make a mosaic, silk scarf, snowflake mandala or gourd ornament.
Example: "Explore Your Mosaic Style'' on Nov. 4, $95.
Lodgings are right in the Shake Rag campus, some in stone buildings from the 1840s.
For more, see Slinging cement in Mineral Point.
© Beth Gauper
Chicago's theater district has a big selection of touring Broadway shows.
Wine trails around the region, including the Mississippi River Valley and Michigan's Leelanau and Old Mission peninsulas,
offer festive November events that involve sampling, touring and treats.
For more, see Tippling into fall.
In Minneapolis' downtown theater district, the two-woman musical comedy "2 Sugars, Room for Cream'' runs Oct. 11-Nov. 11. David Sedaris performs Nov. 10, and the three remaining Monkees on Nov. 15.
"A Don't Hug Me Christmas Carol'' plays Nov. 23-25. For more, see A jolly holiday in
In Chicago's Loop theater district, "I Love Lucy'' runs through Nov. 11, "Sister Act'' Nov. 13-Dec. 2 and "Les Miserables'' Nov. 14-Dec. 2.
Chicago is a classic girlfriend destination, with lots to do. For more, see Chicago stories.
Comedy, music and dance
In St. Paul, actor-comic Alison Arngrim, who played the hated Nellie Oleson on the TV series "Little House on the Prairie,''
performs "Confessions of a Prairie Bitch'' Nov. 8-11 at the Cabaret
Theater at Camp Bar.
At the Des Moines Civic Center, "Stomp!'' plays Nov. 9-10.
An instructor from a yoga studio will lead hour-long classes, and educators will guide the preparation of locavore meals.
Participants can try archery, hike in the nearby trumpeter swan refuge or relax by the fire.
Eight cabins have wood-burning stoves and use modern restrooms at the nearby log lodge. Cost for lodgings, meals and equipment is $195. Reserve by Oct. 28; call 763-559-6700.
It's a hoot to watch teams of fun-loving women on roller skates — dubbing themselves the Banger Sisters or the Kilmore
Girls — elbow their way around the rink.
© Beth Gauper
Late fall is a great time for a trail ride.
Women love horses, so this is a good time to take a trail ride and see the last of the fall color,
If you have the patience, make classic wood snowshoes for yourself or as a gift. Near the Twin Cities, Wild River State Park offers a Nov. 17-18 workshop that costs $75, including bindings. Sign up by Oct. 12.
Afton State Park also offers a Nov. 17-18
workshop, $100 not including bindings. Sign up by Nov. 1.
For more, see Choosing snowshoes.
Cedarburg, a postcard-perfect village 20 minutes north of Milwaukee, is a favorite destination for girlfriend getaways.
At Cedar Creek Settlement, a restored 1864 woolen mill, Festive Friday
Eves start Nov. 16, featuring dancing, live music, puppet shows, appearances by Father Christmas, cookies and
cider and luminarias.
For more, see Jolly Cedarburg.
Most women like bed-and-breakfasts, but most have rooms with only one bed. But the Wisconsin Bed and Breakfast Association web site makes it easy to find the inns that have two beds: Plug "Bed: Two beds in room'' into its amenity search, and you'll get 41 choices.
But you'll find a better deal in the north woods of Wisconsin and Minnesota, which will be recovering from the fall-color
rush. Many lodges, especially the bigger ones, drop their rates by up to half.
And larger gangs of girlfriends can rent a cottage, condo or house.
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