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Winter Holidays in Aurora: Our 5 Favorite Ways to Celebrate

Aurora is completely transformed during the winter holidays.

The charm of Aurora always harkens back to a simpler time, and this is even more true during the holiday season. Some small towns evoke the midcentury nostalgia of the Christmas classic It’s a Wonderful Life (and in fact, the town that inspired the film’s fictional Bedford Falls is only 20 miles north of Aurora.) But our little village by the lake conjures something different, when its grand mansions are blanketed with snow and the fireplaces glow with warmth: sleigh rides, carols, candlelight, and winter stillness. The woods are lovely, dark, and deep—and unlike the Frost poem, a cozy night’s sleep is not miles away but waiting just upstairs.

In honor of the season, here are five of our favorite things about the winter holidays at the Inns of Aurora:



Our designers put their hearts into decking the halls at each of our five inns. Each building has its own Christmas tree (or two) and a unique decorating scheme:

• The Aurora Inn features a traditional tree in the lobby, with a red color scheme that matches the Inn’s décor; downstairs in the Lakeside Room is another classic Christmas tree in red and gold, with vintage bird-themed decorations
• The tree at E.B. Morgan House takes its inspiration from the pink décor in the home’s piano room and dining room, with pink garlands, aqua and mother of pearl accents, and pink amaryllis
• Rowland House has three trees: one on the first floor with silver and plaid accents; one on the third floor, inspired by the whimsical designs of MacKenzie-Childs, and another on the third floor showcasing decorative themes from the ‘40s and ‘50s
•  Wallcourt Hall’s Christmas tree is a clean, sleek, modern design featuring LED lights and silver accents, complementing the houses's contemporary styling and bold designs

As the newest addition to the Inns of Aurora, this is the first year that Zabriskie House will be trimmed for the holidays. Its decorations will draw on the blues of the house’s stunning parlors, but the final design is still being put together—a holiday surprise! If you’d like to view the five inns in all their holiday splendor, we offer a guided décor tour most Tuesdays and Thursdays in December. (Call or email our Resort Concierge at the Schoolhouse to confirm this year's dates and times.)




We are so honored to serve as the home away from home for our guests who gather in Aurora to celebrate the season.

Each year—whether as a convenient gathering place for far-flung families, or a no-stress alternative to hosting holidays at home—many groups take advantage of our private rentals to bring friends and loved ones together.

For our guests, there really is no substitute for reserving their very own holiday mansion; for us, as stewards of these beautiful buildings, it’s a joy to see them filled with happy guests and the spirit of the season. The only thing better than enjoying winter in Aurora is bringing your nearest and dearest along to enjoy it with you!




Speaking of nostalgia—when was the last time you decorated a holiday cookie?

Whether it was last year, or twenty years ago, or never, you can get in touch with your inner child and indulge in some confectionery artistry at Aurora Cooks! We’ll provide everything you need to decorate your own sweet holiday treats (without the mess of baking or cleaning up afterwards) as well as some tasty seasonal beverages to enjoy. This is a fun way to gather together and make some new friends with a wonderful holiday tradition.




Winter is the perfect time for spiced tea: beyond just warming you up on a cold day, the right blend of ingredients can offer health benefits during an important season for renewal.

Laura Coburn, our Director of Serenity, offers a winter tea blending workshop for exploring this simple-yet-powerful source of healing. Learn about the properties of different herbs and spices, as well as the best blends for creating a delicious and restorative tonic.

Warm up with some of the best natural medicine for the cold months and take home your own special blend to brighten up the season!

(Call or email our Resort Concierge at the Schoolhouse to confirm this year's dates and times.)




This is the perfect exercise in self-care to usher in the new year.

In a season filled with so much giving, we each need a moment to renew ourselves. Imagine: while the winter wind blows outside, you’re safe and warm on your mat, softly lit by flickering candles, rooted into yourself to draw up strength for the months ahead. Taking some time to look inward before the bustle and excess of the holiday season is a wonderful gift to give yourself.

This gentle and restorative class is accessible for students of all ability levels—one of the most magical ways to celebrate your health.

(Call or email our Resort Concierge at the Schoolhouse to confirm this year's dates and times.)