We’ve been told a couple of times that we needed to check out Weston, Missouri, for its Christmas season. Father Christmas roams the downtown area and the area is decked out for the holidays.
We made the 2.5-hour drive south from Omaha to check out the holiday season in Weston. Initially, I didn’t see the downtown “decked” out in holiday décor. But, we wanted to be fair and check out the area. We were in Weston a couple of months ago mid-Fall with friends – http://thewalkingtourists.com/weston-missouri-offers-great-day-trip-opportunities-midlanders/. While we had a fun time with our friends, the itinerary that day didn’t include as much “investigating,” as our recent trip.
It didn’t take long until we met Father Christmas. The Victorian-era Santa has walked the streets of Weston beginning Nov. 1st for the past 27 years. And he doesn’t show any signs of slowing down.
The area didn’t match my imagination for decorations. I expected Main Street to resemble Clark Griswold’s house from “Christmas Vacation.” However, the street was decorated more subtly, with wreathes on street signs, holiday displays in windows and in front of stores.
We patrolled the street for a lunch spot since we arrived around that time. There are quite a few choices along Main Street. We decided to try Tin Kitchen. The restaurant has been open for a couple of months, but the place was busy. So, business is good.
Lisa tried a pulled pork sandwich. She liked it. I had a burger. It was excellent. The sandwiches come with a side of regular fries. It was reasonably priced and service was good.
With our tummies happy with food, we started our trek through the offerings Weston gave us. Main Street is home to a lot of eclectic stores – from candle making to old photos and cameras.
One of the first stores Lisa wanted to check out was Renditions. It had a variety of hand crafted home décor items. An entire room is dedicated to Polish pottery, including teapots and creamers.
I was intrigued by the witch balls hanging in the front window. They were beautiful. Lore says they will protect people from evil spirits.
We learned about good deeds at the Farmers House market. The store operates as a non-profit, because of its works with developmentally challenged people. Farmers House has two locations in Weston – the farm outside of town and the store, which sits in a 100-year-old facility.
People in the programs they operate get hands-on experience in running a small business, including taking inventory, stocking, running a cash register and customer service.
Three additional programs focus on planning, planting and raising produce, as well as preparing and packaging products. They also teach safe food preparation and service by catering events with boxed lunches, as well as wedding receptions. The pecan pumpkin butter and strawberry jam we bought were packaged by program participants. It seems like a great opportunity for people to learn and develop additional skills.
Missouri Bluffs Boutique gave a glimpse into some vintage clothing and other items. Jewelry features the work of a couple of Israeli artists. Pajamas come in pizza boxes.
I liked the vintage Christmas ornaments featuring monkeys.
Back Roads Art gave us a close-up view of regional artists and their crafts. They have a variety of art – from wood carving, metal work to Native American art. The owners travel the area and work with a lot of the region’s artists.
Lisa liked a set of metal-designed Native American feathers. If she’s a nice girl, maybe Santa will bring them to her. She also has a HUUUUUGGGE birthday coming up.
I loved Hawk’s Nest! This is a manly man’s shop. LOL. My favorite item in the store was a buck-toothed deer with bull horns and a top hat. Apparently, the owner likes to add horns via taxidermy once a year to an animal that doesn’t normally have them.
On the softer side, the store had a fantastic holiday mood-setting exhibit with a table decoration in front of a fire place.
Another favorite of ours was The Celtic Ranch. The store has so much Irish merchandise, I felt like I was back in Belfast or Dublin (we had a fantastic trip to the Emerald Island a few years back). Non-Irish clothing is also sold there.
One thing stood out – a mannequin wearing a kilt was half green and orange. I figured it maybe had to do with the national colors, but the owner said it was done by an Irish artist, and he thought it was cool.
The store has a mini horse named Half-pint McGee in a small fenced-in area at the back of the store. He is well-taken care of and is walked often during the day. Half-pint’s job is to keep the fairies in check. A display of the little vixens stands near the horse. From what I could see, he’s earning his oats.
Cactus Creek was a store I wanted to check out as soon as I saw it when we arrived. A display featuring burlap curtains intrigued me.
Stores seemed like museums to me during our visit. They had some many interesting items that you sometimes forgot why they’re in business.
Buffalo Ranch Rustic Home Furnishings offers quite a bit of taxidermy animals for sale. A raccoon actually fishing for its meal was humorous.
A stuffed wolf bearing its fangs would make the best holiday gift for that special someone.
I found a jackalope.
McCormick’s is one of the country’s oldest distilleries. While it’s closed to the public, the store on Main Street offers the distillery’s products, as well as other brands.
Apparently, Santa Claus needed to take in some whiskey business.
We finished our stroll down Main Street with a visit to the Sundance photo gallery. The owner has collected cameras for several years. They are displayed for sale. I liked a couple of antique ones and thought they were very well-priced. Old black and white photo prints are available, as well.
Since we came to visit the area, we took a path off of the main drag. A mural of the old town jail is so lifelike; you might try opening a door to look inside. I may or may not know of someone who thought of doing this.
The city park looks like it would be a beautiful place to take a morning or evening walk during spring through fall. I only say this because the trees would really accent the walk with leaves, etc. the park was a nice place to walk during our visit.
We looked for the remnants of an old school building. It was the African-American school building from the mid-1800s. The visitors center talked us through the map on where to see it. But, I’m not sure we were successful. We saw an older building, but it wasn’t marked, so we were unsure.
The town has a walking or driving history tour of key sites, buildings and homes. We realized there is a lot to do in Weston. One might not think so when they see the size of the small northwest Missouri town. This was our second trip since October. We didn’t get to everything we wanted to see during our day trip. That means another trip down Interstate 29. This time, we may need an overnight trip to handle everything.
We can see why Weston has been voted the top day trip in the Kansas City area by Ingram’s Magazine, The Pitch weekly, as well as the top overnight destination by Visit Kansas City (visitors bureau). We will be back, and we will find the schoolhouse.
For more information on Weston and its community offerings, please visit www.westonmo.com.