Hello! Welcome Back to The Carlisle House Blog!
As the weather gets colder, the fun doesn’t stop in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. Here is a list of fun things to do in Carlisle, a little bit about winter in Carlisle, staff favorite holiday songs, and what winter looks like in Carlisle!
What Is Winter? When Does It Start?
As with fall, winter has two official start dates – the first (December 1st) being the Meteorological winter and the second (December 21st) being the Astronomical winter. You may ask what the difference between the two of these things are.
The Meteorological winter is based on annual temperature cycles and the 12-month calendar. Each season in the Meteorological calendar begins on the first day of a month and ends on the last day of a month. The Meteorological calendar system was created by scientists who wanted to make it easier to keep records.
Astronomical winter is based upon the winter solstice, which occurs on June 20th or 21st in the Southern Hemisphere and December 21 or 22 in the Northern Hemisphere. The solstice is when the Earth reaches its maximum tilt away from the sun and is the longest night and shortest day of the year based on sunlight. After the solstice days get longer, and before it days get shorter.
What Does Winter Look Like In Carlisle?
Carlisle typically gets 30 inches of snow a year, which is higher than the national average of 28 inches a year. The January low is 21 degrees Fahrenheit (-6 Celsius).
What To Do When It’s Cold Outside
In this list of good thing to do when it’s cold outside, I’ve included both things that are fun and keep you inside, as well as outside activities.
Ice Fest – From February 2nd at 4pm until February 44th at 3pm, Ice Fest will be going on in Carlisle. There will be over 100 ice sculptures around the downtown area of Carlisle. This is the 7th annual Ice Fest. There will be an ice thrown in the Town Square. This is a great event to grab someone you love, bundle up, and go on a stroll of downtown Carlisle. More information is available here.
Holiday Drinks – Many local businesses have holiday drinks. Gingerbread Man has a wide variety of winter cocktails. An image of their drink menu is beside this. Grand Illusion is doing red envelopes. They hand out red envelopes for every stop made at Grand Illusions, while supplies last, that contain prizes that are redeemable in January. Castlerigg Winery also has a fun list of events coming up. Their calendar can be found here.
Ski Roundtop – Roundtop Mountain Resort is a great place for winter activities. They have skiing, as well as snowboarding and lessons for each. Roundtop also offers Snow Tubing, which is tubing down a mountain on a tube, and having a magic carpet ride back to the top. Each Friday night, Roundtop has a Friday Nights Lights party. This includes glowing giveaways, fireside snacks, glowsticks, roasted marshmallows, and a DJ. The party stops much after the stars come out and it is dark.
A Stay At The Carlisle House Bed and Breakfast – Carlisle House Bed and Breakfast is the perfect place for you to stay. Rooms from a single bedroom to an entire suite can accommodate you or any family you want to bring with you.
Breakfast in room is an option if getting up and going in the morning isn’t quite your thing. If you aren’t staying at the Carlisle House Bed and Breakfast, you can always walk by to see the front of the house, which is decked out with holiday decorations. Have in-laws coming to town that make the say difficult? Suggest a stay at the Carlisle House Bed and Breakfast so you can get some peace and quiet for the night! (This applies to all family, not just in-laws).
Cumberland Valley Visitors Center – Located on High Street, the Visitor’s Center is a great place to get brochures, maps, and guides, which will help you find the best experiences in Cumberland Valley. Admission is free and the Center is right next to lots of shops downtown.
Cumberland County Historical Society – The Cumberland County Historical Society is celebrating their 150th anniversary in 2024. Carlisle House Bed and Breakfast was so honored to be part of their holiday tour in December and welcomed many community members to come into the house and take a look around and learn about the House’s historic history. They have a museum and shop at the two mile house. Cumberland County Historical Society was designated as the official Historical Society for the county by the County Commissioners in 1987. The museum that is open today is on the second floor of the Historical Society opened in 2005.
History on High – Located in downtown Carlisle across from the Cumberland Valley Visitors Center, you can shop locally-made artwork and artisan crafts. This includes paintings, fine jewelry, textiles, pottery, metalwork, wood carvings, clothing, and food items. There is also a collection of published works about Cumberland County’s 250+ year history and many photographs.
Create-A-Palooza – Create-A-Palooza is a great place to make a little pottery. With classes and open studio everyday, this is the perfect place to grab a friend or a loved one and sit down and make some pottery. They also offer a take home kit, where you can take home the pottery, paint it, bring it back so they can fire it, and then pick up afterwards. Create-A-Palooza is available to book for a party and has a wide variety of party packages.
The native limestone wall that surrounds the graveyard was begun in 1806 to keep out cattle. The “New Section” of the graveyard was laid out in 1891.
Carlisle Staff Favorite Winter/Holiday songs!
I thought it would be fun to ask everyone what their favorite holiday song is and why. Below is all staff’s favorite holiday song and why.
Carolyn – O Holy night. Why? I just love the song. It makes me feel peaceful.
Chloe – Santa Baby. Why? It has always been my favorite Christmas song. I saw dancing to it when i was young and so it has always felt special to me.
Paul – Carol of the Bells. Why? It’s intense and the chord progression is nice.
Linda – Please Come Home for Christmas. Why? It’s a good song about love and lost love.
Michelle – Silent Night. Why? Because it is peaceful and calming.
This year, Carlisle House was part of the Carlisle Historical Society’s Holiday tour. For the tour, we made an assortment of food and drinks that turned out really well for the holidays, so we wanted to share those recipes. This includes sausage balls, caprese balls, mexican wedding cookies and naughty and nice cranberry drinks.
These sausage balls are perfect because they use cream cheese which makes them much less dry than traditional sausage balls. Makes about 35 balls.
1 lb of sausage (can be spicy if you enjoy spicy sausage)
8 oz of cream cheese (softened)
1 1/4 cups bisquick
1 cup shredded cheddar Cheese
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Mix all the ingredients until well combined. Roll into 1-inch balls and place onto a rimmed baking sheet. Bake for 18-22 minutes or until brown. Serve warm.
These are surprisingly simple to make and will include some optional items. The recipe makes 20.
-roma tomatoes 20 (you need only 10 if you’re cutting the tomatoes in half)
-20 mozzarella balls 1 oz (I recommend marinated and from Costco)
-20 basil leaves
-1 oz smoked salt (optional)
-20 bamboo knot picks (optional)
There are two different ways to deal with the tomatoes. You can either cut off the top and scrape out the inside or cut them in half and scrape out the inside. Both ways work, but they will look a little different based on what you decide. In the photo above, I used the cut in half tactic.
After you’ve done that, lay a basil leaf in the bottom on the tomato. This will act as a bed for the mozzarella. Ideally, the basil will peak out of the tomato, so it will have both the red and green colors showing. Then lay the mozzarella onto the basil. I tried to get a s much of the oil off it had been marinated in as possible.
Optional: sprinkle a little salt on the top of the mozarella. It adds to the flavor of the entire dish.
Optional: If you want the balls
sitting on the top of the cup the way it is shown in the picture, you will push the bamboo knot pick through the tomato and botto
m of the mozarella. This is not an easy task. I recommend trying to make the pick as flat at possible so it will sit best on the bowl and also trying to get the pick as near to the top of the tomato as you can without ripping the top of the tomato.
Mexican Wedding Cookies
1 cup of butter, sliced
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
1 3/4 cup all purpose flour
1 cup of pecans chopped
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Beat butter for one minute with mixer. Mix in powdered sugar and beat until smooth. Mix in vanilla. Add flour and mix on low speed until just combined. Mix in pecans.
Use a small cookie scoop to portion the dough and roll into balls and place on baking sheets. Refridgerate pan for 15 minutes after balls are placed onto it. Bake for 13-15 minutes or until the bottoms are lightly brown. Allow to cool for 5 minutes. Roll in powdered sugar and place on cooling rack. Allow to fully cool.
Once fully cool, roll through powdered sugar again.
Cranberry Cocktail and Mocktail
These are very easy to make and are warm to keep you toasty as the weather gets colder. This recipe makes 5.
30 fluid oz of Cranberry Cocktail
15 fluid oz of Orange Juice
2.5 cinnamon sticks
5 slices Fresh Ginger
5 teaspoons of honey (you can always add more if you like it sweeter)
7.5 oz of rum (optional) (some will burn off as you warm it)
Put the cranberry cocktail, orange juice, cinnamon, cloves and ginger in a pot and warm until it boils. Then reduce heat and let simmer for a few minutes.
Remove from heat. Add honey and rum (optional) and strain into glass for serving.
As always, thank you for reading. If you feel I missed anything, please reach out via social media or call and I would be so happy to chat about what you liked or didn’t like.