The Washington County Historic Courthouse has a rich history of civic and community engagement. Today the Courthouse hosts a variety of community, family-friendly events, history-based programs/exhibits, fundraisers and more. Proceeds from our events support the Historic Courthouse Restoration Fund.
To receive e-mail or text updates on upcoming Parks & Historic Courthouse events, please click here.
For a list of themed tours (ex. Nooks & Crannies Tours), click here
For the full calendar of Parks programs & events, click here.
The Victorian Tea at the Historic Courthouse has been cancelled due to COVID-19. Staff is working on rescheduling the event to a later date.
Sip and savor a catered multi-course tea and enjoy a program by the Minnesota Historical Society in the stately historic courtroom.
Arrive early and tour the exhibits and 1900’s county jail or view displays of the Historic Courthouse China Collection in the courtroom.
The cost is $40 per person. All proceeds benefit the Historic Courthouse Restoration Fund. Enjoy a scrumptious tea while helping to preserve this historical landmark!
The 2020 Ice Cream Social has been cancelled due to COVID-19.
Held outdoors on the grounds of the Historic Courthouse, the Ice Cream Social is a perennial community favorite and the official kick-off to Stillwater’s Lumberjack Days. Featured fun includes:
- Live music
- Children’s games and activities
- Fantasy Corral petting zoo
- Historic medallion button sales and the first medallion clue reading
- History Exhibits, 1900’s County Jail Tours
- Old-fashioned candy booth
- Root beer floats, Brats / hot dogs, chips, etc. available for purchase.
- Bike giveaway
Proceeds from the root beer floats, candy booth and Historic Courthouse merchandise go towards the Historic Courthouse Restoration Fund.
The ice cream social is free to attend and open to the public. Bring a blanket and enjoy live music on the lawn. In the event of rain, the event will adapt and move indoors.
Holiday Photo Sessions Available Nov. 14 - Dec. 27, 2020
It’s time to get into the holiday spirit! Experience the splendor of the holiday season and capture your merry memories at the Historic Courthouse with a holiday photo session. Professional and amateur photographers are welcome to reserve a one-hour session in the courthouse while it is beautifully decorated for the holidays, including the Santa’s Workshop holiday display. Online reservations for sessions are available on weekends from November 16 – December 29. To request a holiday session on a weekday or after office hours, please call 651-275-7075. Please see our guidelines before reserving.
|Holiday Photo Session||$30 per hour||Reserve Now|
Holiday Photography Guidelines
The Washington County Historic Courthouse welcomes photography in the building and on the grounds during the winter holiday season. However, all professional and amateur photographers must request permission for their photo session and follow all photography guidelines. This ensures that there are no scheduling conflicts with other photographers, tours, or private event rentals.
- One Hour Holiday Photo Sessions are available on weekends from November 16 through December 29 and may be reserved online. To request a holiday session on a weekday or after regular office hours, please contact 651-275-7075.
- The session fee is for the space only. A photographer and/or prints are not included in the session price. You are welcome to bring your own camera or make separate arrangements with a photographer to meet with you.
- Photographers must make a reservation prior to setting client dates or arriving at the Historic Courthouse.
- Holiday photography sessions are $30 per hour for standard family sessions, mini sessions, etc. For larger scale wedding photography, commercial, lifestyle, product, etc. shoots, please contact the Historic Courthouse for rates.
- Reservations are based on a single time opportunity and multiple sessions are not permitted without prior arrangements made with Washington County Parks staff.
- Please check in at the Parks office upon arrival.
- Use of commercial screens, external power sources, panels, backdrops, props, lighting, or other professional equipment must be details in the photography application and pre-approved.
- Please respect the work and space of others at the Historic Courthouse. The Historic Courthouse is a working building. Do not enter any offices that are not public space. Respect the tenants working in the offices by not blocking doors and keeping noise levels to a minimum.
- Please do not block any stairwells, hallways or doorways with your shoot or equipment. The Historic Courthouse offers public and private tours daily. Staff and visitors must be able to access all public areas of the building.
- Do not enter into any rooms that are in the process of being set-up for an upcoming event.
- Parks staff reserves the right to ask you to leave a space at any time.
- No antique furniture is permitted to be moved from its original location without prior permission.
- No climbing, sitting or standing atop any antique furniture pieces placed throughout the building.
- Please do not leave any personal items unattended. Washington County Parks is not responsible for any lost, broken, or stolen items.
Friday, November 20 - Sunday, November 22, 2020
Experience the splendor of the holiday season with the 28th Annual Christmas at the Historic Courthouse!
This 3-day event is full of holiday spirit and merry memories. All proceeds raised from this event benefit the Historic Courthouse Restoration Fund and help preserve this historic landmark. Whether you’re looking for a special date night or fun the whole family can enjoy, Christmas at the Historic Courthouse has memorable experiences for all!
$25 in advance/$30 at the door
Indulge the senses at the Friday evening Gala Fundraiser. Sample local beer & wine from Lift Bridge Brewery & Saint Croix Vineyards, enjoy delicious hors d’oeuvres from local vendors, and shimmy to live music and enjoy the first opportunity to purchase unique goods from local craftsmen and vendors before the holiday bazaar opens on Saturday.
Saturday, November 21, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Sunday, November 22, 11 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Holiday Bazaar - FREE to attend!
Wander into a winter wonderland on Saturday and Sunday. Take in the sights of the season with the Historic Courthouse decorated for the holidays inside and out, enjoy live music, shop for the perfect gift at the holiday bazaar, purchase locally made treats at the Holiday Bake Shop or bring your camera to take FREE photos with Santa Claus in his workshop from noon - 3 p.m.
2020 Vendor Applications
Approximately 2,000 visitors begin the season at the Historic Courthouse! This is a juried event and we accept approximately 30 vendors each year. To be eligible, please submit the vendor application, check payment, and photos of your product and booth setup for review by the deadline listed in the application. A sample of your product is not required, however it is encouraged in order to assist our jury in making their final decisions. Vendors will be notified by e-mail of their status in the event after the application deadline. Interested in becoming a vendor at the 2020 Christmas at the Historic Courthouse event? We especially seek out local vendors with a variety of handcrafted and/or local goods. Applications will be available starting in May 2020.
2019 Christmas at the Courthouse Vendor Application
Vendor spaces have been filled for 2019. Applications for 2020 will be made available in May of next year.
2019 Gala Fundraiser Food & Beverage Sponsors:
St. Croix Vineyards
Lift Bridge Brewery
Brine’s Market & Deli
Chowgirls Killer Catering
Grand Catering of Stillwater
A special thank you to our décor sponsor Rose Floral for providing the beautiful outdoor décor at the Historic Courthouse, our fabulous musicians who performed throughout the event, and our wonderful volunteers.
Without you this event would not be possible. Thank you for supporting this historic landmark!