At this time of year I find myself watching way too many holiday movies. But it got me thinking about how the majority of the movies are set in quaint, small towns. In fact, the towns feel somewhat familiar and could easily be swapped for the charming cities found in Jefferson County. There’s just something about the fresh air, friendly faces, and historic downtowns dressed in their holiday best that make you feel all the holiday feels.

So what would a holiday movie in Watertown, Wisconsin look like? Well, let’s create that right here, right now! You’ll have to bring your own love story, but we’ll provide the rest.

Shopping scenes

We’ll set the scene on Main Street, with nine blocks of unique shops and friendly owners, ready to greet you to Watertown. Maybe the stars of our movie will browse our antique shops, or get a holiday-flavored latte at a downtown coffee shop. Maybe they’ll be looking for that hard-to-find book in our book store, or we’ll find them browsing through an eclectic collection of vinyl records.  Or maybe they’re on the hunt for that special holiday outfit in one of our boutiques. Finding a great location to shoot our shopping scenes will not be a problem.

3 women in downtown watertown

Taking in a downtown stroll

Of course no good holiday movie would be complete without a romantic stroll through a chilly downtown, full of lights and splendor. We definitely have that covered. Our movie viewers will be impressed with the nostalgia that a historic downtown brings during the holidays. Lights, boughs, and even full size trees can be seen in the windows. They’re beautiful during the day, but we’re going to shoot our scenes in the evening when the lights are shining bright.

Building with Christmas decor and lights

The Santa plot

Our plot involves making a Christmas wish to Santa, and he’s ready to lend a hand. Santa is available for visits with the public on select dates and times throughout the season. You’ll find him in his cozy red house at Sharp Corner Park, a great backdrop to capture your holiday memories.

Santa looking out the window

 Gather the sweets

There are no diets in holiday movies. In fact, sugar is a staple! No worries there. We have sweets, sweets, and more sweets. In downtown alone, you’ll find a bakery and 2 coffee shops with full display cases of goodies.

Trays of holiday cookies

Trim the tree

Artificial trees are a big no-no in holiday movies, so our stars will meet up at CW Christmas Trees to pick the best tree on the lot. Then, they’ll drive just down the road to Tietz Family Farms to pick up some homegrown popcorn. They’ll pop it to string on the tree, but they would be crazy not to enjoy some for themselves. Their ornaments will come from Far Horizons Imports, where they’ll find unique hand-crafted ornaments that can be enjoyed for generations.

Christmas tree with ornaments

Fun-filled montage

OK, we’ll need a montage of fun scenes to show the true spirit of the season.  We’ll shoot the snowball fight in one of our 30 city parks, the ice skating scene at Heiden Pond, sledding at the High School hill, and a walk through the snowy woods at Brandt-Quirk Park.

Snowy path with luminaries

Wrapping it up

In the end, Santa granted the Christmas wish, and our stars find true love at the city’s Christmas tree. The scene is the new Sharp Corner Park, where the tree can conveniently be found next to Santa’s house.  And they all lived happily ever after.

Did we cover the ambiance of a small-town Christmas movie? If so, let’s get this movie going, with YOU as the stars! For more information on holiday shopping and activities, follow us on Facebook, Instagram, or visit us on our website.

Robin Kaufmann is a member of the Jefferson County Tourism Council and manages the daily operations of the Watertown Tourism office.  She's a Watertown resident and the QUEEN of our Facebook content!