Winter in Sugarcreek

Bell Choir 1
Christine Quickel

With its ever-present polka music permeating the village air and Alpine-in-fluenced décor adorning its quaint structures, Sugarcreek is a happy, relaxing place for a family trip or a romantic escape.

“Life just moves at a slower pace here in Sugarcreek,” said Christine Quickel, the village's marketing administrator “There’s no other place quite like it.”

The “Little Switzerland of Ohio” offers an abundance of unique experiences that can be as simple as just taking in the village's cheerful and peaceful ambiance, Quickel said.

Among the best times to experience Sugarcreek's charming ambiance is during the holiday season, when the sparkle of Christmas lighting illuminates the village amidst the backdrop of the surrounding frosty hills.

The village lights up into full Christmas-time garb on the first Saturday of December, during the annual Light Up Sugarcreek celebration.

“We have free horse-drawn sleigh rides through the village and a Santa house where kids can visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus,” Quickel said. “Kids can get a personalized Christmas ornament, and carolers can be heard throughout the village. It’s like going back in time to an old-fashioned Christmas.”

Throughout the year, Sugarcreek’s guests find themselves transported to a quaint Alpine town. The village was settled by Amish and other German and Swiss families, the latter of whom made the village famous by their cheese-making skills. The Alps may be conspicuously absent from Sugarcreek’s hilly horizon, but apart from the missing mountainous vistas, village visitors might easily imagine themselves touring the streets of a Swiss village — by foot or by horse-drawn buggy.

“The best way to experience Sugarcreek throughout the tourist season may be to immerse yourself in the culture,” Quickel said. “Sugarcreek visitors may be enticed by engaging museums and many one-of-a-kind attractions.”

Among them is the World’s Largest Cuckoo Clock, featuring the joyous music of an oompa band and an animated dancing couple who welcome delighted onlookers every half hour, which is the signature attraction in Downtown Sugarcreek. The impressive 24-foot-high clock, at the intersection of East Main Street and Broadway, is surrounded by elaborate hand-painted murals that depict breathtaking Swiss landscapes amidst the musical backdrop that permeates the village air. The historical murals adorn the facing of seven buildings, while across from the cuckoo clock, a 112-foot-long, 13-panel brick wall details the area’s history through sculpture.

The region’s rich history also is shared at such informative attractions as the Alpine Hills Museum and the unique Age of Steam Roundhouse Museum. The roundhouse museum, which features the largest private collection of steam engines in the United States, helps to preserve America's railroad history.

“The roundhouse is the only one of its kind in the country,” Quickel said. “Even if you’re not a train enthusiast, you’ll find it to be magnificent.”

The 34-acre site includes 22 steamers surrounded by a depot, a store house, a coal loader, a wood water tank, an ash pit, a back shop and — the jewel of the site — a work-ing 18-stall brick roundhouse that surrounds a 115-foot turntable.

The Alpine Hills Museum — which is free to visit — displays a 19th century Amish kitchen and an 1890s cheese house among its three floors of history. The museum also serves as a tourist information center where maps, brochures and other helpful information can be obtained.

A block away from the clock, a unique museum tucked inside Lavon Daugherty’s Collectors Decanters and Steins shop features more than 3,000 unique steins and other works of art.

“Lavon has spent many decades collecting the items,” Quickel said. “He has a lot of historical steins, and he can relate, in vivid detail, all the interesting stories behind them.”

Guests who visit Sugarcreek, she added, are very likely to return home with more than just wonderful memories. That’s because the quality furniture, home goods, antiques and local works of art may prove too tempting to leave behind in the village’s many charming shops. Along with a variety of gift shops, the village also hosts many local wineries.

Visit Sugarcreek online at or call 330-852-4112. Reach them via email at contactus@villageofsugarcreek. com for more information.

While in Sugarcreek, visit
these great businesses!

Hans’ Place Swiss Heritage
Winery and Broad Run Corner
6011 Old Rt. 39 NW • 800-332-3358
“The marriage of wine and cheese”

Dutch Host Inn
1021 Dover Rd. • 330-852-2468
“Where people come as guests and leave as friends”

The Purpose Shop
Follow “The Purpose Shop” on Facebook
102 Dover Rd. NE • 330-852-6135
“Not your typical antique store; celebrating new purpose, old purpose, re-purpose, and most of all God’s purpose”

Carlisle Fabric & Quilts
108 East Main St. • 330-852-2264
“A wonderful selection of Amish made quilts, crafts & more”

Collectors Decanters & Steins
119 East Main St. • 330-852-9191
“Ohio’s largest selection of decanters and steins and museum”

Esther’s Home Bakery and Café
115 East Main St. • 330-852-1515
“Made from scratch with TLC”

The Gospel Shop
Follow “The Gospel Shop” on Facebook
112 East Main St. • 330-852-4223
“Serving visitors with Bibles, Christian books and resources, inspirational art and gifts”

See for more information.