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Swedish Cottages in the Woods That Melt Your Heart

Many of you know that I grew up in Geneva, Illinois, due west of Chicago on the outskirts of the suburbs. The town has a Swedish history and features Good Templar Park where members of the International Organization of Good Templars would come to celebrate Midsummer, which is Swedish Day, or “Svenskarnas Dag” in Sweden. Campground tents were eventually replaced with Swedish cottages, known as stugas (Swedish for little houses).

Good Templar Park recently held their “Cottages in the Woods” event so the public could tour the grounds and go inside some of the privately-owned Swedish cottages. My family and I had the pleasure of attending this event last weekend. Each open cottage had a local crafter selling items. But what I loved most was seeing the Swedish cottages throughout the grounds.


One cottage is as cute as the next and each has their unique embellishments like the white trip at the peak of this dark gray house. To signify which homes were open to the public, signs were created with the iconic Swedish Dala horse on them.

Dark gray summer cottage


This white tiny house has plenty of details despite its lack of color. Shamrock shutters pair with board and batten siding topped off with a collection of circles at the peak.

White summer cottage at Good Templar Park, Geneva, IL


A colorful outdoor dining table is situated in front of the house above.

Swedish outdoor table and chairs for al fresco dining


Good Templar Park doesn’t have streets or sidewalks running through it. Think of it as a campsite where cottages stand in lieu of RV campers or tents.

Light blue Swedish summer house


The houses don’t have heat or bathrooms. There’s a community bathroom in the middle of the park for showering. Owners can stay in their Swedish cottages whenever they’d like, but most visit in the summer.

Light blue Swedish summer house


It was challenging to get interior photos due to people walking in and out of the cottages, but I did manage to get a few from the home above. You can see the space heater on the kitchen counter that was used to help heat the home during the tour.

Tiny house white kitchen


The cottages at Good Templar Park do have running water and electricity so you can make meals. I love the Swedish sink skirt. And of course, there’s plenty of Scandinavian knick-knacks.

Tiny house white Scandinavian kitchen



Here’s the living room/bedroom at the back of the house. The Christmas pillows were for sale, but unfortunately, the rug was not.

Small Scandinavian living room in tiny house


Here’s a cheery house that immediately caught my eye in the midst of all the Swedish cottages.

Small yellow Swedish summer cottage


So cute with the flower and dragonfly embellishments.

Small yellow Swedish summer cottage


The colors remind me of my home’s exterior color scheme, except we used navy instead of coral. But we do have those same chairs!

Small yellow Swedish summer cottage


At the entrance to the Cottage in the Woods tour were these charming pieces of fairy art lining the trail.

Fairy banner at Cottages in the Woods


Fairy banner at Cottages in the Woods


These painted banners are about four feet tall. Aren’t they sweet? The kiddos loved them.

Fairy banner at Cottages in the Woods


And speaking of kids, there was a craft table for them to decorate wooden peg dolls with felt leaves and flower cut outs. I made this one (funny how the craft table had just as many adults as children making peg people).

Fairy wooden peg doll


Our trip to Cottages in the Woods was the perfect day. It was crisp, fall weather in the sun and it wasn’t too crowded, which gave me the opportunity to get photos without people in the them blocking the view.

Colorful Swedish cottages in the woods at Good Templar Park, Geneva, IL


Here’s the back porch of the house above.

Colorful Swedish cottages in the woods at Good Templar Park, Geneva, IL


And a little further back is this charming bridge that leads to the other side of the park.

wooden foot bridge in the woods


I have more photos to share, but I’ll save them for another day. So many Swedish cottages to see!


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  1. I love these little cottages, especially all the colors. The kitchen shown was adorable and it’s coziness makes up for its size. The knick knacks lend to the charm.

  2. I really enjoyed this post. Would have loved to have seen more of the interiors. What a quaint little place. I wonder why they don’t have heat but have electricity. Couldn’t they install electric heat?

  3. All these cottages are so adorable. However, I would want my own bathroom if I owned one! In Ocean Grove, NJ near where I live there is a section of tent homes that are occupied in summer months. Many have been passed down through generations in a family. They are very small as well, and are not used in the colder months.

  4. Charming! This looks like a wonderful woodsy park. I usually have to get up in the night once for the bathroom…I can’t imagine having to take a walk to do that, I’d never get back to sleep.

  5. My family and I attended this fall festival too. It was our first time. You captured beautifully the cute cottages. As you said it really was a beautiful fall day. I am glad your family enjoyed as much as mine did.

  6. Hi Debra, My name is Kevin from Good Templar Park. All cottages are served by 1 electric meter so we all pitch in equal amounts of money. We are considered a seasonal campground and are taxed accordingly. We do allow anyone to run a space heater or window AC but only while you are there. You can’t leave it running when you leave. Thanks for your question.

  7. I am a cottage owner at Good Templar Park and would like to thank you for a lovely post on the Cottages in the Woods event. You captured with you photos and article our park community perfectly. The last sentence of you article indicated more posts of the cottages……I look forward to seeing them. Thank you again!

    1. Hi Karen!  You are so lucky to own one of these charming cottages. And I was so lucky to be able to see them for the first time. I grew up in Geneva and have never visited Good Templar until now. The second post with more cottage pictures will be published this Saturday. My family and I plan to return for future events at the park – we really enjoyed our day and the weather was perfect.

  8. Jennifer
    I am from Cottages in the Woods, you did a blog story on us last year. Can you contact me. Thanks Karen