Area residents may know the DeKoven Center as an interesting historic site in our community — one whose roots date back more than 150 years to its founding as Racine College, and that today serves as a wedding/reception venue and Retreat & Conference Center.

Soon, the DeKoven Center will also be known to people everywhere for offering some of the Midwest’s most unique Airbnb accommodations. We’ve been busy in recent months converting several apartments on our historic, lakefront property into newly-furnished units, designed specifically for Airbnb rentals.

For those unfamiliar with Airbnb, it is a global online marketplace through which people rent out their own properties, or spare rooms, to guests. It offers today’s travelers an intriguing variety of accommodations and experiences. And we are excited to be able to share DeKoven’s unique brand of hospitality with a wider audience, through Airbnb.

Two of the units offer one-bedroom apartment accommodations, located in the Gatehouse on the south end of campus. A third, two-bedroom unit is in one of DeKoven’s East buildings, facing Lake Michigan. All three will offer guests the historic charm that DeKoven is known for, along with comfortable new furnishings, full kitchens, WiFi access, free onsite parking and easy access to Lake Michigan and Downtown Racine.

Keep an eye out for these rental units on the Airbnb website, as we plan to launch them there soon. And keep them in mind next time you have family or friends coming to town, or are just looking for a fun, affordable place to escape to for a weekend!

“Dr. Who” and more

In the meantime, we continue to host a wide range of groups at DeKoven’s Retreat & Conference Center, while our wedding chapel and reception venues are already in motion for their busiest season.

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This summer, DeKoven will also offer two of our own retreats, which are open to the general public. First up is the Long Summer Retreat, taking place June 16-20 in Taylor Hall.

This annual retreat draws people from throughout the Midwest in search of deeper spiritual reflection and fellowship. “Jesus is the Answer: What’s Your Question?” is the topic of this year’s retreat, to be led by the Rev. Brian Hastings of Chicago’s Episcopal Church of Our Saviour. All are welcome.

In July, fans of the BBC television series “Dr. Who” will recognize a familiar sight on the DeKoven Center grounds. A TARDIS — Dr. Who’s fictional time machine and spacecraft — will be stationed outside during a new retreat taking place here July 19-21 that will explore The Gospel According to “Dr. Who.”

Led by the Rev. Deborah Woolsey, the two-night retreat will feature screenings of past episodes and discussions of the Christian themes that can be found in them. But, you don’t have to be a “Dr. Who” fan, or of any particular faith, to participate. Even those who have yet to see a single episode are welcome to join this time of finding God in all of time and space.

Woolsey, who serves as rector of the Church of the Good Shepherd in Athens, Ohio, led a series of “The Gospel According to Dr. Who” programs with her parish last year. And several parishioners who did not know about “Dr. Who” were “delighted to learn something new and appreciate learning to look for the sacred in the secular,” she said. They, too, had a TARDIS on the church grounds and found that it reminded them “that interacting with the Holy Spirit can be playful and joyful and still be holy,” Woolsey said.

More information about these, and other DeKoven sponsored retreats is available at www.dekovencenter.org/new-events. Information and registrations are also available by calling 262-633-6401, ext. 110, or sending an email to lroberts@dekovencenter.org.

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