In addition to Newport (see Mansions Aglow: Part I) and New York's Hudson Valley (see Mansions Aglow: Part II) New England has other historic mansions tucked away in its nooks and crannies that make excellent holiday destinations. When you're looking to get away from it all for just a bit this holiday season, here are some further suggestions for mansions to visit where Christmas charm from the past is alive and well in the present.
Other Magnificent Mansions to Visit
Christmas at Victoria Mansion - Victoria Mansion, a historic Italianate home built in Portland, Maine, in 1858, is dressed up for the holidays November 27 through December 31. Hours are Tuesday through Sunday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $6.00 for adults, and $2.00 for children under 12. Special December events include a Holiday Gala at the mansion and carriage house on December 1 from 6 to 8 p.m. featuring hors d'oeuvres, champagne, and caroling. Reservations are required and tickets are $30.00. Also, on December 12, celebrate the holidays with a Victorian Doll Party, including tea in the carriage house and a mansion tour. Reservations are required, and tickets are $15.00 per person. Call (207) 772-4841 for reservations and information.
Hammond Castle's Renaissance Christmas Festival - The former home of one of America's most prolific inventors, the Hammond Castle in Gloucester, Massachusetts, exhibits John Hays Hammond's medieval collections. So, it's the perfect place for a Renaissance Christmas Festival. For the latest information on dates and times for the holiday celebration, call (978) 283-2080.
Gloucester's Hammond Castle celebrates Christmas Renaissance-style. Photo by Kim Knox.
Holiday Homecoming at the George Eastman House - The George Eastman House in Rochester, New York, former mansion home of Eastman Kodak Company founder George Eastman, celebrates the season on Thursday, December 10, with a Holiday Homecoming program featuring festive music and decorations, and, of course, Kodak moments with Santa. From November 17 through December 13, visitors to the mansion can enjoy the annual "Sweet Creations" whimsical gingerbread house displays throughout the mansion. General admission is $6.50 for adults, $5.00 for senior citizens and students, and $2.50 for children ages 5 to 12. Children 4 and younger are admitted free. Directions and general information are available online, or call (716) 271-3361.
Season of Light at The House of Seven Gables - Immortalized by Nathaniel Hawthorne, The House of Seven Gables in Salem, Massachusetts, is one of the oldest surviving 17th century wooden mansions in New England. This Christmas season, the mansion will be decorated by area garden clubs and open for Candlelight Tours on December 5 through 7 and 26 through 28. Admission is $7.00 for adults and $4.00 for children. Candlelight tours run from 5 to 8 p.m. Directions are available online. Call (978) 744-0991 for complete information.
Stay at the Captain Lord Mansion during Kennebunkport's Christmas Prelude - The Captain Lord Mansion in Kennebunkport, Maine, offers you a chance to stay in a wealthy shipbuilder's historic mansion during Kennebunkport's 10-day Christmas Prelude festivities the first two weeks of December. Information on rooms and rates is available at the Captain Lord Mansion Web site. Or, call (207) 967-3141 for reservations and information.
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