Ring in the holiday season at the 48th annual “A Very Philly Christmas” at the historic houses of Fairmount Park.
Fairmount Park is one of the country’s most beautiful urban parks. But did you know that it is also home to some of the best-preserved examples of 18th- and 19th-century early American architecture? Six of these historic houses will be decorated and open for holiday tours and special events from December 5-January 1.
This is the 48th year for this popular holiday event. New, expanded programming and pricing options ensure the everyone can get in on the fun this holiday season. There’s also a new lunch option at Ridgeland Mansion.
Here are four highlights from this year’s event:
1. Holiday House Tours (December 5-January 1, dates vary)
These six historic houses will welcome visitors for the holidays, starting Thursday, December 5:
- Cedar Grove (1 Cedar Grove Dr.): Thursday-Sunday 10-4 p.m. After Christmas, open December 26-January 1, 2020.
- Historic Strawberry Mansion (2450 Strawberry Mansion Dr.): Wednesday-Sunday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Closed after Christmas.
- Laurel Hill (7201 N Randolph Dr.): Thursday-Sunday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. After Christmas, open December 26-29.
- Lemon Hill Mansion (Sedgeley Dr. & Lemon Hill Dr.): Thursday-Sunday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. After Christmas, open December 26-29.
- Mount Pleasant (3800 Mt Pleasant Dr.): Thursday-Sunday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. After Christmas, open December 26-29 and December 31 and January 1, 2020.
- Woodford Mansion (3400 West Dauphin Dr.): Wednesday-Sunday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. After Christmas, open December 26-29.
2. Special Event Days (December 7, 8, 14, and 15)
Enjoy four days that showcase what makes Philadelphia a very special place: its history, food, music, and creative culture. Programs take place at all six historic houses from 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Traditions of the Season: Saturday, December 7Experience history brought to life at six historic houses:
- Enjoy first-person historic interpreters from Historic Philadelphia, Inc. all day long.
- Learn about the past through stories and hands-on activities.
- See demonstration of traditional trades, crafts, and domestic chores.
Flavors of the Season: Sunday, December 8Bring an appetite and culinary curiosity to celebrate some of Philadelphia’s best tastes:
- Cooking demonstrations by Vegan Commissary
- City Tavern’s Chef Walter Staib will prepare recipes from his award-winning colonial cookbook, A Taste of History
- Other local vendors will offer free samples of their specialties.
Sounds of the Season presented by WRTI: Saturday, December 14Tune in to the season’s greatest hits with some of the best jazz, classical, gospel, and Latin music in Philadelphia, including:
- Opera Philadelphia
- Black Pearl Chamber Orchestra
- International master percussionist Pablo Batista.
Crafts of the Season: Sunday, December 15Deck the halls and decorate your walls on this day dedicated to creativity, community, and the crafts of the season. Each house will feature creative activities and workshops for kids and adults alike. The fun includes:
- Demonstrations from local artists and designers such as Tiny WPA
- “Makerspaces” where guests can create their own one-of-a-kind ornaments, wreaths, cards, and other seasonal crafts.
Presented in partnership with the CraftNOW organization.
3. Nothing completes holiday house tours like a hot meal
Visit Ridgeland Mansion in West Fairmount Park to purchase lunch in the Carriage House Cafe. After, enjoy a tour of the mansion decorated for the season! Walk-up tours are free and non-ticketed during visiting hours. Tours are free. Donations are welcome and benefit The Cancer Support Community Greater Philadelphia.
4. New discounts for neighbors and children
“A Very Philly Christmas” has added the following discounts:
- Children 12 and under admitted free
- Fairmount Park neighbors receive a generous discount. Enter your ZIP code as the discount code in the Ticketleap checkout. Eligible ZIP codes: 19130, 19121, 19132, 19129, 19131, and 19104.
Promotion and programming for the historic houses are supported through a partnership among Philadelphia Parks & Recreation, Fairmount Park Conservancy, and various stewardship groups. Proceeds from the events support the ongoing stewardship, maintenance, and promotion of these treasures.