Thank you for joining us for the 2014 holiday tour season! 

          Lemon Hill Mansion 

          Lemon Hill Mansion 

Each year, the Charms of Fairmount Park dress up in holiday finery for a month of joyful celebration. Decorated by various interior designers and garden clubs, the historic houses will delight visitors with festive adornments and stunning interiors.

Greeters at each house warmly welcome guests to see the thematic holiday décor.  This is a perfect way to share the season with friends and family.  There are plenty of ways to visit these beautiful homes this holiday season.  

holiday programming

NEW for 2014! 

Each of the Charms has free parking on site and is decorated with a featured theme. 

individual House Hours

  • Cedar Grove: Open Thursdays through Sundays, December 4 through December 21, 10 am - 4 pm, Open daily, December 26 - January 1, 10 am - 4 pm
  • Historic Strawberry Mansion: Open Wednesdays through Sundays, December 3 through 31, 10 am - 4 pm; Closed December 25
  • Laurel Hill Mansion: Open Wednesdays through Sundays, December 3 through December 28, 10 am - 4 pm; Closed December 24 & 25
  • Lemon Hill Mansion: Open Wednesdays through Sundays, December 3 through December 21, 10 am - 4 pm
  • Mount Pleasant: Open Thursdays through Sundays, December 4 through December 21, 10 am - 4 pm; Open daily, December 26 - January 1, 10 am - 4 pm
  • Woodford Mansion: Open Tuesdays through Sundays, December 3 through December 31, 10 am - 4 pm; Closed December 25 & 26


Tour On Your Own

Dates: Thursdays through Sundays, December 3 – 19

Individual house hours vary, see top for individual hours. 

Tickets: $5 per person per house; children 12 and under free     

Tour Philadelphia’s famous 18th- and 19th-century mansions decorated and themed for the holidays.  Trained guides will share the history of each house and the families who called them home.  Receive collectible recipe cards featuring historically-inspired recipes at each house – visit all six houses to complete your set!  Reservations not required.  Free parking available at all houses. 

Candlelight Tours of the Historic Houses of Fairmount Park

Date: Thursday, December 4, 5:30 - 8 pm

Tickets: $45 per person.

Tours depart from Lloyd Hall, 1 Boathouse Row, and visit Laurel Hill Mansion, Woodford Mansion, and Strawberry Mansion.

Fairmount Park’s historic mansions are most charming and elegant at night when toured by candlelight.  Visit three Park Houses, decorated for the holidays, and hear about Fairmount Park, and the history and residents of each house from trained guides.  The tour will conclude with a delicious reception at Historic Strawberry Mansion.

Reservations: 215-228-8364 

NEW! - A Fairmount Christmas Carol 

Board a bus from the Art Museum with saucy characters from Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol as your guides, and experience a playful version of Christmas Past, Present, and Future at three of the historic Park Houses.


  • Friday December 12, 4-7:30 pm
  • Saturday, December 13, 10:30 am -2 pm

Tours depart every 30 minutes.

Tickets: $42, $34 for Philadelphia Museum of Art Members

Reservations: 215-235-7469

Presented by the Philadelphia Museum of Art

Trolley Tours

Enjoy the tradition of touring the Fairmount Park historic houses during the holiday season, when each home takes a unique approach to yuletide adornments. Tours depart from and return to the Art Museum’s West Entrance led by knowledgeable and engaging guides. Ticket price includes transportation and admission to the sites.

2014 Trolley Tour Dates: 

  • Friday, December 12, 10 am-Noon
  • Sunday, December 14, 1:30-3:30 pm

Tickets: $38, $30 for Philadelphia Museum of Art Members

Reservations: 215-235-7469


Available December 4 – 15

Admission: $8 per person per house

Reservations required: 215-684-7863 or

Groups of 15 or more who would like to provide their own bus transportation can reserve Philadelphia Museum of Art trained step-on guides. Cedar Grove, Mount Pleasant and Woodford will be open to groups through December 29.

2014 Themes

Cedar Grove – A Ye Olde Christmas”

Enjoy the sights and stories of early American Christmas celebrations at Cedar Grove, a humble stone farmhouse. Such Christmas traditions made Charles Dickens’ character Ebenezer Scrooge repent, “I will honor Christmas in my heart and try to keep it all they year.”

Lemon Hill – "A Christmas Carol"

The Huntingdon Valley and Wayne Woods Garden Club will transform the rooms of Henry Pratt's summer home into scenes from Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol." Decorations will interpret Scrooge's office, the feast of Christmas Present, the humble home of the Cratchits, and the festive Christmas celebration at Scrooge's nephew's house.  Enjoy free refreshments, ice carving, and sweeping views of Center City. 

Mount Pleasant – “A Grand Merriment”

Holiday merry-making in 18th century homes included festive parties of food, drink, and dance. Delight in these visions, as Charles Dickens’ characters the Fezziwigs did, at Mount Pleasant and leave eager to try recipes for traditional drinks. 

Laurel Hill Mansion – "Charms of Yesteryear" 

Experience the joy of hearing chamber music and sounds of the holidays on our historic fortepiano.  Encounter the outstanding decorations of the Community Garden Club at Wayne, and the live 14 ft. Frazier fur Christmas tree.  Complimentary tea served by costumed guides. Gingerbread men and women prepared by the Culinary Arts Institute of Montgomery County Community College will be for sale.  Decorated by The Community Garden Club at Wayne.

Strawberry Mansion - "Peace with Earth: An Eco-friendly Christmas"
Get inspired by the creativity and beauty on display at Historic Strawberry Mansion, decorated with recycled materials and ornaments!  Learn about the process of creating decorations out of recycled materials you have in your own home! Purchase fresh greens, gifts, and recycled ornaments at the annual Gift and Greens Sale during the holiday tours.  Decorated by The Weeders, The Gardeners, and the Moorestown Garden Club. 

Woodford Mansion – “Holiday Whimsy"

Festive and fanciful decorations adorn Woodford this holiday season.  Kick up your heels and enjoy this elegant National Historic Landmark.  Learn about the lives of its former inhabitants and experience the whimsy of holidays at Woodford Mansion.  Decorate by the Garden Club of Philadelphia and The Garden Workers.

Click here for directions to each of the houses.

The Fourth Annual Fairmount Park Holiday Gingerbread House Display at The Shops at Liberty Place, November 10-december 10-FREE!

Get ready for the holidays and visit the gingerbread house display on view at The Shops at Liberty Place on 16th & Chestnut Streets.  Local chefs have handcrafted deliciously decadent gingerbread models of Fairmount Park historic sites.  The entire family will enjoy seeing these sweet structures during the display and visiting the real properties this holiday season! This year's display features the following chefs and historic sites:


Laurel Hill Mansion created by Bredenbeck's Bakery

Mount Pleasant created by STARR Events

  • Cedar Grove created by Chef James Rodebaugh of Brûlée Catering
  • Chamounix Mansion created by Chef Terrance Clarke of the Spirit of Philadelphia
  • Laurel Hill Cemetery created by Chef Tatum Kendall 
  • Laurel Hill Mansion created by Chef Julie Quay of the Montgomery County Community College Culinary Arts Institute
  • Lemon Hill Mansion created by Chef Peter Scarola of R2L
  • Mount Pleasant created by Chef Van Earl French, Jr. of Van Earl’s Cakes
  •  Ryerss Museum & Library created by Chef Diana Anello of Bredenbeck’s Bakery
  • Shofuso Japanese Tea House created by Chef Samantha Ross of Garces Group
  • Strawberry Mansion created by Drexel University’s Center for Hospitality
  • Smith Memorial Playground created by Chef Andrea Histand of Denise's Bakery
  • Woodford Mansion created by Chef Danielle Zahodski of Town Crier Bakery

Shofuso Japenese House and Garden - "Holiday House Tours" 

A light dusting of snow in January at Shofuso 

A light dusting of snow in January at Shofuso 

Open for Holiday Tours:  10am-4pm

Fri, Sat & Sun, December  5, 6, & 7

Admission: $5 per person, 5 and under free

Horticultural and Lansdowne Drives, Philadelphia, PA 19131

The Japanese House has never looked like this before! Shofuso will be decorated with ancient winter symbols like traditional Japanese greens, ikebana flower arrangements, straw and paper ornaments, and a kagami mochi mirror rice cake, for Japanese New Year正月 (shōgatsu). Borrow our warm slippers and tour the traditional-style Japanese house while sipping warm green tea, or visit the nationally-ranked garden, weather permitting, and experience a Japanese New Year at Shofuso for the first time. 

 For more information visit or e-mail, or call 215.878.5097

NEW! - Fairmount Park Holly Trolley

Presented by Philadelphia Parks and Recreation

Date: Saturday, December 6, 10 am – 3 pm; Snow Date: Saturday, December 13, 10 am – 3 pm

Tickets: $5 per person per house, Trolley FREE!

Trolleys depart from Lloyd Hall, 1 Boathouse Row, and stop at Cedar Grove, Laurel Hill Mansion, Mount Pleasant, Lemon Hill, Historic Strawberry Mansion, Woodford Mansion, and Shofuso Japanese House and Garden.

*Last trolley departs Lloyd Hall at 3pm.

HOUSES OPEN: 10:00am-4:00pm

Hop on our FREE and festive Holly Trolley for a fun-filled day at the houses. Each site will be dressed in it’s holiday finest and will feature special events including carolers, puppeteers, ice-carving, musical performances, seasonal refreshments, and more! Trolleys run between sites every 10-15 minutes from 10am to 4pm allowing visitors to take in all the events at their own pace and enjoy Fairmount Park at its most festive!


  • Cedar Grove:
    • Special Event - Cooking demonstration by Walter Staib at 1:30pm-3:00pm
    • Silhouettist drawings at 10:00am-1:30pm
    • Celtic fiddler Cormac Brady at 10:30am-12:30pm
    • Carolers at 12:30pm to 1:30pm and 3pm-4pm
  • Laurel Hill Mansion:
    • Tea & Gingerbread, all day
    • Pianoforte performances at 10:30am-11:30am, 12:30pm-1:15pm, 1:30-2:15
    • Chamber music performance at 11:15am-12:15pm
    • Classic guitar performance at 2:30pm-3:30pm
    • Spinning demonstration, all day
  • Lemon Hill:
    • Tea  & Lemon Cookies - Cosmic Café, all day
    • Ice-carving, all day
    • Harpist Willow Swidler at 10:30am-12:30pm
    • Celtic fiddler Cormac Brady at 12:30pm-2pm
    • Carolers at 2pm-3pm
  • Mount Pleasant:
    • Hummus & Carrots - Cosmic Café, all day
    • St. Timothy's Handbell Choir at 10:30am-12:30pm 
    • Night Before Christmas puppet performances by Aaron Cromie at 12:30pm-3:30pm
  • Historic Strawberry Mansion:
    • Greens Sale, all day
    • Santa Claus and Magician Fred Siegel at 12pm-4pm
    • Violinist Federico Piantini at 12:30pm-1:30pm
    • Cellist Steve Kramer at 1:30pm-3:30pm 
  • Woodford Mansion:
    • Blacksmith demonstrations all day
    • Historical re-enactor as Rebecca Franks at 10am-1pm
    • Carolers at 10:30am-12pm
    • Historical re-enactor as George Clymer at 1pm-4pm
    • Celtic fiddler Cormac Brady at 2pm-3:30pm
  • Shofuso Japanese House and Garden: 
    • Green tea, all day
    • Ikebana flower arrangement and straw and paper ornaments display, all day
  • Ormiston Mansion:
    • Holiday display, all day

Historic Strawberry Mansion

Historic Strawberry Mansion