Holiday Programming and Tours at

The Charms of Fairmount Park  Begins December 3!


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.  

  • Visit the houses at your own pace during open house hours.
  • Take a guided trolley tour on select dates. 
  • Attend a special holiday event at one of the houses. 
  • Reserve a group tour through the Philadelphia Museum of Art.  

NEW for 2014! 

  • Enjoy a day of amazing holiday programming at all six houses and FREE transportation aboard the Holly Trolley!
  • Experience A Fairmount Christmas Carol on December 12 & 13!
  • Take in gingerbread models of the houses at The Shops at Liberty Place Gingerbread House Display. 

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

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

Tour On Your Own


Dates: Wednesday, December 3 – Thursday, January 1 

Hours vary. Click here 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. 

NEW! - Fairmount Park Holly Trolley

Presented by the Fairmount Park Conservancy

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.

The Fairmount Park Conservancy invites you to celebrate the holidays and visit the Park’s magnificent historic mansions, decked for the season, aboard a FREE Holly Trolley!  Hop on and off the FREE Holly Trolley and visit one, two, or all six houses to enjoy the charming decorations and special programming.  

Call 215.320.7540 for additional information.

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

Candlelight Tours of the Historic Houses of Fairmount Park

Date: Thursday, December 4, 5:30 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 


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 – "Holiday Living"

Step into the hallowed halls of Henry Pratt’s parlor and see how Philadelphians lived and celebrated during the holidays.  Enjoy a special display featuring rarely-seen pieces from Lemon Hill’s collection and fantastic views of Center City Philadelphia through the Oval Room’s floor-to-ceiling windows. Decorated by the Huntington Garden Club and Wayne Woods. 

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 - “Home for the Holidays”
For the first time in five years, Strawberry Mansion will be open for the Holiday Tours. Decorations will highlight the beautifully restored rooms, and will welcome friends and guests “home” to Strawberry Mansion. Don’t miss the newly installed mural in the Banquet Room. Purchase fresh greens and gifts at the 6th annual Greens Sale on Strawberry Mansion’s grounds throughout the Holiday Tours.

Woodford Mansion – “Holiday Whimsy”
Celebrate the holidays from the British perspective with one of Philadelphia’s most prominent Loyalist socialites from the American Revolution!  Meet Rebecca Franks, daughter of Woodford’s former owner and a darling of the British occupiers, who will greet visitors and share holiday stories.  Woodford is open Tuesday – Sunday, 10 am – 4 pm, year-round.  Decorated by The Garden Club of Philadelphia and The Garden Workers.

Click here for directions to each of the houses.

Woodford Mansion 

Strawberry Mansion

Strawberry Mansion


The Fourth Annual Fairmount Park Holiday Gingerbread House Display at The Shops at Liberty Place, November 10 - 21 - FREE!

Thanks to our Presenting Sponsor

Thanks to our Presenting Sponsor

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:

Mount Pleasant created by STARR Events

Laurel Hill Mansion created by Bredenbeck's Bakery

Smith Memorial Playground created by R2L 

Smith Memorial Playground created by R2L 


  • Cedar Grove created by Chef James Rodebaugh of Brûlée Catering
  • Chamounix created by Vegan Commissary 
  • Laurel Hill Cemetery created by ChefTatum 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 of Van Earl’s Cakes
  • Ormiston Mansion created by TBD
  •  Ryerss Museum & Library created by Chef Diana Anello of Bredenbeck’s Bakery
  • Shofuso Japanese Tea House created by Chef Samantha Ross of Garces Croup
  • Smith Memorial Playground created by Chef Bonnie Sarana of Vinalya Bakery
  • Strawberry Mansion created by Drexel University’s Center for Hospitality
  • Sweetbriar created by Denise’s Bakery
  • Woodford Mansion created by Town Crier Bakery