Each year, the Charms of Fairmount Park dress up in holiday finery for two festive weeks 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, or reserve a group tour through the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Each of the Charms has free parking on site and is decorated with a featured theme.
Fairmount Park's historic mansions will, once again, be decked out for the holidays during the annual Historic Houses of Fairmount Park Holiday Tours. Take in the houses by trolley on a guided trolley tour this season! Each guided trolley tour includes a stop in three of the six houses (Cedar Grove, Laurel Hill, Lemon Hill, Mount Pleasant, Strawberry Mansion and Woodford); the morning and afternoon tours feature different houses – make a day of it and see all six houses! Trolley Tours are booked through the Philadelphia Museum of Art and depart from the West Entrance of the Museum. Paid tickets are required ($40; $32 for members of the Philadelphia Museum of Art and Fairmount Park Conservancy)
2013 Trolley Tour Dates:
- Thursday, December 5 10:30 am - 12:30 pm & 1:30 pm - 3:30 pm
- Friday, December 6 10:30 am - 12:30 pm & 1:30 pm. - 3:30 pm
- Saturday, December 7 10:30 am - 12:30 pm & 1:30 pm - 3:30 pm
- Sunday, December 8 10:30 am - 12:30 pm & 1:30 pm. - 3:30 pm
- Thursday, December 12 10:30 am - 12:30 pm & 1:30 pm - 3:30 pm
- Friday, December 13 10:30 am - 12:30 pm & 1:30 pm - 3:30 pm
- Saturday, December 14 10:30 am - 12:30 pm & 1:30 pm - 3:30 pm
- Sunday, December 15 10:30 am - 12:30 pm & 1:30 pm - 3:30 pm
Tour On Your Own
Admission: $5 per person per house; children 12 and under free.
Thursday through Sunday, December 5 - 8 and 12 - 15, 10 am - 4 pm daily.
Enjoy the Historic Houses at your own pace during their Open Houses this season. Hosts are available at each house to answer questions and highlight the uniqueness of each of these gems. Enjoy collectible recipe cards featuring historically inspired recipes at each house – visit all six houses to complete your set! Reservations are not required. Free parking is available at all of the houses. Reservations are not required.
Some of the houses will also be open to the public throughout December. Please check the operating hours for a particular house to confirm the exact operating dates and times it will be open for visitation this holiday season.
Available December 4 – 15
Admission: $8 per person per house
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.
Reservations required: (215) 684-7863 or www.philamuseum.org/groupvisits
Cedar Grove – “Simple Gifts”
Delight in the naturalistic holiday designs at newly-restored Cedar Grove, an early American home occupied through five generations. They will also have the opportunity to make a vintage ornament to take home. Cedar Grove is open Thursday – Sunday, through December 29 and Monday – Wednesday, December 30 – January 1.
Lemon Hill – "Holiday Entertaining"
Step into Henry Pratt’s parlor and see how Philadelphians entertained 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.
Mount Pleasant – “Visions of Twelfth Night”
Holiday merry-making in colonial homes often featured a Twelfth Night celebration. Enjoy these visions and craft your own signature holiday card to take home at Mount Pleasant. Mount Pleasant is open to visitors Thursday – Sunday, through December 29, and Monday – Wednesday, December 30 – January 1.
Laurel Hill Mansion – “Angels at Laurel Hill”
Take in angel decorations from the Community Garden Club at Wayne incorporated into the sights and sounds of your visit. During your visit enjoy music on the historic pianoforte and partake in complimentary tea and purchase gingerbread men, women and angels baked by students from the Culinary Arts Institute of Montgomery Community College.
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 – “Wassailing at Woodford”
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 from 11 am to 2 pm, December 6, 7, 13, 14 and 15. Woodford is open Tuesday – Sunday, 10 am – 4 pm, year-round.
The Third Annual Fairmount Park Holiday Gingerbread House Display at The Shops at Liberty Place, November 4 - 22
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:
- Belmont Mansion created by Chefs Andrea Sonday, Charles Gallagher, and Erica Robinson of Denise’s Bakery
- Cedar Grove created by STARR Restaurant Group
- Laurel Hill Mansion created by Chef Julie Quay of The Culinary Arts Institute of Montco. Community College
- Laurel Hill Cemetery created by Chefs Ian and Devon McCrimmon of Danish Bakers
- Lemon Hill created by Chef Jessica Mogardo of Garces Catering
- Mount Pleasant created by Chef Peter Scarola of R2L
- Ormiston created by Chef Andrea Histand of Town Crier Bakery
- Please Touch Museum created by Chef James Rodebaugh of Brûlée Catering
- Ryerrs Museum and Library created by Chef Davina Soondrum of Fitler Dining Room and Pub & Kitchen
- Smith Memorial Playground created by Chef Michele of The Art of Bread
- Strawberry Mansion created by Chef James Rodebaugh of Brûlée Catering
- Thomas Mansion created by Chefs Christine Luby and Marie Whitehead of Drexel University's Center for Hospitality and Sports Management
- Woodford Mansion created by Chef Diana Anello of Bredenbeck’s Bakery