A fantastic way to get out and enjoy all that the holidays have to offer is to experience any of the Holiday Home Tours that occur this time of year. We live in an area that is very rich in history, stories, and tradition. Countless historic sites have special holiday-themed open houses and events throughout December, and they are truly a unique way to experience the joy of the season!
Month of December….
The Museum of the Shenandoah Valley is has wonderful Christmas Events from teas, home tours, musical concerts, wreath making and more. One of the fun things for kids is to explore the Miniature House exhibit and then make a Gingerbread House on December 17th and the 20th. Check out this schedule.
Beginning December 1st and extending all the way through December 30th, Oatlands Mansion in Leesburg, Virginia will be open for regular guided holiday tours! Tours run every 30 minutes on the hour and half-hour, starting at 10:00 am, and with the last tour departing each day at 4:00 pm. Oatlands is also hosting Candlelight Tours on December 10th & 11th as well as December 17th & 18th, from 6-8 pm. These beautiful after-hours tours will allow you to see the mansion in the most cheerful, spirited way – sparking lights and old-time decorations! Tickets are $15 for adults, and don’t forget to stop by their Historic Carriage House Shop before you leave! More information on ticket prices and tour times can be found here.
Don’t forget about Christmastime at Mount Vernon in Mount Vernon, Virginia. George Washington’s Estate and Gardens come alive this time of year with history and Christmas decorations galore. The daytime program of tours runs through January 7th, which means you have plenty of time to get there and experience it all. You’ll get to see Aladdin the camel (in honor of the camel that Washington paid to visit Mount Vernon in 1787), explore around the estate, and gaze at all twelve of their Christmas trees on display! There will also be historical chocolate-making demonstrations – yum! The estate is open every day, from 9:00 am-4:00 pm, and they are pet friendly. Pricing information and directions can be found here.
Weekend of December 3rd….
Right here in Old Town Winchester, Virginia, the annual Holiday House Tours will begin this weekend! Preservation of Historic Winchester will host tours where you can explore the beautiful landmarks that have been adorned in cheer and ornaments for the Christmas season. The first tour was held back in 1975 and has taken place every year since, making it a tradition you can enjoy with your whole family for years to come! The Preview Party and Candlelight Tour will be on Saturday, December 3rd, from 6 pm-9 pm. On Sunday, tours run from 1 pm to 5 pm, and you can buy tickets either online or at the door. If you can’t make the whole tour, you can still check out one or two homes by paying at the door for $5 each. Be sure to take a look through the Bough and Dough Shop at Winchester Little Theatre, which will have an amazing assortment of holiday items and baked goods available. Complimentary hot cider and coffee will be offered, and admission into the shop is free for all!
Historic Staunton, Virginia also offers exquisite holiday house tours! The tours are this weekend, so if you’re in the area, you have to go! The theme of the Historic Staunton Foundation’s 44th Annual Holiday House Tour is “Celebrating the Diversity of Historic Architecture,” so you can imagine how cool it is going to be. It all starts Saturday, December 3rd, from 5-8 pm, and the second tour is on Sunday, from 1-5 pm. Come out to experience the Newtown Neighborhood historic homes that have all been decorated with the spirit of Christmas. Tickets are $25 in advance, and $30 at the door. For more information, click here.
Another old home in Loudoun County full of history and beauty is Patrick Henry’s Scotchtown! Join the fun on December 10th at 10:00 am, when the house tours will begin. The tours will run to 5:00 pm. While you’re there, you can also watch the colonial dancing with the Cuckoo Dancers, eat yummy treats and drink hot cider, and for only an additional $8, you can make a boxwood wreath and other holiday crafts! From 5-9:30 pm are the Candlelight Holiday House Tours. You can also come out for a tour on Sunday, from 12 pm-5 pm.
There are plenty more historic homes to visit and tour through this holiday season. For all of the best holiday events in the area, check out our page on Go Blue Ridge Travel specifically dedicated to all things Christmas!