The joyous spirit of the most wonderful time of year is celebrated in old-fashioned style at Hearthside during December. Multiple trees throughout three floors of the house, twinkling lights and exquisite holiday decor help to usher in the Christmas season along with many special features this year to add to the experience. From the cozy fire welcoming guests in from the cold to the stunning decorations throughout the house, this historic home is the perfect setting for celebrating this favorite season. Learn from festively costumed interpreters about the wonderful traditions of Christmas and how they developed. A nostalgic experience sure to bring back family memories awaits as you travel from room to room to view beautifully appointed Christmas trees, gaily decorated mantels, bright poinsettia plants, garlands adorning the staircases and doorways, and touches of old-fashioned ornamentation. 

The dining room table will be set for an elegant Christmas dinner. In the Colonial kitchen, enjoy holiday cheer with a yuletide treat. Oldfashioned toys and dolls along with bright paper packages sit under the trees. Musical tributes to the season are heard on the antique piano, the soft sounds of the harp, and young voices with traditional caroling. Be inspired and filled with good cheer by all these holiday traditions, including a visit with Santa, done up in his authentic Victorian suit, to hear Christmas wishes and a keepsake photo. 

Complete your visit with shopping in the Gift Shop for a unique gift.  General admission for all tours is $10; $5 ages 10-16, children under age 10 at no charge. Proceeds from these events benefit Hearthside’s historic preservation efforts and educational programming. 

“The Nutcracker: Clara’s Dream Comes Alive”
 Sunday, December 4    2-6 p.m
Hearthside opens its doors to the holiday season by bringing together two great Christmas classics. Peformers from Lincoln’s Heritage Ballet bring to life the story of The Nutcracker in the festively decorated setting of Hearthside’s old-fashioned Christmas home. As visitors stroll through on a self-guided, they will hear the enchanting story about the little girl named Clara who receives a Nutcracker from her godfather for Christmas as told by each of the dancers situated in rooms throughout the house. See the story’s favorite characters, such as the Nutcracker soldiers, the Mouse Queen, Clara, and the beautiful Sugar Plum Fairy magically come to life in each of the rooms. Santa will also be there to welcome children. Beginning at 2:00, there will be tour groups of limited size starting every half hour with the last admittance at 5:00. Call Hearthside at 401-726-0597 or email to reserve. 

 “An Old-Fashioned Christmas Celebration by Candlelight”
Saturday, December 10 4 – 7 p.m. 
The treasured elegance of Christmas is truly appreciated by the amber glow of candlelight and the twinkling lights of the ornate trees, adding even greater warmth to this beautiful home. Traditional caroling will greet visitors arriving between 4-6 p.m. and the sounds of the season will be performed on Hearthside’s antique piano throughout the evening. Stroll through the house on a self-guided tour. Capture memories with a family photograph in front of one of the beautiful Christmas trees by the fire. Enjoy hot cider and a cookie in the Colonial kitchen and plan a visit with the Victorian Santa.

“An Old-Fashioned Christmas Celebration”
Sunday, December 11 2 – 6 p.m. 
A selection of seasonal sounds will be featured on Hearthside’s antique piano, only played at Christmastime. Later in the afternoon, the music room is filled with the beautiful sounds of the harp performed between 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. Guests are invited to enjoy the music and to stroll through the house in a self-guided tour to discover the dazzling beauty that each room holds and learn about the beginnings of where our popular Christmas traditions came from. This is the last chance to visit with Santa before Christmas so be sure to have those last minute gift wishes ready.

“Home for the Holidays Candlelight Tours” 
Wednesday, December 28 and Friday, December 30 4 - 7 p.m. 
Before the end of the season and once the holiday rush is over, there is still time to visit Hearthside to enjoy the decorations. These candlelight tours will be the only time during the month that a fully-guided tour given by the costumed interpreters about the history of the house will be given.  Advance reservations are required since space is limited for each tour. Tours are given every half hour starting at 4:00 p.m. with the last one at 6:00 p.m. and last one hour. 

Our Member-Exclusive Holiday Events

Christmas Preview Membership Reception
Thursday, December 1, 2016
At this season of giving, this complimentary event is being held as our gift to our members, in appreciation for their support and belief in our mission to provide for the preservation of our community's history at Hearthside. 

Whether stopping in for a few minutes, or a few hours, our guests will experience the warmth and charm of Hearthside in its full holiday splendor by candlelight. Between 6:00 and 8:30 p.m., enjoy seasonal music, see recent improvements, and hear about plans for the upcoming year from members of our board who will be on hand to welcome you. Meet others who share in your commitment to preserve and protect Lincoln's most precious historic resources. 

This is a great opportunity to share some holiday cheer and view Hearthside in a relaxing atmosphere before the season opens to the public on December 4. All members are invited to attend; those at higher level memberships may bring along a guest. If you are a member at the Basic Level ($25), your benefit allows for one adult; Family Level ($50) for two adults; Contributor ($75+) for four adults; and Sustainer Level ($200+) for six adults.  
An American Girl Doll Christmas Party
Saturday, December 3, 2016
Held exclusively for our Hearthside members, the American Girl Doll Christmas Party is a charming, fun-filled afternoon for girls and their moms (and of course, their dolls). With limited space, there are two seatings being offered: at 12:30 p.m. or at 2:30 p.m. As the girls and their dolls gather around our storyteller, they learn about Young Charlotte, a tale from the 1840s that inspired the creation of a most-popular porcelain doll. 

Artifacts and colorful photos help bring the historic tale to life. Also included is the oldest and most well-known Christmas poems, "The Night Before Christmas," which is also from that time period.
The party includes hot chocolate and sweets, with a surprise for the girl who discovers the little "Frozen Charlotte" doll inside her cupcake. Also a Christmas sing-along with favorites played on our antique piano, prizes, a raffle, and a small favor to bring home all add to the excitement. A visit with our Victorian Santa for the girls and their dolls and a photo to remember this special day will be treasured for years to come. 

Our volunteers dressed in period attire add to the wonder and joy of discovering a whole house filled with Christmas decorations, sure to inspire the holiday spirit for all. Shopping in the Gift Shop completes the afternoon, where specially-made outfits for the American Girl Doll and other seasonal gifts await. 

This event is for girls ages 5-10. Because of very limited space and in order to accommodate all who wish to attend, tickets allotted per member are one adult and up to two children. Tickets are $28/child-adult pair. Extra child is $18. Reserve by emailing or call 401-726-0597. Don't delay---it sells out fast!
                       2016 CALENDAR OF EVENTS

March 13           Tour Day – Salute to Women’s History Month 1 – 4 p.m.
March 19           Friends of Hearthside Annual Meeting 10 – 12 p.m.
April 10              Tour Day–Free for Reciprocal Membership of participating RI museums 1 – 4 p.m.
April 14              Wine & Chocolate Tasting Fundraiser 6:30 – 9 p.m.
May 7                 “Downton Abbey” Tea featuring fashion commentary 1912-1925 12:30 & 3:30 p.m.
May 22               Tour Day 1 – 4 p.m.
June 4-5              American Girl Doll Tea Weekend 12:30 & 2:30 p.m.
June 12               Tour Day – Vintage Wedding Exhibit 1 – 4 p.m.
July 16                 The Decade That Roared: A 1920s Rhode Island Experience 11-4 p.m.
                             Outdoor Presentations, Entertainment, Music, Museum Exhibits-
                                       Bootlegger’s Ball & Speakeasy 5-9:30 p.m.
Aug. 6                  American Girl Doll Garden Party 12 & 2:30 p.m.
Aug. 14                Tour Day 1 – 4 p.m.  
Sept. 16              Bridging Beyond Boundaries, Validating the Afterlife – Roland Comtois 6:30 p.m.                 Sept. 24               Great Road Tour Day – Smithsonian Museum Day Free Admission 11 – 4 p.m.
Oct. 15 , 29          Victorian Mourning Customs Candlelight Tours 4 - 7 p.m.
Oct. 23, 30           Victorian Mourning Customs Tours 1 – 4 p.m.
Nov. 6                   Joint Tour– A Tale of Two Mansions, in partnership with Arnold House 11 – 2:30 p.m
Nov. 12                Victorian Dinner Party Fundraiser: Culinary Journey 1810-1910 6:30 - 9:30 p.m.
Dec. 1                   Membership Reception – Christmas Preview 6:00 - 8:30 p.m.
Dec. 3                   American Girl Doll Christmas Party (members-only) 12:30 & 2:30 p.m.
Dec. 4                  "The Nutcracker: Clara's Dream Comes Alive." Santa/Self-guided tours 2 – 6 p.m.       
                                        With appearances by performers from Heritage Ballet     
Dec. 10                 An Old-Fashioned Christmas – Live Music/Santa/Self-guided tours 4 – 7 p.m.
Dec. 11                 An Old-Fashioned Christmas – Live Music/Santa/Self-guided tours 2 – 6 p.m.
Dec. 28 & 30        An Old-Fashioned Christmas – Guided Candlelight Tours 4 – 6 p.m.

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