Whole Lot of Holiday Happenings at Hampton Mansion

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Get into the holiday spirit early with “Holidays at Hampton” where the public can celebrate the season at Hampton National Historic Site, the northernmost plantation in the National Park Service. Visitors will experience two centuries of holiday traditions at Towson’s only National Park –- most of the festivities are free and open to the public. Special evening tours, carriage rides, period crafts, musical & dance performances, African-American storytelling and unique holiday shopping in the museum shop are just some of the events taking place during the “Holidays at Hampton” Yuletide weekend of Friday, December 9 through Sunday, December 11, 2011. To commemorate the 150th anniversary of the start of the Civil War, visitors can enjoy special historical presentations including programs in the Slave Quarters and an “1861 Ball” in the Orangery.

Friday, December 9, & Saturday, December 10: Evening “Candlelight” Tours

6 – 8:30 p.m.: By popular demand – Hampton National Historic Site offers Evening “Candlelight” Tours of the Mansion from 6PM – 8:30PM on Friday, December 9, and Saturday, December 10.  Hampton Mansion, described in the late 18th century as “a palace in the wilderness,” will open its doors for visitors to tour the holiday splendor of the rooms and Great Hall. Each room reflects a different period in the history of the Mansion, with authentic reproduction Yuletide decorations in each room. Lively holiday music and sing-alongs will be performed in the Orangery by Doug Jimmerson each evening.

On Friday evening December 9 only:  The Junior League of Baltimore “Larks” will perform holiday music in the Great Hall of the Mansion during the “Candlelight” Tours.

Saturday, December 10: Period Activities and Crafts; Mansion Tours; Civil War Ball

10AM – 4PM

Noon-4PM:  Period Craft Activities will be offered for all ages at the Orangery.  Visitors will make their own Victorian greeting card, participate in a Tableaux Vivant (“living picture”), design a “gold gilded” frame, make a dried fruit garland, and more.  Activities and crafts are subject to change and available on a first come, first served basis.

10AM, 11AM & 12PM: Hourly Guided House Tours will be offered on the hour beginning at 10AM

1-4PM: “Open House” starts at 1PM.  Hampton Mansion will feature an open house — visitors will be able to walk through at their own pace. Park staff will tell the exciting stories of Hampton at Yuletide. Each room will highlight how Christmas was celebrated at different periods that the Ridgely family lived at Hampton, from 1783 – 1948. Learn how the holidays were observed by the Ridgely family, their slaves and tenant farmers on the estate.

v   2PM: African American Tales of the Season:  At the Lower House, join Park Ranger and storyteller Angela Roberts-Burton as she recounts Christmas in the Big House, Christmas in the Quarter. The holidays were festive and bright for many but celebrated very differently – take this opportunity to learn how the enslaved African Americans celebrated the holiday season.

2:30-3:30PM: 1861 Ball performance by Choreographie Antique : Party like it’s 1861!  One hundred and fifty years ago, the Civil War was still in its opening stages.  Seen as a “romantic” war, the full horror of the conflict was yet to come. Far from the battlefields, upper class civilians still held balls, some serving as fundraisers to support the war effort. Resplendent in their Victorian ball gowns and long-tailed coats, Choreographie Antique dancers will waltz, quadrille and polka their way in the Orangery.  A special children’s session will run from 2 – 2:30 when kids and their parents can learn the dances together!

Sunday, December 11: Carriage Rides, Storytelling, Period Activities & Crafts

10AM-4PM

1-4PM: Carriage Rides by “Oh My Heart! Carriages”: Join a Park Ranger for a 20-minute tour of the grounds in grand style. Timed carriage ride tickets will be available beginning at noon in the visitor’s area, adjoining the Mansion. Adults: $10.  Children 16 and under: $5.  Children 1 and under: Free. Seating is limited. No reservations will be accepted – first come, first served basis. 

1PM & 3PM: African American Storytelling at the Lower House: Join storyteller Robert Smith as he portrays a free African American chef who has been hired by the Ridgely Family to prepare Christmas dinner.  In addition, Mr. Smith will tell traditional African and African-American folktales.

10AM, 11AM & 12PM: Hourly Guided House Tours will be offered on the hour beginning at 10AM

1PM-4PM: “Open House” starts at 1PM.  Hampton Mansion will feature an open house where visitors will be able to walk through at their own pace. Park staff will be available to tell the exciting stories of Hampton at Yuletide. Each room will highlight how Christmas was celebrated at different periods that the Ridgely family lived at Hampton, from 1783 – 1948. Learn how the holidays were observed by the Ridgely family, their slaves and tenant farmers on the estate.

Noon-4PM:  Period Craft Activities will be offered for all ages at the Orangery.  Visitors will make their own Victorian greeting card, participate in a Tableaux Vivant (“living picture”), design a “gold gilded” frame, make a dried fruit garland, and more.  Activities and crafts are subject to change and available on a first come, first served basis.


Edited from Press Release

Edited from Press Release

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Edited from Press Release


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