Get in the holiday spirit by touring some of the Hudson Valley’s many grand, historic mansions, now beautifully decorated for the holidays, as they might have been when their original owners were in residence.
The Staatsburgh State Historic Site is one excellent example. The grand mansion of the Mills family is exuberantly decorated as it would have been in the Gilded Age, and tours are offered from noon to 4 pm, Thursday through Sunday now through December 20, 2015, as well as everyday from December 26 to 31.
Additionally, “Holiday WhoDunits” for families are offered at Staatsburgh on Sundays in December, through the 27th, from 1 – 4 pm, with period costumed interpreters stationed throughout the mansion to offer clues to help visitors solve a history mystery.
In Hyde Park, both the Vanderbilt Mansion and the Franklin D. Roosevelt home are also decked out in their holiday finery and are open for tours every day of the week.
Eleanor Roosevelt’s Val-Kill Cottage is open Thursday through Sunday. Tour both Val-Kill and Springwood, the lifelong home of FDR, to see how the President and his family celebrated the holidays.
Close by in Rhinebeck, is Wilderstein, a 19th. c. Queen Anne style Victorian, the family home of Daisy Suckley, confidante and cousin of FDR. Holiday tours of Wilderstein take place every Saturday and Sunday from 1 to 4pm through the end of December. For more information, call 845.876.4818 or go to www.wilderstein.org.
The photo shows Wilderstein’s White & Gold Salon dramatically decorated for the holiday tours by Geoff Howell Studio, New York.
Just up the road, also on the east side of the Hudson River, is Olana, the Persian fantasy villa built by Hudson River School painter, Frederic Church, in the 1870’s. On Saturday, December 26, from 1-5 pm, Olana presents Jingle Jangle: A Winter Celebration. The event is held on the day after Christmas, as that is when Church’s staff and servants celebrated Christmas. Wagon rides, horse drawn carriage rides, ice carving, card making and seasonal crafts are among the fun activities offered.
For more information on Hudson Valley historic sites decorated for the holidays and open for tours, read the About.com blog post, “Hudson Valley Mansions Aglow”.
Our Hudson Valley Lodging Association members look forward to welcoming you soon for a winter getaway.