The gorgeous historic mansions of Fairmount Park, including Laurel Hill, decorate their halls and open their doors during the holiday season for festive tours. (Photo by Lauren Schwarz Photography for Charms of Fairmount Park)
With more than 9,200 acres of rolling hills and lovely woodlands, Fairmount Park keeps a wealth of gorgeous landscapes within easy reach of city residents and visitors.
Dotting the landscape, seven splendid historic mansions maintained as house museums adorn Fairmount Park and serve as significant examples of Victorian-era architecture. The Charms of Fairmount Park feature antique furnishings and illustrate the culture and domestic lives of the period, transporting visitors back in time.
During the holidays, Fairmount Park’s historic mansions get all dressed up and merrily decked out for the season during the two weekends of annual Historic Houses of Fairmount Park Holiday Tours.
Decorated by local interior designers and garden clubs, six of the seven the historic houses welcome visitors with festive adornments trimming the well-preserved historic interiors.
And this year, Strawberry Mansion will be open for house tours for the first time in five years to display the beautifully restored rooms and newly installed mural.
From December 5-8 and 12-15, Cedar Grove, Laurel Hill, Lemon Hill, Mount Pleasant, Strawberry Mansion and Woodford Mansion will be open for self tours and twice-daily guided trolley tours.
During the open houses, docents welcome visitors to self tour the six mansions at their own pace anytime from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Reservations are not required, and free parking is available at all of the houses.
For a guided tour of the jewel-box mansions, book a seat on one of eight available trolley tours. Departing from the Philadelphia Museum of Art at 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m., each guided tour includes trolley transportation and a stop in three of the six houses.
The morning and afternoon tours feature different houses, and schedules and tickets are available through the Philadelphia Museum of Art here. Paid tickets are required ($40; $32 for members of the Philadelphia Museum of Art and Fairmount Park Conservancy) for the guided tours.
Prepare to be impressed by the yuletide decorations and historic holiday charm.
Historic Houses of Fairmount Park Holiday Tours
When: December 5-8, 12-15; Self tour, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; Trolley tour, 10:30 a.m.& 1:30 p.m. departure
Where: Cedar Grove, Laurel Hill, Lemon Hill, Mount Pleasant, Strawberry Mansion and Woodford Mansion; Trolley tour departs from Philadelphia Museum of Art, west entrance
Cost: Self tour, $5 per person/per house; Trolley tour, $38
More info: www.parkcharms.com