Christmas at the Mansions Tours -- Saturday, Dec. 9th, 2-5pm and 5-8pm
The very popular Bloomington-Normal annual holiday event, "Christmas at the Mansions," featuring tours of David Davis Mansion, Ewing Manor, and a third secret location, all decorated for the holidays, will be held on Saturday, December 9th in two sessions: 2-5pm and 5-8pm.
Tickets are non-refundable, and are $15 in advance, beginning November 1st, at Casey's Garden Shop, The Garlic Press, Hy-Vee Market, both Schnucks Supermarkets, Constitution Place Self-Storage, the David Davis Mansion Visitor Center, and online at www.daviddavismansion.org. On the day of the event, tickets will be $18 each, available only at David Davis Mansion. Tickets will be available only until sold out.
Parking is available on the grounds of David Davis Mansion at 1000 Monroe Drive, Bloomington, and across the street from Ewing Manor in the parking lot of St. John's Lutheran Church, 1617 E. Emerson Street. Shuttle buses will run continuously throughout the tour times from those locations to the three tour sites and will return tour-takers to the place where they are parked. Directions and maps to all three mansions will be available at Ewing Manor and the Davis Mansion.
The 36-room David Davis Mansion, built in 1872 for Supreme Court justice David Davis and his wife Sarah, offers a dazzling look at Victorian-era Christmas traditions. David Davis and Charles Dickens were connected through Dickens's holiday tale, A Christmas Carol, and "A Dickens Christmas" is the theme at the mansion this year. Visitors will see the mansion decorated in its late-Victorian splendor, but they will also see representations of special holiday festivities, food, and activities made popular by Dickens's book, including snowballing and street entertainers, blazing fireplaces, roasting chestnuts, Christmas dances, parlor games, holly sprigs and mistletoe, wassail bowls, mince pies, plum pudding, and more.
Ewing Manor - Bloomington's only "castle" - built for Spencer Ewing and his wife Hazle Buck Ewing, takes visitors back to the Edwardian era in the earliest years of the 20th century. The private bedrooms and office once occupied by the Ewing family have been completely restored and will be decorated for Christmas. Visitors will enjoy the dramatic view from the Manor's picturesque spiral staircase as they move from one level to the other. The Manor also features special outdoor lighting during the evening.
This year's third location, the "mystery Christmas house" is sure to delight visitors with its ties to local history and its festive holiday decor!
Funds raised by the tour will benefit educational programming at both Ewing Manor and David Davis Mansion, and a community charity chosen by the owner of the mystery home.
For more information on the event, call the David Davis Mansion at 309-828-1084 or visit www.ChristmasAtTheMansions.com.
The event is co-sponsored by the David Davis Mansion Foundation, a not-for-profit organization, and Ewing Cultural Center, a not-for-profit museum owned and operated by Illinois State University Foundation. The David Davis Mansion State Historic Site is administered by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.