2018 Special Events at the David Davis Mansion

The Mansion is open for regular tours each week 9am-4pm, Wednesday-Saturday, except holidays. The events below are separate opportunities to visit, during times and dates noted, when special programs are planned for your pleasure. Call 309-828-1084 with questions.

Christmas at the Mansions Tours – Ticketed event – Dec. 8th, 2-5pm & 5-8pm

Christmas at the Mansions Tours -- Saturday, Dec. 8th,   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, returns on Saturday, December 8th with two tours: 2-5pm and 5-8pm. 

Tickets are $18 in advance, and will be available November 1st through December 7th at these locations: Casey's Garden Shop, The Garlic Press, Hy-Vee Market, both Bloomington and Normal Schnucks Supermarkets, and the Visitor Center at David Davis Mansion. Tickets will also be available through December 6th here online at the bottom of this page. On the day of the event, tickets will be $20 each, cash or check only, and will be available only at the Visitor Center at David Davis Mansion. Tickets are nonrefundable and will be available only until sold out.

Parking will be 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 as will the rest of the Manor. 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 is a very special "mystery Christmas house" that is sure to delight visitors with its unique architecture and its history. 

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, contact 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 that helps support education and restoration at the David Davis Mansion Historic Site, and Ewing Cultural Center, a not-for-profit museum owned and operated by Illinois State University Foundation. 

Event Properties

Event Date 12-08-2018
Event End Date 12-08-2018
Ticket Sales Start Date 11-01-2018 1:00 am
Cut off date 12-06-2018 11:55 pm
David Davis Mansion
1000 Monroe Drive Bloomington, IL 61701
David Davis Mansion
Online ticket sales are now closed. Please call the David Davis Mansion at 309-828-1084 for availability of advance tickets. Tickets will be available at the door the day of the event until sold out.

Location Map

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Ongoing Events

Prologue to Presidency: Abraham Lincoln on the Illinois Eighth Judicial Circuit

Ongoing Exhibit

Funded by a total of $33,000 in grants from several organizations, this is the first of such major exhibits to be created in the local Lincoln legacy programs, and is housed in the Lincoln-era barn on the grounds of the David Davis Mansion. The project is sponsored by the former Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission of McLean County as part of the celebration of the Lincoln Bicentennial. The exhibit development was also supported by the Illinois Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission, the Bloomington-Normal Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, and the Looking for Lincoln Heritage Coalition. The Heritage Association of McLean County is working with the Davis Mansion staff and Foundation to promote the exhibit and create related educational programs and special events. For more information, contact the David Davis Mansion State Historic Site at (309) 828-1084.

Looking for Lincoln and Davis

Special exhibits and educational programs related to Abraham Lincoln and David Davis are part of a statewide tourism program. Call (309) 828-1084 for more information.

David Davis Mansion

1000 Monroe Drive
Bloomington, Illinois 61701

Contact Us

Phone: (309) 828-1084
Email: [email protected]

Hours of Operation

Wednesday - Saturday
9am - 4pm