Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens presents its annual celebration of the winter holidays, Deck the Hall, from Nov. 27 through 29,n Dec. 3 through 6, Dec. 10 through 23, Dec. 26 through 30 and Jan. 2, all from 5 to 8 p.m.
Stan Hywet is located at 714 N. Portage Path, in Akron.
A new feature of Deck the Hall is an animated window in the Courtyard outside Molly’s Shop, depicting downtown Akron at dusk during the holidays, circa 1920. The Manor House is decorated to reflect the theme of “Home for the Holidays,” and every evening of Deck the Hall also includes a Christmas tree lighting in the Courtyard at 5:30 p.m. with Santa. Dazzle, a light show spectacular animated to music, features three news songs and Gingerbread Land, the holiday transformation of Playgarden, is back to delight all guests. A warming fire, freshly baked gingerbread cookies, savory snacks and holiday shopping at Molly’s are also part of this wonderful Christmastime tradition.
“Our newest feature of Deck the Hall is an animated holiday window just outside Molly’s. It’s based on a vintage postcard of South Howard and Main Streets in Akron, depicting a department store near the old triangular flatiron building at dusk during Christmas in the 1920s,” said Linda Conrad, president & executive director of Stan Hywet. The window is animated with many moving parts, including a full moon, a blimp circling in the sky, twinkling lights, shoppers and moving street cars.
Home for the Holidays in the Manor House evokes the warmth of the Seiberlings’ family Christmases in more than 20 rooms in the historic mansion. Antique and vintage toys circa 1900 to 1917, on loan from Susie’s Museum of Childhood in Carrollton, Ohio, are on display in both Irene’s and Virginia’s Bedrooms, as well as the Blue and Red Bedrooms.
Guests will enjoy the arrangement of Stieff bears, a Humpty Dumpty Circus, a vintage ferris wheel, metal toys and banks, wood and metal trains, doll houses, doll strollers and Raggedy Ann dolls. “These are toys that would very likely have been under the Seiberlings’ tree at Christmas,” said Kim Sorboro, collections manager at Stan Hywet. An oversized handmade Raggedy Ann sits happily at the end of the North Hallway, commemorating this beloved doll’s 100th birthday.
The Master Bedroom is being set up so that the effect for guests will be like looking through a giant snow globe -at a snow globe collection. Cardboard glittered “putz” houses, or miniature nativity villages, fill the library. The table in the kitchen displays a feast of a sumptuous holiday repast.
In the Music Room, choirs and musicians from throughout Northeast Ohio provide a musical backdrop as guests tour the historic Manor House.
The centerpiece of Dazzle is a 25-foot Christmas tree, lit with a full spectrum of color, a layer of lighted ornaments, and an overlay of sparkle lights. Surrounding the tree are dozens of flowers, butterflies, bees and globes also shimmering with lights. Apple trees in the garden, wrapped in lights, add more sparkle to the display.
Nearby, large oaks from the Carriage House to the Manor House will be filled with oversized stars and snowflakes. Guests will walk down the Birch Tree Allée through hoops wrapped in colorful lights. The Grape Arbor will be lit with clusters of “grape lights,” and the popular miniature village is on display in the Lagoon area, viewable from the Tea Houses. In the Corbin Conservatory, the tropical “Garden Under Glass” will have subtle up-lighting and LED “candles” in the flower beds. Nearby, a tall poinsettia “tree” provides a perfect backdrop for family photos.
The Gingerbread Bakeshop in the Courtyard sells Stan Hywet’s famous hot gingerbread cookies, as well as cocoa and cider; and the Salty Reindeer is selling savory snacks, including freshly baked Bavarian pretzels, popcorn, beer and wine. Molly’s Shop is fully stocked for holiday shopping and the café is a welcome respite as well as place to enjoy more substantial fare and holiday treats.
Tickets to Deck the Hall may be purchased in advance at www.stanhywet.org or (330) 315-3287, or upon arrival. Tickets include a self-guided tour of the Manor House and grounds, including Dazzle and Gingerbread Land. Ticket prices are $18, adults; $7, youth (ages 6-17) and college students with ID. Children 5 and under are free.
Deck the Hall is presented with support from Consolidated Solutions. Vintage toys are on loan from Susie’s Museum of Childhood in Bluebird Farm Park, part of the Carroll County Park District in Carrollton, Ohio. The life size horse replica is on loan from the Western Reserve Historical Society.
Participating musicians and dates of performance are:
Nov. 27 Jane Delcamp, Pianist & Flautist
Nov. 28 Women Sing
Nov. 29 Suite Elegance Entertainment
Dec. 3 Firestone HS Madrigal Singers
Dec. 4 Carole Saire, Pianist
Dec. 5 The King’s Strings
Dec. 6 Robin Bennett & Jim Hannah
Dec. 10 Kent State University Chorale
Dec. 11 Kent State University Men’s Quartet
Dec. 12 722 Singers
Dec. 13 Joyful Bronze Handbell Choir
Dec. 14 Linda Conrad, Pianist
Dec. 15 Shani Diggs, Pianist
Dec. 16 Crooked River Chorale
Dec. 17 Western Reserve Academy String Ensemble
Dec. 18 dismantle.Repair
Dec. 19 dismantle.Repair
Dec. 20 Bryon Black & Friends
Dec. 21 Crooked River Chorale
Dec. 22 Graham Hicks, Pianist
Dec. 23 All Thumbs Bassoon Ensemble
Dec. 26 Carla Davis & Friends
Dec. 27 Caitlin Phillips, Pianist
Dec. 28 Stan Hywet Aeolian Organ
Dec. 29 Sperry Creek
Dec. 30 Linda Florjancic, Viola & Piano
Jan. 2, 2016 Stan Hywet Aeolian Organ