Experience a Holiday Season from the Gilded Age at Ventfort Hall

Gilded Age Christmas in the Berkshires

Ventfort Hall Mansion and Gilded Age Museum will kick off its 5th annual “A Home for the Holidays” program, an exciting full month of festivities for adults and children alike. Starting Friday, Nov. 23rd from 10am-5pm, the day after Thanksgiving, the 1893 mansion will have been lavishly decorated for a Gilded Age Christmas by a host of volunteers, among them the Ventfort Hall Flower Ladies.
In addition, throughout the month of December, there will be theater performances, concerts, dances, tours, viewings of Les Petites Dames de Mode, Victorian Holiday Teas, and a Museum Shop stocked full of gift ideas for Christmas. (Courtesy photo)

Along with the strong spirit and traditions of the holiday season comes the challenge to celebrate apart from the commercialism and consumerism we’re deluge with via advertisements and conspicuous consumption. There are, however, safe havens at which to celebrate the holidays non-commercially – and Ventfort Hall Mansion and Guilded Age Museum‘s Mansion and Gilded Age Museum’s holidays programs in Lenox perfectly illustrate such a space. Beginning the day after Thanksgiving and throughout the holiday season, the museum will offer a wide variety of programs for kids and family alike – everything from museum exhibits to traditional Victorian tea, an evening of dancing to a hand chime lesson!

DANCE & FOOD: On Sunday, December 2nd at 4pm, dancers from the American Dance Institute will perform Classical Ballet Highlights in the museum’s Great Hall. Following the performance will be a Victorian Holiday Tea, at which families can enjoy delicious treats and learn about Victorian foods and etiquette. ($$)

MUSIC: On Sunday, December 9th at 3pm, become an instant hand chime master and member of a hand chime choir! Director Jane Holland will teach participants to play the chimes as an accompaniment to Christmas carols. Families can learn about how the chimes work as a multi-player instrument and can learn to better understand how to read basic sheet music. A Victorian Tea follows the chime tutorial! ($$)

STORYTELLING: From December 27th-30th, puppeteer Carl Sprague will present a marionette production of the classic Brothers Grimm tale, “Hansel and Gretel.” After the show, kids can meet the antique puppets used in the show at a Victorian Tea, and there will also be an opportunity to learn about the puppeteer’s methods. ($)

PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT: For parents, the museum hosts a couple of evening highlights worth getting a babysitter for! The opening reception for the Lenox Caroling Festival on Friday, December 7th from 6-8:30pm ($$). The event will feature a performance from MCLA’s Allegrettos, last year’s 2nd place winners. Enjoy hors d’ouvres and a cash bar. Or, if you feel like dancing, on Saturday, December 8th, the Greg Caputo Quartet will play at the museum! From 7:30-10:30pm, there will be dancing, food, and a cash bar ($$).

NEW YEARS EVE: Finally, from December 26th-31st, the museum will host one-woman performances of, “Paris 1890 – Unlaced!” which features actress Anne Undeland as five different women navigating the Belle Epoque age of late-19th century Paris. The New Year’s Eve performance will have a champagne reception and meet-and-greet with Undeland ($$).

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